His forefathers have farmed the Cothi Valley since time immemorial and this week TV and radio personality Roy Noble has spoken out against the mass tree-planting initiatives scheduled to take place on agricultural land throughout Carmarthenshire.

“Planting trees is obviously a way to combat global warming problems, but this should only be done with the ‘right trees, right place, right effect’ mantra” he said.

“Planting on productive and rich arable land is surely not the answer.”

Today (Monday) Roy joined countryside campaigners to call on the Welsh government and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to stop their tree-planting drives and curtail ‘juggernaut’ companies from doing the same on prime land.


“These people have no empathy nor any real understanding of farming in the countryside despite the fact that many of our farming families are rooted in their land as they have been for generations.

“This heritage deserves recognition and respect.”

Mr Noble, who worked as a teacher before embarking on a career in broadcasting, argues that taking away agricultural land limits Wales’s ability to be self-sufficient.

His intervention comes as a petition, launched by Countryside Alliance Wales, calls on the Welsh Government and NRW to ‘stop purchasing productive farmland to plant trees' following a Freedom of Information request that confirmed a staggering £6m has already been spent on buying land with taxpayer’s money.

In February, the Welsh Government announced that new memorial woodlands would be created at three separate sites, including a section of farmland at Brownhill in Carmarthenshire's Tywi Valley while Frongoch Farm in Cwrt-y-Cadno was sold last year to the Foresight Group.

This is a multi-billion pound private equity firm based in The Shard that plans to plant thousands of trees across the valley.

But locals fear the afforestation will be largely made up of conifers that could damage soil and have a negative impact on the landscape.

There are also multiple reports of farmers being targeted through cold-calls which are being made by agents working for investors who want to buy farmland to plant trees.

The online petition can be found HERE