CPRW or the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales has since 1928, been standing up for the people and places of rural Wales and protecting our unique landscapes. From defending wild spaces from destructive development to creating sustainable rural communities, we are passionate about creating a countryside which works for everyone..
CPRW is the only independent organisation standing up for rural Wales, our community-based members hold decision-makers to account and ensure that local people get their say. Every day we take action to ensure that the extraordinary beauty of our country is preserved for the next generation Wales is not an open air museum but a land of small towns and farming communities that need to thrive to survive it begs for good public transport and communications infrastructure and development of an appropriate scale and design
Not only is CPRW celebrating our 90th anniversary, this year, but also our return to the Royal Welsh Show, after an absence of 12 years!
A busy and successful four days culminated in the cutting of our ‘birthday’ cake by Jules Hudson, best known for his appearances on Countryfile and Escape to the Country, and our Operations Manager, Carys.
Speaking at the event, Jules said,
“They probably never thought, 90 years ago, that this day would come and that it would still be going; maybe they’d hoped it wouldn’t need to happen. Maybe they’d hoped that actually, enough conservation measures would be put in place, such that we wouldn’t have to fight for these things, but the truth is that we do, because the landscape itself doesn’t have a voice, but it does through CPRW, and similar organisations.”
Watch this space for our return to the Royal Welsh next year. Hope to see you there! Not forgetting the Spring and Winter Shows.
Also this year CPRW are developing our involvement with Young Farmers Cymru, Trinity St David’s University and the Council for British Archaeology (Wales) to involve more young people in our heritage and landscape
Tel: 01938 552 525
Website : cprw.org.uk
November 2018 Update
The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, is appalled that a Welsh Government minister has approved an application for seven wind turbines at Llandegley Rocks, a beauty spot near Llandrindod Wells in Powys.
The decision overturns the recommendation of an inspector at a public inquiry held in March.
The Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has rejected the report of the inspector, planner Hywel Wyn Jones. He concluded, after careful examination of all the evidence, that the turbines would significantly damage the landscape, including views of and from the ‘iconic … distinctive Llandegley Rocks’. They would also have a significantly damaging impact on the setting and views of important prehistoric and mediaeval remains(2). He considered that this damage could not be offset by any mitigating measures offered.
The Open Spaces Society(1) was backing the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, New Radnor and Penybont Community Councils, and numerous local objectors.
Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘We are dismayed that the Cabinet Secretary should overrule the carefully-considered recommendations of the inspector. He was decisive in rejecting the plan and robustly confirmed its damaging effect on this beautiful, intimate, landscape, its history and culture, and people’s enjoyment of the place. While accepting that the permission was for 25 years he considered that this “is a significant period in the lifetime of individuals who would be denied the opportunity properly to appreciate the assets”.’
The minister decided that the benefits of providing renewable energy outweighed the damage which would be caused.
Kate continues: ‘The objectors will be considering whether there are grounds for judicial review. Meanwhile, it is clear that due consideration has not been given to the fact that four of the turbines are to be built on land to which the public was granted in perpetuity a right of access “for air, exercise and recreation” in 1885 under the Llandegley Rhos and Hendy Bank enclosure awards(3). The award is displayed on tablets in two local churches. We question whether this land can legally be developed.
‘Moreover, the access track to the turbines would be sited on common land(4). The applicants would have to win consent from the Welsh ministers to deregister the common—and provide suitable land in exchange to which the public does not already enjoy access. We doubt there is any such land in the area that would be eligible. The applicants would also need consent for works on common land.
‘So they have a long way still to go, and the objectors will fight them every inch of the way. This landscape, its beauty and its history are too precious to destroy,’ Kate concludes.
(1) The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body. It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them, throughout England and Wales. www.oss.org.uk
(2) The historic remains include the Iron Age Nant Brook Enclosure, and the hillforts at Llandegley Rocks and Graig Camp, and the mediaeval Castell Crug Eryr motte and bailey castle.
