A fourth-generation Powys farmer has said she has helped to future proof her family farm by diversifying into holiday accommodation.

Farmer Anna Jones was working in the equine sector in 2016 when she decided she wanted her future to be in agriculture, farming 150-hectares near Welshpool with her parents, John and Sally.

As her brother, Matthew, had pursued a career in property development, she was the link to securing a future for Tir Newydd Farms under the family’s stewardship.

“I decided to take the opportunity to run the farm in order to keep it in the family,’’ says Anna.

That involved a rethink of the existing enterprises, which at that time included a flock of 800 Welsh Mule ewes, a small flock of pedigree Charollais sheep, and a herd of 45 suckler cows.

“I knew we needed to do something alongside livestock farming, and diversifying into holiday accommodation offered the potential for financial security."

Before making the decision, Anna wanted to gain confidence that it would work, and found the conduit for this in the form of Farming Connect’s Agrisgôp programme.

This farmer-to-farmer learning programme brings groups of like-minded individuals together to help develop their businesses by gaining the confidence, skills and knowledge to turn their ideas into reality.


“We were given the opportunity to decide which speakers we wanted, it was very much bespoke to the group,’’ Anna explains.

The family opted for a high-end luxury holiday let, which was developed in an existing building and opened for business in August 2021.

“We plan to extend the holiday business further whilst keeping Tir Newydd as a working farm, which will mean making a few tweaks to get everything to run more smoothly,’’ she says.

To balance the workload this has generated, commercial ewe numbers have been reduced to 500, however, they aim to increase the size of the suckler herd.

High health and productivity are central to the performance of the sheep and cattle and when the Jones’ ran into trouble with these, Iodine and copper deficiencies were suspected in the cattle so blood testing was carried out by Trefaldwyn Vets funded through the Farming Connect Animal Health Clinic.

Anna didn’t study agriculture at university and her knowledge of farming extended to what she has picked up from her father over the years.

Through the Farming Connect Mentoring service she was paired with award-winning beef and sheep farmer Dafydd Parry Jones.

He has shaped his business near Machynlleth around a low input system and this is the direction that Anna would like Tir Newydd to follow also.

Inspired by Dafydd’s red clover leys, the Jones family will be growing their own this year.

Anna has also received funded advice on grassland and crop management from agronomist Marc Jones, through the Advisory Service, and also advice from vet Fiona Lovatt on livestock management and performance