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Carbon-offsetting company change plans for tree planting at Welsh farm after 17,000 sign petition

28 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Cwrt-y-cadno

A company from London which had bought a farm with the intention of planting trees in mid-Wales has indicated that they will modify their plans after a petition was set up by residents.

Foresight, which is headquartered in the Shard in London, has bought Frongoch farm in Cwrt-y-Cadno, and three other farms.

Farming unions have recently spoken out with concerns about companies buying farms in Wales with the intention of planting trees in order to offset their carbon emissions.

Following a meeting with residents in Pumpsaint last night however, campaigners said that they had been told that the plans would be changed as a result of the local response.

Over 17,000 people had signed a petition opposing the plans and expressing concerns about the proposed planting of trees on the agricultural land at Frongoch.

The petition was set up by Rhiannon Lewis who lives in the area and described Cwrt-y-cadno as “an ancient area of exceptional beauty” which is “under threat of being irreversibly destroyed”.

“The good news is that Foresight have now indicated that they are prepared to listen to the local community and to adapt their plans, but we need to continue to register our opposition,” she said.

“We are asking Foresight to leave the agricultural fields for continued farming and to plant deciduous broadleaf tree species native to the British Isles in keeping with the natural landscape.”

She added that Foresight’s original plan would have “planted commercial, non-native conifers over most of the existing fields and hillside, selling off carbon credits to their financial investors for profit”.

“Such a proposed plantation would destroy productive agricultural land, both on the valley floor and on the hilltop, which has been sustainably sheep farmed for generations.”

‘Integrated’

Nation.Cymru has contacted Foresight for a response to the latest development.

They had previously said: “We will be planting a diverse species mix at Frongoch comprising over 25% non-commercial broadleaves. Foresight never plants trees on land that can support productive, commercial food crop growth.

“A key part of our approach to afforestation is always to consult and work with local communities before any planting begins.”

National Farmers Union in Wales has previously warned that rural farming communities in Wales could be “decimated” if plans for blanket afforestation go ahead.

John Davies, NFU Cymru president said: “There is a great deal of concern because family farms are the backbone of our rural communities in Wales and if you see this happening, that removes those families from those areas, and it removes those job opportunities for 30, 40 years.

“What we want to see is the forestry approach integrated into farming here. This isn’t an option of trees good, cows bad, this is about fully integrating our woodland approach into our agricultural going forward.

“If you’re seeing a monoculture approach to this and blanket afforestation – that’s a fundamental change and that’s not what we’re looking for in Wales. It’s decimation of that community really, isn’t it?”

The Welsh Government said it will launch a consultation on its National Forest plan after last year launching plans to create a National Forest for Wales, which was designed to increase the number of trees being planted every year to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases.


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Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago

Excellent work Rhiannon Lewis for organising the petition and getting so many signatures. People power at its best.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Thing is, where is our Senedd???

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Perhaps they can’t see the trees for the wood. Yes. This is important. as we now face a new wave of exploitation under the green banner.

Robredz
Robredz
3 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Drakeford is supportive of this sort of thing, he wants Wales to farm less and become a forest it seems.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
3 months ago

Sessile oak.

Dail y Goeden
Dail y Goeden
3 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Or whichever appropriate species. But yes, sessile oak speaks of – and thinks of – the long view. Centuries (he writes in the week of the Urdd’s first centenary… 🙂 . Two days ago I was on a hillside in Dyffryn Clwyd, looking down on a Tudor farmhouse, and there was one such oak framing the view for me..

Dail y Goeden
Dail y Goeden
3 months ago

Gwych – excellent. Well done Rhiannon Lewis and all who helped. But, as the story says, this isn’t the end. Eternal vigilance and all that. But: where the Archers might be “an everyday story of country folk”, this is “an important story of informed citizens, organised and amicable.”

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
3 months ago

Why are foreign companies being allowed to buy our land?

Gaynor
Gaynor
3 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

The only way round this is if Welsh people stop selling property and land to These capitalists from England. The original farmer at Frongoch sold the farm to an Englishman who then bought more property and cashed in on offsetting. Hats off to Kyra in Bethlehem, an English lady who moved hete in the 60s, woth Welsh kids and grandkids and told Savilles to sling their hook. It is complex. How much money is enough these days? I mean what if Welsh Gvt started buyi g farms and letti g them out to families and youung entrants who will never… Read more »

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

Stop English company’s buying land in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is to be run by welsh people only not outsiders start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Welshmen
3 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

I bet China and Russia love your post, keep any flag flying in Wales as long as its RED.
The labour led WAG have made Wales a sanctuary Nation without one vote of its plan coming from the Welsh people, filling Wales up with some cultures that are poll opposite to our actual culture is the Marxist way to destroy not live in harmony…

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

If you are welsh get the people in your town’s out voting for new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is being overtaken by English idiots no more second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop incomers voting in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

S stevens
S stevens
3 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

And if you take all the English people out of the Welsh economy, me included, you are going to see a vast reduction in wealth to everyone here. We spend a lot of money in the local economy, as do our English neighbours. There are only so many people that can be farmers – and many of those need substantial subsidies to continue. People like us who are not taking jobs from others and who input money into the economy are to be welcomed, English or otherwise. Wales cannot possibly operate as a separate country for Welsh people. It needs… Read more »

Malcolmrj
Malcolmrj
3 months ago

We have got to be against anything that is using our country just to offset they’re carbon footprint.other than investing in tidal energy in Wales and using our second highest tide in the world for clean green energy not for treas or wind turbines

Chris Beddoes
Chris Beddoes
3 months ago

Having read a lot of the opinions here, most if not all seem to be missing the point, which really is apathy amongst the UK populace, I can’t mention names but today have seen the outcome of a ballot of over 300000 persons with regards to their living standards, far less than 50% bothered to vote.
Basically we can all moan and groan about who makes the rules but they are only there because we failed to get off our proverbial arses and vote.

Erisian
Erisian
3 months ago

Greenwashing is just dangly bits.

I do not like George Mombiot but he is usually near or right on the ball

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/26/carbon-offsetting-environmental-collapse-carbon-land-grab

Last edited 3 months ago by Erisian
Christine White
Christine White
3 months ago

More trees means less food,
A growing population means global food shortage. How long till government realize we need to feed this ever increasing population.

Malcolmrj
Malcolmrj
3 months ago

What has England got that Wales haven’t got your talking nonsense we have been given everything that God could give too our wonderful 👍 country..What have we not got?? We have the ingredients too be one of the very best countries in the world to live in if we had INDEPENDENCE

Rebekah
Rebekah
3 months ago

There’s one obvious solution where everyone would be happy… orchards! You get the trees needed for carbon offsetting, and you’re still using the land for farming.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

Haha im planting all these trees . Stop complaining and let me plant

Rhiannon Lewis
Rhiannon Lewis
3 months ago

You can still sign our petition here to preserve this valley and oppose the proposed planting of a monoculture of non-native conifers https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/WZQACXQqfZlVQc6oSU2

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