The Gwent Levels Futurescape is renowned for the specialist wildlife it supports – a rich patchwork of different habitats and landscapes sweeping the Severn Estuary coastline from Cardiff past the Second Severn Crossing and beyond.
This Futurescape covers the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve, Magor Marsh Wildlife Trust reserve and several other key sites where organisations are working together to save wildlife for future generations. This is one of the largest ‘hand crafted’ landscapes in the UK, and is internationally recognised for archeological remains and the distinct field patterns first reclaimed from the sea in Roman times.
It covers approximately 57 square kilometres and is a mixture of coastal floodplains, drainage channels known locally as ‘reens’, saltmarshes and mudflats. It’s this mix of wetlands which allows so many species of insects, animals and birds to find homes here.
Wildlife knows no boundaries, which is why we are working together with partners, conservation groups, communities, local farmers and individuals across Wales as part of our Futurescapes project.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:
This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the fringes of the city, but is also a great place for people, boasting a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.
We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.
A new motorway could be built south of Newport across the nationally important Gwent Levels. Three new road options have been proposed, all of which have worrying implications for this fragile wetland landscape. The Welsh Government has selected what environmental organisations have agreed would be the most damaging of all – the "Black Route". The Welsh Government is now facing a legal challenge from Friends of the Earth Cymru over the way it has acted.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Gwent Levels. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
Saving special places
What will the new NPPF mean for places, people and nature?
On Tuesday the Government published a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. You can see our previous commentary on the draft version here , here and here . The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England...(read ...Posted 27/07/2018 by Steph
Save Lodge Hill: Thank you for your help, and next steps
Medway Council's latest consultation into their draft Local Plan, and in particular their plans to allocate large areas of land within and right next to Britain's best site for nightingales at Lodge Hill, is now closed (25 June 2018). Over...(read mo...Posted 26/06/2018 by Sara H
Fate of Coul Links now in the hands of Scottish Government URGENT call to action
Those of you following the campaign to Save Coul Links will know that we’re part of a group of conservation organisations fighting to stop proposals for a golf course on this triple protected wildlife site. Coul Links is one of the Scotland’s...(read...Posted 22/06/2018 by Andre Farrar
Updated - BTO confirm that Lodge Hill is the UK’s best site for breeding nightingales
Update: Posted 11.25am Monday 25 th June: We’ve updated our blog below to reflect our further analysis of BTO’s independent report since its release on Friday. It is useful to understand that where the BTO 's report refers to ‘Lodge...(read more)Posted 21/06/2018 by Sara H