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24.09.2010 / Project - News

Press release on the project workshop in Wales

Within the frame of the SURF Nature Project a workshop was held in Wales on 15 Sep 2010. Here you can find a press release on the field trip and local projects in north Wales.

Nearly 30 visitors from 10 European countries visit north Wales this week to see some of
our most pioneering projects in terms of sustainable land management.
One of the highlights of their trip will be a visit to Anglesey to gain an insight into Europe’s largest wetland conservation project. By 2013, the aim is to bring 751 hectares of wetlands back into peak condition.
The first focus for conservation care is the land around Cors Erddreiniog and Cors Goch National Nature Reserves on Anglesey. This week, a specially designed wetland harvester is starting to clear years of unwanted growth so that rare habitats and plants benefit from sunlight and lime-rich water to thrive once again. The work will bring great benefits to farming, wildlife and the local community.
The importance of managing peatlands can’t be over-stated. In peak condition, peatlands lock in massive amounts of carbon, which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
The Anglesey fens are a special kind of wetland, which depend on peaty soils and a delicate water balance created by the limestone springs that flow into the peat. With good management, the fens will once again harbour a wealth of rare plants and wildlife. Its peat will not only help store carbon; it will help store and purify water, before releasing it at a manageable rate to provide drinking water in Dwr Cymru’s Llyn Cefni reservoir.
Justin Hanson, LIFE Project Manager for the Countryside Council for Wales said: “Grazing
stopped on this land around 25 years ago. Now, with two local drivers trained to drive the new
machine and the help of local contractors, we are clearing years of unwanted growth. After that, local farmers will be able to bring in grazing stock suited to this type of land – traditional, native animals like Welsh Blacks, Herefords or Welsh mountain ponies.
“Local farmers are coming over this week as well to see if they can make use of the cleared
vegetation – it could be used for animal bedding, soil improver, a compost facility or even
generating electricity.
“This project is of international significance. By 2013, the end of the £3.5 million LIFE funded
project, the wetlands of Pen Llyn and Anglesey will be fantastic places for people to visit to enjoy their special atmosphere, surrounded by nature. And they will be right back where they belong, in the centre of the local community and economy.”
If you are interested in the mown vegetation from clearing the Anglesey and Pen Llyn wetlands; in grazing any of the sites; or interested in any scraped away peaty soil. Contact Justin Hanson or Dyfed Jones on 01248 672 563.
The wetlands restoration project for Anglesey and Pen Llyn reflects the aims of the Welsh
Assembly Government’s new framework for managing the Welsh environment, countryside and seas, ‘A Living Wales’, launched earlier this week. The framework sets out a much more integrated approach to managing the natural environment that is focussed on improving the health of ecosystems as a whole.
The European visitors are from Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Romania, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. They represent the SURF-Nature Project, which looks at how European Regional Development Fund money is spent on nature projects in EU countries. For more information, go to www.surfnature.eu.

Find the press release here: