S&TCUK’s Forestry Campaign
Forestry is an important industry and can play a significant role in good catchment management by holding back water to prevent flooding and provide more even flows down rivers, but it needs to be operated sensitively so that it doesn’t impact fish and the water environment in other ways. S&TCUK has had to intervene twice recently to stop irresponsible forestry operations, which has special relevance to Wales.
Some recent S&TCUK action
Following a pre-action legal submission by S&TCUK, the Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) decided not to proceed with licensing a huge new non-native conifer plantation at the head of the Tywy Special Area of Conservation system in SW Wales. S&TCUK, in partnership with the Carmarthenshire Rivers Trust (CRT), wrote to FCW threatening action if the licence was granted. CRT had already spent £500,000 in combating acidification in the catchment, and it would have been a real kick in the teeth to the environment had this plantation gone ahead, as it would surely have contributed a massive amount of extra acidification in future years.
We responded to the recent consultation on the derogations granted by the Forestry Stewardship Council for the continued use of cypermethrin in UK forestry, and feel that we achieved some of our aims. Although the derogations still exist, it looks like our intervention has at least reduced the time allowed for continued use of cypermethrin by two years from the normal five-year period.
However, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has started using cypermethrin again, having said that just because the derogation had been extended didn’t mean that they would necessarily use it. Frankly, we’re not surprised it didn’t take them long to make up their minds – and makes us realize yet again that it is unwise to believe what Government or their agencies tell you during consultations
S&TCUK has written another legal letter to NRW requesting full details of the assessments they made prior to using cypermethrin in areas which could have impact rivers with SAC protection. We are awaiting their response…
We are not against responsible forestry, but you can help us stop irresponsible forestry activities jeopardising water habitats, especially in upland areas with salmonid spawning and juvenile streams where forestry tends to be planted.
Join S&TCUK today and add your pressure to ensuring that forestry is operated responsibly around river systems.