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Welsh Government must act to tackle Invasive Non-Native Species – William Powell AM

April 2, 2014 3:47 PM

ChamberWilliam Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environment and Rural Affairs, has called on the Welsh Labour Government to do more to prevent the further spread of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) across Wales.

Following a debate on an Environment & Sustainability Committee report into INNS, Committee member William Powell AM said:

"Climate change is making the threat of invasive non-native species all the more acute.

"While some progress has been made by engaging community groups on specific projects such as removing Himalayan Balsam from rivers in North Wales, there is still a great deal of work to be done across Wales.

"Sadly much of this work is being hindered by the Welsh Labour Government's policies towards the Welsh countryside and farmers, especially in our Upland regions.

"The drastic lowering of Uplands support in Pillar 1 of the CAP is feared to result in abandonment. This would open the door to invasive species such as Rhododendron, which was previously the case in Snowdonia, and would greatly damage our rural ecosystems.

"This is why it is essential that the Minister heeds my call for a dedicated Uplands ANC scheme as part of the next RDP.

"Further to this rural Wales is still facing the threat of extended open access to some of our most delicate areas and habitats.

"The Welsh Labour Government needs to realise that allowing people free rein to cross any farmland as they please is dangerous, and potentially damaging to crops and livestock. It is also likely to lead to the further spread of invasive species and add to the problems we are already facing."