On 25th August, Wales MEP Derek Vaughan visited the RSPB’s Three Rivers Futurescape in Carmarthenshire, to learn more about the environmental, economic and social benefits of this groundbreaking step towards landscape scale conservation.
The RSPB’s Futurescapes programme is working together with a range of partners to create more space for nature. We are working to develop a vision for a wildlife-rich countryside in selected areas, and to put nature conservation at the heart of human responses to new pressures on the countryside.
Carmarthenshire’s natural environment is a fantastic local resource; it underpins the local economy, provides a natural health service for activity and fun, as well as being an inspirational place to live.
The Three Rivers, in the heart of Carmarthenshire, is where the rivers Tywi, Taf and Gwendraeth join and flow into Carmarthen Bay, and is home to internationally important numbers of wildfowl and wading birds, such as golden plovers and lapwings.
The Three Rivers Futurescape aims to create and maintain a vibrant landscape that local people can be proud of, and which supports sustainable farming and natural flood protection. To deliver this, RSPB Cymru is working with the Kidwelly Town Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales, the Girl Guides, businesses and local landowners.
South Wales Area Manager for RSPB Cymru, Cellan Michael, commented:
"The RSPB is delighted that the local authorities, landowners, the Girl Guides and residents have embraced this project. Carmarthenshire’s natural environment is a real draw for tourists, and its importance is recognised in its designation as part of the EU-wide Natura 2000 network"
During his visit, Derek signed a pledge in support of the protection the three rivers area are enjoying under the EU Habitats Directive, in recognition of the importance of this area for protected habitats and species, such as otters and river lampreys.
"I am delighted to have visited this Futurescape, where the RSPB is not just demonstrating the importance of the environment for the local economy, but actively investing in the environment and in local people."