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Local History and Culture

Until recently Mid Wales was a wild and extremely remote area. The people who lived here used the land to provide a living, grazing livestock and growing feed for their animals. For many the largely pastoral lifestyle was a struggle with unproductive soils, unpredictable weather and animal diseases which could wipe out large flocks.  Traditional, extensive farming practices left plenty of space for wildlife to thrive, particularly in the uncultivated and unenclosed wild areas above the farmsteads.  You can see these Fridd areas today,  where sessile oak woodland and undergrowth grows above a line on the sides of hills, but beneath the open areas of common above. After the intensification of farming following WW2, environmental schemes such as Tir Gofal have discouraged intensive farming and promoted more sustainable practices.

Find out more about how the environment has influenced farming and how farming practices such as hedging, grazing and haymaking have shaped our diverse landscape and the wildlife living here in Mid Wales. The museum at CARAD and events in the Elan Valley offer an insight into the traditional farming practices in the area. If you choose to stay on a farm you will see at close quarters how farming and wildlife can work together to maintain a healthy living and working countryside. To find out more about local history and culture try the fascinating Walking Through History outdoor courses with a landscape historian at Ty Gwyn Farm - and do not miss The Judges Lodging, Presteigne this year's 'Britain's Best Hidden Gem' award winner in the Hudsons Heritage Awards.