The Welsh government has today (Friday, July 21) announced that the Glastir scheme will end in December.

It will be replaced by a new agri-environment interim scheme until the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) comes into force in 2025.

This new interim scheme will provide support for all eligible farmers, including Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic farmers when their contracts expire on December 31, 2023.

The scheme will be introduce from January 1, 2024. The application window will open later this year.

The Welsh government said that further details on the scheme will be made available following discussions with stakeholders.

Glastir ending December

The ending of Glastir also means that farmers and land managers in Wales will be able to access all of the available Rural Investment Schemes, a number of which will prepare them to enter the SFS.

At present, Glastir Advanced farmers are unable to apply to the Small Grants – Environment scheme.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Welsh Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:

“The Climate Change Committee recommended there should be no gap between the end of Glastir and the start of the SFS, and this is what we are delivering today.

“Through Glastir, we have supported farmers to maintain and enhance habitat protection; we want to maintain this investment as we transition to the new Sustainable Farming Scheme.

“I’m pleased today to announce an interim agri-environment scheme to continue supporting farmers to protect valuable habitats ahead of the introduction of the SFS.

“The interim scheme is an important step as we progress towards the Sustainable Farming Scheme which will support farmers to produce food sustainably at the same time as addressing the climate and nature emergencies. It paves the way towards the SFS and its Sustainable Land Management principles.”

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said that today’s announcement will cause “major concerns” across the industry.

“This announcement will raise grave concerns for thousands of farming families, not only in terms of their financial viability but also with regard to how the Welsh Government will implement such a scheme over such a short period of time,” FUW president Ian Rickman said.