Vale’s Bio-diversity champion welcomes vital funding for Welsh wildlife

Barry And District News: WELSH WILDLIFE: Cllr Curtis holding rescued baby hedgehogs at the recent "State of Nature" debate WELSH WILDLIFE: Cllr Curtis holding rescued baby hedgehogs at the recent "State of Nature" debate

THE Vale of Glamorgan’s Bio-diversity champion, Councillor Rob Curtis, has welcomed the Labour led Welsh Government’s recent decision to support welsh wildlife by an extra £286 million.

The Welsh Government has announced that it will now transfer 15 per cent of EU Common Agricultural Payment (CAP) money from general farming income support to schemes that support wildlife and also a whole range of public benefit such as flood risk management and water quality.

This is in stark contrast with the Tory/Lib Dem Westminster Government’s decision to allow just 12 per cent of the CAP funding to support wildlife friendly farming.

Cllr Rob Curtis said: “This is excellent news for the wildlife in both the Vale of Glamorgan and the rest of Wales. It also shows the importance of devolution in protecting us from the policies of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition at Westminster.

"This announcement means more money will be targeted at reversing the losses of our Welsh wildlife and restoring habitats such as woodlands and peat bogs that can also reduce the risk of flooding and naturally clean our water.

"Farm environment schemes don’t just ensure that wildlife thrives on farmland, it also ensures pollinators such as bees will flourish, which in turn underpins the success of agriculture in this country.

"Without this funding the once common sight of hedgehogs in gardens could become a thing of the past, with the spiny species having suffered a dramatic decline in recent years on a par with the loss of starlings, Kestrels and other British wildlife.

"It is a shocking fact that Hedgehog numbers declined by over a third between 2003 and 2012. Sadly such a precipitous drop means the hedgehog, celebrated in culture from Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggy-Winkle to Philip Larkin's poetry, is becoming an increasingly rare sight in the UK's gardens, parks and hedgerow

"Sadly it is also clear that the Tory/Lib Dem coalition have chosen to ignore the clear warnings from the iconic “State of Nature” report published just a few months ago.”


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