NFU Cymru seeks farmers' opinions on hill farming's future

Some 78% of land in Wales is designated as Less Favoured Area (LFA)
Some 78% of land in Wales is designated as Less Favoured Area (LFA)

Welsh farmers are being encouraged to have their say in a new survey aiming to develop a vision for the future of upland farming.

With numerous challenges facing Welsh agriculture ahead, NFU Cymru has urged farmers to contribute to the 'important' new research.

NFU Cymru's survey is open for five weeks and closes on Friday 25 September.

The union's LFA Board Chair, Kath Whitrow said Welsh uplands were of 'strategic importance' to Wales.

Some 78% of land in Wales is designated as Less Favoured Area (LFA), proving the country a rich contribution to the environment and economy.

"These areas also play a vital role in producing food to feed the nation," Ms Whitrow said.

"With concerns around incoming changes to future agricultural policy in Wales, it is a time of significant change."

She highlighted the UK’s departure from the EU and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis as having big impacts on Welsh farming.

“It has never been more important for the Welsh farming industry to write its own narrative and shape the conversation about the future of Wales’ uplands.”

NFU Cymru President John Davies said it was important for the people who have worked the uplands for generations to lead the conversation.

"There are people and polices that seek to earmark these areas we all hold so dear and change their purpose for large scale afforestation or rewilding, for example.

"While of course farmers want to play an active role in helping to address the environmental challenges, this should not be done at the expense of all of the unique goods the Welsh uplands currently provide."

He added: "Every farmer who submits a response to this important research makes our voice louder and stronger."

The Vision for Welsh Upland Farming survey can be accessed on the NFU Cymru website.

Farmers are also encouraged to use the #Vision4WelshUplands or #GweledigaethIUcheldirCymru hashtags on social media.