Shepherd who beat 2500 others to win picturesque farm tells court how

A shepherd who beat 2,500 applicants in a National Trust competition to run a picturesque farm has told how his dream turned to a “nightmare” as he struggled to cope with tending the land, a court heard.Daniel Jones, 40, was granted the tenancy of Parc Farm, a 145-acre site on the Great Orme headland in north Wales, at a cost of just £1 a year in 2016 but found running the area “a massive step up”, it was claimed.Jones, a farmer with 15 years experience, is on trial at Llandudno Magistrates Court charged with 11 offences relating to livestock, tracing back to his early days on the farm. He has denied the offences.The 40-year-old is accused of failing to dispose of three sheep carcasses, failing to keep a register of animal movements and nine counts of failing to notify the authorities of animals he had between 2016 and 2018.The court heard Jones told trading standards officers from Conwy Council, who had quizzed him about the sheep carcasses, of the pressure he had come under since winning the international contest for a “conservation farming hero”  During an interview he said: “It’s been affecting my personal life as well, working all the time. “I do about 25 miles a day in this little buggy going around the Orme,” he said. Jones is yet to give evidence in the trial. His solicitor has claimed he was targeted by council officials eager to restore their reputation after losing a series of court cases.David Kirwan said that Mr Jones was told by one trading standards officer: “Farmers around here think we are a joke and we need to show them we are not a joke.” According to Mr Kirwan, it showed the motive behind the decision to prosecute Mr Jones.He said: “This whole case amounts to a barrel-scraping exercise. Conwy decided to make an example of Daniel to try to restore its reputation.” Jones originally faced 20 charges but nine of them were dropped.As a result of the charges being brought, Jones said he had been “put through 17 months of a nightmare.”Barrister John Wyn Williams, prosecuting for the council, has told the judge the authority acted reasonably in bringing the case.  He said Mr Jones had failed to comply with movement regulations for his sheep and lambs. The trial continues. Daniel Jones, 38 The Orme is just a massive step up and a big area. “I was just running around everywhere. I thought I was doing everything OK but obviously I’m not. Getting this farm was like a dream come true for me.” Daniel Jones, 38Credit:David Powell Trading standards officer Charlotte Walker-Williams said Mr Jones described how he had developed a stress-related condition. She said there was no concern about the welfare of animals. Jones had more than 500 sheep and lambs on the £1 million valued farm.Ms Walker-Williams recalled how officers visited the farm in January last year after a complaint from a member of the public about dead sheep.She said there were three carcasses. The defendant told how he had been kept busy going around catching sheep which wandered on to the lower slopes of the Great Orme and into the town – something the headland’s famous herd of goats also often do. “Every phone call I get I have to go straightaway. The last thing I want to do is upset the people of Llandudno,” Jones had explained in interview.Jones insisted he had “changed a lot of things” since he assumed the tenancy, it was said. The court heard there had been an emergency meeting with the National Trust about fencing and he’d bought an all-terrain vehicle. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.