Upland Heath and Wildlife

The area’s common land is composed mainly of upland heath. This man made habitat contains large amounts of heather and wimberry but also a number of rare plants such as crowberry and cowberry.

The UK holds some of the most important upland heath anywhere in the world which means we have a responsibility to look after this important habitat. In fact the ‘heath’ on the Blorenge is so important it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The local heathland provides a home to rare animals too, these include: red grouse, hare, lapwing and the unique Silurian moth – which has been found nowhere else in the world.

South East Wales Uplands Landscape Crime Toolkit

This Toolkit has been developed to highlight the best approaches to addressing landscape crime.. It covers the County Boroughs of Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly and it focuses on the principal landscape crimes of arson, fly-tipping and illegal off-roading.

During 2013/14, there were 2,023 incidents of deliberate grassland, woodland and crop fires across South Wales. Fly-tipping is a widespread problem across South East Wales with a total of 13,603 cases of fly-tipping over the previous five years (Caerphilly – 9,946; Blaenau Gwent – 1,461; Torfaen – 2,196) and over the past five years £798,446 has been spent clearing after fly-tipping. Illegal off roading also remains a significant problem and continues to rise year on year.

These factors combine to negatively affect important landscapes, sensitive habitats and wildlife, grazing animals and plans to increase heritage tourism. The economic impact is significant and these problems need to be addressed.

Following significant research, this toolkit has identified a number of the 'tools' that are already successfully in use and new 'tools' intended to improve the situation further.

The next step is to agree the collaborative mechanisms for implementation.

A copy of the South East Wales Uplands Landscape Crime Toolkit can be downloaded here.

Upland Commons of South-East Wales Natural Resources Management Plan 

Two documents are available. Both focus on the need to integrate biodiversity, ecosystem services and the Water Framework Directive with long term, sustainable, economic land management through sustainable management of the commons, recreation and tourism. The Non-technical Summary provides an overview of the key findings and recommendations made in the full document which provides a 10 year framework for natural resource management across the uplands of South-east Wales.

A copy of the South-East Wales Uplands Natural Resources Management Plan can be downloaded below:

A copy of the Upland Commons of South-East Wales Natural Resources Management Plan Non-technical Summary can be downloaded here.