NFU Cymru is encouraging farmers in Wales to submit their views to a new survey to help develop a vision for the future of Welsh upland farming.
Some 78% of land in Wales is designated as Less Favoured Area (LFA), but these same areas provide a rich contribution to the environmental, economic, social and cultural prosperity of Wales and its communities. With numerous challenges facing Welsh agriculture in the months and years ahead, NFU Cymru is urging farmers to contribute to this important new research and ensure that the views of people living and working in the Welsh uplands is heard loud and clear by stakeholders and politicians in Cardiff Bay.
To give farmers a voice on this important topic, NFU Cymru has today (Monday 24th August) launched a new online survey where farmers can submit their views in Welsh or English on the NFU Cymru website. NFU Cymru members will also have the option of completing a bilingual survey form in the upcoming edition of NFU Cymru’s Farming Wales members’ magazine and posting the results back to NFU Cymru. The survey is open for five weeks and closes on Friday 25th September.
NFU Cymru LFA Board Chair Kath Whitrow said: “The Welsh uplands are of strategic importance to Wales from an environmental, economic, social and cultural perspective, while not forgetting that these areas also play a vital role in producing food to feed the nation. With concerns around incoming changes to future agricultural policy in Wales, the UK’s imminent departure from its closest and biggest market, and the prolonged impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is a time of significant change and the future for the Welsh uplands remains an uncertain one.
“For this reason, 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 added: “A lot is written and said about the Welsh uplands. 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 Welsh farmers want to play an active role in helping to address the environmental and climactic challenges that lie ahead, this should not be done at the expense of all of the unique goods and diverse benefits the Welsh uplands currently provide.
“It is important that the people who have worked this land and lived in these communities for generations are the ones to lead this important conversation about its future. Every farmer who submits a response to this important research makes our voice louder and stronger. For that reason, I urge farmers across Wales to complete the survey before the Friday 25th September deadline, shape its outcomes and deliver a true Vision for Welsh Upland Farming.”
NFU Cymru is encouraging farmers who have completed the survey to use the #Vision4WelshUplands or #GweledigaethIUcheldirCymru hashtags on social media to encourage fellow farming friends and family members to fill out their own response.