Display of over 5,000 wellies to highlight 'shocking impact' of SFS

Thousands of old farm wellies are needed for the symbolic display at the Senedd
Thousands of old farm wellies are needed for the symbolic display at the Senedd

A display of over 5,000 farm wellies at the Senedd will highlight the 'detrimental impact' of the Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals, farm leaders say.

Farmers are being encouraged to donate their old wellies for the stunt, which is being organised by NFU Cymru.

5,500 pairs of wellies will depict the 5,500 agricultural jobs that are projected to be lost based on 100% take up of the SFS.

They will be placed place on the steps of the Welsh parliament in Cardiff Bay ahead of the Welsh government’s SFS consultation, closing on 7 March.

The SFS, which has received huge backlash from farmers in recent weeks, stipulates, in its current form, that farmers must have at least 10% tree cover on their land.

However, a recent impact assessment commissioned by the government found that the SFS risked reducing 122,000 livestock units, representing a 'shocking' 11% fall.

In response, farmers have conducted go-slow tractor protests across Wales, and unions and organisations have held dozens of events and discussions, with some attracting thousands of participants.

Just last week, dozens of concerned farmers protested outside Ms Griffiths' own office in Wrexham

One of the organisers of the display, Paul Williams, said that farmers wanted to make a statement to politicians about the 'shocking' impact of these proposals on agricultural jobs,

"The impact will not just be felt at the farm gate, but across the supply chain and throughout our rural communities," he said.

"By placing these 5,500 pairs of wellies on the Senedd steps we will be providing a stark visual of the true impact of these proposals on our sector.

"This is a way to make our point in a peaceful yet impactful way, but we need farmers’ help to make it a reality.”

Fellow organiser Llyr Jones, added: “We are grateful to those companies who have offered their support to this initiative by helping with collection and logistics.

"I’d encourage any farmers who have old wellies lying about on the farm to take them to a collection centre and help us put them to good use.”

How do I participate?

Wellies will be accepted in any condition – holes and considerable wear are fine – but organisers are asking that the wellies are clean when they are handed over.

Those wishing to donate wellingtons to the cause can do so by taking them to one of the following collection points before Friday 1 March:

• Wynnstay stores and depots

• CCF stores and depots

• NFU Cymru/NFU Mutual offices

• NFU Cymru meetings held before Friday 1 March

The used wellies will be either recycled or donated to charity after the display is dismantled, NFU Cymru says.