Yet More Greed and Wanton Habitat Destruction in Dyffryn Nantlle, Gwynedd, North Wales

- A Destructive Practice of Ignorance For Ever More Land, Sheep, and Payments...

22nd May 2019, National Grid Field № SH 4852 2239: Field spraying on land adjacent to Gwynfaes only a few months after having sanctions imposed for exactly the same breach last year (spraying agro-chemicals several weeks before the date they are allowed to by law, that date being the 30th June). The lower photograph shows cattle browsing on the self-same field just 3 days later, on the 25th May [ the minimum recommended time for allowing livestock to graze on land that has been sprayed is 20 - 30 days ].

5th July 2019: currently the land to one side of Gwynfaes, extending over towards Bro Silyn, is a patchwork of dead, brown, earth. This extends all around the old quarries and waste tips in that area and it is evident that the spray was applied with a boom sprayer, just as with the land to one side of Gwynfaes farm.

- spraying in progress on 22nd May on a large field adjacent to Gwynfaes -
- 3 days after spraying and cattle are already allowed back onto the field to graze -
- 3 days after spraying and cattle are already allowed back onto the field to graze.

- 5 days after spraying and the damage to the field is evident, as is the probability of the spray being strong herbicide again -
- 5 days after spraying and the damage to the field is evident, - as is the probability
- of the spray being strong herbicide again.

3rd June 2019: Whether using hydrated, or agricultural, lime1 at this time of year is legal or not depends on whether the farmer in question is part of the Glastir scheme (Welsh greening policy and small loan scheme). There is also the question of the type of lime being used: pure, non-calcinated, ground limestone is marginally less harmful than hydrated lime, so an important question, here, is that of which was being used; especially in view of continued wet weather and livestock being allowed to graze on land that has just been treated.

Either way, dusting the fields with a chemical that burns flesh, damages respiratory tracts, and which has the potential to blind, and on a windy day in fields that not only contain livestock but which are also located close to residential premises, is absolute and complete stupidity in addition to being completely irresponsible; the following being a perfect example of what happens when you do:

7th June 2019: Same process as usual, and as with the destroyed fenland area: spray with strong herbicide and then just plough the toxins into the ground once you have successfully poisoned everything; then use more agri-chemicals and nitrogen to further pollute and degrade both the water table and the soil, before sowing grass seed mix for livestock. Perhaps ironically, the plants that thrive best in such a polluted environment are the very plants that are causing such grief in the first place: bracken, brambles, and creeping thistles.

18th June 2019, National Grid Field №s SH 4852 5926, 4852 7128, SH 4852 8031, and SH 4852 7841: this is thought to be Gwernoer2 (located just off the B4418 en route to Nantlle from Talysarn) getting in on the act, busily destroying the meadowland just below Tanyrallt a good two weeks before the permissable date for spraying3:

...and this is where a tractor was taken along an old slate-inlaid footpath, forcing a route through the undergrowth in the process (nevermind the damage to the path), to reach a patch of bracken on the edge of an, as yet, unspoilt (and usually very boggy) wetland area with nesting skylarks (yes, protected, but may as well not be in this area). Naturally enough (in direct violation of GAEC, Greening, and Cross-Compliance) everything got sprayed, including the open drainage channel:

Photographs are yet to be added but, in the meantime, the following, quite lengthy, video shows what the area looked like only hours after spraying, also clearly showing the lack of any kind of hazard warnings where the public right of way enters Tanyrallt, and that the spraying (which was with a boom sprayer) has been carried-out with full intent across the entire area of all three meadows (four if you include a small area of already 'improved' field area at the far end).

The meadows in this video are normally full of wildflowers, including native British blue bells (also supposedly protected) and, yes, as usual it was industrial-strength herbicide that was used.


[ 1 ] dry-powdered limestone is another substance (ab)used, in this case, to destroy the wetland habitat of the floodplain through drying-out the soil, decreasing the level of acidity in the soil (which is, incidentally, absolutely vital for many marsh, bog, and wetland plants) and reducing soil plasticity, thereby aiding compaction, increasing the long-term firmness of the soil, and reducing water swell potential.

In simple terms it makes the ground hard, compact, and resistent to becoming waterlogged and muddy. This also leads to further irreparable damage to the floodplain, and creates yet more run-off into Arfon Llyfni which, in turn, leaches nutrients from the land (creating a dependency on artificial fertilizers), washes animal waste and agri-chemicals into the river (poisoning the wildlife and polluting it, including everything downstream), and causes the river to silt up, quite aside from making the floodplain more susceptible to flooding (especially of the flash-flood variety).

[ 2 ] this is not necessarily the owner of the land and it should be noted that any RPW sanctions will be applied to whoever is actually claiming for the field numbers in question and not necessarily those working on the fields or directly responsible for anything leading to such.

[ 3 ] clearing tillage weeds would doubtless be the 'justification' for these acts of destruction, but even outside of the fact that they are spraying herbicide a good two weeks before they are allowed to by law, it can be clearly seen in both the videos and photographs that they have not only sprayed the entire meadow area, including multiple steep gradients where there was absolutely no reason to spray (nevermind which they should not have even been trying to spray); but they have also taken a tractor along an old, narrow footpath with original slate features and have sprayed a section of wetland area including overspraying an open drainage channel in clear violation of GAEC, Greening, and Cross-Compliance.

It should also be noted that the bracken was bruised around August time of last year (although even then, the bracken was needlessly both bruised and sprayed with herbicide), but to spray it again now (and not only weeks before they are allowed to by law but also spraying a wetland area with open drainage channels and established meadowland areas) just goes to show what contemptible excuses we have for farmers in some parts of this area.

Please Note: this site is undergoing ongoing changes and amendments as further details and evidence is gathered and added to the site, so please feel free to use the contact details given at the foot of this page should you have any questions or should you wish to submit further details or evidence of your own; but please do not send attachments without first contacting me, as the attachments will simply be deleted by the mail server otherwise.

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For anyone wanting to make their own reports of similar activities in their area, please contact me via my secure email address, and via a Protonmail account (free accounts available), if possible. Field numbers are also essential for reporting incidents to Rural Payments, and these can be determined via MAGIC [ Maps > Interactive Map > Where Am I? top menu-bar button) > click on relevant area on the main map for the field number after zooming-in on, or searching for, that area) ].

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