Countryside Council for Wales (Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru) - UK

The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) is the Government's statutory adviser on sustaining natural beauty, wildlife and the opportunity for outdoor enjoyment in Wales and its inshore waters.

The vision
A beautiful land washed by clean seas and streams under a clear sky, supporting its full diversity of life - for everyone's enjoyment and for the contented work of its people. Achieving such a goal depends on the help of all people, residents and visitors alike, through their understanding, their support and their local activity.

CCW's purposes are to:

In pursuing these general aims, we:
Our day-to-day work

1. Advice
- We give advice to Government on a wide range of matters which affect the countryside. This includes threats to the environment, the impacts of developments and changes in land use, the funding of National Parks, international matters and new legislation.
- We advise on the declaration of Marine Nature Reserves, land for protection under European Community Directives and other international obligations, and land designated by local authorities such as Heritage Coasts and Local Nature Reserves.
- We give advice and information on countryside matters to many organisations, both statutory and voluntary, and to individuals who request it.

2. Establishing protected areas
As well as advising Government and local authorities on land which should be protected, CCW can designate several categories of land to protect and conserve its wildlife or landscape. These include National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest as well as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (which have to be confirmed by the Secretary of State for Wales).
National Trails, such as the Offa's Dyke and Pembrokeshire Coast paths, are mapped out and negotiated in the first instance by CCW. Protected areas represent the jewels in the crown of the Welsh environment. But our conservation responsibilities transcend such boundaries and cover the whole of Wales.

3. Protecting rare species
Rare and threatened animals and plants are protected by law so that they are not disturbed or destroyed. But sometimes, people may need to disturb these species in some way. CCW issues licenses for activities which may disturb legally-protected species. Photographers and research scientists are some of our most regular customers.

4. Out in the countryside
Some of our staff spend much of their time in the countryside either managing National Nature Reserves (NNR) or attending to matters on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). NNR and SSSI are very special wildlife areas, protected in close collaboration with their owners whose support is essential.
Most SSSI are privately owned and occupied. Much of our effort goes into talking to farmers and landowners and making legal agreements with them to ensure that the wildlife value of their sites is retained and enhanced.
NNRs are often owned or leased by CCW and are managed by a team of wardens. Field staff also manage Skomer Marine Nature Reserve, off the Pembrokeshire coast, where long-term monitoring of the sea and its rich wildlife heritage takes place.

5. Promoting everyone's enjoyment of the countryside
We strive to improve opportunities for people to enjoy the countryside. We work closely with local authorities to improve the system of public paths throughout Wales, whilst also supporting the network of Country Parks and Heritage Coasts. We produce leaflets and interpretative displays to enhance people's enjoyment and understanding of the countryside.

6. Working with others
Our staff take every opportunity to work with others on joint projects. Local government is one of our closest partners which routinely asks for advice and help on matters such as developments and major projects that may affect the environment. But, our role is not merely reactive. As we watch over the countryside, we must often take the initiative and act to prevent, or minimise, potentially damaging activities.
Partnership projects range from joint educational activities, to major engineering projects to regulate water levels on wetlands. Many joint projects are funded by CCW grants, enabling others to use their special skills and understanding of local communities to carry out environmental tasks on our behalf.
The farming community is a crucial partner. Experimental schemes, such as Tir Cymen and the Hedgerow Renovation Scheme, support farmers who work to maintain the traditional landscape and habitats of their land so that wildlife can flourish and landscape features can be maintained.

7. Research and survey
Without a thorough knowledge of the environment, looking after it would be difficult. An understanding of the state of the environment, its habitats and wildlife is essential before we can start to monitor change, take action or just maintain the status quo.
Research and survey are essential tools to guide our work and to keep a close eye on changes - man-induced or natural - which we must report to Government.
Much of the research is biological or geological, but we are also continually seeking to gain a better understanding of the link between people and the countryside both in their everyday tasks and at their leisure.

8. Informing and training
Giving everyone an understanding of the countryside and natural processes could encourage greater support for our aims. We distribute as much detail as possible about our work to the general public through, for example, the media, staging special events and publishing leaflets.
Our staff are constantly involved with training others who manage the countryside of Wales.

Seas, Shores and Coastal Areas, 1996

Transport and Rural Wales - Countryside Council for Wales, UK

For further information click here to enter the CCW website

Information Source

Prepared by ...
Martyn Evans
Recreation and Tourism Officer , Countryside Council for Wales (Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru)
Plas Penrhos, Ffordd Penrhos, Bangor LL57 4AU, Wales, United Kingdom
Telephone +44 1248 385500 Facsimile +44 1248 355 782