Lesley Griffiths finds out how partners are working together to protect the environment at Lake Vyrnwy

Thursday 4th October

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, visited Severn Trent’s Lake Vyrnwy site to see first-hand the work being done to improve the local environment.

Severn Trent, United Utilities and RSPB Cymru work in partnership at Lake Vyrnwy to improve the catchment management of water and enhance the environment so that local wildlife can thrive.

Ms Griffiths was invited to the site by RSPB Cymru to discuss how the land is being developed in partnership with both water companies to build a sustainable environment for wildlife and people, and improve water quality.

Following the visit Ms Griffiths said: “I was delighted to join Severn Trent and RSPB Cymru at Lake Vyrnwy to see up close the long term benefits of this fantastic Nature Fund project and the positive collaborative action it has spawned. Working with our partners can make such an important contribution to the sustainable management of our natural resources and deliver benefits for the local community and economy.” 

The main focus of the recent work has been to block a number of gullies to allow the bog to return to its natural state which will benefit local wildlife and improve the quality of the water taken from the land. 

Katie-Jo Luxton, Director of RSPB Cymru, explains how maintaining the environment is essential for local nature. She said: “Severn Trent’s Lake Vyrnwy estate includes an organic farm managed by RSPB Cymru to protect the internationally important habitats for nature, water, carbon, and promote tourism.

“We welcome the discussions with the Cabinet Secretary today about the important role that upland farming plays in delivering wider natural resources which underpin the well-being of present and future generations in Wales.

“With significant changes ahead post-Brexit, we discussed the risks to the environment from significant land use change and the opportunities to design a new sustainable land management policy in Wales that goes further to restore nature, is fair to farmers, and secures the wider environment that we all value.” 

Sarah Stimpson, head of estates management at Severn Trent, said: “We’re delighted to have hosted Lesley. We’re committed stewards of the natural environment and work hard to protect it for future generations to enjoy. We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners, including RSPB Cymru, who share our values to build a sustainable community at Vyrnwy.” 

Bryan Homan, from United Utilities, added: “A sustainable approach to catchment management can bring great benefits for the environment, water quality, and our communities. After more than a decade working in this way with RSPB Cymru we’ve seen what partnerships can deliver and we are committed to playing our part at Vyrnwy and sharing what we’ve learned.”