As it becomes more evident that Wales will fall well short of meeting its carbon emission targets, the Woodland Trust has said Wales had not met its tree planting objectives and failed to address the need for them in the landscape to deliver key environmental, public and economic gains. The Climate Change Strategy of 2010 aspired to create 2000ha of new woodland every year; only 100ha have been planted in two of the last three years. Public opposition to conifers and onerous NRW regulations have been blamed.
MCC and the Welsh Government are holding a public exhibition of proposed plans to improve the A40/A466 Wye Bridge road junction at Monmouth. It is at the Shire Hall on Friday, 7 July (11am-7pm) and Saturday, 8 July (10am-5pm). The proposals are for a third southbound lane on the A40 and upgrading subway ramps.
Outline plans for a mixed use urban village, including 975 homes and a school, on the 52 ha Mamhilad Strategic Action Area site, which includes the former Parke-Davis and ICI factories, have been submitted to Torfaen Council by Johnsey Estates UK.
The Welsh Government has declined to accept the risk of guaranteeing part of the cost of the Circuit of Wales at Ebbw Vale. Instead they will build an automotive technology business park on the site. Gwent Wildlife Trust has welcomed the decision and wants to work with the business park developers to allow the unique mosaic of upland habitats to continue.
SEWBReC and Woodland Trust Wales have arranged a BioBlitz at Cefn Ila near Usk on Saturday, 8 July (11am – 11pm with BBQ, moth trap and bat walk) plus a Recording Field Day at Cefn Ila on Sunday, 9 July (9am – 3pm). These events are an excellent opportunity to discover the wildlife of this beautiful and varied site, acquired by the Woodland Trust in 2007. The Trust have since planted over 36,000 native trees on the site, adding young deciduous woodland to a habitat mosiac which includes species rich grassland, aquatic habitats and hedgerows plus the remnants of a formal garden including walled garden, mature arboretum and an ancient orchard.
The Sunday event is for recorders, though with all levels of knowledge. It is also the day of local Velathon road closures. Contact Elaine Wright with any questions or comments (phone: 029 2064 1110, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Julie Hughes, Development Officer with Heritage Lottery Fund, will be holding 1–to-1 surgeries in Chepstow on Monday, 24 July in Chepstow Library. If you have an idea for a heritage based project please contact Julie (Wales@hlf.org.uk) before 17 July to book your slot. For more information about grants that are available please go to the website – https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/where-we-fund.
The Welsh Government wants your views on its proposals to manage our natural resources more sustainably – https://consultations.gov.wales/consultations/taking-forward-wales-sustainable-management-natural-resources. Proposals include promotion of the circular economy, nature-based solutions, new markets and innovative mechanisms, and smarter regulation. Chapter headings include Forestry, Designated Landscapes, Access to Outdoors, Water, and Waste. Comments wanted by 13 September.
Campaigners for the Wye Valley cycle path (www.wyecycle.co.uk) have created a scheme proposal that will be published as a Vision document in the near future. It is a four phase Scheme:
1 Shared Use Path from the Severn Bridge to National Shipyard No 1 Development
2 A New Wye Link Foot Bridge and adjacent approaching paths
3 Sedbury to Tidenham Tunnel along the Disused Railway Line.
4 Tidenham Tunnel to The Old Station Tintern via new Truss Bridge.
They are looking for an experienced Funding Co-Ordinator to assist with Applications due to the cross border issues and different funding sources needed for this complex project. If you are interested and able to commit yourself long term please contact us by contacting email@example.com.
The group’s campaign petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/restoring-the-disused-railway-line-from-chepstow-to-tintern-for-a-shared-use-path has now been signed by 4,500.
MCC and GAVO are joining forces to host Monmouthshire’s Volunteer Achievement Award gala event at Caldicot in October. Award categories include ‘Environmental’ and nominations close on Friday, 28 July. If you know someone who volunteers and deserves a big ‘thank you’ please nominate them by logging on to gavowales.org.uk/recognition or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01633 241550.
Monmouthshire Meadows Open Day on Sunday, 18 June is a great opportunity to walk around some of the county’s most beautiful meadows and to get a feel for how the Monmouthshire landscape would have looked before intensive farming methods were adopted- details at http://www.monmouthshiremeadows.org.uk/?p=3027