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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Coastline's world heritage status bid
Little Haven, Pembrokeshire
The 10-year plan aims to preserve wildlife along the coastline
The Countryside Council for Wales is launching an ambitious bid to get world heritage status for Pembrokeshire's coastline.

The initiative is a cornerstone of the organisation's 10-year plan to protect and preserve the best beauty spots in Wales.

World Heritage Status would put the Pembrokeshire coastline on a par with the Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef and Blaenavon Ironworks - which recently received the prestigious award.
Little Haven rocks, Pembrokeshire
Agri-environment schemes are encouraged under the plans

Being on the World Heritage List is as a major boost for attracting international visitors and bringing in new investment and jobs.

Assembly Environment Minister Sue Essex attended the launch of the CCW's vision for the countryside at the Welsh International Pavilion, Llanelwedd, mid Wales.

The key points of the plan are to protect Wales's national parks, other key landscapes in Wales and offer greater access to the countryside for visitors.

The council is also anxious to provide an environment for wildlife on land and sea to thrive.

CCW Chairman John Lloyd Jones said the foot-and-mouth crisis had highlighted the need for ensuring the well-being of the countryside.

We want to see improvements in 10 years which people will notice, welcome, and value

Paul Loveluck, CCW chief executive

"We must improve the quality of our natural environment for other aspects of Welsh life to flourish.

"We need to acknowledge that our acts have also led to an impoverishment of the environment, a loss of character in our landscape and in the number and variety of plants and animals which share our lands and seas."

The 10-year plan also focuses on protecting and expanding Wales's deciduous woodlands, wetlands, flower meadows and heather moors.

The CCW wants to encourage the removal of invasive plants, such as rhododendrons and Japanese knotwood, which takeover from local plant species.

Details of the plans include restoring dry stone walls and hedging, which are important to birds and other wildlife.
The red squirrel population in Wales is under threat
The red squirrel population in Wales is under threat

Efforts will also be made to ensure the survival of rare species, such as the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, red squirrel, brown hare and the Snowdon and Radnor lilies.

Farmers will be encouraged to make greater use of the agri-environment scheme Tir Gofal, launched by the assembly to protect and create diverse landscapes.

Less intensive methods of farming will be promoted to prevent pollution of rivers from pesticides.

Cycle routes will be extended under the CCW vision to improve access to the countryside.

CCW chief executive Paul Loveluck added: "Our vision is set very firmly in the context of the National Assembly's Scheme for Sustainable Development.

"The vision is challenging but achievable. We want to see improvements in 10 years which people will notice, welcome, and value."

See also:

01 Dec 00 | Wales
Iron town granted world status
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