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Eco group withdraws from 're-wilding' project

By Elgan Hearn | Mid Wales | News | Published:

AN eco-organisation has pulled out of a £3.4 million scheme that is supposed to restore the countryside to its natural state.

Machynlleth based Ecodyfi have decided to withdraw their support for Rewilding Britain’s controversial Summit 2 the Sea project.

Summit to Sea which has been dubbed by opponents as “cultural imperialism” is an initiative that aims to restore flourishing ecosystems and a resilient local economy.

They plan to transform a large swathe of Wales from the Pumlumon massif down through wooded valleys to the Dyfi Estuary and out into Cardigan Bay.

Ecodyfi Manager, Andy Rowland, said: “The Board of Ecodyfi has decided to withdraw from the project.

“We have increasingly been disturbed by the change of attitude to the project in the farming-connected community on which we largely depend.

“The project reflects the partners’ focus on the environment, and pays much less attention to the cultural/linguistic/social and economic aspects of sustainable development, which are fundamental to the whole community.

“We feel that in present circumstances Ecodyfi can best help the creation of a more resilient and sustainable future by being outside the project rather than by staying within it.”

Powys County Councillor for Glantwymyn, Elwyn Vaughan (Plaid Cymru), said: “I welcome this very much as the project has totally ignored the views of local people and as Ecodyfi mention pays much less attention to the cultural/linguistic/social and economic aspects of sustainable development, which are fundamental to the whole community.”

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“Ignoring these vital aspects of sustainability is key and highlights the fundamental failure of the rewilding project to appreciate the nature of these communities and its residents.”

Summit To Sea project director Melanie Newtown, said: “Involvement in Summit to Sea is completely voluntary.

“Only those who want to are going to take part in the project.

“But I’d like to help people consider how, by working together, we can enable more self-sufficiency and choice for the future.”

She added that she hopes the project would enable communities to grow stronger, stimulating public transport links, strong education provision and economic reasons for people to stay in the area.

Summit to Sea hopes that in five years time enough land holdings will choose to get involved to make a total area of at least 10,000 hectares of land and 28,400 hectares of sea.

Elgan Hearn

By Elgan Hearn
@ElganPowysLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Powys.

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