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Urgent action needed to prevent forestry decline

Welsh-Government_21WILLIAM POWELL AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Rural Affairs, has again called for urgent action from the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales to prevent the decline of the Welsh forestry industry. 

Commenting William Powell, Mid and West Wales, said: “When NRW was formed I raised a number of serious concerns about the way in which Forestry Commission Wales was to be integrated into the organisation and the Welsh Government’s decision not to include any forestry expertise at board level. “Just over a year on from NRW’s launch it is clear that many of the sector’s worst fears about the aptitude of NRW to appropriately manage and regulate Welsh forestry have been vindicated. “As such substantial fears have been expressed to me about the challenges commercial foresters are now facing and how there are jeopardising future investment and plantations. “It is clear that both NRW and the Welsh Government need to urgently act to prevent the decline of this key rural industry.” Powys County Councillor for Llanwrtyd Wells, Colonel Timothy Van Rees (Ind), endorsed these concerns and added: “Farmers and land owners are having equal difficulty in dealing with NRW. The transition from separate bodies has not been well managed. Over the past year communications have been difficult if not impossible at times. As such areas of neglect are beginning to be exposed.”