Area Statements and energy
These pages are being continuously updated, enabling stakeholders to get a better understanding of how Area Statements apply to their own specific areas of work.
This page is intended as an introduction to the Area Statements process, together with the associated challenges, opportunities and emerging ‘themes’, and how that relates to those working in farming, forestry and land management.
To find out more about joining us, and others, in tackling sustainable land management challenges, please contact your relevant area:
In Wales, more than 80% of land use is covered by farming, with forestry utilising a further 15%. Both sectors contribute hugely towards delivering important multiple ecosystem services and well-being benefits (eg food and fibre production, regulating climate, soil, water and air quality). Farmers, foresters and land managers have a critical role to play in supporting the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR), achieving the vision put forward by Wales’ Area Statements and, together, delivering SMNR on both a local and national scale.
Through consultation, farmers, foresters and land managers have told Natural Resources Wales (NRW) that their priority is to remain working on the land using natural resources sustainably to ensure viable incomes for the future. This has been recognised by the Welsh Government by way of a new Sustainable Farming and our Land scheme. A viable, sustainable rural economy means working together to tackle local and national challenges.
NRW plays a key role implementing the Welsh Government’s Natural Resources Policy (NRP) in a local context through Area Statements. The NRP, along with the Welsh Government’s Low Carbon Delivery Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Plan, recognises that Area Statements can help deliver national policy in a local context using nature-based approaches. Collectively, these national policy challenges and opportunities require action to support SMNR, including:
The Sustainable Farming and our Land Consultation embodies the Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Framework. Food production is a vital component of SLM to produce positive environmental, economic and social outcomes alongside producing food. Similarly, woodlands can deliver SLM and contribute to sustainable agriculture through appropriate integration, and can provide economic benefits through the sale of wood and timber.
The SLM framework also supports the NRP and the biodiversity duty within the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 to help build ecosystem as well as business resilience. The proposed scheme may provide an opportunity to draw on the Area Statements when appropriate, to inform on potential spatial priorities for collaboration, and to help identify the scale of opportunities that may arise.
In order to really make a difference, many of the challenges require us to work together in collaboration either locally or on a larger scale encompassing wider areas.
NRW is already working with a broad range of organisations representing farmers, foresters and land managers through the Wales Land Management Forum (WLMF), the WLMF Woodland Creation Task & Finish Group, and the Wales Land Management Forum sub-group on agricultural pollution. This will enable us to tackle sustainable land management challenges in ways that deliver benefits for people, businesses and the environment.
A full description of the different themes that are emerging from across Wales can be found here:
For relevant standards and guidance, please see:
Please see our website for further agricultural related advice and guidance and woodland related advice and guidance.
For advisory services, please visit:
If you would like to find out more about the collaborative work underway by farmers, foresters and land managers in your area, please view sustainable management scheme projects case studies including Managing the uplands sustainably and Farm Woodland & Hedgerows.
To keep up to date with the Rural Development Programme sustainable land management related funding and application windows, please visit the Welsh Government websites for rural grants and payments:
Other funding sources include: