The Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group Cymru (FWAG Cymru) held its first conference, entitled ‘Nature in Balance: the need for intervention’, at the International Pavilion, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, on 12 June.

The conference was designed to highlight issues that land managers face on a day-to-day basis as they strive to make agricultural production co-exist alongside sound environmental practices.

Chaired by John Lloyd-Jones, chairman of the Countryside Council for Wales, speakers at the conference included Elin Jones, minister for rural affairs at the Welsh Assembly (pictured), Simon Thorp, director of the Heather Trust, Craig Shuttleworth of the Anglesey Red Squirrel project and Liz Howe of the Countryside Council for Wales.

Robin Marshall-Ball, the Somerset Levels project officer, gave the keynote speech.

The Country Land & Business Association’s regional director for Wales, Julian Salmon, told Shooting Times : “The overriding question was ‘What price should the government put on the environment?’ It has become apparent that if land managers do not up the ante with regard to environmental stewardship then we will reach a point when Europe forces us to with new laws. Admittedly, the conference highlighted several success stories, but a lot more work needs to be done. It was a fantastic opportunity to share experiences and explore how land management for food production and the environment can work in conjunction.”

The rest of this article appears in 19 June issue of Shooting Times.

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