£8 billion green budget leaves too many unanswered questions about how we manage the countryside

We can't tell if the Welsh Government's budget for farming, creation of the National Forest and improving access - will do the job
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CLA Cymru responds to Welsh Government’s Infrastructure Investment Strategy, the full announcement is here.

“The Welsh Government must ensure its’ green budget adequately supports the radical changes imposed on farming and land management, sustains Welsh food production and responsibly manages access for the general public to the countryside. Farmers, rural businesses and the countryside community deserve greater clarity about the Welsh Government’s strategy for the future of the countryside,” says Charles de Winton from CLA Cymru, the organisation that represents land managers and the rural economy.

“Of the £8.1 billion announced this week in a green budget, there’s a much-needed allocation of £77.5 million to support transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme. However, farmers and land managers are yet to learn how their businesses will be supported by the new scheme. Uncertainty continues to harry this sector, which is the backbone of the rural economy, and which knows it faces radical change in how it’s supported and regulated. As things stand it’s impossible to know if this resource is fit-for–purpose and how it will affect farmers’ bottom-line.”

“Welsh farmers and land managers need to understand how an allocation of £153 million is to be spent on creating the National Forest and improving access to the countryside. More woodland could certainly form a part of our countryside landscape. The Government should work closely with Welsh farmers and land managers to sustain multi-functional landscapes which provide the trio of benefits: food production, management of natural resources and decarbonisation.”