Latest News from Wales

NRW proposes changes to General Licences in Wales

Following NRW’s consultation at the end of last year, we have been made aware of proposed changes to the General Licences in Wales. The GWCT is extremely disappointed with the proposed changes, which could be considered a worst-case scenario given the questions posed within the previous consultation. 
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“Government and policymakers should be listening to farmers” says Gareth Wyn Jones in St. David’s Day address

A prominent Welsh farmer is laying down the gauntlet to Mark Drakeford and the rest of Welsh government if they are to secure a brighter future for the nation.
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Action plan launched to save the curlews in Wales

A multi-partner supported recovery plan to reverse the decline of curlew from Welsh landscapes is being launched on Monday, 22 November.
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Job opportunity: Part-Time Project Support Contractor 

Working as part of the Cymru/Wales team, the individual will be working on the ‘Cynnal Coetir’ Elwy Valley Sustainable Management Scheme, Welsh Government funded project.
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Our letter to Welsh Government on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

GWCT Wales are disappointed with Welsh Government’s announcement that the whole of Wales will be made into a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.  We were hoping that the Welsh Government would come back with a more effective and tailored solution to the agri pollution problems we face in Wales.

Joint fisheries conservation NGO position statement on Eurasian beaver re-introduction into England and Wales

Freshwater migratory fish are among the most threatened animals on the planet. Globally they have declined by 76% between 1970 and 2016 a higher rate of decline than marine or terrestrial migratory species.

Freezing conditions see GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count extended

Heavy snow and freezing conditions have hampered land managers’ efforts to complete the annual GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count across much of the UK. The GWCT has taken the decision to extend the wildlife survey to enable people to count safely. The event was due to run from 5-14 February, but people can now carry out the count until Sunday 21 February.

GWCT position statement on NVZ Regulation introduction in Wales 

GWCT Wales are disappointed with Welsh Government’s announcement that the whole of Wales will be made into a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.  Sue Evans said “We were hoping that Welsh Government would come back with a more imaginative tailored solution to the agri pollution problems we face in Wales"

Members help GWCT respond to Welsh General Licence consultation

This week we submitted our response to the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) call for evidence on the future of regulating the shooting and trapping of wild birds. We are hugely grateful to the 307 people who responded and enabled us to provide your perspective and experience in controlling species under licence.

Update: Bird Flu in Wales

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales has confirmed an outbreak of H5N8 Bird Flu (pathogenicity to be confirmed) on a gamebird establishment near Amlwch, Anglesey.

Time to get counting farmland birds in Wales

The GWCT’s Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) is pleased to announce two events in Wales to help record what farmland birds are present at this time of year before the official count from February 5-14.

Call for evidence to inform the review of NRW’s approach to regulating the shooting and trapping of wild birds in Wales

Thank you all that completed the GWCT General Licence consultation online.  We had a great response in a short time over Christmas and we very much appreciate the time everyone took to complete it. 

Welsh General Licences deemed lawful, as High Court rules against Wild Justice

The men and women working hard to protect and conserve wild birds were dealt a boost today (18 January) as the High Court has ruled that Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) General Licences are lawful. This came after a legal challenge by Wild Justice. The campaigning body, led by Mark Avery, Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay, argued that NRW ‘was not doing its job properly’.

GWCT Wales Director to present Welsh game shooting survey results at online event

GWCT Wales Director Sue Evans will be sharing the key findings from a new report into what game shooting means for Welsh people and the countryside at an online event taking place on Thursday 21 January.

Rural organisations are reminding the shooting community of the importance of following the law and government guidance around Covid resitrctions in Wales. Following today’s further announcement by First Minister Mark Drakeford, restrictions are expected to remain in place until the next review on 29th January.

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Feeding stations on farms to boost bird numbers project

“Over-winter supplementary feeding is one of a number of methods that can be easily implemented on farm and proven to successfully boost farmland bird winter survival,” according to Matt Goodall, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Wales advisor. Funded by Natural Resources Wales Shared Outcome Request in North East Wales - one of seven Area Statements in Wales – this project aims to raise awareness of methods that can be easily implemented on farms to halt and reverse farmland bird declines.

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New PhD research completed: Understanding the social impact of participation in driven game shooting in the UK

New research from the University of Northampton has provided a much clearer, evidence based picture of the social impact of participation in driven game shooting (DGS) in the UK.  Dr Tracey Latham-Green, who had never previously been involved in any form of game shooting, field sports or activities opposed to these pastimes, completed the PhD study between 2017 and 2020. 

