More than 5,000 empty wellies have been placed outside the Senedd to protest the proposals in the Sustainable Farming Scheme.

NFU Cymru members have created a symbolic display of 5,500 pairs of wellies on the steps of the Senedd to represent the jobs forecasted to be lost through Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals.

Each of the 5,500 wellingtons outside the Senedd building represents an agricultural job that is projected to be lost based on 100 per cent take up of the scheme, as based on figures from Welsh Government’s own impact assessment.

The wellies were collected form points across the country with many donations coming from Powys.

County Times:

NFU Cymru member and display organiser Paul Williams said: “Seeing these 5,500 wellies lined up on the steps of the Senedd is an emphatic depiction of the potential jobs that will be lost to Welsh agriculture if these proposals go ahead in their current guise.

“What makes our industry so special is the people and families for whom it's more than just a job. We have wellies of all sizes and colours on display, representing those who have farmed for decades and whose families have farmed our land for generations, as well as those with smaller feet but big ambitions for a future in our industry when they are older.


Fellow organiser Llŷr Jones said: “The support we’ve had from the wider Welsh agricultural community to collect these wellies has been incredible.

“Welsh farmers are incredibly proud of the role they play for this country. We need Welsh Government to support our ambitions and help this fantastic industry to continue to prosper.”

Boots provided for the display will be donated to charities in Africa.

NFU Cymru has voiced its concern with aspects of the proposals contained within the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) scheme outline – not least the 10 per cent tree planting and habitat requirements – on the sector’s productivity and viability.

County Times: Russell George pictured with several farmers at the Wellies display at the Senedd.Russell George pictured with several farmers at the Wellies display at the Senedd. (Image: Russell George)

Montgomeryshire Senedd Member. Russell George, who went to speak to farmers at the event said: "The Senedd steps have seen a number of protests and displays over the years, but I would argue that none have been as poignant and powerful as the display of 5,500 empty wellies.

“Empty wellies representing the empty farms and empty communities that will be seen the length and breadth of rural Wales if the Welsh Labour Government’s proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals go ahead without some serious and wholesale changes.’’

Following last week protest, the Montgomeryshire MS has said that he believes that with a new First Minister, there will be an opportunity for the Labour Government to re-think their plans.