Despite a tremendous effort made by the farming industry in urging Members of the Senedd to vote to annul the Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations in the Senedd on 3rd March 2021, the motion was marginally defeated by 30 votes to 27.
Therefore as it currently stands, the regulations will become part of cross compliance under Statutory Management Regulation (SMR) 1 from April 2021.
- Week commencing 22nd March 2021 - SMR1 fact sheet available on the Welsh Government website and a message sent to all farmers via RPW Online. The fact sheet outlines the regulations that are set to become law from 1st April and will be updated ahead of the changes in 2023 and 2024.
- Week commencing 22nd March 2021 - Comprehensive guidance available on the Welsh Government website including two FAQs, one of which will focus on tenant farmers.
- A guidance workbook will be produced in due course which will be aimed towards helping farmers undertake the required calculations and provide guidance on the records that will be required from 1st January 2023.
- 25th March 2021 - Farming Connect will launch guidance videos. Furthermore, e-learning modules, online events and in person events (when Covid-19 restrictions allow) will be launched over the coming months.
The timetable along with a summary of the regulations will be available in the April edition of Y Tir.
It may seem that this battle has been lost but the war is definitely not over. The FUW, on behalf of its membership, is committed to do its best in holding the next Welsh Government to account to scrap or atleast change the direction of travel of these draconian, costly and disproportionate regulations.