Projects aimed at kick-starting environmental renewal and championed by a task and finish group led by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Chairman, Sir David Henshaw have been given financial support from the Welsh Government.
NRW, Welsh Government and other funding bodies have been working hard to support environmental and voluntary organisations throughout the coronavirus pandemic. And as the UK marks the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown, further funding to the tune of £5.4million has been brought forward for local authorities and national parks to enable work to start on projects designed to restore and renew as part of Wales’ green recovery from Covid-19.
The Green Recovery Task and Finish group was established at the request of the Minster for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, in July 2020. The group quickly sounded a call to action for big ideas from across Wales that supported the nation’s ambitions for a circular economy and that sought to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
Proposals were received from a cross-section of society including community groups, social enterprises, charities, public bodies, private companies and environmental groups across Wales.
Those selected to be taken forward as part of this first round were able to demonstrate that change can happen at pace and could be a source of inspiration for other projects to emulate in the future. They include:
- Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – introduce Electric Vehicle Charging in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council. The funding will build on a major programme already underway.
- Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Supporting the sustainable development fund which has been repurposed to focus on community projects aimed at tackling the climate emergency, including installation of solar panels and projects to reduce carbon emissions.
- Menter Mon and Angelsey County Council. Creation of a new Green Spine to Anglesey. The project would support the development of a trafﬁc-free path from the summit of Parys Mountain to the centre of Llanddwyn Island.
- Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Wenffrwd pocket park and nature reserve. The aim of this project is to create a new Pocket Nature Park on approximately 10 acres of former landfill site outside Llangollen in the heart of the Dee Valley.
- Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB. Fund improvements to access trails and the development of new trails on Moel Findeg and Hen Ardd Local Nature Reserves to reduce the impact of increased visitors on the site.
- Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB. Funding for access improvements to Loggerheads Country Park aimed at reducing the impact of increased visitor numbers on the landscape and ecology of the area.
- Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB. Improving access to Graig Fawr for local communities and visitors by addressing issues related to car park surfaces and installing soakaways to manage surface water issues.
- Anglesey AONB. Funding to support improved access and facilities for visitors including this installation of webcams at popular sites which will provide real time information on visitor numbers. Funding will also be used to improve access to recycling bins and toilet facilities.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) has also received funding to distribute to local authorities for projects delivering green recovery priorities, including support for Local Nature Partnerships and community groups.
Chair of the task and finish group, Sir David Henshaw said:
“Over what has been the most challenging of years, nature has played a pivotal role in helping to boost the emotional, mental and physical health of the nation.
“The approach of the Green Recovery Partnership demonstrates what can be achieved when collaborative action is taken. There is a collective commitment to propel the green recovery across Wales, helping to lay the foundations for sustainable and fair economic growth and deliver real and swift on-the-ground dividends for people and nature alike.”
“It is good to see the work of the Local Authorities and other public bodies, such as the National Parks and AONBs taking forward the work of this agenda, and I look forward to seeing practical improvements on the ground over the coming months.”
Since the collection of ideas was presented to the Minister for consideration at the end of last year, the Task and Finish Group have continued to work together, forming a Green Recovery Delivery Partnership. By pooling its collective leadership, the group has provided direct support to those who have submitted proposals as part of this process, to enable them to drive forward implementation.
Read more about the work of the group and the reports submitted to the Minister here