The Welsh Government has published the initial details of an interim agri-environmental scheme called Habitat Wales as a replacement for the Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organics contracts that expire at the end of this year.
Throughout the year, the CLA has lobbied Welsh Government alongside NFU Cymru, FUW and the environmental lobby, demanding the extension of existing Glastir contracts for 2024 to ensure farm incomes remain stable and environmental delivery is maintained.
For legal reasons the Welsh Government has not taken this advice and instead is launching Habitat Wales as an interim scheme before the introduction of the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) in 2025. Despite the obvious challenges of launching a scheme in such short notice, the CLA does support continued funding towards the rural sector, albeit in a different form.
The scheme aims to ensure continued protection of specific habitats ahead of the SFS being introduced and will be open to all eligible farmers and grazing associations. Payment rates and total budget have not been published yet although CLA Cymru is pushing Welsh Government to ensure this happens as soon as possible. The scheme application will be through the existing Single Application Form (SAF) and will be farmer led i.e. there will be no contract managers or visits from Welsh Government inspectors.
An overview of the scheme can be found at the link below and if you wish to discuss further please contact the CLA Cymru office.