“In December, the Welsh Government launched a consultation that could pave the way to a brighter future for wildlife in Wales. But, to make sure that happens requires us all to raise our voices for nature before March 7. Will you join me in doing that?”

These are the words of Iolo Williams, Welsh Ornithological Society president, in an urgent message ahead of a face-to-face event at Letterston this month.

He continues: “This consultation is seeking feedback on the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS), a new farm payments scheme whose intention is to use public money to help farmers produce food sustainably, tackle the Climate and Nature Emergencies and restore the ecosystems we depend on. With 90% of the land area of Wales given over to farming it’s imperative that the SFS is fit for purpose – for farmers, for people and for nature.

I can tell you that there are some positive things in the Scheme for the environment, but there’s a lot more than doesn’t go far enough, or could even have a negative effect on our wildlife. Welsh Government must revise this scheme to address these issues, and this is where we can all play our part. I know that the most effective way to reach Welsh Government on this issue is through individual responses to the consultation. Responses that highlight how the scheme can be improved to support farmers to take actions to help nature thrive once more.

In February, WOS will be teaming up with RSPB Cymru to host a number of short face-to-face sessions around Wales to explain the key points featured in the SFS and support you in submitting an individual response to the consultation.  A live, online webinar will also be held on 29 February for those unable to attend these events.

All the events start at 7pm at the following venues:

·         Cardiff: RSPB Cymru, Castlebridge 3, 5-19 Cowbridge Road East. CF11 9AB Wednesday, 7 Feb

·         Swansea: The Environment Centre, Tuesday, 13 Feb

·         Aberystwyth: Canolfan Arad Goch, Thursday, 15 Feb

·         Letterston: Memorial Hall, Tuesday, 20 Feb

·         Brecon: The Guildhall, 22 Feb

·         Wrexham: Tŷ Pawb, Tuesday 27 Feb

·         Caernarfon: Galeri, Wednesday, 28 Feb

We envisage these sessions lasting no more than an hour and a half. If you’d like to attend one of them, please drop our RSPB Cymru colleagues a quick email to [email protected]

This is a once in a generation opportunity to shape the way our land is managed. If we’re to halt and then reverse the declines in nature, it’s imperative that the SFS is fit for purpose. It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss. Please make every effort to attend one of these events or the online webinar.

If you’d like more information about these events, please contact [email protected]

Thank you”

Iolo Williams signature
(Pic supplied)