Green Man Festival: Nesting ospreys force Welsh government to axe its £4.25m Gilestone Farm plans in Powys

The Welsh government's plans for a farm it bought for £4.25m have had to be scrapped due to a pair of nesting ospreys.

Gilestone Farm in Powys was bought by the government in Cardiff in March 2022.

The farm was acquired after discussions with the Green Man Festival about how to "support the growth of the wider festival brand".

The government says it bought the site to further its "economic development ambitions" and to "support the growth of the creative sector".

The Welsh Conservatives say the purchase "should never have happened in the first place".

The government found out in August last year that a pair of ospreys were nesting on the site.

Ministers are expecting the ospreys will return to nest there in the spring and are hopeful they will have found a way forward for the site by then.

Economy minister Vaughan Gething said the objectives of the Green Man Group for the use of Gilestone Farm "can no longer be realised", after the government received advice from experts.

The advice is to put a 750m restricted zone in place around the nest, the government says.

That means "only very limited human activity" can take place there.

It can still be used for sustainable farming and the government is exploring opportunities for economic development at the site.

The Welsh government says it will continue to work with Green Man Group to help it to "secure a suitable long-term base in Wales".

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In a statement, Mr Gething said the investment had been "tested by aggressive lobbying" but that ministers "do not change decisions based on threats".

"It is equally disappointing that elected officials and business partners have been subject to sustained and personal attacks regarding this matter," he added.

A report by Audit Wales, published in January last year, found the Welsh government "accepted an avoidable financial risk" by buying the farm when it did.

The auditor said government officials had emphasised that, in their view, the risk was "low and manageable".