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No plans to pause Welsh farming subsidy scheme

There is still concern over Wales’s Sustainable Farming Scheme.

Despite huge protests, there are no plans to pause the roll out of Wales’s controversial subsidy scheme for farmers, according to Wales’s new rural affairs secretary, Huw Irranca-Davies.

The Welsh government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) is set to be introduced from April 2025. 

Mr Irranca-Davies claimed “knotty issues” with the plans could be worked out and he was “seeing what other ideas were out there” with regards to farms needing 10% tree cover.

Last month, thousands of farmers took to the steps of Welsh parliament to protest against post-Brexit farming changes, concerns over bovine tuberculosis and tougher agri-pollution regulations (News, 13 March). Their protests seem to have been ignored.

Farmer and television personality Gareth Wyn Jones told Shooting Times: “Initially I was very pleased with the appointment of a new climate and rural affairs minister; however, I was disappointed with his first interview, especially his remarks about TB. 

“With respect to SFS, I was disappointed again. We desperately need to readdress the situation and focus on the potential weight of the administrational burden future schemes will bring: 10% habitat, 10% planting trees and so on. He didn’t say much on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones but it’s early days.”