Client: Torfaen County Borough Council
Cumulus Consultants, in partnership with TACP, was commissioned by Torfaen County Borough Council to produce a ten year, fully costed Natural Resource Management Plan for the South-East Wales Uplands. This is the first element of the Eastern Valleys Uplands Project funded by the Welsh Government’s Nature Fund.
During the ten month project, we collated and analysed a wide range of data, liaised with commoners and other stakeholders, and developed a range of proposals to enhance biodiversity, improve water and conserve the commons whilst ensuring commoning is a viable agricultural practice.
The report presents an assessment of the area’s natural resources and ecosystem services, provides a series of maps showing potential opportunities, and develops eight management proposals and a number of costed action plans.
Findings and recommendations
Key findings arising from the Gloucestershire Level 2 report included:
- The South-East Wales uplands covers 380 sq km including parts of five local authority areas and sixteen large commons.
- The area is rich in biodiversity and cultural and historic heritage.
- Key ecosystem services are food production, climate regulation, water regulation, recreation and provision of habitats for wildlife.
- The main farming issues are financial viability and ‘landscape crime’ such as illegal off-roading, boundary vandalism, fly tipping and arson.
Key recommendations include:
- Upland management proposals covering: retention of more water in the uplands; incentives for cattle grazing; heathland management and restoration; maintenance of commoning; use for renewable energy; landscape crime; recreation and tourism; and community engagement
- 23 action plans to achieve the management proposals above, such as restoring wetlands and enhancing recreation.
- A holistic, ten year, fully costed Natural Resources Management Plan for the uplands of South-East Wales.
- Use of an ecosystems approach to inform opportunity mapping and the development of management proposals.
- Strong engagement with commoners to ensure practical and economically viable options and plans.
- Clear benefits for the local economy and local communities.
The full report and a non-technical summary can be accessed here :