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The Crisis With Our Rivers – at Hay Festival

The Crisis With Our Rivers – at Hay Festival

At the main festival (Thursday 25th May to Sunday 4th June 2023) there is plenty to go for, but the big day for the River Wye is Wednesday 31st May.

SOS: What’s the Rescue Plan for the Wye?

  • Christine Hugh-Jones and Dr. Alison Caffyn present the CPRW / CPRE Wye Catchment Intensive Poultry Unit Map;
  • Impact of Factory-farmed Chicken, legal battles for the Wye and what we can learn from the Cargill poultry judgement in Oklahoma;
  • Wild Woman of the Wye – Angela Jones;
  • Oliver Bullough on Bathing Status;
  • Radnorshire Wildlife Trust;
  • Poetry, and more.

This is a free event organised by CPRW partners, Friends of the Upper Wye, on Wednesday 31st May from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

It’s event number 211, in the Covered Area opposite the Food Hall. Just drop in; no need for tickets.

This is followed later that day by:

The Battle for Britain’s Rivers

Nicola Cutcher, an investigative journalist from Friends of the Upper Wye, interviews 3 experts:
Jyoti Bannerjee: co-founder of North Star Transition who launched the Wye-Usk Transition Lab;
Simon Evans: CEO of the Wye and Usk Foundation;
Tessa Wardley: communications and advocacy director at The Rivers Trust.

This is at 7.00pm on Wednesday 31st May, event number 224 on the Wales Stage. You will need a ticket for this event.

As well as these events, Friends of the Upper Wye will have an exhibition throughout the Hay Festival (25th May – 4th June), sharing information, data, maps, photography and art about the crisis on the River Wye. This will be at the Food Hall.

Take a look through the Hay Festival Event Program because there is lots more of interest: George Monbiot and Minette Batters, Isabella Tree of Knepp rewilding fame, and plenty of other talks and walks with countryside and environment themes.

Welsh food & farming – what does the future hold? Bwyd a ffermio Cymru – beth sydd gan y dyfodol?

Welsh food & farming – what does the future hold? Bwyd a ffermio Cymru – beth sydd gan y dyfodol?

We are very pleased to announce that we’ve got a new date for CPRW’s postponed Welsh Food and Farming discussion event, details above. (You may download a PDF poster of this event by clicking here or on the image above.)

Come and join the discussion. What does sustainability mean in action and what can consumers and policy-makers do to support farmers as we make the transition towards a more sustainable food production system? Panellists will include Welsh Government talking about the Sustainable Farming Scheme and Peter Fox on his new Food (Wales) Bill. Also Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust, and farmers and growers who will share the changes they are making – and the challenges they’re facing.

Do come along if you can. Please follow this link to Eventbrite for tickets – £5 in advance, £3 concessions on the door for farmers, food producers and under 30s, or £6/£4 on the door.

Mourning period

Mourning period

The members and Board of CPRW join the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday evening.

As a mark of respect, all events will be CANCELLED in the period of National Mourning which concludes two days after the Burial on the 19th September.

This unfortunately includes the Welsh Food and Farming event that was due to take place in Knighton next weekend, on the 17th September. CPRW would like to thank all those that purchased tickets and those who were due to speak at the event.

This event will be rescheduled as soon as practically possible. We thank you for your understanding.

If you had already purchased tickets a full refund should have already been made through Eventbrite, if this is not the case, please contact




Has farming and food production ever faced so much uncertainty? We hope you can join us on the 17th September for a day of conversation around some of the pressing questions facing Welsh farming. The day will take the form of a series of panel discussions in which farmers/growers, food businesses, campaigning groups, policy makers and the wider public come together to exchange views and share the challenges facing us all of rising fuel & feed costs, food security, water scarcity… See programme below.

Tickets are available on the Eventbrite link Welsh food & farming – where do we go from here? Tickets, Sat 17 Sep 2022 at 09:00 | Eventbrite.

