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Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

First published:
21 July 2023
Last updated:

Today I am announcing an interim agri-environment scheme to maintain and increase the area of habitat land under management across Wales. The scheme will maintain environmental support from 1 January 2024 until the beginning of the Sustainable Farming Scheme in 2025. As we transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme, this will provide an alternative offer of support to all eligible farmers, including Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic farmers when contracts end on 31 December 2023. 

As it draws to a close, farmers and the Welsh environment have benefited greatly from the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme. Since the first Glastir contracts were issued in 2012, Welsh farmers have benefited from over £336m of funding, supporting the sector to contribute towards our decarbonisation and biodiversity commitments.

The application window for the interim habitat scheme will open later this year, with contracts commencing in January 2024 to ensure a seamless transition from Glastir to the Sustainable Farming Scheme. 

The new scheme will target areas where we can achieve the greatest environmental benefits. This is an important step as we progress towards the Sustainable Farming Scheme and its Sustainable Land Management principles, which will support farmers to produce food sustainably, whilst addressing the climate and nature emergencies.

Further details of the new scheme will made available following discussions with stakeholders. The budget available will be announced prior to the application window opening.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep Members informed. Should Members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns, I would be happy to do so.