Welsh Assembly Members from across South Wales have made a joint effort to solve ongoing issues with Common grazing rights.
Many farmers from across the Vale exercise grazing rights on common land – but these have been put under threat by a number of high profile cases involving landowners restricting access – including at Eglwysilan Common.
There are also concerns about loss of public rights of way more generally – such as for leisure use.
Occasionally, obstructive and even intimidating methods have been used.
South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies, Caerphilly AM Hefin David, Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw and Cynon Valley AM Vicki Howells met with Lesley Griffiths – Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs – to discuss the issue, along with Dafydd Jarrett from NFU Cymru.
Following the meeting – the Cabinet Secretary agreed to write to local authorities, the Police and Natural Resources Wales to establish who is responsible for enforcing common land rights – and also look at rectifying gaps in the existing legislation.
South Wales Central AM Mr Davies said, “Many farmers from across the Vale exercise grazing rights – and the high profile cases in the area put this at risk.
“It is vital we work on a cross-party basis to sort this out – and hopefully this meeting will be the next step to getting the situation resolved.”
Caerphilly AM Mr David said, “This has been an ongoing issue for a number of my constituents who live on or around the Common. My constituents should not be prevented from exercising their grazing and access rights on the Common within the boundaries of the law.
“This meeting was an important first step on the journey to improving the law around common land in Wales and is one that I’m determined to see through for the benefit of my constituents.”
[Picture: Andrew RT Davies AM, Vicki Howells AM, NFU Cymru Policy Advisor Dafydd Jarrett, Mick Antoniw AM and Hefin David AM following their meeting with Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths]