Wales’ moorland and upland farmers are to be offered greater support under plans to revamp the Glastir agri-environment scheme.
In an attempt to make Glastir more appealing to farmers, the Welsh government is proposing to adjust grazing levels for farmers in the more disadvantaged farming regions.
Farming minister Alun Davies suggested his vision for a “new” Glastir would offer better support for green growth and biodiversity. It would also be easier and quicker for farmers to access, he believed.
The proposals, which are now open for consultation, include:
- A new sustainable production grant to support business modernisation
- Increased support for moorland and upland farmers
- Online applications to reduce paperwork and speed up processing
- More funding for tree planting via the next Wales Rural Development Plan.
The proposals have already been discussed with industry representatives from the farming and forestry sectors and the Welsh government is now seeking feedback from farmers and others.
Mr Davies described Glastir as a “vital tool” in the future prosperity and resilience of agriculture and forestry in Wales.
“Last year’s State of Nature report revealed the continuing decline of species within Wales and only served to highlight the pressure that our natural resources are under,” he said. “This decline diminishes the ability of our natural resources to provide the services on which the agricultural industry and ultimately all of us depend.”
Recent weather extremes, he added, had highlighted that more needs to be done to address climate change. “These proposals are aimed at helping agricultural businesses in Wales meet key environmental challenges and should make it easier for them to deliver environmental goods and services which complement their commercial production.”
The consultation runs until March 28 and can be accessed via the Welsh government’s website.