Glastir needs big revision to attract farmers

A survey of Welsh farmers has revealed that Wales’ trouble-hit Glastir environment scheme could attract more farmers if it underwent substantial revision.

Launched in 2010, the Glastir scheme attracted applications from just 2904 farmers, 15% of the total farming in Wales. 

But the survey, conducted by NFU Cymru, suggested that 86% of farmers would consider applying if problems with the scheme were tackled. NFU Cymru drew on a sample of 600 farmers and also asked why so few had decided against joining Glastir. 

The main reasons identified were the lack of financial incentive, that the rules were too restrictive and the scheme was too complex.

More than half (54%) believed they would not be able to score sufficient points to join. One farmer believed it would destroy the good farming practices he had put in place during 35 years of farming.

The results of the survey came as Rees Roberts, the recently retired chairman of Hubu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) was chosen to head the Glastir review panel being set up by Wales’ rural affairs minister Elin Jones.

His brief includes finding out whether changes can be made to make the scheme more practical and flexible for farmers to
encourage uptake.