Zero Carbon Watch: Labour and Plaid Cymru destroying natural woods in Wales, selling off grazing to corporate interests to ‘offset their carbon footprint’

Net Zero policies destroying communities: ‘Save our valley’: Villagers in Cwrt-y-Cadno fighting proposals to plant trees on agricultural land

Thursday 10 February 2022 Hannah Thomas, Rural Affairs Correspondent, ITV Wales

This time last year, tenant farmers Ian O’Connor and his wife Rhiannon were hoping to buy their first farm together in Cwrt-y-Cadno. Born and brought up in the heart of the Cothi Valley, they have a strong attachment to the area. The farm next door, Frongoch, was up for sale. They had two small boys and were looking to raise their young family there.

But they were outbid. Not by other farmers, but by an investor company called Foresight Ltd, which is based in the centre of London. They purchased the land with the intention of planting trees there and “offsetting” carbon emissions.

When the local community at Cwrt-y-Cadno discovered these proposals, there was widespread opposition. For generations it has been sheep farming country. And local farmers were dismayed that prime agricultural land was being taken to plant non-native conifer trees.

For their part, Foresight Ltd say they began to engage with people living near Cwrt-y-Cadno from the beginning. They told me: “A fundamental part of Foresight’s approach to forestry is to listen to and work closely with the local community. We’ve been doing this at Frongoch for the past few months, adjusting our plans to try to accommodate key concerns – for example, we have confirmed that we will not be planting any trees in the valley basin.”

As last year wore on, I was told by farmers across Wales about more land that was being bought up by big companies, such as major UK airlines, to plant thousands of trees and offset their carbon emissions.

But the turning point in Cwrt-y-Cadno came three weeks ago, when a petition was launched by the local community to “save the valley”. As I write, it has nearly sixty thousand signatures and lobbies Foresight Ltd to change their plans.

A petition was launched by the local community to “save the valley”.

I met those villagers who started that petition at the historic Cwrt
Methodist Chapel in the middle of the tiny rural hamlet. They were stood outside a building visited by former US President Jimmy Carter, and were looking down a valley labelled an “ancient area of exceptional beauty”. They spoke of how they did not want to see their community “irreversibly destroyed”. They acknowledge that there is a need to plant more trees, and that Wales must play its part in the global ffort to tackle climate change. But they also spoke of how they did not want to see young people displaced off the land, and forced to leave the area in order to find futures they can afford.

I then joined Ian O’Connor and his wife Rhiannon, who now have a third child – a baby boy born last month. In the middle of lambing, they told me about their disappointment that they could not buy Frongoch Farm.

Their biggest fear is that they will never be able to purchase a farm in Carmarthenshire and rear their three little boys close to home. But they say that Foresight Ltd have worked with them during the process and have no criticism of the company itself.

Their concerns rest with Welsh Government policy. The Welsh Government has a target of seeing 86 million trees planted across Wales over the next nine years. Public money is available through its Glastir scheme to anyone wishing to plant trees on their land. Ian and Rhiannon believe that the Welsh Government is making it “enticing” for firms to hunt for farms in Wales.

The Welsh Government has a target of seeing 86 million trees planted across Wales over the next nine years.

Yesterday, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change [and concealed self-immolation] Lee Waters, told ITV Cymru Wales that “the threat of climate change hasn’t gone away. Just because we are three months on from COP people seem to think that we are out of the woods and we are not.

In order to reach those targets of getting to net zero we have to do things differently, and one of the things that we have to do – according to the independent UK Climate Change Commission – is to change about 10% of the land we use in Wales away from sheep farming and towards planting mixed woodlands.”

When tackled about whether Welsh Government policy and funding makes it attractive for investors to buy up land here, Mr Waters said: “there’s also a role for other companies to come in and put that money to use in Wales. Because we will benefit from the carbon sequestration, we will benefit from the biodiversity, we will benefit from the timber that is created to create Welsh jobs and Welsh homes.”

But the National Farmers Union in Wales (NFU Cymru) does not believe we have got that balance between forestry and farming right yet. The director of NFU Cymru, John Mercer, lives in Cwrt-y-Cadno and his family roots run deep there. I asked him whether we needed to give more farmland up in Wales to tree planting.

