With only a few weeks until the closing date, NFU Cymru has again been urging members to respond to the Welsh Government consultation, Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources.
NFU Cymru’s National Environment and Land use Adviser, Rachel Lewis-Davies, took the opportunity to highlight the key proposals within the consultation, during last night’s county meeting arranged for Anglesey and Mid Gwynedd NFU Cymru members.
Rachel Lewis-Davies said: “The Welsh Government consultation is seeking views on a broad range of proposals that are highly relevant and which could have serious implications for farm businesses across Wales.
“Proposals include enabling cycling and horse riding on footpaths; extending Countryside Rights of Way (CRoW) access land to rivers and other inland waters; as well as revoking the list of restrictions on CRoW access land to allow organised games, camping, hang-gliding or para-gliding. Other proposals include the introduction of basic measures for agriculture for the protection of water, air and soil quality. Basic measures are a regulatory approach that set minimum standards for undertaking specified activities and include provision to penalise those found to be in breach.”
Anglesey NFU Cymru County Chairman, Elwyn Evans, said: “During the meeting, members stressed that they welcome people coming to enjoy the countryside and gaining an understanding of how food is produced. But this needs to be within a safe environment that respects both the countryside and those that live and work within it. CRoW access land currently extends to 460,000 hectares, so visitors have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the countryside on foot.
“We are clear that any changes to access land and waterways shouldn’t add additional costs or liability burden on the industry. Let’s rationalise existing access areas and ensure that the existing footpath network is fit for purpose, both in terms of safety and their siting within increasingly busy farm yards.”