(3) The relevant part of the inclosure award says: And I declare that I do reserve to the Public a privilege at all times of enjoying air exercise and recreation on all parts of the lands to be inclosed which shall be unplanted or uncultivated for arable purposes. And I direct that in the fences of the Allotments gates or stiles shall be placed at convenient intervals at or about the places shown upon the Map hereunto annexed for the purpose of securing access for the Public but in the exercise of the privilege hereby reserved no injury shall be done to the lands or to the herbage or to the fences or to the stock or game or to anything upon such lands. And I declare that in the event of a belt of trees being planted the Public shall not thereby be deprived of the privilege hereinbefore reserved but that access shall be provided by means of paths or openings through the belt of trees to the uncultivated or unplanted land
(4) Common is land subject to rights of common, to graze animals or collect wood for instance, or waste land of the manor not subject to rights. The public has a right to walk on all commons, and to ride on many.
Before any works can be constructed on the common land to facilitate the development, the applicant must obtain the consent of Welsh Ministers (via the Planning Inspectorate) under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, and under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006 for exchange of common land, in addition to any planning permission.
September 2018 Update
Poultry units in Wales – a view
Poultry units in Wales begs the question is the chicken about to cross the road to ruin?
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales’ (CPRW) Montgomeryshire branch is alarmed at the proliferation of huge, intensive poultry units (chicken sheds) across Powys. In a ten-year period, the number has grown almost six times with the county now being home to an estimated seven million chickens.
This may signal the availability of cheaper eggs and chicken meat but over production could well signal a crash in the chicken produce markets, already hinted by industry experts, leaving many farmers in a precarious financial situation.
However, apart from eggs and meat which are a staple of the British diet, there are some unwanted additional products created by these intense units. For one thing, chickens produce a lot of manure most of which is spread on farmland. This creates airborne ammonia and extra nitrogen in our soils, vegetation and water. Residents near these developments are constantly complaining about bad smells, vermin, polluted rivers and the industrialisation of precious landscapes. But despite all these complaints and disadvantages more chicken sheds are being approved and most of the polluted areas are unprotected. The situation is becoming very worrying as
outlined in the recent Plantlife report on Intensive poultry units and plant biodiversity in Wales and as evidenced by the increasing concerns of other official bodies.
There is much concern in a couple of communities at least where all residents are on private water supplies and chicken units are drawing huge quantities from the same aquifers. There were even properties that ran dry this summer. Although it was an unusually warm summer season these properties have never run dry in previous years, so fingers must point at the intensive poultry units. Concerns are also expressed when looking at electricity supplies and small rural roads taking extra heavy goods traffic that they were not designed for.
The CPRW Powys branches began monitoring planning applications for these units in 2015. Since then, they say 115 have been submitted, of which 88 got the go-ahead, 25 await decisions and only two were refused. Many new chicken sheds belong to hill farmers seeking to diversify. If they have fewer than 40,00O birds, they don’t need a permit and according to one study it seems smaller, free-range units, not the big, intensive ones, are responsible for spreading more ammonia.
Action is needed to protect people and wildlife from ammonia. lt is the only polluting gas that is on the increase and excess ammonia can turn Iichens, an indicator of clean air, into sickly algal slime – not a happy prospect.
Powys is praised for its spectacular, scenery, peace and quiet beloved by both residents and tourists, and wonderful clean air. This could be ravaged by short-term financial gains for some and possible long-term ruin for all parties concerned. CPRW Montgomeryshire are urging planners to look very closely at environmental impact when reviewing these plans rather than being swayed by short-terms gains and misleading future employment statistics – bankrupt businesses employ no-one.
- The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) was established in 1928 and is Wales’ foremost countryside charity. Through its work as an environmental watchdog it aims to secure the protection and improvement of the rural landscape, environment and the wellbeing of those living in the rural areas of Wales To find out moree from their website :- cprw.org.uk
Welsh Country would love to know your views send them to email@example.com