THE expression of interest window to take part in HCC’s hill ram scheme is now open.

Farmers have until March 31 to register their interest in the flock improvement scheme, by filling in an online form on the HCC website.

The window has opened following a successful series of open meetings held throughout February, one of which took place in Llanrwst.

The innovative scheme is intended to encourage more Welsh hill farmers to use performance-recorded rams to help produce lambs that meet market specifications for a wide range of markets at home and abroad.

Farmers who participate in the scheme will be using genetics and technology to improve the overall performance of their flocks.

The hill ram scheme is one strand of HCC’s Red Meat Development Programme, a five-year strategic initiative designed to improve the Welsh red meat industry’s efficiency and profitability.

HCC’s Gwawr Parry, who is leading on the hill ram scheme, said: "We were pleased to see so many farmers coming along to our roadshows, with a full house at every date.

"Attendees showed significant interest in the scheme and we were pleased that the meetings facilitated constructive discussion around the Welsh hill sheep sector.

"I would urge farmers who are interested in being part of this exciting project to sign up as soon as possible.

"This is a great opportunity to be part of a progressive project which will benefit hill farming businesses; and the wider economy of the uplands."

Farmers can contact the HCC office with any questions on 01970 625050 or