Glastir to be replaced by new interim ‘green’ scheme for 2024

A new interim agri-environment scheme is to be introduced in Wales next year to bridge the gap between the old Glastir scheme, closing on 31 December 2023, and the new Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) starting in 2025.

According to Welsh rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths, this will provide alternative support for all eligible farmers, including Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic farmers when their contracts expire at the end of this year.

See also: Welsh farmers face ‘funding cliff-edge’ if Glastir not extended

The application window for the new scheme will open later this year, but full details will only be made available following discussions with stakeholders.

“The budget available will be announced prior to the application window opening,” said a statement.

Environmental benefits

Ms Griffiths said the aim was to maintain the environmental benefits delivered by Glastir until the SFS is up and running.

“The Climate Change Committee recommended there should be no gap between the end of Glastir and the start of the SFS, and this is what we are delivering today,” she said.

But the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) had considerable reservations, both in terms of the financial viability of the proposed new scheme, and how it will be implemented over such a short timeframe.

FUW president Ian Rickman said: “Wales currently has some 3,000 farms in these environmental agreements that will now come to an end in a few months’ time.

“Some of those have been in such agreements for 30 years, and all will have changed their farming practices and stock numbers to cope with the scheme rules.

“This announcement will raise grave concerns for thousands of farming families.”


Mr Rickman also expressed significant disappointment that the farming industry had been excluded from discussions on the cancellation of Glastir contracts and the design and introduction of a new interim scheme.

The Glastir schemes are worth about £35m each year to Welsh farmers. It was essential that the new interim scheme received at least as much funding as the schemes it would replace, he said.

There are currently some 2,100 Glastir Advanced contract holders and more than 450 Glastir Organic contract holders, as well as 180 Glastir common land agreements involving vast numbers of commoners.

It is understood that more than 17,000 Welsh farmers may be eligible to apply for the new interim scheme this autumn.

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