Statement by RSPB Cymru Director, Katie-jo Luxton
“The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute report (AFBI) has highlighted that the UK agriculture industry, in particular upland sheep farming in Wales, faces an uncertain future as a result of Brexit and what will be agreed over the next few years as the UK leaves the EU. One thing that is certain, however, is that current agriculture policy needs to change if we are to see nature and wildlife thrive.
Now that we’re leaving the European Union, public policy will play a key role in shaping the future of land use and management in Wales, and elsewhere in the UK. Public money should be focused on the delivery of public goods such as maintaining the characteristic Welsh landscape that stores carbon, manages water quality, provides a home for nature, and reduces flood risk. Upland sheep and cattle farming in Wales can play an important role in delivering these public goods. We want to see a sustainable land use policy that rewards and values farmers who manage the land in ways that help to sustain and protect nature and environmental resources.
We are calling on the Governments in Cardiff and Westminster to build upon promises that Brexit will safeguard the environment and to link public support for land management to environmental benefits. Stakeholder engagement has made it clear that people throughout Wales want farming and land management that’s good for society, farmers and nature. It will be essential that taxpayers’ money is spent in a transparent and more effective way, with demonstrable effect, delivering wide ranging benefits for us all now and in future. I was really heartened by the number of farmers at the Royal Welsh Show that grasped this vision.”
Link to report