Following lobbying from CLA Cymru, and in an effort to tackle the climate emergency, Climate Change Minister Julie James and Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales Lesley Griffiths confirmed this week that payment rates will increase for farmers who participate in woodland creation.
As part of Wales’ drive to plant 86 million trees by the end of the decade, payment rates will be uplifted to pay 100% of 2023’s actual costs and will be available for small plots of trees and larger woodland areas.
The new grants are a positive step for farmers and landowners in Wales who require support in order to create and restore crucial woodland habitat.
Announcing the news, Climate Change Minister Julie James said:
“Earlier this year, we spoke to the farming and forestry sectors to better understand potential blockers to woodland creation. Payment rates were an issue; we listened and are very pleased to confirm a substantial uplift today - we will now keep the rates under review, particularly while inflation remains high.”
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for North Wales and Rural Affairs, added:
“We would encourage farmers throughout Wales to take advantage of the support now both in terms of funding and guidance, so we can all play our part in tackling the nature and climate emergencies, and help secure the sustainable future for the industry.”
Reacting to the new measures, CLA President Mark Tufnell said:
“We have been calling on the Welsh Government to ensure that planting trees pays: not only to contribute to meeting Wales’ net-zero goals and to support nature conservation, but to ensure it incentivises farmers and land owners. We therefore welcome the higher payment rates for woodland creation."
Alongside this, however, we must work together to further improve food productivity and further increase the amount of Welsh food in public procurement. These are some of the wider challenges for the nascent Sustainable Farming Scheme
Find out more about the new grant scheme here.