He says that farmers are trying to do more, but want to integrate trees on parts of the farm where they cannot produce food. His argument is that the UK is just 60% self-sufficient in food, and his worry is that if this drops further, we will have to import more food from countries with lower climate change targets than British farmers. The NFU has an ambition to be carbon net zero by 2040.

The row over 265 acres in Cwrt-y-Cadno is set to rumble on.

This is far from just about farming, however. Environmental organisations have also lent their voices to the idea that the plan for Cwrt-y-Cadno is a controversial one. Clive Roberts from the West Wales Rivers Trust is an advocate for biodiversity in the Cothi Valley. He says that the River Cothi near Cwrt-y-Cadno is one of the few places left in Wales where salmon and sewin successfully spawn. He says that scientific evidence shows that planting too many conifer trees in a certain area can acidify waterways and kill off species of fish.

The row over 265 acres in Cwrt-y-Cadno will undoubtedly rumble on though. Foresight Ltd say that their “draft scheme for Frongoch has been sensitively designed to incorporate a diverse mix of tree species, to include open spaces for natural habitat, and to deliver both environmental benefits and a significant improvement in biodiversity levels. We recognise that this is a special valley and are working hard to ensure that our plans for it will ensure it remains so.”

Local people are working hard to protect that too. Because they say once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

‘A Populist Obsession With Carbon’: Red Meat-Free School Menus Fail Our Children And The Environment

Why red meat-free school menus fail children and environment

Debbie James

Local authorities stand accused of using climate change debate as an excuse to reduce or remove the red meat offering on school menus.

As a livestock farmer and food business director, Mike Gooding understands more than most about the nutritional and sustainability credentials of food.

The youngest of Mr Goodings four children is at primary school and he reckons councils are letting down pupils like her, and the wider society.

He believes they are failing to address the sustainability challenges with menus that contain precious little dairy and even less meat, are nutritionally poor and not sustainable.

Livestock farmer and food business director, Mike Gooding

Public sector catering and procurement more generally was thrown into sharp focus recently when Oxfordshire County Council set out plans to ban meat and dairy products from being served at its official events.

A motion put forward by a Green Party councillor stated that global meat and dairy production was a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

The motion is due to be voted on in March.

Mr Gooding is concerned that what he describes as a ‘popularist obsession with carbon’ is now seeping into school meal menus.

Nobody is arguing about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the carbon argument is used as a convenience for moving away from the primary objective of providing good, nutritious and sustainable food, he says.

If people want to eat particular diets that is their choice, but public sector catering, when good wholesome food is a requirement, is not the place to assert that opinion.


Sustainability is not simply about carbon, it must be a balance between economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and ethical sustainability, Mr Gooding argues.

All three elements must be positive to be truly sustainable.

Yet some schools have removed meat from the lunch menu entirely.

At Dale Community Primary School in Derby, a school that is responsible for its own catering procedures and meal provision, the school governors have specified no-meat meals will be served in school and have made meat substitutes available as well.

Quorn hotdogs and burgers sit alongside pizza, pasties and vegan sausage rolls.

Extensively-reared, grass-fed beef and lamb offers much better nutrition and sustainability than many other foods, Mr Gooding insists.

These include the unsustainable and more expensive plant-based options, of which there are many, and where sustainability claims over water and land use do not stack up.

High amounts of processing are involved, often with artificial ingredients added to provide some nutritional value.

The ethics of choice, good public sector catering and nutrition cannot be ignored in pandering to a popularist obsession with carbon, particularly when the science is clear but, at best, the rhetoric ill-informed, says Mr Gooding.

Cost cutting

Mr Gooding says underlying the choices is lack of investment. Currently, our children are denied good, balanced nutrition in many schools through lack of investment in school catering, ridiculous budgets, lack of nutritional awareness, and policy that fails to understand sustainability.

Up until the 1980s, school meals were almost universally prepared on site, but the intervening decades have seen huge pressure on school budgets; this, in some cases, has resulted in kitchens being stripped out and replaced by classrooms.

Mr Gooding believes removing meat from some menus altogether is a cost-cutting exercise by some authorities, under the guise of environmental concerns.

A kitchen that doesnt use any meat has fewer compliance requirements, such as assigned chopping boards for meat, separation of products in storage and preparation, and reduced staff training.

If I wanted to look for ways to reduce costs in a kitchen an easy option would be to go vegetarian, he says.

But if the point of public sector catering is to provide good, wholesome nutrition then that point is being lost, he adds.

