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Written Statement - Glastir Advanced 2017

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food

I am pleased to announce, today, the opening of a new window for expressions of interest to Glastir Advanced, for contracts commencing on 1 January 2017.  The expression of interest window will run from 9 November and will close at midnight on 4 December 2015.

Glastir Advanced is Wales’ higher-level agri-environment scheme, which provides support to farmers and land managers to undertake specific management practices to bring about key environmental outcomes in targeted locations. It was designed to address the Welsh Government’s objectives of combating climate change, improving water management, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, managing and protecting landscapes and the historic environment and creating new opportunities to improve access and understanding of the countryside.

The design of the scheme has been praised by the European Commission as being pioneering and innovative in how it seeks to target interventions most effectively to meet these objectives and is consistent within the principles of Adaptive Resource Management. Interest and engagement from farmers has been high, with the scheme oversubscribed in the first four years since its launch.

Glastir Advanced is amongst the first schemes to be opened under the new Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020 in recognition of the key role it has to play in delivering targeted environmental outcomes. Overall, this Programme provides farmers and other land managers with significant opportunities to make their businesses more sustainable, profitable and resilient – the triple win that this Government is seeking to achieve for our farming and forestry industries.

Currently, just under 1600 contracts are in place and this is estimated to be in excess of 2000 contracts in place by 2017.