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Getting ready for environmental farm assessments

With a different Welsh farming policy on its way as the Basic Payments Scheme and Glastir are phased out, it's a good time to start assessing your farm to see what potential it can offer to attract future environmental payments once they have been decided, says GWCT Wales.

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New appointment Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Wales

Lee Oliver joins the growing GWCT Wales team as project manager. He immediately starts with the Elwy Valley Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS) project - a landscape scale initiative involving 70 landowners and managers - covering an area of 23,500 hectares in Denbighshire and part of Conwy.

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Area statements announced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

All are seen as a collaborative response to what is known as the Natural Resources Policy, published by the Welsh Government in 2017, which sets out the key challenges and opportunities for the sustainable management of Wales’ natural resources into the future.

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Natural Resources Wales licensing update for stoats

In accordance with the new AIHTS legislation which came into effect on Wednesday 1st April, NRW have published two general licences for stoats; to protect livestock and to conserve wild birds.

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Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) gets the thumbs up by Welsh farmers

With over 73 different farms throughout Wales participating in the citizen science initiative, spotting more than 90 different bird species last month, Sue Evans director of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Wales is keen to keep the momentum going.

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Productive farms can reverse biodiversity decline through overwinter feeding

Don’t stop feeding your farmland birds now the shooting season has ended, was the unequivocal message by Sue Evans, GWCT Wales director, talking at at Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, rural economy conference in Llandrindod last month.

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Grazing animals plays a pivotal role in conservation

John & Sarah Yeomans, who farm at Llwyn y Brain, Adfa near Newtown are firm believers that productive livestock farming and conservation have always gone hand in hand.
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"More birdlife than ever" at Welsh Big Farmland Bird Count launch

More birdlife than ever, is how Hedd Pugh describes bird numbers on his beef and sheep farm in the Cwm Cywarch valley of south Snowdonia in Dinas Mawddwy, near Machynlleth last Friday at the Big Farmland Bird Count launch.
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No shortage of bird life at the first NFU sponsored GWCT Wales Big Farmland Bird Count

Whooper Swan, Little Egret, Stockdove, Siskin, Redpoll, Bullfinch, Buzzard and Red Kite were amongst a list of birds that were seen at Cruglas Farm, which hosted the first NFU sponsored GWCT Wales Big Farmland Bird Count.
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Livestock is at the heart of producing flourishing bird numbers

Brian Bowen is the Farmers' Union of Wales Vice President for mid-Wales. He has a 230 suckler breeding herd and over 1200 sheep which grazes the three commons that surround his farm in Blaenau Gwent, South East Wales.
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Help support Welsh farmers by getting involved in this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count

There are several Big Farmland Bird Count ID workshops taking place across Wales which aim to get farmers and other wildlife enthusiasts ready and up to speed with bird identification before the official 10-day count period from 7-16 February.
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Farmland bird declines can be reversed in three years says GWCT Wales

GWCT’s three-legged stool approach - habitat management, predator control and supplementary feeding – are the key ingredients needed to reverse the decline in farmland birds in just three years, according to GWCT Wales director Sue Evans.
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More trusting approach needed for future farming schemes

GWCT Wales says the future design of Welsh farming schemes need to be all-inclusive with an appropriate light touch inspection approach.
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Celebrities in focus at GWCT dinner

Two sporting heroes and an award-winning chef are attending a dinner to raise vital funds for the GWCT. Taking part in a Q&A with guests at Porth Eirias restaurant in Colwyn Bay on Monday 11 November are Sir Gareth Edwards CBE, Lynn Davies CBE and Bryn Williams.
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Time to listen to the science, says GWCT Wales following today’s State of Nature report

Today’s State of Nature 2019 report is a damning reflection of how our biodiversity in Wales continues to decline. With 17% of species in Wales threatened with extinction the report states loss of habitat as a root cause and blames farming and climate change.
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New General Licences detrimental to Welsh wildlife as GWCT brands NRW’s review process “not fit for purpose”

NATURAL Resources Wales has announced new General Licences in Wales will be introduced on October 7th – but GWCT cannot support them.
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Proposed change to General Licence could have devastating effect on wild birds

MAJOR rural organisations have joined forces to warn Natural Resources Wales (NRW) of the catastrophic consequences that a proposed change to the General Licence could have on wild birds.
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Firefighters give informative talk in wake of 40-day blaze