There is lots of science about the value of micronutrients not only in our children’s diets, but for all of us so it should be applied to all public sector catering, including where good nutrition is critical, such as patients in recovery in hospital.


Jonathan Foot, AHDBs head of environment, says carbon alone should not be used as a simple indicator for some foods being better for the environment.

The UK is one of the most sustainable places in the world to produce red meat and dairy, he insists, adding:

Alternatives can often have wide-ranging negative effects on the environment, such as deforestation, threatening biodiversity, high water demands, or international shipping.

AHDB supports the Food a Fact of Life and Countryside Classroom education schemes, which help children to understand where food comes from and how it is produced.

Local producers

In some regions, concerns are being raised by a failure by councils to source locally.

For example, last autumn, the Farmers Union of Wales challenged Anglesey County Council about procurement policies for school meals at primary schools on the island.

Union officials say the menu offered to children does not incorporate enough local and Welsh produce.

But some councils are bucking the trend. In Lancashire, the county council has gone as far as developing a bespoke cheese with a low salt content with a local supplier, and it has also worked with a local high-end yoghurt supplier on a range of low-sugar products.

Children at schools in Aberdeenshire are offered fresh meat that is Red Tractor or Quality Meat Scotland assured, free-range eggs and locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible.

Love British Food an umbrella body for hundreds of organisations that have an interest in food and the countryside believes a long-term view must now be taken of school catering, as an investment for the future.

This, it recommends, should be done through good, nutritional food and an education on how to eat. Public sector catering should also be used as an opportunity to enrich the local area, it adds.

Local purchasing

While some councils are seizing the environmental argument to remove meat and dairy from menus, organisations representing farmers say the case for local food purchasing is a stronger one if sustainability is the issue under scrutiny.

Rhys Llywelyn, market development manager at Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), says the Welsh levy payer body regularly engages with authorities responsible for public procurement, making the case on local purchasing for settings such as schools and healthcare.

Its a challenging sector, he says, with an ongoing squeeze on public finances making cost undoubtedly the main driver of decisions.

Mr Llywelyn says anti-meat groups are active in the education sector, trying to influence purchasing decisions and also how the curriculum is delivered.

Over the past year, HCC has prioritised producing a range of brand-new classroom resources so that pupils get balanced messages on food, farming, health and the environment.

Welsh red meat has a positive story to tell in terms of sustainability, being often far lower in terms of emissions than imported alternatives; its important for the future that we find ways of taking these considerations into account in public procurement.

Food buying standards

MPs have also been critical of the government food buying standards. In April 2021, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said the government was missing the opportunity to support small businesses, improve animal welfare and promote sustainability within public sector rules for buying food.

In its report Public Sector Procurement of Food, the committee called on the government to address outdated standards on nutrition and animal welfare, and close loopholes in the existing rules.

Noting the startling lack of monitoring of existing food procurement standards, including by government departments and NHS hospitals, the report demanded action to push bodies to ensure compliance.

Political drivers for change

Public sector procurement and its failure to be more focused on British produce has been debated for years and very little has changed.

But following Brexit and the COP26 Climate Change Conference in 2021, there has been a redoubling of efforts by champions of local sourcing.

Campaign group Sustain is calling for changes to the governments buying standards for food and catering services, and It says more money should be spent on high-quality domestic produce.

Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy also recommends that these standards be redesigned to ensure that taxpayer money is spent on food that is both healthy and sustainable.

New government policies on food are expected to be published in the coming weeks. considerations into account in public procurement.



TLIO camp finds opposition mysteriously vanishing to The National Trust’s privatisation of North Norfolk commons

(see below for press articles about the camp and Natural England’s attempts to exclude the public from these commons and vast areas of coastal saltmarsh)

By Tony Gosling: 10Feb22 BRISTOL: TLIO camp finds opposition mysteriously vanishing to The National Trust’s privatisation of North Norfolk commons

Over August bank holiday 2021 The Land Is Ours campaign ventured East to camp out on disputed common land along the North Norfolk coast. It was the campaign’s first tentative steps back into the world of direct action since supporting Tony Wrench’s Pembrokeshire roundhouse planning bid in Easter 2004.

