WELSH international flanker Dan Lydiate officially opened the new climbing poles at the Royal Welsh Showground on Monday.

Mr Lydiate is from Abbeycwmhir and has garnered 60 caps representing the Welsh rugby team.

Unfortunately a severe knee injury against South Africa in the 2016 Winter internationals has temporarily taken him off the professional stage.

Speaking after opening the new poles, that stand at more than 30 metres tall, Mr Lydiate said: “I like to keep my feet on the ground, but it’s great to watch the boys.

“They go faster up the poles than some people can go on the ground.

“It takes so much skill and the technique. It’s a really great spectacle.”

Speaking on his own fitness, he had some positive updates.

He said: “I’m back running. I don’t know if I’ll be back for the start of the season. It has been a while out, but I am getting there.”

Aside from his impressive rugby career, Mr Lydiate has a thorough agricultural background, with the Royal Welsh making a regular appearance on his calendar.

He added: “I have been coming to the show for years.

“I always come to see the axe men and see them race the shearers.

“For me, the Royal Welsh is a home from home.”

Many farms have taken to diversifying in order to increase financial stability.

The Lydiate farm is no different.

He added: “We have actually planted a forestry of around 100 acres. We are going down that route to help the farm survive over the generations.”

The old climbing poles had been in place since 2009 and have been replaced with Douglas Firs from Pantperthog, Machynlleth.

The journey from Pantperthog to the Royal Welsh Show was a huge challenge involving help and support from Natural Resources Wales, Dyfed Powys Police and the Highways Agency.