Wales

Ecodyfi pulls out of £3.4m Summit to Sea rewilding project

A pine marten Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pine martens were reintroduced in the area in 2015

A company has pulled out of £3.4m plans aimed at restoring the countryside to its natural state.

Machynlleth-based Ecodyfi withdrew its support for Rewilding Britain's controversial Summit to Sea project.

Summit to Sea aims to increase biodiversity and restore ecosystems in 10,000 hectares of mid-Wales and almost 30,000 hectares of sea in Cardigan Bay.

But farmers are opposed to it, saying it would make it impossible for them to continue to live in their communities.

Ecodyfi manager Andy Rowland told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "We have increasingly been disturbed by the change of attitude to the project in the farming-connected community on which we largely depend.

"The project reflects the partners' focus on the environment, and pays much less attention to the cultural, linguistic, social and economic aspects of sustainable development, which are fundamental to the whole community."

'Completely voluntary'

Powys councillor for Glantwymyn, Elwyn Vaughan, welcomed the withdrawal.

"The project has totally ignored the views of local people," he said.

"Ignoring these vital aspects of sustainability is key and highlights the fundamental failure of the rewilding project to appreciate the nature of these communities and its residents."

Summit to Sea project director Melanie Newtown, said: "Involvement in Summit to Sea is completely voluntary.

"But I'd like to help people consider how, by working together, we can enable more self-sufficiency and choice for the future."

She added that she hoped the project would enable communities to grow stronger, stimulating public transport links, strong education provision and economic reasons for people to stay in the area.

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