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09 December 2018 | Online since 2003


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6 December 2018 05:19:30 |Forestry,News,Renewables and Environment,Rural Life

Farmers worry major afforestation plans could drive families off the land


To achieve afforestation on the scale proposed would require the complete afforestation of some 1,400 farms in Wales, NFU Cymru warned

To achieve afforestation on the scale proposed would require the complete afforestation of some 1,400 farms in Wales, NFU Cymru warned

Major afforestation plans by the Welsh Government could drive 1,400 farming families off the land, Welsh farmers have warned.
New proposals aimed at tackling emissions include 66,000 hectares of additional tree planting at a rate of 2-4,000 hectares per year on land.
Ninety percent of this is suggested to come from afforestation, with 10% taking the form of agro-forestry.
Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was no previous tree cover.
It comes as the National Assembly are expected to vote on Welsh Government Climate Change (Wales) Regulations which will make targets to reduce emissions by 27% by 2020; 45% by 2030 and 67% by 2040 legally binding.
But NFU Cymru has warned afforestation plans could drive Welsh farming families off their land.


NFU Cymru Rural Affairs Board Chair, Hedd Pugh said: “To put Welsh Government’s current proposals into context, the average farm size in Wales is 48 hectares.
“To achieve afforestation on the scale proposed would require the complete afforestation of some 1,400 farms in Wales.
“That is the removal of 1,400 farming families from the land, all of whom make a valuable contribution to their local economy, rural communities and the Welsh language.”
'Appropriate balance'
NFU Cymru said the burden of decarbonisation should not fall unequally on Wales’s rural and farming communities.
Welsh Government is expected to publish its first Low Carbon Delivery Plan next March, following consultation over the summer setting out its proposals for each sector on the low carbon pathway.
The consultation contained proposals for power, transport, buildings, agriculture, land use and forestry industries, as well as the public sector and waste.


Mr Pugh added: “It is vital before moving forward, that Welsh Government undertakes a full assessment of the impact on the farming families affected, our rural communities and language, the economy and the environment
“In the absence of a full regulatory impact assessment, we remain wholly unconvinced that Welsh Government is seeking to strike an appropriate balance between decarbonisation and meeting wider economic, environmental, social and cultural objectives.”




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