The vast salt marsh commons in question are supposed to be owned by Brancaster parish council yet the camp site is clearly managed by the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club (RWNGC) who are there in force collecting car park fees. Curious then that it should be another interested ‘charity’ entirely, the National Trust, whose North Norfolk and Broads manager Victoria Egan phoned TLIO’s Tony Gosling up a few days beforehand, politely requesting he cancel the excursion.
The vast commons around Brancaster and Scolt Island were awarded to the coastal parishes in the 1700s but this ‘waste’  has now become some of the most potentially valuable retirement and investment land in East Anglia. A report in the Eastern Daily Press while the camp was taking place put the average Brancaster house price as £800k.
Fourth and fifth homes, according the commoners who steward these 3,500 or so mostly salt-marsh acres, the Scolt Head and District Common Rightholders Association. SHDCRA, pronounced Shackra’s, Their 400 or so commoners don’t just use the land, they are an invaluable reservoir of local history and culture and have watched for four decades since the Thatcher era, with ever more sceptical eyes, as the filthy lucre has rolled up along the unspoilt North Norfolk coast.

But actual common rights exercised, as elsewhere, have been diminishing. Over the decades since the second world war livestock grazing,  reed cutting, even shooting has dwindled and, armed with some of the best-paid lawyers in East Anglia three main institutions have been acquiring slices, and chunks of these unique commons.

Private feudal big guns are to be found at the Holkham Hall estate managers office a few miles East between Blakeny Point and Fakenham backed by the 25,000-acre the Earl of Leicester’s Estate. But despite the Earl’s increasing commercialisation of the area it is so-called charitable organisations, the parish councils and the National Trust that have become the haunts for these Johnny-come lately land-grabbers.

August bank holiday 2021 Land rights Protest Camp at Brancaster Beach Car Park
Land rights Protest Camp at Brancaster Beach Car Park, over the Bank Holiday Weekend. Tony Gosling (right) with other protest group at the Car Park with Brancaster Golf Club in the Background, they are joined by Stephen Bocking (2nd left) Brancaster Parish Council member and Scolt Head and District Common Rightholder
So was the three nights out by the beach to be an ‘occupation’ of Golf Club land? Of National Trust land? Or simply a camp-out on the parish commons? Some say the parish own the land, others the golf club and we even heard it was National Trust land leased to the golf club in a secret deal.
As so many times in the past the only way to uncover evidence would be to spend a few weeks there and discover the supposed owner through court papers. Countless requests from SHADCRA to the private and charitable claimants have failed to produce the required evidence and, lately, the private parties are even refusing to reply to commoners’ letters and phone calls.
The most surprising discovery though relates to the National Trust who arrived in the early 20th Century when they were donated a slice of land near Scolt Island. Despite being a ‘charity’ the NT appear to be increasingly mesmerised by the dizzying financial value of properties with which ‘for the education and betterment of the public’ they are entrusted. The NT’s North Norfolk boss Victoria Egan  is working with and for private locals, lodging claims at the land registry for apparently ‘vacant’ common land around their existing holdings.

Natural England have been working closely with the National Trust too on coastal path proposals, unveiled in 2018, but under cover of ‘rewilding’ they aim to exclude walkers from thousands of aces of salt-marsh along the footpath. Local dog-walker Philip Platten, told The Times’ environment correspondent Jonathan Leake, ‘I will be visiting the marshes whenever I want, and I challenge anyone to stop me taking my grandchildren too.’ [see Rebecca Murphy’s May 2018 EDP article below]

NT claims have only been rebuffed by diligent SHDCRA members of the parish councils lodging counter-claims at the land registry along with copies of their eighteenth century enclosure awards. So, unfettered by the mere law of the land these parish councils are gradually being taken over by well-heeled incomers more inclined to turn a blind eye to the NT claims and view them as an ‘opportunity for development’.

But, bulldozer-in-hand, Brancaster’s in-yer-face land-grabbers, sub-letting from the grey-zone ‘twixt parish council and National Trust, have to be the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club who, since the 1990s, have taken the opportunity to carve out their own parking facilities into a large public car park which used to be free but as they have extended it they have also brought in a £4-£8 charge for anyone wanting a few hours or a day on one of the loveliest sandy beaches in the country.

With ten or so TLIO common rights supporters spending the long weekend under canvas on Brancaster Beach car park a whole series of passing locals settled into comfy chairs to tell tales of well-connected outsiders turning up as parish councillors, and suddenly chairing parishes too. Tales of ‘control freaks’ at the RWN golf club causing a exodus of members  to the ‘less anal’ nearby Hunstanton club, and wondering if the tens of thousands in car park profits wouldn’t give a desperately needed facelift for the beach road and parish rather than vanishing into golf club coffers.

