Motorway threatens iconic bird breeding programme
There is concern that a proposed Motorway bypass in Wales will setback the progress of a project which has reintroduced an iconic bird to wetlands it once populated.
“The proposed £1bn M4 relief road around Newport would cut through the first nesting site for common cranes in Wales in over 400 years, it has emerged.
The RSPB said the revelation, in a Welsh Government ecology report, was emblematic of wider environmental concerns about the scheme.
A five-month public inquiry into the plans begins on Tuesday.
Ministers have insisted that the project is vital, with congestion on the M4 holding back the economy.
But their preferred “black route” cuts across the ancient marshlands of the Gwent Levels, a haven for wildlife.
As well as rare plants, invertebrates and aquatic mammals like voles and otters, the latest species to be spotted is the common crane.
Last spring, a pair flew from Somerset to nest on the levels, hatching the first Welsh-born chick in over 400 years.
The adults originated from the Great Crane Project, which has been reintroducing the birds to the West Country since 2010.”
Full report here from BBC Wales:
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