Who we are – CPRW in Wales
CPRW is a responsible national charity founded in 1928. Our concern with landscapes and their contexts gives us a unique place among voluntary bodies
in Wales. Membership is open to everyone who shares our passion for the Welsh countryside and our environment. CPRW volunteer members, supported by professional staff, help to influence and secure the implementation of public policy that meets our aims and help local communities shape the future of their areas.
The Monmouthshire Branch is run by a committee of 12 and currently has some 190 members. Our main ‘bread and butter’ work consists of the monitoring of planning applications to the Monmouthshire County Council and Brecon Beacons National Park. We try to influence the Planning Authorities to reject proposals which we consider to be environmentally or visually damaging and to encourage ‘greener’ and more aesthetically pleasing alternatives.
Another of our ongoing concerns is the decline of the traditional family farms which have shaped the Monmouthshire countryside as we know it. Farms are being swallowed up or sold off piecemeal to be turned into golf courses or intensive poultry units. In order to survive, farmers are being pushed into ever more intensive methods of production, which are usually bad news for wildlife and landscape. Linked to this is the decline in traditional grassland. Although our fields are probably greener than ever, many of them are now green deserts. The combination of nitrate fertilizers and a monoculture of Ryegrass has weeded out nearly all the wild flowers and the insects that feed on them. When did you last hear a grasshopper?
The Branch is keen to encourage local events and competitions which encourage a greater awareness of the countryside. For several years now we have been sponsoring the Llanthony Hedging Competition and running – in conjunction with the County Council – a Schools’ Painting and Poetry competition on a variety of environmental themes. We also showcase our work at the annual Usk Show.
If you are concerned about the Monmouthshire countryside, landscape and future of rural communities, why not join us. Please contact the membership secretary Caroline Holt Wilson.