Our Research Coordinator Kim gives an update on an exciting new project Shared Assets is part of in Wales, and shares how you can get involved! / Dyma ddiweddariad gan ein Cydlynydd Ymchwil, Kim, ar brosiect cyffrous newydd y mae Shared Assets yn rhan ohono yng Nghymru, gan rannu sut y gallwch chi gymryd rhan! 
Resilient Green Spaces / Mannau Gwyrdd Gwydn logo of a green building between two green trees

Are you someone seeking land for agroecological farming in Wales? Or a representative of a Welsh national organisation, local authority, town or community council who has land and looking to work more with local communities? If so, we would love for you to complete the relevant survey below, so that we can support you to work together to establish community farms as part of the Resilient Green Spaces project:

  • If you are a land seeker click these links - English + Welsh
  • If you are a local authority/town/community council representative click these links - English + Welsh
  • If you are from a national body or large estate click these links - English + Welsh

Read on below to find out more about the project, why it’s important and what we are hoping to achieve, and if you have any questions about the project or want to know more, please get in touch with us via kim@sharedassets.org.uk.

Introducing Resilient Green Spaces 

Earlier this year, Shared Assets became a partner in ‘Resilient Green Spaces’, a £1.27m Welsh Government funded project led by Social Farms & Gardens (SF&G). The project runs until June 2023 and will pilot alternative re-localised food systems using communities and their green spaces as the driving force for change across Wales.

We’re working within a group of eight partner organisations to look into the potential of all sorts of different green spaces to support communities in their recovery from COVID and with the climate change and biodiversity emergencies in mind.

There are six main areas of work in this project, which are:

  1. Building a National Allotment Development Team
  2. Innovative Food Hubs
  3. Productive Community Orchards
  4. Greener Corridors and Spaces
  5. Exploring Community Access to Farms and Land
  6. Building Horticultural Future Farming Skills

Shared Assets, along with the Landworkers’ Alliance, are focusing on the fifth of these - finding ways to overcome the challenges and realise the opportunities of access to land for new entrants and local communities interested in agroecological farming. If you are interested in what’s going on with any of the other workstreams, you can read more about them here.

Why is this important?

With an ageing farming population, and the triple threats of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and soil erosion, it is essential to support new entrants into agriculture, and help them explore and develop new and more sustainable ways of farming, such as adhering to agroecology principles. However, cost is a major barrier: Welsh farmland is the most expensive in the UK at an average of £5,500 per acre, and often more for smaller parcels that might appeal to new entrants. 

One of the key paths for cash-strapped new entrants to access land for farming has long been local authority farm holdings, but these are diminishing in Wales as councils sell off land to meet other budgetary pressures. Over the past 35 years, the number of tenants on council farmland has dropped by around two thirds, and just 15,669ha of land held by local authorities for smallholding purposes remains (down from over 18,000ha five years earlier). This is a similar picture to England – which we’ve investigated before with CPRE and NEF (watch out for more on the next phase of this work soon). 

There is growing recognition, however, that this public asset could simultaneously be used to tackle a range of other local authority priorities and objectives. These could include meeting net-zero climate targets, improving people’s health and wellbeing, and access to nature, which is particularly important in the wake of COVID-19. 

By increasing wider community involvement in the running of local authority farm estates, these far-reaching benefits could be achieved even as public sector cuts mean that stretched councils may not have the time or resources to centrally manage their estates for maximum environmental and community benefit. By working together on local authority farmland, there may be opportunities for innovative new entrants to enter organic or agroecological agriculture. This could nurture more sustainable localised food systems, and improve local people’s health and wellbeing.

What are we doing?

So far, we’ve been looking into the (often limited) information about land ownership available online, investigating the policy context which might help or hinder more community access to land for agroecological growing initiatives, and seeking out examples of existing community-led, land-based projects where things have worked well, or what can be learned from those which haven’t panned out as intended.

Over the next few months, we are going to be continuing with this research along two tracks, one exploring the opportunities for more community access to land owned by councils and other public bodies, and the other looking into the potential for initiatives on privately owned land. This could help private landowners who wish to ensure their land continues to be farmed in the future but where no family member wishes to continue the farming tradition. They may be looking for novel ways to ensure long term stewardship of the land such as placing it in a land trust or similar legal vehicle that will ensure its future and create opportunities for new entrant farmers.

How can I help?

By answering the surveys linked above, and/or by getting in touch with us (via kim@sharedassets.org.uk) for a longer chat! Through these surveys and conversations we are hoping to put together a picture of organisational land holdings and potential opportunities for more community involvement in their management, especially through farming projects, and lay the groundwork for the next exciting stage of the project in January, where we will bring together communities seeking land with organisations or landowners who have some, and support them to work collaboratively to make some new farming initiatives a reality over the remainder of the project. We’re excited to see what develops!

Resilient Green Spaces is a £1.27m partnership project being led by Social Farms & Gardens to pilot alternative re-localised food systems using communities and their green spaces as the driving force for change across Wales until June 2023. 

