FARMERS have criticised the levels of bureaucracy and red-tape hidden within the new Glastir scheme, it has been revealed.

Concerns over the ‘common land’ element of the Glastir scheme were expressed by NFU Cymru members in Brecon and Radnor during a recent meeting.

County chairman for the NFU, Gwyn Price said that the implications of the scheme could be “an absolute nightmare”.

The farmers’ meeting, held in Builth Wells, heard how the Welsh Assembly Government intends to deal with the inclusion of common land under the new scheme.

“Once again, we find ourselves in a position whereby the scheme rules appear to be unworkable in practice on Welsh common land,” said Gwyn Price, Brecon and Radnor NFU Cymru county chairman.

Members raised very real concerns about supplementary feeding restrictions, and livestock grazing between adjacent commons, and felt that these important elements of common land grazing have not been fully understood by the WAG.

“We have repeatedly asked for the level of bureaucracy and burden of red-tape on the industry to be reduced,” said Gwyn, “but as the stock exclusion option will not be practically possible on a number of commons, the only alternative is a stock management option.

“The record-keeping requirement for grazing associations will be an absolute nightmare.

“While we welcome the appointment of commons development officers, every common in Wales is different, with different traditions and ways in which grazing patterns take place.

“We feel that the WAG has rushed the common land element of the scheme, which will undoubtedly result in a low uptake of common land into the Glastir scheme.”

Mr Price concluded: “As the application window for the common land element will be upon us shortly, NFU Cymru will be drawing the attention of the newly appointed commons cevelopment officers and the Glastir independent review group, to all of these important issues raised by these graziers.”

Grazing Associations will be given the opportunity to choose a three month stock-free period, or carry out the stock management option, where minimum and maximum stocking density levels will have to be copied on the participating common.