These are just some of the words we associate with conservation. They suggest an ever-changing landscape, a need for re-evaluation, for action and for care. Around the world environments are threatened by the ever-growing consumer society that demands goods, resources and lifestyles that are far removed from nature. In actual fact urban consumer lifestyles rarely consider nature as important. Of course, there are city movements that are encouraging and creating green spaces, green corridors and policies which aim to bring the urban dweller into a heightened state of awareness with regards nature but there's still much more to keep an eye on, conserve and create. So, let's look at what's happening in the Wye system and elsewhere.
Starting at source we take a look at the Pumlumon project in the Cambrian Mountains. What better place to start exploring because whatever happens at source affects everything else along the length of the Wye. It's an interconnected web of life that not even the most hardened virtual addict is immune to. One day the good energy of the conservation works done will bloom and people will awaken to the nature in their midst.
Run by the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust the Pumlumon project is a pioneering project to revive the ecology and economy of the Welsh uplands that are intrinsic to 'millions of people' and the rivers that extend throughout Mid Wales/Powys and into Shropshire, Worcestershire, Birmingham, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire. Practically the entire Mid Wales and the West Midlands is dependent upon the health of what is the largest water catchment in Wales.
Although acting as an effective water supply the area around Pumlumon has its challenges. Known as the desert of wales farming, upland drainage, grazing and much more has, over the years, had a devastating effect on wildlife species alone as well as lowland flooding, which is exaggerated by compacted soils due to livestock. It's here, alongside restoring natural carbon storage areas, that the Pumlumon project aims to make a difference. Already they have blocked 11km (6.8 miles) of ditches, restoring 105ha of peat bog, and safeguarding 82,500 tonnes of carbon.
Work continues beyond carbon storage into restoring existing habitats and creating new ones that allow animals and plants to migrate via the corridors created. Recent pilot projects have restored over 250ha of peatlands and acid grassland, created over 2km (1.2 miles) of hedgerow, and established 1ha of upland woodland. The trust aims to continue the process across the rest of the project area. For more details on this exciting project see the link above.
NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE
Elan Valley Trust - Good hosts and an amazing landscape.
Herefordshire Nature Trust - Projects amid the Lugg and other water courses
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust - Projects in and around the Cambrian Mountains
Wye Usk Foundation - River conservation throughout the catchment
Monnow Rivers Association - Conservation organisation in the Monnow Valley.
Cambrian Mountains Society - All things in and around the majestic range.
Cambrian Mountains Wild Wood - Re-wilding the Cambrian Mountains
Rewilding Britain - Conservation organisation aimed at rewilding G.B
Overlooking The Wye - Landscape partnership informing us of historical context