- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
On a recent visit (4 September) to Canaston woods Joyce Watson AM talked rights of way, habitat management, forest restoration…and clay pigeon shooting.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) invited Mrs Watson to learn about the agency’s plans for the ancient woodland, situated at the head of the Eastern Cleddau in Pembrokeshire.
Walking access ways that have been opened in partnership with Pembrokeshire Council, the route took in an area that has been restored since the burial of the Milford Haven to Aberdulais Pipeline in 2006.
The Labour AM was shown an Iron Age hill fort, as well as where trees have been felled to prevent the spread of larch disease (phytophthora ramorum).
Joyce Watson AM said:
“Canaston woods has a rich history. Once a hunting ground for deer and wild boar, today it is a haven for birds, mammals, insects and wild flowers.
“It is a wonderful place for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to enjoy. Bluestone is attracting more people to the area, which is fantastic; but public access has to be balanced with habitat management and private interests – that is the challenge.”
Mrs Watson was accompanied by NRW’s Andrea Winterton, Neil Stoddart and Lucy Pitt. As well as forest management, Lucy Pitt told the Mid and West Wales AM about her recent successes with the Wales and Great Britain shooting teams. The 26-year-old was the youngest member of a three-woman team that won clay pigeon shooting gold at this year’s World FITASC Sporting Championships in Minnesota.
Mrs Watson continued:
“The gas pipeline restoration project is particularly exciting, a sizeable corridor of land planted to encourage butterflies and insects.
“I am grateful to NRW for showing me around this dynamic project. We discussed a variety of issues affecting woodland management. I look forward to taking these issues further in the new Assembly term.”
Joyce Watson is a member of the Environment and Sustainability Committee of the National Assembly for Wales.