The Farmers’ Union of Wales has given a cautious welcome to the Welsh Government’s announcement on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) in Wales.
The announcement comes following a four year review of the existing NVZ areas in Wales, as required in the EC Nitrates Directive.
Responding to the announcement FUW president Glyn Roberts, said: “This seems to be a far more proportionate way forward than some of the options that had been proposed, but we need time to assess the details and their implications.”
In a Cabinet Statement issued earlier this week, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “Over coming months I will work with stakeholders to get the right balance of regulatory measures, voluntary initiatives and investment.
“I intend to explore options to provide land managers with flexibility, where these would achieve the same or better outcomes than a regulatory approach. This includes further consideration of a proposal from the agriculture industry based on the First Milk off-set project.”
Mr Roberts said: “As a member of the three groups which will be looking at these approaches, the FUW looks forward to working on approaches which are proportionate proactive voluntary approaches which deliver positive outcomes.
“NVZ and other regulatory approaches are blunt instruments which often do not tackle the main sources of problems, and what can be complex problems. More targeted and flexible approaches can therefore better address the real causes of problems, as well as increasing engagement with industry.”