The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP, visited a farm in North Wales recently to see the results of a European-funded conservation project.
Mr Jones was shown around the farm at Cefn Garlleg, near Conwy, where work has been carried out as part of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s (BASC) Green Shoots conservation project. The scheme is supported in North Wales by the Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group Cymru and a number of local conservation organisations.
The 290 acre farm is run by Dewi Davies, one of BASC’s 130,000 members. Mr Davies has increased the number and quality of hedgerows and woodlands on the farm so they connect with ancient woodland on adjoining land. This has encouraged additional species of birds, animals, plants and flowers to flourish and the links between the farm and the woodland has made it easier for birds and animals to move between them.
European funding distributed by Conwy Council was used to fund much of the work at the site.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: "This is one example of how BASC is able to target the resources of partner organisations on land used for shooting to achieve goals for biodiversity conservation and shooting at the same time."
David Jones MP said: "The Green Shoots project is contributing to vital conservation work in North Wales. My visit provided me with first hand experience of how this is improving biodiversity by creating new and restoring existing habitats in order to manage sustainably land and wildlife populations. BASC and its partners have made excellent progress with their major initiative to save water voles in parts of North Wales and through partnership working, have encouraged local tourism and growth both in the region and across Wales.
"I want to see more projects like this playing a role in conserving Welsh landscapes as well as encouraging sustainable growth in rural communities. I have recently completed a consultation project examining the rural economy and the issues faced by those living and working in isolated communities in Wales. The importance of small and medium enterprises and social enterprises in reviving these communities cannot be underestimated. Projects like Green Shoots provide a much needed boost to the local economy and I wish them continued success in the work that they do."
Pictured (left to right) are Dewi Davies, David Jones MP and Ian Danby.