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£3.4m rewilding project forced to ‘make changes’ following local concern

While the charity did not say what the changes would be, it followed the withdrawal of one of its partners on the grounds it was ‘disturbed by the change in attitude’ of local farmers.

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Signs opposing the plans have been put up in the local community.
Signs opposing the plans have been put up in the local community.
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Rewilding project forced to ‘make changes’ to its £3.4m project after local concerns

Rewilding Britain has been forced to make changes to its £3.4 million Summit to Sea project in response to heightened concern from the local community.

 

While the charity did not say what the changes would be, it followed the withdrawal of one of its partners on the grounds it was ‘disturbed by the change in attitude’ of local farmers.

 

Machynlleth-based ecodyfi withdrew its support for the Summit to Sea project just weeks after more than 160 Welsh farmers met to further oppose the plans, which they said had failed to disseminate information among the community.

 

The major rewilding project was set to spread across 10,000-hectares of Welsh countryside.


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Ecodyfi manager Andy Rowland told the national press: “We have increasingly been disturbed by the change of attitude to the project in the farming-connected community on which we largely depend.

 

“The project reflects the partners’ focus on the environment, and pays much less attention to the cultural, linguistic, social and economic aspects of sustainable development, which are fundamental to the whole community.”

 

Withdrawing support

Powys councillor for Glantwymyn, Elwyn Vaughan, is also reported to have said that the project had ‘totally ignored the views of local people’.

 

Farmers Guardian understands locals have been protesting against the project with ‘Say NO to rewilding’ field signs and ‘Conservation yes, rewilding no’ car bumper stickers.

 

Emyr Davies, who is part of the farmer group to oppose the plans, said: “We are happy that local partners are realising the implications of the project on the whole surrounding community and are withdrawing their support from this project.

“Further to the open meeting that was held at Tal-y-Bont in July, local residents have seen through the project and personally understand what Summit to Sea is all about.

 

“Additionally to this, the word has ‘gone out’ since and local partners have issued their own concerns in regard to the future of the communities that would be impacted by the project.”

 

Rewilding Britain said it respected ecodyfi’s decision to withdraw.

 

A spokesperson added: “[The changes] will take a while to work out, because there are many different organisations in the partnership and there is a lot of work to do.”

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