Funding ensures Anglesey Fens survival for future generations
Initial funding of over £500,000 has been secured by the North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT) to improve the condition of the Anglesey Fens (Corsydd Môn in Welsh) and help ensure their future survival for wildlife and people.
Grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NHLF) and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, as well as Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, will help develop plans to protect our precious fens.
These include National Nature Reserves managed by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) at Cors Erddreiniog between Capel Coch and Brynteg, Cors Bodeilio near Talwrn; and the NWWT-managed Cors Goch NNR, near Llanbedrgoch, as well as surrounding fen habitats.
Fens – peat-accumulating alkaline wetlands – store vast amounts of carbon, act as natural carbon sinks and support a huge range of wildlife including rare species such as lesser butterfly orchid, fly orchid, medicinal leech and southern damsel fly. Protecting and enhancing these unique landscapes helps tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
This two-year development funding for the Anglesey Fens project has been awarded to a partnership led by North Wales Wildlife Trust which includes Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn and Menter Môn and is supported by the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) and NFU Cymru.
The development of this landscape-scale project will include creating wildlife corridors and habitats, tackling invasive species, reducing pollution and increasing awareness of and access to the fens to benefit local communities, with the aim of creating a landscape where wildlife and people thrive in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
The project will work closely with landholders and communities to build lasting change through active engagement, everyone thinking differently and collaborating, seeking benefits and opportunities for community well-being and delivering a win-win for agricultural efficiency and the environment.
Work will now take place to build evidence and community support to secure funding for the 5-year delivery phase.
Frances Cattanach, CEO of the North Wales Wildlife Trust, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured this funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Dŵr Cymru. We are very excited about the opportunities this project will open to help us save the Anglesey Fens for future generations, and look forward to working with local people to make this happen.
“Nature plays a central role in addressing local and global problems, especially biodiversity loss and climate change and this project will contribute enormously towards our ambition for 30% of North Wales’ land and sea to be connected and protected for nature’s recovery by 2030.”
Justin Hanson, NRW’s Team Leader for People and Places in North West Wales, said: “Securing the development funding for this project is fantastic news as it allows us to start partnership work to protect these special sites and provide benefits for the community.
“This project not only achieves environmental goals but also contributes to community resilience, employment opportunities and our wider work to create places where nature and people thrive together.
“We want to ensure people interact and benefit from these sites, which in the past would have been an important resource for local communities.
“It will improve the health and quality of the Anglesey Fens to benefit species, habitats and water quality, contributing to taking urgent action on the climate and nature emergencies by ensuring the Fens provide a long-term carbon store, improving the health of the local population and protecting nature.”
Alwyn Roberts, DCWW Project Manager for the Drinking Water Catchment Team, said: “Cors Erddreiniog falls within the Cefni Drinking Water Catchment. Engagement and delivery of this project in partnership with local land managers and farmers align with the core principles of our WaterSource approach to catchment management.
“The project offers a great opportunity for us to work with ENGO and other stakeholders in a joined-up and targeted approach to help improve the quality, consistency and resilience of future raw water sources.”
The project is currently recruiting a small team to deliver the 2-year development phase of the project, which will involve intensive community engagement. To apply visit the North Wales Wildlife Trust’s website.
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