Saving Welsh Wildflowers
Plans for one of the biggest conservation efforts to save Welsh wildflower meadows have been announced.
The Magnificient Meadows Cymry project is led by Plantlife, a British charity that works to save threatened plants and aims to connect communities and charities across Wales to restore over 500 hectares of wildflower meadows and grassland.
According to the charity, who own 4,500 acres of nature reserve across the UK, Wales has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since the1930s. The project will raise awareness of the plight of meadows and equip communities and landowners with the knowledge and relevant skills to reverse losses.
Head of Conservation for Plantlife Cymru; Colin Chessman says: 'Wales remaining wildflower meadows and species-rich grassland now cover just 1 percent of the land, a minute fraction of the land they once did. Some of Wales most endangered wildlife species rely on grasslands and meadows, yet meadows don’t get the kind of protection or status that woodlands and wetlands do. As a result, they are vanishing fast.
'We are thrilled that Magnificent Meadows Cymru, that has been funded by The Welsh Assembly Government, The National Trust and Plantlife has been given the go ahead to make the conservation and management of these priceless habitats a top priority'.
Strict rules will be introduced on the import of oak trees into England.
The measure has been introduce in order to protect native trees from the tree disease Oak Processionary Moth (OPM).
Only certain trees will be allowed to be brought into the country, including:
Those from OPM free countries Those from designated pest free areas including Protected Zones (PZ) - an area of the European Union declared free of OPM Those that have been grown under complete physical protection for their lifetime.
Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner said: "Biosecurity is absolutely key to everything we do and we must to do more to stop pests and diseases crossing continents and borders. That is why as a country we have more protected zones than anywhere else in the EU.
"It is essential that we further strengthen our import controls on oak trees. These new measures will ensure robust protections for our oak trees from pests such as the Oak Processionary Moth."
OPM is already present in London and Gardiner vowed to stop it's spreading outside of the capital.