Legally the golf club, and possibly the Trust too, should be paying annual compensation for the common land they’ve built on which should be putting the commoners well into the black.
So cash-strapped SHDCRA soldier on, asking for meetings with Trusts, Clubs and Estates who can’t see the point of dealing with anything without legal and financial weight behind it. The doors have been slammed in their face and even individuals who turn up at SHDCRA managing to turn members against the executive of their own association.
According to one frequent visitor to the Norfolk coast, Mike, the parking fines stuffed under windscreen wipers by the golf course aren’t worth the paper they are photocopied on. The wording, he notes, is that used by the National Trust elsewhere along the coast. For all the years he’s been parking there for free, threatened fines have never been enforced.
The National Trust were approached for comment but didn’t get back to us before publication.
Could it be, despite Brancaster Beach car park attendants’ uniforms, like the notorious Bristol Zoo parking attendant ‘Mr S W Barrett of 35 Westbury Lane’ who blagged fees for twenty years from an unofficial space on the downs, that the last decade of receipts are nothing more than a brazen fraud. That the land is ours, it isn’t theirs at all?

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Beach protest over Brancaster land grab claims

By Judy BatesPublished: 01 September 2021

Land rights campaigners held a protest at Brancaster beach car park over the weekend to back local commons rights holders embroiled in a long-running disagreement.

Ten protesters from the Land is Ours campaign camped out on an area of land which is part of a dispute between the rights holders and the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club and the National Trust.

Tony Gosling, who came up from Bristol to lead the protest, said they saw it as something of a feud and an example of private landowners extending their boundaries and grabbing land and rights holders losing out.

Brancaster Marsh Common covers several thousand acres and parts of it have been registered by the golf club and the Trust.The common rights holders and parish council dispute the land ownership claims and are also disgruntled that they are not receiving enough compensation for being unable to exercise historic rights which date back to the Enclosures Act of 1765 and would have made the parish the owner of the land.

Although they don’t own any of the land, the 300-plus members of the Scolt Head and District Common Rightsholders Association (SHDCRA) are entitled to historic rights over the land for activities including shooting, fishing and grazing.

Land rights Protest Camp at Brancaster Beach Car Park, over the
Land rights Protest Camp at Brancaster Beach Car Park, over the Bank Holiday Weekend

They claim that if they are not able to carry out these activities they are entitled to compensation and feel they are also entitled to a portion of any income from the land.

The beach car park is one area under dispute. It is run by the golf club which, according to the rights holders, also claims to own it.

Rights holder and parish councillor, Stephen Bocking, said that although the club had registered the land it occupies it has never produced the deeds to prove ownership and all SHDCRA receives in compensation is £100 for some fencing on the land.

“We just want to get people round a table to talk about it but all we get from the golf club are solicitor’s letters,” he said. One letter arrived in response to the protest action.

Chris Cotton, another rights holder and parish councillor, said that they welcomed the support from the Land is Ours campaigners although they had no idea they were coming to Brancaster until a few days beforehand.

Mr Gosling said they were not there to be disruptive – just to try to bring people together in what had developed into something of a feud.

He said: “It amounts to a difference of opinion between the traditional rights holders and new money which holds the legal clout,” he said.

Mr Gosling said they had an opportunity to chat to those involved over the weekend and hoped their intervention might bring the parties together face to face.

The issue will be on the agenda at a parish council meeting next Tuesday.

The Land Is Ours was founded in the 1990s by George Monbiot, now a leading figure with Extinction Rebellion.

The golf club has also been contacted for comment.

Norfolk salt marshes could be declared off-limits

Rebecca Murphy Published: May 14, 2018

Salt marshes in north Norfolk could be declared off limits to the public under proposals being drawn up by Natural England.The public body wants to exclude the general public from accessing areas of marsh at Burnham Overy Staithe and Wells.

It says the measures, which are included in its proposed route of the England Coast Path between Hunstanton and Weybourne, would ‘have the effect of enhancing existing conservation objectives’.

Local water sports activities are held on the marsh areas of Burnham Overy Staithe

In a report outlining the measures, officials say that the establishment of the England Coast Path could attract more walkers to the area, increasing pressure on birds such as terns, redshank and ringed plover.