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

green space on a farm with some trees, seating area and tractor and polytunnel in the background
Image credit: Landworkers' Alliance

Ydych chi'n berson sy'n chwilio am dir ar gyfer ffermio amaeth-ecolegol yng Nghymru? Neu ydych chi'n cynrychioli sefydliad cenedlaethol, awdurdod lleol, cyngor tref neu gymuned yng Nghymru sy'n berchen ar dir ac eisiau gweithio mwy gyda chymunedau lleol? Os felly, byddem wrth ein bodd pe gallech chi gwblhau'r arolwg perthnasol isod er mwyn i ni allu eich cefnogi i weithio gyda'ch gilydd i sefydlu ffermydd cymunedol fel rhan o'r prosiect Mannau Gwyrdd Gwydn:

  • Os ydych chi'n chwilio am dir cliciwch un o'r dolenni hyn - English + Cymraeg
  • Os ydych chi'n cynrychioli awdurdod lleol/cyngor tref/cymuned cliciwch un o'r dolenni hyn - English + Cymraeg
  • Os ydych chi'n rhan o gorff cenedlaethol neu ystâd fawr cliciwch un o'r dolenni hyn - English + Cymraeg

Darllenwch ymlaen i ddysgu rhagor am y prosiect, pam ei fod yn bwysig a beth rydyn ni'n gobeithio'i gyflawni, ac os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau am y prosiect neu am gael gwybod mwy, mae croeso i chi gysylltu â ni drwy kim@sharedassets.org.uk.

Cyflwyno Mannau Gwyrdd Gwydn

Yn gynharach eleni daeth Shared Assets yn bartner yn ‘Mannau Gwyrdd Gwydn’, prosiect  £1.27m sy'n cael ei gyllido gan Lywodraeth Cymru a'i arwain gan Ffermydd a Gerddi Cymdeithasol (SF&G). Mae'r prosiect yn para tan Fehefin 2023 a bydd yn peilota systemau amgen ar gyfer bwyd wedi'i ail-leoli gan ddefnyddio cymunedau a'u mannau gwyrdd fel y grym dros yrru newid ar draws Cymru.  

Rydyn ni'n gweithio o fewn grŵp o wyth sefydliad partner i edrych ar botensial pob math o fannau gwyrdd gwahanol i gefnogi cymunedau wrth iddyn nhw adfer o COVID a gyda'r argyfyngau newid hinsawdd a bioamrywiaeth mewn golwg. 

Mae chwe phrif faes gwaith yn y prosiect, sef:

  1. Adeiladu Tîm Datblygu Rhandiroedd Cenedlaethol
  2. Canolfannau Bwyd Arloesol
  3. Perllannau Cymunedol Cynhyrchiol
  4. Coridorau a Mannau Gwyrddach
  5. Archwilio Mynediad Cymunedol i Ffermydd a Thir
  6. Meithrin Sgiliau Ffermio Garddwriaethol yn y Dyfodol

Mae Shared Assets, ynghyd â Chynghrair Gweithwyr y Tir yn canolbwyntio ar y pumed o'r rhain - canfod ffyrdd i orchfygu'r heriau a gwireddu cyfleoedd mynediad i dir ar gyfer pobl newydd a chymunedau lleol sydd â diddordeb mewn ffermio amaeth-ecolegol. Os oes gennych chi ddiddordeb mewn beth sy'n digwydd gydag unrhyw rai o'r ffrydiau gwaith, gallwch ddarllen rhagor amdanyn nhw fan hyn.

Pam mae hyn yn bwysig?

Gyda'r boblogaeth ffermio yn heneiddio, a'r bygythiadau triphlyg o chwalfa'r hinsawdd, colli bioamrywiaeth ac erydu pridd, mae'n hanfodol rhoi cefnogaeth i bobl newydd sy'n dod i mewn i amaethyddiaeth a'u helpu i archwilio a datblygu ffyrdd newydd a mwy cynaliadwy o ffermio, megis cadw at egwyddorion amaeth- ecolegol. Fodd bynnag, mae cost yn rhwystr mawr: tir fferm yng Nghymru yw'r drutaf yn y DU ar gyfartaledd o £5,500 yr erw, a mwy na hynny yn aml am ddarnau llai o dir allai apelio at amaethwyr newydd.

Ers cyfnod maith, un o'r llwybrau allweddol i gael gafael ar dir i'w ffermio ar gyfer amaethwyr newydd heb lawer o arian yw daliadau fferm awdurdodau lleol, ond mae'r rhain yn lleihau yng Nghymru wrth i gynghorau werthu tir i gwrdd â phwysau cyllidebol o gyfeiriadau eraill. Dros y 35 mlynedd diwethaf mae nifer y tenantiaid ar ffermydd cynghorau wedi lleihau tua 66% a dim ond 15,669ha o dir sy'n cael ei ddal gan awdurdodau lleol at bwrpas mân-ddaliadau sydd ar ôl (i lawr o dros 18,000ha bum mlynedd cyn hynny). Mae'n ddarlun tebyg i'r hyn sy'n digwydd yn Lloegr - y bu i ni ymchwilio iddo cyn hyn gyda CPRE ac NEF  (cadwch lygad am ragor ar y cam nesaf o'r gwaith hwn cyn bo hir).