Programme as follows:

9.30am Farming with nature – how can we make sustainability pay? (moderator: Jenny Rouquette, Shropshire Good Food Partnership) Panellists: farmers Marc Jones, Hywel Morgan and Ben Taylor-Davies; Tony Little (Landworkers’ Alliance); Mick Westrip (Rhos Market Garden/Rhos Organic)

11.15am Policy reform and practical challenges – what’s changing and what needs to change? (moderator: Gary Mitchell, Food Policy Alliance Cymru) Dave Ashford from Welsh Government will talk about their Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals and Tyler Walsh about the new Wales Food Bill, together with Patrick Holden (CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust), Dennis Matheson (Tenant Farmers Association Cymru) and Holly Tomlinson (policy co-ordinator, Landworkers’ Alliance)

12.30–1.15pm Lunch

1.15–2.15pm Old ways/new ways – practical solutions and initiatives in the transition to a more sustainable food & farming system (moderator: farmer Ben Taylor-Davies) Panellists: representative from Black Mountains College; Ed Dickson (farmer/Wild by Nature); Emma Douglas (farmer/Pasture for Life); Marisa Heath (Small Abattoirs Task & Finish Group); Sorcha Lewis (farmer/Nature Friendly Farming Network); Rob Penn from Stump Up for Trees

2.35–3.45pm The bigger picture – Wales and global responsibility (moderator: James Hitchcock, CEO Radnorshire Wildlife Trust) Panellists: Rhys Evans (sustainable lead, Nature Friendly Farming Network); Kevin Rahman-Daultrey (Size of Wales); representative from World Wildlife Fund Cymru

3.45pm–4pm Conclusion & final thoughts

Registration is from 9am–9.15am. Tea and coffee will be provided. Lunch can be purchased on-site. The event will end no later than 4.15pm




CPRW Brecon & Radnor invite you to join us at our event ‘Welsh food and farming – where do we go from here?’. Speakers will include: local farmers and growers – RegenBen, Rhos Organics and Wild by Nature – and representatives from the Soil Association, Our Food, the Abattoir Sector Group, Young Farmers, the Nature Friendly Farming Network and Stump up for Trees and others.

Our farmers and growers are crucial to a UK-wide vision of a sustainable food system that produces healthy affordable food whilst protecting our natural environment. Come along to explore what sustainability means in practice and how we can find new directions for our rural economy that benefit farmers, consumers and our environment.

How can farmers make sustainability pay – what do they feel are the challenges and what needs to change? And what will Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals mean for the sector? The day will take the form of a series of panel discussions in which farmers/growers, food businesses, campaigning groups, policy makers and the wider public come together to exchange views.

For tickets go to:



An INVITATION from ‘Friends of the Upper Wye’ and some INFORMATION:

River people. Join us this SUNDAY, JULY 10TH at NOON at HAY CASTLE to hear our ‘Declaration on the State of the River’ read aloud from the steps above the market square. Flow with us through the castle gates for an afternoon of music, poetry, song, exhibitions, workshops and speakers.

Activities for children provided by Busy Bees nursery and Wild Play rangers from the Wildlife Trust – plus spell writing.

Vegan and vegetarian food by Lotus May and Planet and Plate. MacMan will be there, Shepherds Ice Cream too! Epicure will offer an outside bar.

Visit our exhibition in the Clore Space to see our film on the citizen scientists monitoring the Llynfi. Admire the work of local artists who draw their inspiration from the Wye and the creatures it sustains.

Our line up:

12 noon – Declaration on the State of the River

12.20 – Welcome by Friends of the Upper Wye

12.30 – Climate Choir sing for the river

1pm – Regenerative farmer Ben Taylor-Davies on saving our soils

1.15pm – Brothers Gillespie – folk music for the soul

2pm – Helen Stace to talk on the crisis facing the Wye and possible solutions

2.15pm – Fordsons Band – mountain music flowing with the river

3pm – Simon Evans from the Wye and Usk Foundation on their plans to save the Wye

3.15pm – Poetry with Jean Atkin, Robert Minhinnick, James Roberts and Owen Sheers

4.15pm – Oliver Bullough on our hopes of getting bathing water status for sites along the Wye

4.30pm – Slapping skins drum workshop and Clara helping us find our voices and bring energy to the fight to protect the river.

