Welsh pony farmers may put out hay in environmentally sensitive areas

  • Welsh farmers who keep ponies and other livestock on areas of archeological and conservational importance have been given permission to put out hay by the Welsh Assembly Government.

    The government announced the temporary relaxation of the rules today (15 January) to help livestock farmers feed their animals in the freezing weather.

    Farmers whose land falls within “agri-environment” schemes which normally impose restrictions on supplementary feeding will now be able to give their livestock additional feed during the cold period.

    This temporary relaxation may continue for four days after the snow has cleared if the ground remains frozen but will cease once the ground thaws.

      To reduce damage to environmental features the Welsh Assembly Government has offered the following guidance:

    • Feeding areas should be moved regularly wherever possible
    • Leftover hay should be completely removed to reduce damage to the sward after the snow has thawed
    • Feeding should not take place on archaeological features
    • On moorland and common land, where landowners restrict the practice of supplementary feeding, graziers should consider whether to inform them of their intention to feed during this period of adverse weather
    • Farmers on SSSI-designated land must contact the Countryside Council for Wales before undertaking supplementary feeding

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