Mae cydnabyddiaeth gynyddol, fodd bynnag, y gallai'r ased cyhoeddus hwn gael ei ddefnyddio ar yr un pryd i fynd i'r afael ag amrywiaeth o flaenoriaethau ac amcanion eraill awdurdodau lleol. Gallai'r rhain gynnwys cwrdd â thargedau hinsawdd sero net, gwella iechyd a lles pobl a mynediad i natur, sy'n arbennig o bwysig yn sgil COVID-19.

Drwy gynyddu cyfranogiad ehangach gan y gymuned i redeg ystadau ffermydd awdurdodau lleol, gallai'r buddion pellgyrhaeddol hyn gael eu cwrdd hyd yn oed wrth i doriadau'r sector cyhoeddus olygu na fydd gan gynghorau'r amser neu'r adnoddau i reoli eu hystadau'n ganolog er y lles mwyaf yn amgylcheddol ac yn gymunedol.  Drwy gydweithio ar dir fferm awdurdodau lleol, gall fod cyfleoedd ar gyfer amaethwyr newydd arloesol i gychwyn ar amaethyddiaeth organig neu amaeth-ecolegol. Gallai hyn feithrin systemau bwyd cynaliadwy mwy lleol, a gwella iechyd a lles pobl leol.

Beth ydyn ni'n ei wneud?

Hyd yma, rydyn ni wedi bod yn edrych ar wybodaeth (brin yn aml) am berchnogaeth tir sydd ar gael ar-lein, gan ymchwilio i'r cyd-destun polisi allai helpu neu lesteirio mwy o fynediad cymunedol i dir ar gyfer mentrau tyfu amaeth-ecolegol, a chwilio am enghreifftiau o brosiectau tir presennol sy'n cael eu harwain gan y gymuned, lle mae pethau wedi gweithio'n dda, neu i weld pa wersi all gael eu dysgu o'r rhai sydd heb weithio'n union fel y bwriadwyd.  

Dros y misoedd nesaf rydyn ni'n mynd i barhau gyda'r ymchwil gan ddilyn dau drywydd, un yn archwilio'r cyfleoedd ar gyfer mwy o fynediad cymunedol i dir sy'n eiddo i gynghorau a chyrff cyhoeddus eraill, a'r llall yn edrych ar y potensial ar gyfer mentrau ar dir sy'n eiddo preifat. Gallai hyn helpu tirfeddianwyr preifat sydd am sicrhau bod eu tir yn parhau i gael ei ffermio yn y dyfodol ond lle nad oes aelod o'r teulu sy'n dymuno parhau gyda'r traddodiad ffermio. Efallai eu bod yn chwilio am ffyrdd newydd o sicrhau stiwardiaeth hir-dymor ar y tir megis ei osod mewn ymddiriedolaeth tir neu drefn gyfreithiol debyg fydd yn sicrhau ei ddyfodol ac yn creu cyfleoedd ar gyfer ffermwyr newydd.

Sut galla i helpu?

Drwy ateb yr arolygon sy'n gysylltiedig a/neu drwy gysylltu â ni (drwy kim@sharedassets.org.uk) i gael sgwrs hirach!  Drwy gyfrwng yr arolygon a'r sgyrsiau hyn rydyn ni'n gobeithio llunio darlun o ddaliadau tir sefydliadol a chyfleoedd potensial ar gyfer mwy o gyfranogiad gan y gymuned yn y gwaith o'u rheoli, yn enwedig drwy brosiectau ffermio, a gosod y sylfaen ar gyfer cam cyffrous nesaf y prosiect ym mis Ionawr. Bryd hynny byddwn yn dod â chymunedau sy'n chwilio am dir a sefydliadau neu dirfeddianwyr sydd â thir at ei gilydd ac yn eu cefnogi i weithio gyda'i gilydd i greu mentrau ffermio newydd dros weddill cyfnod y prosiect. Rydyn ni'n gyffrous i weld beth fydd yn datblygu!

Mae Mannau Gwyrdd Gwydn yn brosiect partneriaeth gwerth £1.27m sy'n cael ei arwain gan Ffermydd a Gerddi Cymdeithasol i beilota systemau bwyd eraill sydd wedi'u hail-leoleiddio gan ddefnyddio cymunedau a'u mannau gwyrdd fel sbardun ar gyfer newid ledled Cymru tan fis Mehefin 2023.

Mae'r prosiect hwn wedi derbyn cyllid drwy Gymunedau Gwledig Llywodraeth Cymru – Rhaglen Datblygu Gwledig 2014-2020, a ariennir gan Gronfa Amaethyddol Ewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig a Llywodraeth Cymru.


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