An interest in Highland cattle first began in 1983 with the purchase by Mr W.M. Griffiths of three cows to grace the headlands of Cim Farm on the Llyn Peninsula, North Wales. In 1987 it was decided to pursue pedigree status and join the Society, registering Cim Fold (pronounced Kim) in the name of his daughter Joy. At the time Joy was in her early teens and fortunately for her father she was to go on to develop a passion for the breed and meet her husband, James. At the same time Mr Griffiths bought his first Lleyn sheep, the native sheep of the Llyn Peninsula and then almost a rare breed. This is now the prize winning Flock number 124. Lleyn sheep are now one of the fastest growing breeds with over 2000 registered flocks. As the numbers of Highlands and Lleyn sheep grew the centre of activity was moved to the main farm near Oswestry in Shropshire where they were farmed alongside the family’s pedigree Friesian and Limousin herds.
The Farm Manager Russell Hamer who had a keen eye for stock became a regular buyer at Oban Sales in the early 1990’s. Russell hand picked the foundation bloodlines for Cim Fold, purchasing from Ormsary, Callachally, Glengorm, Woodneuk and Corriemuckloch and a Millerston bull from Old Greenlaw bloodlines. Russell also began showing the cattle, and in 1994 Cim Fold made their debut at the Shropshire and West Midlands Show taking a 2nd place rosette, it was also the first year that the Show held Lleyn Classes. Both the Lleyns and the Highlands have taken various championships over the years at many agricultural shows.
In 2003 Cim Fold, the Limousin herd and Lleyn Sheep entered the Premium Health Scheme run by SAC (www.sac.co.uk), the dairy herd having been sold in the late 90’s.
The scheme is a quality marker for the pedigree sector. All cattle through out the world are subject to a number of various diseases and the British cattle population is no exception. It is best farming practice to test cattle herds and weed out any animals carrying potentially damaging diseases. The cattle herds were tested and accredited free of BVD, IBR and Johnes Disease. In 2008 Biosecurity was strengthened further with a comprehensive vaccination programme for BVD and IBR to protect our animals from a disease outbreak. Johnes Disease (for which there is no vaccine and is largely passed from dam to calf) is monitored for by testing all animals yearly to maintain our disease free status. All stock are also vaccinated for Blue Tongue. All the stock and crops are FAWL Assured (Farm Assured Welsh Livestock).
During 2006 and 2007 Joy undertook a radical reduction of Cim Fold selecting only the best animals and bloodlines for retention. 2006 also marked a sad period with the passing of Shepherd John Roberts in August after a long illness and only weeks after judging the Lleyn classes at the Royal Welsh Show. John’s dedication and eye for stock made Flock 124 one of the most notable flocks in the country.
In 2007 Joy teamed up with her husband James Mawle also a Highlander breeder, to form J2Farming acquiring all the stock from WM Griffiths Farms. The enterprise consists of the established and prize winning Cim Fold (est. 1985) a new Fold of black pedigree Highlanders called Hisland Fold (est. 2007), the established prize winning Lleyn Sheep Flock No 124 (est.1985) and a commercial suckler herd integrated with the Pedigree Limousin Calgary Herd (est. 1986). James brought in 3 new stock bulls for both Cim and Hisland to use and exciting times are ahead.
Cim Fold is renowned for deep bodied red and yellow cows. Many of which are daughters or granddaughters of Rushmore Bracken, Cim Fold’s former stock Bull who was admitted to Cogent AI centre in 2002 and straws has been successful shipped all over the world, emails are regularly received of his progeny winning shows in Australia and New Zealand which can be viewed in the section Rushmore Bracken Progeny.
It should not be forgotten that the Highland is a beef breed and as well as the breeding of prize winning heifers we specialize in the production of the very best highland beef which is marketed under the brand ‘Aston Park Beef’.
Between the Folds there are a total of 175 pure pedigree Highland animals, of which 32 are breeding females. The Suckler herd currently number 140 and the Lleyn flock 340 breeding ewes.