The Princess Royal met heated fibreglass sheep on her tour of Bangor University’s Henfaes research station in Abergwyngregyn on Feburary 27th. Princess Anne spent two hours at the farm.
As well as the artificial sheep, used to study how much energy the animals use up in cold weather, she learned more about research into soils, potato blight and rye grass packaging for Waitrose fruit and vegetables.
Arriving by helicopter and dressed in a warm tweed-style coat and practical brown boots, the jovial princess chatted for several minutes with postgraduate students about the artificial sheep. Postgraduate student Kevin Wells, from the USA, said: “We explained how the sheep heat up and how the elements go inside and we measure the energy loss. I thought she was genuinely interested.”
Petra Irvine, 22, of Llanberis, said: “We were telling her about our work. I’m looking at how the soil can be improved in a sustainable way without increasing greenhouse gases through pollution and bleaching into water and so on.
“She was great. She made conversation and jokes, and was interested in what we were saying.
“She completely put you at your ease. It was almost like talking to your grandma.”
Professor John G Hughes, vice-chancellor at Bangor University, said: “We were delighted that the Princess Royal took such a close interest in our environmental and agricultural research work.