Sunday, 29 May 2011
Shocking UK Government report to propose reforesting farmland from Wrecsam to Rhyl to benefit people in Liverpool and Manchester
A report due to be published by the UK’s Environment Secretary Caroline Spellman on Thursday is expected to include recommendations to switch a fifth of Welsh farmland to woodland for the recreational benefit of English cities according to an article in the Sunday Times today.
The proposals and research for the UK governments ‘National Ecosystem Assessment’ (NEA) have been put forward by Ian Bateman, a professor of environmental economics at the University of East Anglia. Hundreds of economists and scientists have been involved in compiling the report intended to ‘quantify the benefits created by the natural word’. The report suggests that Welsh agriculture is so unprofitable, European subsidies should be switched to reward farmers for producing ‘higher value outputs’ such as recreation near cities.
Batemans report outlines which parts of Wales should be reforested and recommends that swathes of farmland around Cardiff and Swansea should switch. He also states that farmland from Wrecsam to Rhyl should be reforested to benefit people in Liverpool and Manchester.
Mr Bateman states: “Woodlands are worth most in areas that are close to cities because they give recreation and other benefits to so many people. Woodlands in north east Wales would have a huge recreational value for nearby English cities.”