5.20pm – Closing remarks from Friends of The Upper Wye

5.30pm – Pamela Wyn Shannon and band play us out in style



Our rivers are in crisis. If you are interested in finding out more and joining the discussion do come along to the meeting on Friday 8th July in Leominster – details below. Other events are taking place over the coming weekend and more information will be posted tomorrow.

Woodlands of Wales Seminar – Videos

Woodlands of Wales Seminar – Videos

Take a (virtual) walk in the Welsh woods, in the company of the experts who spoke at our recent Trees and Woodlands of Wales day in November 2019.

We’re introducing a new Videos area, in the Gallery section of the website. Our launch is now live, with an audio slideshow of Dr. George Peterken’s talk introducing the Woodlands of Wales. And we’ll be rolling out the rest of the talks on an approximately fortnightly basis, so keep checking the website and our Facebook page for the rest of the series – and be sure to share the videos with anyone who loves woodlands!

Brecon & Radnor Branch CPRW: August 2019 Newsletter

Brecon & Radnor Branch CPRW: August 2019 Newsletter

This month’s newsletter has a report from the AGM, updates on Hendy Windfarm and the Welsh Government’s National Development Framework, and a Date For Your Diaries. There is also an opportunity for you to have your say about the Welsh Planning System.

Our AGM was held on 27th July at the Tabernacle on Dolley Green. It was unusually well attended, and followed by an extremely enjoyable guided tour of Upper Dolley Farmhouse (recipient of our 2018 Louis Hurley Award) with tea and sandwiches graciously provided and hosted by John and Diana Trew. This remarkable ancient farmhouse was painstakingly restored, with ancient mullions and carved timber revealed when corrugated iron was removed.

This was followed on the 28th by an inspiring talk from Tom Davies at the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton. There was standing room only as he extolled the glories of our countryside and the kindness of its people that he came across in the course of an 1100 mile walk around our borders. This was followed by a short walk on the Offa’s Dyke.

(Further info on the Upper Dolley visit and Tom Davies’ talk here.)

This was the text of the chairman’s report at the AGM which will serve as an update for all our members:

“Another busy year for us. The proliferation of intensive livestock units continues to be front and central to our concerns over water and air quality. Last year’s petition to the Welsh Assembly Petitions Committee has appeared to get some traction at the Welsh Assembly and we have secured a place on the Town and Country Planning Intensive Agriculture Working Group which meets this autumn, but we are not seeing any improvement on the ground so far in Powys, where applications continue to be waved through with almost no exception. Our efforts may have contributed to announcements by Cargill-Avara that it will be concentrating growth elsewhere in future, but actions speak louder than words. We have been working with Shropshire and Herefordshire CPRE branches to extend our intensive poultry farm mapping over the border. Chris Bruce has worked steadfastly on these new interactive poultry farm maps (displayed at the Royal Welsh this week) and keep updated versions, along with everything else on our website, for which we are eternally grateful.

On the hard fought Hendy development, the Inspector’s long awaited and very thorough report was finally published in late October recommending refusal. We were nonplussed to discover that the Welsh Minister Lesley Griffiths had nevertheless overruled both the Inspector’s and Powys Planning Committee decisions and decided that she would allow the development to proceed. Which it did with reckless haste, before any of the onerous and detailed conditions precedent, confirmed by the minister herself, had been discharged, and in the face of determined local opposition on the ground. It turned out this is because a turbine had to be erected before January 31st this year in order for the development to qualify for the very last tranche of subsidised prices.

So we again rang the tocsin and were delighted to be able to raise over £40,000 to initiate a judicial review of this infamous decision. I will not go in to the complex ups and downs of the legal battle. At present we are awaiting a crucial ruling from the Court of Appeal in London. We would not have got this far without the unhesitating support of CPRW Central, who launched a nationwide appeal to help us. Meanwhile Christine, Margaret and Sarah have fought tirelessly to hold PCC to account over the discharge of conditions, while BRAG, Nigel and Azra have done the same on the ground. Local communities are incensed.

