The Gwent Levels – deserving of the status of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Having saved the Gwent Levels from the threat of the M4 Relief Road, our challenge now is to bring in further protection for this extraordinary landscape. Originally reclaimed by the Romans, the Levels have for nearly two thousand years been a perfect example of sustainable development. The network of reens – or drainage ditches - keeps the land irrigated in dry times and flood-free in rainy times. Large areas of the Levels are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, primarily for the rich aquatic life in the reens. But they’re also home to the rare shrill carder bee, to bitterns and cranes, as well as a wealth of plant life. Our campaign will focus on obtaining AONB status for the Levels – something that we will be doing in conjunction with other campaign groups and NGOs.
M4 Relief Road Campaign – success!
The threat of a motorway carving up the Gwent Levels hung over Wales for more than thirty years. Gwent Greens campaigned against this motorway on the grounds that
1) it wouldn’t solve congestion (new motorways encourage more traffic)
2) it was in direct contravention of the Welsh Government’s own carbon targets and
3) it would destroy an area of itnernationally-important biodiversity which has already been eaten away by thoughtless development.
And we won! Despite the Public Inquiry finding in favour of the road the First Minister had clearly been listening to the arguments put forward by the Green Party and other campaigning groups - as well as his own Future Generations Commissioner – and he concluded that this ill-conceived scheme had no place in 21st Century Wales. Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. So now we can campaign positively for a modern, integrated transport system that works for everyone.