MORE than 10,000 people are coming to Cardiff Bay to protest the Welsh Government’s plans for the future of farming.

South Wales Police says the protest, scheduled for a 12.30pm start tomorrow, February 28, is expected to attract “large numbers” and could involve a go-slow protest on roads across South Wales.

The force says it will be proactive in minimising disruption to the public.

There are no planned road closures but some roads around the Senedd will have controlled access.

Superintendent Esyr Jones said: “South Wales Police respects the right to peaceful protest and we are in discussions with the organisers to ensure that the protest takes place safely, lawfully with minimum disruption to the wider public.

“While there is an agreement to facilitate protest activity outside the Senedd, I would urge protestors not to bring tractors or other agricultural vehicles to the protest.

“There are concerns that they pose a risk to the safety of other road users and restrict the movement of emergency services in a busy city environment.

“We will monitor the situation across the day and motorists should check for any disruption on the road network and plan their journeys accordingly. We will advise the public of any delays or disruption throughout the course of the day.”

'Devastating impact'

Ahead of the protests, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said farmers were sending the message that “enough is enough”.

The protests relate to the government’s plans for a Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) which would require farmers to prove 10 per cent of their land is used for woodland and another 10 per cent for wildlife habitat.

Consultations for the proposal close on March 7. The government has assured farmers that every response will be "analysed and properly considered".

Mr Davies said: “The Sustainable Farming Scheme will have a devastating impact on our farming communities, and farmers are rightly not prepared to take it lying down.

“Labour and their partners Plaid Cymru must finally listen, scrap the SFS, and build a scheme that works for our rural communities, not against them.”

South Wales Argus: Mr Davies has urged the Welsh Government to scrap the SFSMr Davies has urged the Welsh Government to scrap the SFS (Image: File)

'We continue to listen'

Mr Drakeford and rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths have issued a broad statement titled Farming in Wales. In it, they said: "The Welsh Government is committed to supporting a successful future for Welsh farming. We want to keep Welsh farmers farming, as we tackle the climate and nature emergency.

“The sector is facing significant challenges as a result of persistently high inflation and energy costs, global instability, high input costs and volatile farmgate prices together with substantial change in the industry.

“We continue to listen carefully to the concerns expressed by farmers and farming unions, including about some of the Welsh Government’s policies.”

South Wales Argus: Mark Drakeford and rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths have issued a joint statement ahead of the major protestMark Drakeford and rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths have issued a joint statement ahead of the major protest (Image: NQ staff)

On the SFS, they said: “We have been working in partnership with farmers over the last seven years to design the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) – a new form of made-in-Wales farming support to secure food production and the environmental improvements Wales needs to keep farmers on their land for generations to come as the climate changes.

“The SFS will help us to meet the commitments we have made to everyone in Wales, securing a stronger and greener future for us all and ensuring public benefits from sustainable farming in return for public money."