Young farmers gazumped by government over land
Plaid Cymru exclusively reveals that Welsh Government bought agricultural land for tree planting – outbidding local farmers in the process
Information exclusively obtained by Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for agriculture and rural affairs, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, reveals that Welsh Government has been buying up prime agricultural pasture land for its tree planting programme, a move which has outraged local farmers.
One young farmer who helps on a local farm, hoped to buy land at Tyn Mynydd on Ynys Môn (Anglesey) in order to fulfil his dreams of starting his own farm. However, he later found out that the sealed bid he put in – which was over the average value for agricultural land on the island – was outbid by Welsh Government.
Mr ap Gwynfor said that “pushing new entrants out, while also pushing the value of farm land up” was “indefensible.”
When challenged by Plaid Cymru, Welsh Government said they’d “not seen that” and that they’d “like to see the evidence that NRW (Natural Resources Wales) are blocking out young farmers from things.”
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for agriculture and rural affairs, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said,
“Welsh land is at a premium and all good agricultural land needs to be utilised for food production. Yet here we have proof that Welsh Government has bought not just one parcel of land but 380 acres of agricultural pasture land for the single purpose of tree planting.
“Tree planting is such an important part of our plans for reaching carbon net zero, but it must be the right tree in the right place for the right reason, and using prime agricultural land for trees for timber is not the right reason.
“Ynys Môn is known throughout history as the mother of Wales – Môn Mam Cymru – because she is the breadbasket of Wales, with good land for crops. This land that the Welsh Government has bought for tree planting, part of their Queens Canopy Jubilee Celebrations, was used until very recently for growing barley.
“There is a limited supply of land for crops in Wales, and so to hear that the Government are planting trees on quality agricultural land and pushing new entrants out, while also pushing the value of farm land up beyond the reach of local farmers is indefensible.
“Steps have already been taken to give everyone a right to live in the place they call home, but to take away a way of life is counter intuitive.”