FIREFIGHTERS from South Wales Fire Service spoke at a fire awareness day, organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), at Ruabon Mountain on 1 August.
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Biodiversity benefits pointed out during shoot walk

THE biodiversity benefits of a shoot in Monmouthshire were pointed out during a walk by an advisor from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Wales.
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There’s still time to recover biodiversity in Wales

PROVIDING habitat, food and protection – known as the three-legged stool approach – could help our ground-nesting birds thrive in Wales, according to leading research organisation the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).
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Increasing songbird population is achievable, says GWCT

ECOLOGICAL aspirations can be extremely challenging for dairy farmers but increasing the songbird population alongside profitable farming is achievable, according to the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Wales.
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Curlew arrive on Powys Moorlands Partnership (PMP) project

Curlew have arrived on a Welsh moor that is conserved by the Powys Moorlands Partnership (PMP) project.
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Plea to support two iconic species in Wales

GWCT Wales has spoken out over the continual declines in water quality and depleted fish stocks across Wales, which is now at a record low.
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GWCT Wales speak out over decline of fish stocks

GWCT Wales has spoken out over the continual declines in water quality and depleted fish stocks across Wales, which is now at a record low.
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High number of farmland birds spotted on Welsh farm

Farmer and conservationist Terry Mills hosted a bird count at his farm in Cruglas, near Swyddffynon in Ceredigion to mark the start of this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count.
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Still hope for wildlife if we act now – says GWCT advisor

With wildlife declining in Wales at an alarming rate, an advisor for GWCT says there is still hope.
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GWCT Wales advisor makes rallying cry for biodiversity support

GWCT Wales is calling for more people to support the good work being done in the Welsh countryside, which is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate.
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Poll results show environment minister made mistake in banning pheasant shooting

Welsh Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn has made the wrong decision to ban pheasant shooting, according to a new poll. Results from a survey carried out by fastmap show that out of 1,000 Welsh people asked whether they would like pheasant shooting to continue in Wales, 61% responded yes.
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GWCT Cymru hosting three winter events

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Cymru will be hosting three winter events in North Wales to promote the scientific research carried out over the past 80 years needed to underpin sustainable conservation practice in the future.
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GWCT Cymru response to Welsh Government’s ‘Brexit and our land’ consultation

SIMPLE, voluntary and highly-inclusive is how GWCT Cymru sees future direction for land management schemes in Wales post-Brexit.
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GWCT Wales urges members to write to Assembly Members over pheasant shooting ban

GWCT Wales has written a letter for its members to use when requesting a meeting with their Assembly Members regarding Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) decision to ban pheasant shooting on land owned by the Welsh Government Woodland Estate.
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NRW shooting review update

Natural Resources Wales' decision to ignore their own findings over shooting on its land is truly bizarre and is a blow to wildlife and those who work in rural Wales to protect it.
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GWCT Cymru hosts top shoot walk at Usk Castle

A well-attended shoot walk round the grounds of Usk Castle was held by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Cyrmu (GWCT) on 21 June.
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Conservationists launch rallying cry to save Welsh countryside

A rallying cry to halt shocking wildlife declines in the countryside was made to members of the Welsh Assembly from conservationists at GWCT Wales.
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GWCT Cymru welcomes scientific proposals by Natural Resources Wales on shooting

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Cymru welcomes the evidence-based proposals for shooting on land managed by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
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Welsh rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards converts prizes into cash for GWCT Cymru

With over 150 people present, Sir Gareth Edwards thrilled guests regaling colourful tales of playing for Wales and the British Lions during his rugby career which started 50 years ago.
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First GWCT Cymru newsletter now online

The very first Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Cymru newsletter has been published and is now available to download..
Download here >

Welsh rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards to headline conservation dinner in Llandudno

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Cymru has announced that former Welsh rugby union player Sir Gareth Edwards will be the guest speaker at its annual dinner and auction in North Wales this November.
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Integrating farming with conservation provides a healthy shoot in the process

Although we continually question the true meaning of sustainability, Hendre Llwyn Y Maen in Denbighshire is a farm that oozes an abundance of richness in nature.
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GWCT Wales launches at the Royal Welsh Show

We are proud to announce the launch of Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Wales, which aims to raise awareness of conservation and game management across the country.
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Welsh Wildlife Wins With Fantastic Four Raffle

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is delighted to announce the winner of the Welsh Fantastic Four Shoot Raffle, which has raised £15,000 for its vital scientific research.
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GWCT appoints a new director in Wales
Sue Evans has been appointed director at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Cymru (GWCT Cymru).
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