Russell George MS says agriculture regulations will stifle innovation in the farming sector
The Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire has reiterated calls for the Welsh Government to re-think its all-Wales nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZs) after visiting a farm in Meifod and seeing their anaerobic digestion project in operation.
Russell George MS, along with Shadow Rural Affairs Minister Samuel Kurtz MS and Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson, met with Ed Vaughan, Ed Gittins, and James Gittins at Ystym Colwyn farm to see how they use animal by-products to create energy.
He also heard concerns about how the Welsh Government’s NVZ regulations are stifling this kind energy creation despite it being renewable, environmentally friendly, and ambitious for energy security in future.
Anaerobic digestion is a process through which bacteria breaks down organic matter, such as manure, creating natural gases which can then be harnessed to power a generator.
Commenting, Russell George – Member of the Senedd Montgomeryshire – said:
“It was a pleasure to visit Ystym Colwyn Farm and see the great work the team are doing, not only in providing food for the nation and showcasing excellent Welsh produce abroad but in terms of energy creation too.
“We know food and energy security have been high on the agenda in the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, jeopardising supply chains and pushing up the cost of energy, so we need to see more schemes like anaerobic digestion coming forward.
“However, we need the Welsh Government to support this through a positive and encouraging regulatory environment which their news are putting at risk. This is all the more important given its renewable and environmentally friendly nature.
“That does mean binning the unpopular, sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut NVZ regulations that they are soon to impose across Wales, understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach will be detrimental to our long-term agricultural, environmental, and energy goals.”
Samuel Kurtz MS added:
“I am grateful to Ed and James for welcoming me to their farm and demonstrating their innovative way of creating energy from animal waste.
“Farms such as Ystym Colwyn are an exemplar of how green energy production can work hand in glove with sustainable farming.
“It is important that the Welsh Government appreciate that there is no such thing as a typical Welsh farm and it is essential that flexibility is built into any policies and regulations, such as NVZs, that they choose to implement.”