Food v Wildlife v Trees

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Oct 092018

Today’s Western Mail Country and Farming section highlights the acrimonious debate over the post-Brexit future of the Welsh countryside. Wildlife groups have generally welcomed the Government plans to stop direct subsidies and to pay farmers for ‘public goods’ such as habitat improvement. Farming groups want the retention of some direct support for food production, their key role, and resent the implication that many farms can only be viable with new roles. They are suspicious that a partnership approach will be led by environmental interests. Plans to greatly increase tree-planting at the expense of food production, to lower carbon emissions, are a further concern – on a day when an IPCC man said that his top priority would be that we stop eating meat.

Connecting the Dragons

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Oct 092018

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) Trust has secured development phase funding for a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) project called ‘Connecting the Dragons’. If successful, they will start a 4-year delivery phase from June/July 2019. As part of the project development they need to undertake consultation and evaluation work. By responding to their survey, you can help them decide where and who they should be engaging with in this project. The information you supply will also be used to keep you informed about the project’s development and allow ARC to contact you about volunteering opportunities in South Wales. All those who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a signed paperback copy of the New Naturalist Amphibians and Reptiles (2002).

CALM M4 Meeting Monday

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Sep 302018

With the Government’s proposed decision imminent, the CALM campaign is urging its supporters to do everything they can to promote their case via politicians and the media.  They meet at Newport Civic Centre at 7.00pm on Monday, 1 October to consider vital matters including the possibility of a legal challenge if needed.

Caerleon Campus Plans in Trouble

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Sep 272018

Newport planners are recommending refusal on traffic and air pollution grounds of the University of South Wales’ controversial plans for up to 263 homes on their redundant Caerleon campus site.  Will we see Monmouthshire planners taking a similar position on large developments in our congested towns?

Sophie Speaks Out

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Sep 272018

Hard on the heels of her attack on the M4 relief road, Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe has warned the Welsh Government to think more about the long-term consequences of its decisions.  The Government’s Well-being of Wales report admits to rising greenhouse gas emissions and declining biodiversity.  She welcomes an increase in recycling, renewable energy generation, more energy efficient homes, and a narrowing gender pay gap, but calls for more investment in public transport and tacking loneliness.

Commissioner Continues the Fight

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Sep 142018

With the outcome of the public inquiry into the proposed M4 relief road expected soon, lobbying of politicians by supporters and opponents is hotting up.  Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, concerned by the conflict with the need to achieve the Government’s own carbon reduction targets, has renewed her opposition.  She is backing a report that says that the £1.4 billion cost of the motorway would be better spent on an integrated package of sustainable transport measures including public transport and active travel.  The report is available at

Local Food on Urban Forks

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Sep 092018

Welsh Government has published the Abergavenny Agri-Urban Action Group’s report for 2016-18 at  The plan aims to be a guideline for food development in the Abergavenny area, with proposals including a Food Hub centre of excellence bringing producers and consumers closer together.

Sustainable Academy Awards

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Aug 242018

The ‘Sustainable Academy Awards’ is an ambitious new event which draws on decades of combined experience in the sector from Cynnal Cymru and RenewableUK Cymru. The Awards are being held for the first time in 2018, and are a fusion of the Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales Awards and the Wales Green Energy Awards, organised by RenewableUK Cymru. Lots of categories; submit by 10 September; full details at