What you need to know ahead of the mass farmers' protest in Cardiff

ITV Cymru Wales
Farmers in Wales have been protesting in recent weeks over grievances with the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Large crowds are expected to gather in Cardiff on Wednesday, February 28, as farmers from across the country gather to protest against the Welsh Government's future subsidy plans.

Between 10,000 to 20,000 protestors are expected to convene in the capital city, to express their frustrations towards the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

Tension has been building within the agricultural community as farmers fear the new Welsh Government scheme will lead to thousands of job losses and damage to farm incomes.

Unions have claimed the proposed SFS scheme would result in 5,500 direct job losses, which they aim to highlight in a separate protest by placing 5,500 pairs of wellington boots on the Senedd steps on March 6.

The Welsh Government plans require farmers and landowners to devote 10% of their land to tree planting to qualify for the payouts, with another 10% planned for wildlife habitat.

Over recent weeks, protests have been taking place at locations across Wales, with Wednesday's protest expected to be the largest gathering yet - it would likely be the largest protest event in Senedd history.

Convoys of tractors are expected to head towards Cardiff, as well as numerous coaches transporting protestors from across the country.

The protest is set to begin in Cardiff Bay at 12:30pm ahead of a busy afternoon of agricultural business in the Senedd.

Those wanting to move around the city have been warned of possible travel disruption, as well as higher volumes of traffic on the roads.

In a statement, South Wales Police say they are aware of a large-scale planned protest being held in Cardiff Bay and "slow-moving traffic on routes to Cardiff Bay and across the wider South Wales road network" are likely.

They said: "The extent of any delays to other road users is currently unclear, but as a force we are monitoring this situation closely.

"A policing operation will be in effect for the duration of the protest and we will be proactive in minimising disruption to the public wherever possible.

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According to the statement, there are currently no road closures planned, but there may be restricted vehicle access to areas surrounding the Senedd.

Superintendent Esyr Jones added: "South Wales Police respects the right to peaceful protest and we are in discussions with the organisers to ensure that the protest takes place safely, lawfully with minimum disruption to the wider public."

An agreement to facilitate the protest activity is in place, but those attending have been urged not to bring agricultural vehicles, such as tractors, to the protest ground due to safety risks.

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