ANGRY farmers blocked a road in Wrexham in protest to a controversial new Welsh Government sustainable farming scheme. 

Around 20 tractors and 15 pick-up trucks parked up outside Rural Affairs minister Lesley Griffiths' office on Rhosddu Road on Monday afternoon in protest to the sustainable farming scheme. 

The convoy of vehicles also drove around the Tesco roundabout. 

A consultation on the scheme is currently taking place, and if it's given the go-ahead it will come into effect next year.

It aims to reward farmers for sustainable food production and climate-friendly practices, with farmers set to be eligible for the new payments only if 10 per cent of their land is planted with trees and 10 per cent is managed as wildlife habitat.

The Leader: Farmers from across North East Wales joined the protest. Farmers from across North East Wales joined the protest. (Image: User generated content)

But farmers worry that the scheme is unworkable, and that food production in Wales will be greatly reduced. 

Cath Morrilly, who owns a farm in Overton, was among those out protesting on Monday. She raised grave concerns for the future of Welsh farming if the scheme goes ahead. 

"We peacefully protested in order to get the Welsh Government to listen to us," Cath told The Leader. 

"We're really scared they won't, and we're worried for the future of farming in Wales. 

"We own a small 35-acre farm and having to set aside 10 per cent of our land for trees and habitat is going to finish us off."

She added: "Wales won't be able to feed itself if this goes ahead. And food security should at the top of anyone's agenda.

"The protests will continue until the Welsh Government listens to us. We need the public to be aware of what's going on and we'd love for them to get behind us."


Another issue farmers are concerned about is Bovine TB - which Cath said has reached an "endemic" level in Wales.

"The Welsh Government has pushed back its goal of making Wales Bovine TB free by 2025 to 2041," Cath said. 

"But Wales will never be free of it while the Welsh Government focuses solely on domestic livestock, and ignores the spread of it by wildlife.

"You'll do well to find a cattle farmer who hasn't been shut down. It's out of control."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) aims to secure food production systems, keep farmers farming the land, safeguard the environment, and address the urgent call of the climate and nature emergency.

“We have run an extensive co-design exercise in developing the SFS and we thank the hundreds of farmers who have been involved.

"The final consultation on the scheme is still open and we encourage everyone to reply with their views by March 7. 

"No final decision will be taken on the scheme until after the consultation has taken place, and we will listen carefully to all views.”