A close-knit Welsh farming community is grieving after the death of a farmer killed in a quad bike accident, with his neighbour describing him as a “gentle fellow”.
It is understood Harri Wyn Thomas had been riding a quad bike on the B4413 near his farm at Llanbedrog on the Llyn peninsula on Sunday (18 March) at about 7pm when the accident happened.
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Mr Thomas, who farmed with his younger brother, Glyn, at 81ha Henllys Newydd, was flown by air ambulance to hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, but was pronounced dead.
The 47-year-old beef and sheep farmer was a popular figure locally and the news of his death has saddened this rural community.
Mr Thomas had lived and worked at Henllys Newydd all his life and, following the death of his parents in recent years, had run the farm with Glyn; their older brother lives in Australia.
In addition to farming beef and sheep, the pair also ran a camping and caravan site.
Mr Thomas’s neighbour and friend, Jim Taylor, said he would be very sadly missed. “He was a gentleman, a very gentle fellow.
“I knew something dreadful had happened when I saw the helicopter landing. It was dark at the time and I could see all the lights from where we live.”
Mr Taylor had known Mr Thomas all his life and recalled how he would accompany his father at sheepdog trials.
In a tribute, Mr Thomas’s family said his death had been “a massive shock” to them and to his friends.
“Harri was a hard worker and farming was his life. He loved working on the family farm. He was popular with all his friends and family and he will be sadly missed by us all.”
North Wales Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision or anybody who may have seen the quad bike travelling along the B4413 between Llandedrog and Mynytho, prior to the accident, to come forward.
Farmers’ Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts said the news of another farming fatality was devastating and his thoughts were with Mr Thomas’s family.
“Farming can be an incredibly dangerous job as we are always in a rush to get jobs done, but it can’t be stressed enough that safety has to come first,” said Mr Roberts.
“Agriculture represents about 1.4% of the workforce across the UK, but astonishingly accounts for up to 20% of all reported work-related fatalities in Great Britain. And even though we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, one death is still one too many.”