MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay is supporting an online campaign by Coed Cadw to fight proposed changes to EU regulations which, if implemented, could put tens of thousands of trees across Wales at risk and would affect around 20,000 Welsh farmers.
Under the EC Delegated Act, land with more than 100 trees per hectare would be ineligible for the Basic Payment Scheme, which would mean that farmers who left their trees in place would be financially disadvantaged compared with those who took their trees out.
Mr Ramsay, who was present at a recent meeting with NFU Cymru when the issue was raised, said:
“Trees on farms are invaluable both for the farmer and for livestock and the environment. It makes no sense that the Welsh Government has been encouraging and offering grants to farmers to plant trees on their farms when, if current proposals are implemented, farmers will have to fell the trees in order to obtain subsidy. It is small wonder that farmers are becoming increasing frustrated and confused by this paradoxical situation.
“I would urge the Welsh Government to amend its regulations and recognise the importance of clusters of trees and grazed woodland on our farms.”