Alun Davies, minister for natural resources and food in Wales (right), has announced a £6million fund for wildlife management in Wales at a State of Nature summit at the Royal Welsh Show, held from 22 to 25 July at Builth Wells, Powys. This follows on from the publication of the State of Nature: Wales report earlier this year, which showed the dramatic declines in many wildlife species and habitats in Wales.

The funding will be used in specific areas, such as river basins and upland and lowland areas. As well as the extra funding, an audit on Welsh habitats and species will be undertaken to improve existing data, as well as developing a “data hub” so that the wildlife information can be made accessible to the public, relevant organisations and academia.

Mr Davies said: “We need to take urgent action to halt these declines. The summit is about bringing the relevant partners together so that we can reach a consensus on the best way forward. The measures… will ensure we have high-quality, consistent and easy-to-share data, and a mechanism that will fund joint working to protect wildlife and habitats in specific geographic areas across Wales.”

The National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO) welcomed the move. A spokesman told Shooting Times: “The NGO was at the meeting where the minister stressed that this was a new dawn for wildlife conservation in Wales, emphasising the importance of collaboration between partners in developing effective conservation policy. The NGO looks forward to working closely with the Welsh Government, statutory agencies and other conservation bodies.

The rest of this article appears in the 31st July issue of Shooting Times.

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