Powys Council is not helping public participation in planning decisions with its decision to stop publishing any third party representations from stakeholder organisations or the general public. This is an issue we need your help to tackle in the coming year.

On a lighter note we held another very popular symposium, this time on the Soil beneath our Feet at Talgarth Town Hall at the beginning of November, chaired by John Scullion from IBERs in Aberystwyth. The academic excellence was complemented with reports from two farmers with hands on experience of the matter, underlining the importance we attach to engagement with the farming community who maintain our beloved landscape. This year’s symposium will be held on the 10th November in collaboration with the Woodland Trust.

Last year awards were made and a well-attended reception was held in the stunning glass-blowing studio at Hares Green. The Louis Hurley Prize was awarded to Upper Dolley (2018) and Hares Green Farm (2017), and our annual Rural Wales Award was made posthumously to Alan Loveridge for his pioneering work on intensive poultry farming in Powys and accepted by his widow Janice.

Sadly this is the last AGM where Ann Payne our steadfast membership secretary and treasurer will attend in that capacity and we offer her our heartfelt thanks. I am taking on the Treasurer role and Margaret is taking on Membership temporarily we are looking for a replacement. I am glad to report that our membership has increased by over 10 % in the year, but we must continue to try to engage younger generations in our struggle. CPRW central is appointing a part time communications officer to try to help achieve this. Thanks to all our supporters, our committee and our membership for keeping our valiant little team of volunteers fighting for the good of our countryside.”

1. Hendy Wind Farm
The battle for Hendy continues apace as the developer attempts to pass off as ‘non-material’ alterations to the conditions implicit in the Minister’s consent. For example, they want to change the condition saying a turbine, which does not produce electricity for 6 months, must be removed, and change the condition requiring a traffic plan for turbine transport prior to construction. This is because Turbine 5 has not produced electricity for 6 months and they want to get on with construction for the other 6 turbines before producing any plans for access from the A44 and before satisfying the Welsh Government about transport safety. The developer has already breached essential planning conditions and, according to planning and environmental impact regulations, should now apply for planning permission for the changed access and layout plans but so far there is no evidence that Powys will require this.

2. Welsh Government National Development Framework (NDF) Consultation (closing date 1/11/19)
This consultation sets a 20-year vision for Wales. The NDF, combined with Planning Policy Wales 10, governs the Strategic Development Plan for Mid and West Wales (Powys, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire), which, in turn, governs our Local Powys Planning. During the examination of the Powys LDP, substantial Proposed Local Search Areas for wind energy were abandoned because AECOM finally admitted that, after they had applied their exclusion criteria, there were no suitable areas left. However the draft NDF now proposes different Priority Areas for renewable wind and solar energy. The NDF provides a crude map of these (below) and says there will be a presumption of approval of planning applications within Priority Areas but does not explain the criteria for selection.

This link will get you to the Welsh Government Documents.

As the consultation progresses, BRB-CPRW will be publishing more information and maps to help you see exactly where these areas are in relation to existing Strategic Search Areas and Powys Solar Local Search Areas. We have already prepared one which puts the Priority Areas more in context with the landscape resources of Wales. That is shown below the Welsh Government’s Priority Area map. Clicking on our map will enable you to download a PDF version enabling you to zoom in and perhaps find your town or village. (Alternatively you can right-click on a map and “Save Target As” or equivalent to download the PDF.)

Welsh Government National Development Framework Wind & Solar Priority Areas


NDF Priority and Strategic Search Areas with National Parks, AONBs and National Trails

SAVE THE DATE: November 10th 2019: Trees and Woodlands of Wales
This is a full day public Seminar in cooperation with the Woodland Trust at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

Our trees and woodland ecosystems are facing huge and multiple pressures. Our speakers will be looking at the character and importance of woods and trees in Wales, the threats to their extent and health and current Welsh policy. We are very pleased to have as keynote speaker George Peterken the recognised woodland ecologist and pioneer of the recognition and protection of Britain’s Ancient Woodlands.

