Sunday, 15 August 2010

Wales - Glastir - Common Land Element

Details of the Common Land Element have been announced.  This information is extensive but contains a useful summary of the overall scheme.

Glastir will replace the four existing agri-environment schemes from 1 January 2012.  It is a 5 year whole farm sustainable land management scheme available to farmers and land managers across Wales. The scheme pays for the delivery of specified environmental goods and services aimed at combating climate change, improving water management and maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. The scheme is also designed to deliver measurable outcomes at both a farm and landscape scale in a cost effective manner.

Glastir consists of three elements: 
  • All-Wales Element (AWE) - a whole farm land management scheme which is open to application from all farmers and land managers throughout Wales.
  • Targeted Element (TE) – a part farm scheme intended to deliver significant improvements to the environmental status of a range of habitats, species, soils and water that might also require changes to current agricultural practices.
  • Common Land Element - designed to provide support for the delivery of environmental benefits on common Land.
'It would be boring if it was easy'.  As more details of the scheme emerge, the number of hoops that have to be jumped through increases.  The Scottish Rural Development Programme has been described as a scheme for professionals, as it is difficult to understand unless you are dealing with it all the time.  In view of the need to satisfy the EU regulations, it is almost inevitable that Glastir has to go down the same route.  

Wouldn't it be nice if we could cut the bureaucracy; reduce the size of the army needed to set up, and monitor these schemes; and leave land managers to spend the time and effort doing what they do best.

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