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NRW to invest £2.6 million in innovative projects to improve the environment

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is set to invest £2.6 million in projects to improve the environment across Wales.

The successful projects will help some of our most threatened wildlife, improve habitats plus increase access to some of Wales’ most spectacular landscapes and will deliver real improvements for the Welsh environment, people and economy over the next two years.

The projects selected will help meet the challenges identified under the four themes of reducing the risk from environmental hazards such as flooding and pollution; improving habitat management, biodiversity and connectivity; improving access to the outdoors and using the natural environment to support the economy and develop skills. 

Rhian Jardine, NRW’s Chair of Strategic Funding Board said:

“Improving the natural environment, and the wildlife that lives there is incredibly important for us and for Wales, its wildlife and people’s quality of life.

“We have been delighted at the quality and innovation of applications in response to this funding opportunity that will help us to achieve that.

“Our commissioning approach, where we set out the challenges for specific areas of Wales generated interest across all sectors and we have several partners who receive funding for the first time including the National Farmers Union and Denbighshire Housing Department.”

Discussions between NRW and the successful bidders over the next few weeks will refine this year’s projects before contracts are signed over the summer.

Some of the successful bids include:

  • Roots and Water –  a project by Severn Rivers Trust with the Woodland Trust to raise awareness of the importance of tree planting for multiple benefits such improving air quality, reducing flood risk and creating habitats for wildlife in the upper Severn areas of Mid Wales. They will work with landowners, volunteers and community groups to plant native hedgerow trees and propagate the black poplar tree
  • Shared Spaces – a project run by Hay on Wye Town Council to create green corridors in and around the town as well as installing an electric car charging portal. These corridors will link important wildlife habitats so tackle the decline in biodiversity. The car charging portal will play its part in helping reduce carbon emissions. It will also improve the current 5 mile route of accessible footpaths close to the town, providing health benefits for local people as well as installing wooden sculptures and interpretation boards about the wildlife of the route
  • Voluntary Approach to Nutrient Management - Led by NFU, this project is exciting in its collaborative and innovative proposal to take forward the development of a voluntary farmer-led approach to nutrient management. The project aims to tackle agricultural pollution whilst improving water quality and supporting local fish populations
  • Nature for Health – a joint venture by Denbighshire Countryside Services and the Denbighshire CC Housing Dept, this project will promote the well-being benefits associated with being outside in the natural environment. Based in areas of social housing and community centres the scheme will use environmental social prescribing and GP referrals to encourage communities to access and enjoy their local green spaces
  • Gower Hedgerow HubA report in 2016 showed that over 800km of hedgerow on the Gower was in poor condition. This project aims to reverse that trend by engaging and training landowners and volunteers to manage and restore lengths of hedgerow within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its aim is to create an intact, continuous hedgerow which will act as a wildlife corridor across south west Gower 

Rhian Jardine added:

“Working with other organisations is crucial. We know that we cannot achieve our ambitions for the Welsh environment alone.

“We need to make the most of our resources and we must find new, innovative ways to deliver the best outcomes for the environment, for wildlife and for people.”

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