GWCT RESEARCH IN PRACTICE: SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT SCHEME
Following a pilot study in 2013, GWCT, CLA Cymru and FWAG Cymru gathered a number of grouse moor managers together to see if there was an appetite among them to reinstate active moorland management. After a successful joint bid for funding from the Welsh Rural Development Programme under the Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS) the group established the 16,000-acre North Wales Moorland partnership and the 20,000-acre Powys Moorland Partnership in Mid Wales, with Cath Hughes acting as facilitator and with continued guidance from GWCT.
The demise of wildlife in Wales, highlighted by the 2013 State of Nature report, meant that a different approach was crucial in order to save the birds on the endangered list. The SMS focuses on tangible results or outcomes, gives greater flexibility to the farmers/landowners about how these can be achieved, and works on a landscape scale through cooperative partnerships.
This collaborative approach engages a much greater number of people from across the rural community and beyond, linking the preservation of natural resources to the nation’s health in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.