According to Welsh farmers, Ed Sheeran’s plan to buy farmland in the UK and plant trees will reduce Britain’s ability produce food from its own resources and increase carbon emissions.
Recently, the 30-year-old singer/songwriter revealed that he plans to plant as many trees and plants as possible to reduce his carbon footprint from years of jet-setting and worldwide touring.
However, farmers in Wales claimed Sheeran’s proposal to acquire farmland for rewilding would deprive them of the soil they need to produce their products at home. They also said that it would lead to higher carbon emissions due to increased imports.
These people also claimed that the loss of vital work would affect rural families, while those who had farmed for generations on the land would face displacement.
This comes at a time when plans by the British government to increase biodiversity have come under fire from farmers who claim that sustainable food production is more important.
Ed Sheeran (aged 30) recently stated his desire to plant as many trees and plants as possible to help offset the carbon footprint he has left after years of global travel and jet-setting. Sheeran was pictured at Glastonbury 2017, 2017.
According to farmers in Wales, Sheeran’s plans to purchase farmland to rewilded would take up valuable soil that is needed for growing produce in the home. This would eventually lead to increased carbon emissions due to food imports. (pictured: farmland South Wales).
Sheeran talked about his ambition to minimize his carbon footprint, in an interview with BBC Radio London.
“I’m trying to rewilder as much of the UK” He said that he loves his country and that he also enjoys wildlife and the natural world.
“It feels like I will get my head chopped off if I repeat that. My job isn’t sustainable as I live in cities and I have to do my best.
Many people appreciated Sheeran’s remarks, while others disagreed with the idea.
Abi Reader is a Welsh farmer, and the chairperson of NFU Cymru’s dairy board. Sheeran’s intention, while well-intentioned, may actually lead to increased carbon emissions and rural community damage by taking over vital agricultural land.
“It will eventually lead to increased import of food to compensate the shortfall. How can we then ensure its carbon credentials and safety? She said.
‘If you take just one family farm out of production – because trees don’t create jobs – we further depopulate already fragile rural communities and the services they depend on.’
Some users on social media accused Sheeran of jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, with one farmer from Carmarthenshire saying that ‘panic decisions made by rich, overpaid celebrities with guilty consciences with money to burn and fans to impress can do a lot of irreversible damage to our fertile, food-producing land.’
Sheeran, who owns a 16-acre Suffolk estate, has begun to wild fish. (pictured) He also created a wildlife meadow’ at his farm that includes a pond, beehive, new trees and many other features.
Some others suggested that celebrities should be educated as they have the potential to influence people to put money in the right place and take action.
A farmer who raises livestock said, “Let us get him on board so that he can have positive influence over his 17 million followers.”
Sheeran started wilding the 16-acre Suffolk estate.
A scheme announced by the government this week that will allow farmers to establish new habitats as a way to decrease biodiversity has also been criticised.
Environment Secretary George Eustice is expected to announce this week that farmers and landowners with 500 to 5,000 hectares will be able to apply for funding to plant trees, and restore peat and wetland areas as part of the new Local Nature Recovery Scheme.
George Eustice, Environment Secretary (pictured), will present plans for land management programs this week that aim to increase Britain’s biodiversity
The Ministers feel that the reforms will be a major part of the Government’s efforts to boost biodiversity in Britain, reduce the decline in British species by 2030 and restore as much as 300,000 ha of habitat before the 2040s.
But National Farming Union Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: ‘We have always cautiously welcomed the policy of public money for public goods but it shouldn’t focus on environmental delivery alone and must underpin truly sustainable food production.
‘My biggest fear would be that if this policy results in reduced food production in the UK and we simply import from countries with lower standards, then we may end up living in a green oasis here, but we have simply off-shored our production and any environmental impacts that go with it – this is morally incomprehensible.’
The plans are being criticized for not supporting British food production and focusing too much on the potential loss of land to rewilding. Tom Bradshaw (Vice President, National Farming Union) stated that “if this policy results in reduced UK food production and we just import from countries of lower standards, then it is simply off-shored and all the environmental impacts that come with it.”
Eustice stated that success and profitability in agricultural production are crucial for our food security.
“We are faced with challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Therefore, we need to use the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy for our freedom.” [CAP]A new incentive and reward system for agriculture.
“Our new policies will help individual farmers make the right choices, while allowing them to pick which elements are most beneficial for them.”