David Elias will be discussing his new book ’Shaping the Wild’ in conversation with Tom Kistruck (RSPB, Ynys Hir)

What can one Welsh hill farm tell us about helping nature to thrive?

In recent times farming has often been viewed as harmful to nature and the environment, causing friction between those wanting to protect wildlife and the farmers whose livelihoods depend upon the land.

Conservationists and governments frequently propose well-meaning ideas and policies to enable farming and conservation to work together, but all-to-often these do not have the intended results.

At the heart of this is a lack of understanding about the realities of farming life and managing the land for nature.

In this captivating debut conservationist David Elias explores a single/singular farm in Eryri (Snowdonia)National Park and what it can show us about the gritty reality of trying to reconcile hill farming and caring for nature. Visiting through the seasons, he forms a deep relationship with the land and the people who work it, coming to understand their particular way of life, history and concerns about the future. This is a farm rich in nature and he brings an experienced eye to how its habitats and wildlife have been shaped by changing farming practices over the generations.

Through lyrical prose and first-hand conversations with farmers Elias also shows what current policies have achieved – or not achieved – and why it is so important to understand what it really takes to ensure farming families remain on the land while helping nature to thrive.