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Iolo Williams urges people of Wales to take part in e-action campaign on new farming scheme

16 Feb 2024 4 minute read
Welsh ornithologist Iolo Williams

Iolo Williams is urging people to have their say on a new Welsh Government farming scheme by taking part in an e-action campaign.

A consultation is currently underway on the new Sustainable Farming Scheme to take the place of the Common Agricultural Policy.

It will use public money to help farmers produce food sustainably, tackle the climate and nature emergencies and restore ecosystems.

However, the Welsh ornithologist has warned that despite the scheme being positive in some ways – it could could have a negative impact on Welsh wildlife.

An e-action campaign has been organised by the Campaign for National Parks and members of the Alliance for Welsh Designated Landscapes.

Campaigners say that agricultural payments should support farmers to take positive actions which help tackle the climate crisis.

They also say the Welsh Government has a legal duty to have regard to supporting wildlife in National Parks.


Iolo Williams said: “With 80% of the land area of Wales given over to farming it’s imperative that the SFS is fit for purpose – for farmers, for people and for nature.

“I can tell you that there are some positive things in the scheme for the environment, but there’s a lot more that doesn’t go far enough, or could even have a negative effect on our wildlife.

“The Welsh Government must revise this scheme to address these issues, and this is where we can all play our part.”

“Everyone can take part. You can do so either by making an individual response via the Welsh Government’s website, or by using the e-action that has been set up by Campaign for National Parks and the Alliance of Welsh Designated Landscapes.

“You can find it by typing ‘Write to the Welsh Government: Tackle the nature emergency’ into a search engine like Google.”

The campaign is also being supported by Mike Raine, an outdoor leader who produces the popular Outdoor Lives podcast, which is available on Spotify and other podcast apps.


He said: “Outdoor leaders make a good living from our National Parks. But we do very much care about protecting the amazing wildlife and landscapes they support.

“The Welsh Government is consulting on the future of farming and I feel strongly that they should be supporting farmers who are doing the right things to support and enhance wildlife and nature.

“That’s why I’ve taken part by using an e-action set up by Campaign for National Parks. Why not go online and take part yourself?”

Calls are being made for the Welsh Government to include a ‘Sustainable Farming in Designated Landscapes’, programme.

This would includes funding for multi-year projects and the support of project coordinators and farming advisors within each landscape.

Campaigners say additional support could unlock “significant improvements” ahead of 2030 to help meet the 30 x 30 deadline in the COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity.

The e-action also highlights the value traditional field boundaries, saying that dry stone walls and hedgerows are valuable for wildlife and the landscape.

It proposes that farmers should be rewarded for retaining and maintaining them and that they should both count towards the minimum 10% habitat threshold.


Eben Muse from the British Mountaineer Council said: “This is simply an opportunity that we can’t afford to miss.

“The BMC is proud to support this e-action to provide the support needed for farmers to manage our landscapes in a nature friendly way as well as providing food for our tables.

“It’s important that recreational, environmental, and farming organisations stand by this principle together, and we urge anybody who loves their national parks to do the same and take part in this e-action.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The Sustainable Farming Scheme aims to secure food production systems, keep farmers farming the land, safeguard the environment, and address the urgent call of the climate and nature emergency.

“The final consultation on the Scheme is open and we encourage everyone to get involved by 7 March.”

The consultation will come to an end on March 7.

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2 months ago

Listening to the farmer who organised last weeks’s farmer’s meeting in Carmarthen he, like many of the far-right, is against net zero and clearly the demand for many farmers for a change to policy regarding TB is code for, we want to be able to slaughter tens of thousands of wild animals in an unscientific attempt to get rid of the disease.

2 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Using a common sense approach to solve problems doesn’t mean far right. And with regards to TB, you only have to look over the border into England to see that a badger cull is scientifically and actually proven to reduce the significance of the disease!

Last edited 2 months ago by Rhys
2 months ago
Reply to  Rhys

Being against net zero is a common policy of the far-right. As for a badger/wild animals cull it’s striking that farmers rarely come out with this as a suggestion to the TB situation, as they know the public will not be supportive.

Emma Howells
Emma Howells
2 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

So if someone don’t agree with you or the government is far right, which is the most ridiculous thing ever said. It’s more like common sense that the farmers protest well done them for standing up for their way of life. Far right term is thrown about to easier and weak people believe the lies.

2 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

I am sick of leftie do gooders who think they know what is best but actually are destroying this country and also keep pushing net zero and climate change, let the farmers do their job and manage what they do, they are not stupid farmers have been feeding us for thousands of years now all of a sudden they are wrong, it is people like you that will send us back to the dark ages where we will all be poor because your stupid ideology

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