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A south Wales farmer highlighted the central role played by grazing livestock and food production in conserving and enhancing biodiversity during a visit to his farm by UK Minister for Agriculture Robert Goodwill.
During the Minister’s visit to Bryncoedcae, which is farmed by four generations of the Bowen family, FUW Vice President Brian Bowen explained how the sheep and cattle maintained open mountain land which supported a range of species, in particular ground-nesting birds.
“That grazing which is so essential for wildlife takes place in the spring and through the summer up on the open mountain, but in the winter the animals are moved to our better ground and into cattle housing,” said Mr Bowen.
Welsh farmers leader Glyn Roberts will be honoured by the Gorsedd of Bards at this year’s National Eisteddfod. The Farmers’ Union of Wales President will be recognised alongside Welsh rugby legends Jonathan Davies and Ken Owens, Anglesey comedian Tudur Owen and Ceredigion harpist Catrin Finch.
“This is a great honour, not just for myself, but for the recognition it gives to the importance of agriculture to Wales,” said Glyn. “Farming is the backbone of a thriving rural countryside and the communities that live in it”.
Farming must be recognised as central to helping tackle climate change, says the Farmers’ Union of Wales, highlighting the danger that misguided attacks on the industry over climate change could lead to knee-jerk reaction policies that add to environmental problems and increase carbon emissions.
On his first visit to Wales, the UK’s new Minister for Agriculture, Robert Goodwill MP, has been warned that work on developing a UK framework for agriculture is still essential, despite the collapse of the Government’s Brexit policy.
After a meeting with the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the farm of Brian Bowen at Princetown, south Wales, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Whilst the failure to get an agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been the main story in recent months, we also brought a number of other critical issues to the attention of the Minister.”
Farmers have hit back at claims over the role of farming in the decline of curlews and other species, saying environmental charities and advisors must take their fair share of the blame for policies which have led to habitat degradation and increased predation.