To reserve places please email or

Have your say on Welsh Planning – Online Survey

This online survey, run by Cardiff University and Queen’s University Belfast, aims to compare stakeholder perceptions of planning in Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The researchers aim to publish a final report by the end of the year which will ‘directly inform the discussion, design and delivery of planning policy and the governance, resourcing and regulation of development’.

This is a valuable opportunity to set out any concerns you may have about the Welsh planning system, its operation and its direction.

The survey can be accessed on this link and will remain open until Monday 30 September 2019.

Our Summer Events For You…

Our Summer Events For You…

The Brecon & Radnor Branch of CPRW have a number of events organised for this summer for members and non-members alike:

A Visit to the Elan Valley, near Rhayader – SUNDAY 30th JUNE at 2.00pm

A special opportunity to experience the beauty and importance of Traditional Hay Meadows in our farming landscape led by Conservationist, Photographer and Farmer’s Wife SORCHA LEWIS.

Hay Meadows in the Elan Valley

Sorcha will give us some history of the Elan Valley, its management by the Welsh Water Elan Valley Trust and the variety of wildlife that it supports. Troedrhiwdrian Farm is in the High Nature Value Scheme.

The visit will be approximately two hours.

We meet Sorcha in Car Park No.7 Gwaelod y Rhos (see map on this link) at 2.00pm on SUNDAY 30th JUNE.

Members Only: Limited numbers, booking essential. To book – Tel: 01544 267418 or email (B&R CPRW Committee)

PDF Brochure for the event here.


SATURDAY 27th JULY 2.00pm
Annual General Meeting

At Ackhill School Room, Dolley Green, LD8 2EE, nr Presteigne.

Ackhill Schoolroom

The School Room is known as ‘The Tin Tabernacle’ and dates from 1905.
By kind permission of Pastor Richard Mansell.
Parking adjacent to the School Room.

The AGM is followed by a VISIT to UPPER DOLLEY FARMHOUSE with a TALK and TEA at 3.00pm courtesy of John and Diana Trew, recipient of the 2018 Louis Hurley Architectural Award for major restoration of an historic early Welsh Marches Farmstead Grade II*.

Upper Dolley House

Members only visit to Upper Dolley Farmhouse. (Non-members may attend the AGM but obviously cannot vote!)
Please book to reserve your place for this event by July 14th.
Tel: 01544 267418 or email (B&R CPRW Committee)

PDF Brochure for the event here.

CPRW Brecon and Radnor Branch are pleased to present

‘A Welsh Wander, an epic trek right around Wales’

COME and BE INSPIRED by a TALK and TEA EVENT with local author TOM DAVIES on SUNDAY 28th JULY at 2.30pm at the Offa’s Dyke Centre, Knighton, LD7 1EN in celebration of the Offa’s Dyke Association’s 50th Anniversary.

Tom Davies

Tom will be talking about his 1,100 mile adventure from his home in Presteigne , heading north along the Offa’s Dyke National Trail and continuing along the entire length of the Welsh Coastal Path, arriving home some ten weeks later.

Non-members welcome.

Please book to reserve your place for TALK & TEA £5.00 Tel: 01544 267418 or email (B&R CPRW Committee) or Offa’s Dyke Centre Tel:01547 528753

After the Talk and Tea we join Tom for a late afternoon ramble along a well preserved part of the Dyke, with wonderful views into Wales and across into Shropshire. (weather permitting).

We shall leave the Centre at approx. 4.30pm for a 20 min. scenic drive up to the Car Parking Area adjacent to the Offa’s Dyke Trail. Map Ref OS:250 796.

PDF brochure for the event here.

[Images courtesy Sorcha Lewis, Ackhill Baptist Church website, John Trew, Tom Davies.]