Countryside Council for Wales (Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru) - UK
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.
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
- conserve the quality of the landscape of Wales;
- conserve the quality and richness of the wildlife of
- encourage and sustain opportunities for public access into
the countryside for enjoyment and recreation;
- promote people's understanding of all aspects of our
In pursuing these general aims,
- give advice to Government, local authorities and others to
help them make well-informed decisions on matters which affect the
- maintain the natural beauty of the land and coast by
encouraging appropriate efforts of landowners and land managers;
- ensure and enhance the survival of species and their
habitats, and protect geological features, on National Nature Reserves and
Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and, wherever possible, beyond such
- monitor change in habitats and species and in the
- promote access to the countryside for enjoyment whilst
respecting the landscape, wildlife, work patterns and rural traditions;
- help those who work in the countryside to strike a balance
between sustaining country products, such as timber and food, with maintaining
landscape character and wildlife;
- ensure that all forms of recreation in the countryside are in
harmony with the needs of wildlife and appropriate land management;
- increase people's understanding and appreciation of the
countryside, its wildlife and habitats;
- persuade everybody in Wales to join CCW, in various ways, as
a partner in our aims;
- seek effective policies and other means of protecting the
countryside, its habitats and wildlife;
- provide information on all our
- 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
- 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
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
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
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
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
Working with others
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.
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
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
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.
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.
are constantly involved with training others who manage the countryside of
Seas, Shores and Coastal Areas, 1996
Transport and Rural Wales - Countryside Council for Wales,
For further information click here to
enter the CCW
Prepared by ...
Tourism Officer , Countryside Council for Wales (Cyngor Cefn
Plas Penrhos, Ffordd Penrhos,
Bangor LL57 4AU, Wales, United Kingdom
Telephone +44 1248
385500 Facsimile +44 1248 355