First meeting with the chairman of the new Welsh environment body starts on a positive note

09 November 2013

CLA Director Ben Underwood met this week (Monday, 10 September) with Professor Matthews, the recently appointed chairman of the new Welsh environment body, which replaces the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales.

Talking at CLA vice chairman's Ant Griffith's farm in Denbighshire Ben Underwood said: "We had a very positive first meeting with Professor Matthews as he starts his new role. The very fact that the CLA was the first point of call for Peter is testament to the fact that he understands the importance of positive engagement with landowners and managers.

"We stressed our concerns that the new body must not have an overriding focus on biodiversity at further expense of Wales' rural economy at this time," says Mr Underwood.

"We want a new streamlined service that allows the environment to flourish whilst installing trust in landowners and managers to get on and manage their businesses with minimal interference

"We strongly suggested that the quickest way for this organisation to fail on delivering its objectives would be to have a board that is completely environmentally focused without a balanced view on sustainable land management and rural enterprise.