05/02/2013 17:01

FUW land use and parliamentary committee
From left: FUW president Emyr Jones, Natural Resources Wales chief executive Emyr Roberts and FUW land use and parliamentary committee chairman Gavin Williams


Farmers took the opportunity to quiz the new Natural Resources Wales (NRW) chief executive Emyr Roberts on a number of issues about the development and operation of the new body at a recent meeting of the Farmers' Union of Wales land use and parliamentary committee.


Dr  Roberts, who was appointed in November last year, told the committee he was keen to build good relations with the industry and that the positive relationships developed over the years with existing bodies would be maintained and improved.


NRW was created through the merger of the Countryside Council for Wales and the Welsh elements of the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission and will become fully operational in April.


Dr Roberts confirmed that farmers should not see any difference in the day-to- day service they currently received from the individual agencies and he took on board a number of comments and concerns expressed by members on future engagement with farming.


Committee chairman Gavin Williams said the meeting had been an opportunity to meet Dr Roberts to discuss a range of issues such as how the new body will engage with farmers and landowners and the need for careful consideration on how powers attributed to the current bodies will be conferred to the NRW.


"Our first meeting with him was a positive one and the committee will maintain a dialogue with Dr Roberts, board members and other staff within NRW for the benefit of a healthy environment and a sustainable and profitable farming industry," added Mr Williams.