Two locations have also been identified as supposedly ‘unsuitable for public access’.

Natural England said it made the decisions following advice from selected ‘local stakeholders and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’.

However, proposals have angered and frustrated many in the coastal communities who have said there has been a lack of prior notice to the proposals.

Burnham Market resident David Baldry has said the proposals are ‘poorly thought out’.

He said: ‘The salt marsh at Burnham Overy Staithe provides for a host of recreational pursuits.

‘In the warm summer months at low tide, many local children go swimming along the creeks after school, mud sliding on the banks, collect samphire, families and visitors to the area explore the creeks and salt marshes – this access to a wonderful wild and natural environment is what draws tourists to Norfolk and contributes so significantly to our rural economy.’

The sand and marshes at Burnham Overy Staithe. Natural England have proposed to exclude the general public from accessing the marshes due to it being “unsuitable for public access

Michael Smith, who lives in Burnham Thorpe, is a common rights holder and would not be affected by the proposals.

He said he accepts the conservation needs at Wells but says there is no risk to public safety on the marshes around Burnham.

The 47-year-old, who is also chairman of the Scolt Head and District Common Rights Holders Association, said he does not feel Natural England is providing answers to questions to his questions.

‘When you ask around there seems to be no local stakeholders who say they have been asked,’ he said. ‘I have asked but they clearly are not preparing to give names.’

Natural England’s response

Natural England have said the proposals will not affect any existing access to the marshes for common rights holders or other walkers who use the area through informal agreements with landowners.

Sarah Dawkins, area manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: ‘When developing our coastal access proposals we have to make sure they don’t impact negatively on the environment, or create unforeseeable safety issues for walkers.

‘Following advice from local stakeholders and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, we’ve proposed some restrictions excluding the new coastal access rights from just two areas of saltmarsh at Wells and Burnham Overy Staithe.’

People are encouraged to view the proposals and to comment up until Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

Locals put boot in as Natural England’s Coast Path threatens access to Norfolk salt marshes

Plans to protect wildlife alongside a Norfolk stretch of the trail around England are angering residents and artists

Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor – Sunday April 22 2018

Philip Platten, centre, and wife Christine with other dog walkers on the coastal path. He says he wants to be able to take his grandchildren on the marshes too
England’s ambitious 2,800-mile Coast Path project has become stuck in the mud of Norfolk’s north coast over plans to ban access to the surrounding salt marshes used by ramblers, dog walkers and fishermen for generations.
Natural England (NE), the government’s conservation and ‘rewilding’ quango, says it wants to protect seabirds and wildlife from the surge in ramblers when the coastal path formally opens – by banning access to land around it.
However, the plans, which are part of a public consultation, have infuriated residents, prompting protests along the coast, from the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea to Holt.
‘I will be visiting the marshes whenever I want and I challenge anyone to stop me,’ said Godfrey Sayers a renowned local artist……

Channel 4’s ‘Sixty Days with the Gypsies’ Documentary Takes On Priti Patel’s Police State Bill

60 Days with the Gypsies
Explorer Ed Stafford spends two months with Gypsy and Traveller communities across the country, as he delves beneath the stereotypes and reveals the challenges of living in modern-day Britain
Next on TV: Mon 7 Feb, 9pm

The 3 x 60′ series, a Boundless production (part of Fremantle in the UK), will see Ed immerse himself into Romani Gypsy and Irish Travelling culture for 60 days, to provide an honest, unflinching insight from the inside. Shot in the same style as 60 Days on the Street, the series will combine self-shooting techniques alongside a small crew who will capture Ed’s journey.
At a time when the Government is considering new police powers which will make the traditional Travelling way of life more difficult, Ed will delve beneath the stereotypes, building relationships with individuals in an endeavour to question everything we think we know about the Gypsy and Traveller lifestyle.
60 Days with the Gypsies will also look at why the conflict between settled communities and Gypsies is so prevalent. As part of the production team, Boundless has brought on Jake Bowers, a Romany journalist and filmmaker, as a consultant to help navigate these stories in an authentic and sensitive way.
Ed Stafford said: ‘Like homelessness, Gypsy and Travelling communities are often shrouded in negativity despite very little understanding and I want to learn more.  I have no qualms about immersing myself in every ritual, tradition and aspect of the culture in order to get to know the individuals and unpick the existing stereotypes.