If the Welsh Government’s tree planting targets are achieved, there will be 43,000 hectares of new woodland by 2030, 180,000 hectares by 2050.

Although these seem impossible targets with just 80 hectares planted in the year to March 2020, Wales does need more trees to help address climate change – but in the right place.

Planting trees on productive farmland is not the answer because this land would be lost from future food production, not for one generation but for generations to come.

Wales should take heed from Scotland where prime arable and livestock land is being snapped up by overseas investors supported by tax incentives.

In one recent acquisition a 400-hectare arable farm in Aberdeenshire was bought by a Dutch investor to plant trees; a potato farm in Fife will soon be turned over to trees too.

Land agents are approaching farmers to sell land not on the open market but to a long list of investors looking to plant trees backed by foreign investment because of the perceived lucrative returns from carbon trading.

Whole estates are being sold for planting, restricting opportunities for new and young tenant farmers.

While all UK governments have ambitious tree planting targets, there are surely more sensible alternative to creating woodland on productive farmland.

Once land is lost for planting, it is lost to agriculture forever.

There is a strong case for a more integrated approach, one in which woodland enhances existing farming practices.

Subsidies for tree planting are all very well in current support frameworks but what if those policies change and funding shifts away from trees?

Where will the farm’s income come from then if there is no infrastructure in place to market wood from the trees and no land on which to grow crops or produce livestock and milk?

What is the point of growing trees if we have to import more food from countries with poorer green credentials that our own?

Much of the food produced in Wales is low carbon – it is much better for the climate if we eat low carbon Welsh beef than beef produced in a deforested Brazilian rainforest.