Land Management

The problem

Considerable progress has been made over the last 30 years to clean up Welsh rivers from the damage caused by an industrial past. The river Taff, for example, often ran black and was virtually lifeless but now supports thriving fish populations, including salmon.

While chemical water pollution from industry has significantly decreased in recent years, the hoped-for widespread improvements to the ecology of our rivers from the introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive have not been delivered. Currently, only 40% of Wales waterbodies achieve the target of Good Ecological Status (GES). In 2021, the Senedd declared a nature crisis for Wales.

What are we doing?

1. Afonydd Cymru have been working hard to develop the trusts capability to deliver nutrient offsetting schemes, both for agriculture (on-farm wetlands) and housing (integrated constructed wetlands).

2. We are currently engaged with local authorities across Wales who are impacted by the failure of SAC rivers. We are seeking new funding routes to support delivery of solutions to mitigate phosphate across Wales.

3. We want to see Catchment Management Partnerships for all SAC rivers in Wales, with catchment-wide Nutrient Management Plans for each SAC. This would build upon the work already undertaken on the River Wye.

4. We would like to work with NRW and WG to develop a consistent nutrient management approach for Wales, development of a phosphate calculator and identify catchment-specific solutions to each SAC.

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