The end of a nightmare: Great Orme farmer thanks farming community for support

The Great Orme farmer involved in a court case that spectacularly collapsed just days into the trial has issued a heartfelt thanks to the farming community who supported him through his 17-month nightmare.

Daniel Jones won tenancy of the National Trust-owned Parc Farm on the Great Orme headlands in 2016 but went on to face 20 charges brought by Conway County Borough Council’s Trading Standards department.

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The 41-year-old expressed his gratefulness to both local residents and the farming community as a whole who sent him messages of encouragement and warmth throughout his ordeal.

Jones said: “The emails, texts and phone calls I received from people who didn’t even know me were such great support to me and really made me feel that I wasn’t alone during what has been the most terrifying year and a half of my life.

I haven’t slept properly in 17 months, as the situation has been on my mind 24/7. I was terrified I’d lose absolutely everything I’ve been working towards since leaving school.

“The lowest point was probably when the letter from the prosecution arrived with 20 charges on it.

“I looked at the charges and worked out the maximum sentence I could be given for each, and realised I was potentially looking at years in prison, and the very real fear that I wouldn’t see my 11-year-old son growing up into a man.

“Hearing from people who believed in me meant the world and I can’t thank them enough.”

Jones also spoke of how those nearest to him helped him through his darkest days.

He said: “I would like to thank my friends and family for all their support, the National Trust for all the faith they’ve shown in me, and the Farmers’ Union of Wales for their technical and practical support. I would also like to thank the wider farming community, all of whom have sent me hundreds of messages of support, and my solicitor, David Kirwan, without whom I would not be where I am today.

I would urge any other farmers facing investigation by Trading Standards to seek legal advice immediately in order to avoid finding themselves in a situation that could escalate at a terrifying pace.

Jones said that following the not guilty verdict, he is now looking forward to getting back to work and completing his original plans for the farm.

“I came here for 10 years to improve the habitat and conservation areas of the Great Orme,” he said. “And I now have seven-and-a-half years left. This whole experience has made me even more determined to finish the job I came here to do.”