FUW welcomes Cabinet Secretary’s cautious approach to future Welsh land policies

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement that it would ‘take the time to get right’ Wales’s post Brexit land management policies, and has emphasised the need to thoroughly investigate the implications of all proposals and scenarios.

Speaking at a farming conference in Birmingham earlier today (February 20),  Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said the transition period to a new system “...must be a real one, it must be well planned and it must take place over a number of years. There is too much at stake economically, socially and environmentally to not get this right.”

Responding to her comments, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Within days of the June 2016 EU referendum we had issued a call for a realistic post-Brexit transition period for farming, and for future policies to be developed slowly and investigated thoroughly, so the Cabinet Secretaries comments are naturally welcome.”

Read more: FUW welcomes Cabinet Secretary’s cautious approach to future Welsh land policies


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4th Generation farmer highlights why #FarmingMatters

A 4th generation farmer from Bridgend has highlighted why #FarmingMatters when he met with Ogmore AM Huw Irranca-Davies, at his farm to raise awareness of the concerns for farming in Wales.  

Will Howells who has taken over his grandfather’s 143 hectare holding - Baiden farm - Cefn Cribbwr, Bridgend, which includes owned and rented land, runs 16 cattle and 600 ewes.

The family have also invested into 2 Gaia wind turbines on the farm,  which were installed in 2015 and 2014 and the farm is in the Glastir Entry and Advanced scheme.

Speaking at his farm, Will said: “I would like to thank Huw Irranca-Davies AM for joining us here at Baiden Farm and listening to our concerns about the future of our industry.

“We discussed many #FarmingMatters such as funding for the future, the next generation of farmers and how we can attract more young people to take up farming, bovine TB and agri-environmental schemes.

Read more: 4th Generation farmer highlights why #FarmingMatters


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FUW renews call for funding clarity for Wales

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has today renewed its call for clarity on rural funding for Wales, following Secretary of State Michael Gove’s keynote speech in Birmingham.

Whilst FUW President Glyn Roberts welcomed many of Mr Gove’s assurances, he said certainty was needed regarding issues of critical concern to Wales.

“With around thirteen months to go before we leave the EU, there is still no clarity over the post Brexit funding formula through which Wales will receive an allocation for agriculture and rural development, or how this will be protected in order to prevent distortion between the devolved nations in terms of how much is spent on key policy areas.

“The FUW has made it clear since June 2016 that Wales’ funding should continue at at least current levels, and clarity on this and other matters is essential. England seems to have had these assurances, yet Wales is still in the dark.”

Read more: FUW renews call for funding clarity for Wales


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Gove recognition of devolution and focus on supply chains cautiously welcomed

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has welcomed commitments by Secretary of State Michael Gove to focus on supply chain policies and his acknowledgement of the need for an appropriate balance between devolution and common UK frameworks post Brexit.

Speaking at a National Farmers Union conference in Birmingham, Michael Gove gave a number of commitments to English farmers, while also acknowledging the need for Brexit to be considered in terms of entire supply chains which operate across the UK.

Responding, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “In light of Brexit, there is an understandable focus on farming, environmental and land use policies, but the FUW has been arguing for entire supply chains to be considered - be it the supply chain for food, carbon, green energy or wildlife.

Read more: Gove recognition of devolution and focus on supply chains cautiously welcomed


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Minister for Environment hears of need for recognition of family farms and tenants

 

A sheep and cattle farming family from Brecon have highlighted the important role that the average family farm, including tenant farmers, play in producing food and looking after the environment, during a farm visit with Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn.

Opening the gates to their 270 acre tenanted farm, Talwen Fawr, were Darren and Rachel Williams, who run 500 ewes, 100 ewe lambs and 100 cattle.

The farm is a mixed farm and they grow their own corn for feeding and aim to fatten their lambs from forage crops, grass and red clover leys.  The farm is also in the Glastir Advanced scheme.

Highlighting the environmental work being done on the farm but also stressing the limitations imposed by its size and nature, Darren said: “Wales’s upland farms come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but many people run away with the idea they all have vast areas of moorland and mountain.

Read more: Minister for Environment hears of need for recognition of family farms and tenants


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Conservation bodies have ‘heads in sand’ over hedgehog decline says FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has warned that conservation bodies have their heads in the sand over the devastating impact badgers have had on hedgehog numbers, and are doing conservation a great disservice by scapegoating farmers.

The State of British Hedgehogs 2018 report released today (7 February) by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species estimates that hedgehog numbers have halved since the beginning of the century, and places the lion’s share of the blame on intensive farming.

However, world leading hedgehog expert Dr Pat Morris, author of The New Hedgehog Book, wrote in his 2006 book “The implications [of high badger population densities] for hedgehog survival are serious...ignoring the issue or pretending that badgers exist only by harmless drinking of rainwater doesn't help at all."

Read more: Conservation bodies have ‘heads in sand’ over hedgehog decline says FUW


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Farmers' Union of Wales
Llys Amaeth
Plas Gogerddan
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3BT

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