The Living Planet Report that was recently published by the World Wide Fund for Nature revealed the disturbing truth of how we, as humans, are having an evidently negative impact on nature and our planet.
The report clearly points out that “we are the first generation that has a clear picture of the value of nature and our impact on it” and emphasises that since 1970 we have, sadly, seen a 60% decline in the population of species on the planet; rightly concluding that “we may be the last that can take action to reverse this trend”.
As a National Park Authority, part of our primary purpose is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and wildlife of the Brecon Beacons and therefore it’s essential for us to share how our environmental work is assisting in reversing this trend.
The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority led the way by collaborating with the former Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales, Powys County Council and the Wildlife Trusts to establish the Biodiversity Information Service (BIS) for Powys and the National Park – Wales’ first local records centre. The work of BIS allows us to monitor biodiversity across the National Park and provides a mechanism for collating, sharing and utilising the wealth of biological data and knowledge which exists within the region. Together with the BIS, the National Park Authority, with its partners, is working to make nature-friendly decisions in relation to land management and development.
It is worth noting that the Park is home to some of the world’s rarest plants, for example endemic species of hawkweed and whitebeam found nowhere else on earth, as well as Western Europe’s largest breeding colony of lesser horseshoe bats.
Another key project is our Nature Recovery Action Plan which sets out what we are doing at a National Park level to drive the recovery of biodiversity, highlighting the scale of the challenge for the Park’s species and habitats and setting out key objectives for the partnership to achieve.
The Authority is also working hard on peat restoration – work which is vital in reducing greenhouse gases by locking carbon in our peat reserves and making an attempt to manage global warming. Waun Fach in the Black Mountains or Waun Fignen Felen on the Western Great Forest are two locations where peat restoration has recently occurred.
As well as these environmental ventures on the ground, the National Park Authority plays a fundamental role in educating and inspiring people to become more connected with the natural environment and become aware of its importance.
Martin Lambertini, WWF International Director stated within the report that “we can be the founders of a global movement that changed our relationship with the planet, that saw us secure a future for all life on Earth, including our own”. The Education Team at Brecon Beacons National Park takes over 8,000 school children into the Park each year and educates them on biodiversity, our relationship with the planet and the significance of sustainability. Creating a more environmentally conscious generation is already at the core of what we do at Brecon Beacons National Park.
We’ve recently partnered with ‘Good Energy’ to provide 100% renewable energy for the National Park Visitor Centres and have installed electrical car charging points to encourage our visitors to use electrical cars.
We fully support the Living Planet Report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature and hope it raises the much needed awareness to create a more sustainable planet (before it’s too late).
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