Landscapes for Life
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding landscapes.
This is a partnership project between the AONB unit and Monmouthshire County Council, National Farmers Union Wales, Gwent Wildlife Trust, Natural Resources Wales, Woodland Trust and Monmouthshire Meadows.The project takes a catchment approach to natural flood management, covering four tributaries of the Wye between Penallt and St Arvans. The project aims to work with landowners and managers, interested parties and the public to develop practical sustainable solutions which address land management, water run-off, access and invasive weed issues, gaining a better understanding this part of the Wye Valley AONB. Natural Flood Management (NFM) is the principle of working with natural processes to help slow down the flow of water, while improving habitat and water quality through improved soil infiltration. The invasive weeds primarily targeted through this project are Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, which spread rapidly and are a major problem, especially on riverbanks, suppressing all other plant growth. Control of these species is most effective from the top of river catchments as the seeds easily spread downstream.
The watercourses in the project area primarily rise on the Trellech Plateau and run into the more heavily wooded steep valley sides of the Wye Gorge. The land and water management on the Plateau directly affects the volume and rate of flow downstream towards the Wye and the villages of Whitebrook, Llandogo and Tintern. Through the project, advice will be available on catchment sensitive farming and natural flood management, as well as helping communities affected by surface water run-off.We are looking for suitable sites to pilot modest water management work such as hedge/tree planting and repairing leaky dams, with a view to reducing surface water run-off. Holding water back in the upper reaches of the catchment will help to slow the flow downstream and improve habitat connectivity. This work will be funded through a small capital works project budget and opportunities will be available to apply for AONB Landscape and Biodiversity Enhancements Grants through the Sustainable Development Fund. If you would like to be involved, can help provide locations of invasive weeds within the project area or would like to find out more about this project please contact Chris Radford at firstname.lastname@example.org .