Protecting our Treasured Pembrokeshire Environment – How are we achieving this, is it working and what does the future hold? A Talk by Gus Stott.

Thursday 2nd December 2021

A stimulating personal insight to the challenges facing Pembrokeshire and its National Park was provided by Gus Stott. A Trustee of the Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Gus is their local policy officer liaising with many different local and regional organisations, Gus updated us on the pressures facing the National Park on its 70th anniversary.

He began by summarising the current situation, outlining the pressures on habitats and species, as seen in the State of Nature Report. He also explained the problems being caused by the variable ability of the land across Pembrokeshire to absorb water, so leading to flooding. In addition Gus outlined some of the changes already taking place in the National Park because of climate change: the instability of the areas of dunes in Freshwater East and West, the coastline movement at Newgale and the loss of trees. There are also problems of pollution from agriculture and new housing developments that now need to be addressed.

Gus said that Agriculture will also play a large part in the changes confronting the National Park. He explained that it is likely a big land use change will now happen again as the new financial support system for agriculture, currently being worked out, is implemented over the next few years. However, he did explain that there are potential opportunities to make things better if the Welsh Government get the new agricultural subsidy scheme right. He emphasised that it needs to be tailored to our National Park and the farming styles within it and this could be used in positive ways to tackle the environmental issues being faced. 

Report by Jane Mason

The shifting sand dunes of Freshwater West