The RSPB has defended its record on biodiversity on Lake Vyrnwy after a moorlands organisation accused the charity of mismanagement.
In a blog, the Campaign for the Protection of Moorland Communities (CPMC) said when the land had been run as a grouse moor, Lake Vyrnwy was ‘bustling with wildlife’, but the area had lost most of it since it was made Wales’ flagship reserve.
The group pointed to the charity’s own Lake Vyrnwy fundraising appeal video, which said there had been a ‘dramatic decline’ in wildlife over the past 30 years, as evidence for its claims.
The RSPB has been actively involved in managing the site for over 40 years.
“Just to be clear, what happened at Lake Vyrnwy was when it was run privately there was an abundance of black grouse, merlin and hen harriers, among other species,” read the CPMC blog.
“But then the RSPB took over management of the reserve, using millions of pounds of public money, and they managed to lose all the wildlife they were responsible for looking after.”
An RSPB spokesperson told Farmers Guardian Lake Vyrnwy is a ‘complex, landscape-scale estate with an array of stakeholders’ involved in its management.
The charity said it was working to improve the condition of the area by restoring thousands of hectares of blanket bog and upland heath, removing non-native conifers, reinstating active heather management, creating wildflower-rich hay meadows and restoring ffridd habitat.
This is not the first time the RSBP and CPMC have clashed.
Last month, the RSPB’s conservation director, Martin Harper, wrote a blog condemning an ‘aggressive and deeply personal online attack’ on one of his team members, which FG understands was a response to another article by the CPMC.