Jane Dodds Questions Minister on Glastir Woodland Creation Scheme


Today Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds highlighted her concern that a Powys farmer had been given a £15,000 fine after some of the trees he planted in a Welsh government scheme were in the wrong place, some by just a few inches.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Mid and West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds

David Mills, from Lower Chapel, Powys, decided to plant 13,000 trees on 20 acres of his land as part of the Glastir Woodland Creation scheme, which is designed to encourage tree planting by Welsh farmers to help the environment.
However, David Mills received a letter from Rural Payments Wales telling him he had contravened original plans - using satellite images as evidence - and that he faced a £15,000 fine.

Questioning the Labour Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds stated:

“As with many others, I was concerned to read last week that a farmer in Powys, in the region I represent, was reportedly being fined £15,000 for variations on the plans agreed under the Glastir Woodland Creation scheme.

“While I recognise that you are not able to comment on ongoing appeals, I was hoping you could shine a light on what the government has learnt from Glastir and how that learning will be used to inform the government’s future agriculture policy and funding arrangements in the years ahead?”

“I know as well that the sector is keen to work with government to shape future agriculture policy to ensure that we can meet our need for food security, a thriving planet, resilient communities, and a successful agriculture and food sector."

Commenting further {after the debate} Dodds stated:

“I am seriously concerned that between September 2019 and November 2020 the proportion of applicants to the Glastir scheme with addresses outside Wales increased three-fold while a farmer in Powys has seemingly been punished for trying to do the right thing.

“Working with the agricultural community rather than against them is absolutely vital if we are to fight climate change and protect the extraordinary natural beauty of Wales. I hope this issue will be resolved as soon as possible.”


ENDS

Notes for editors:

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths declined twice during Ministers' questions to comment on the specific case of David Mills stating she cannot comment on specific ongoing cases.

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