Iolo Williams presents the First Minister for Wales with a copy of The Birds of Wales

Earlier today (Nov 4th) WOS’ President, Iolo Williams, met First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford in Cardiff to present him with a copy of The Birds of Wales/Adar Cymru.

This was an opportunity to share with the First Minister the story behind the production of this landmark book and the significant changes observed in Wales’ bird populations over the last century which it documents. 

The Birds of Wales/Adar Cymru records the impact the management of our land and seas and climate breakdown is having on our birdlife, and addressing the continuing decline in our wildlife was the focus of the conversation between Mr Drakeford and Iolo.

They discussed the need to make farming more sustainable and rewarding farmers and land managers not only for food production, but also for restoring nature and delivering other public services, thereby creating a thriving rural economy. Iolo raised the requirement for appropriate woodland management alongside the expansion of tree planting in Wales and also the need to do more to address and police pollution, particularly river pollution. Natural Resources Wales’ priorities and its funding in such economically challenging times was also discussed.

The First Minister raised the work of Gylfinir Cymru, a collaborative initiative made up of 16 organisations, including WOS, whose aim is to help reverse the declines of breeding Curlew in Wales, and he was also especially interested in conservationists’ concerns about potential marine renewable energy projects along certain areas of the Welsh coastline.

Summing up the meeting, First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “Having just returned from COP26 in Glasgow, where I heard first-hand how we need to act now to help protect nature and the Climate for generations to come. I welcome the advice and guidance on how many wildlife species are responding to Climate Change and land use factors. We are grateful to Iolo and the Welsh Ornithological Society for giving us a detailed insight about birds in Wales, it will greatly help us to do the best possible things for Wales’ Wildlife.”

Iolo said: “Mark undoubtedly enjoys spending time in nature. It was a pleasure to hear him speak today about his experiences in the countryside as a child and more recently with his family. He’s clearly aware from his own experiences that nature is in trouble. I hope he enjoys reading The Birds of Wales, that he takes away the key messages from it and that he and all the politicians in the Senedd place addressing our nature and climate crises right at the very top of their agenda”. 

Published by Liverpool University Press, you can buy your copy of The Birds of Wales/Adar Cymru here: https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/id/54476/

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