Agenda item

Wetland Collaboration Opportunities in Herefordshire linked with DCWW sites


  1. Dan Humphreys (DCWW) presented on behalf of DCWW. The main points included:


  1. A commitment was given last year to release data on potential sites in AMP8 (investment cycle, 2025-30) that would have potential collaboration opportunities to add wetlands on to the back of the treatment works.
  2. There has been a screening process to determine which sites would apply and what would be possible. There have been several trial sites already in the Herefordshire catchment and there is a list of another four sites with some progress already started with HC on a couple of these sites.
  3. The intention is for DCWW to remain impartial in terms of where the collaborative site would take on the ownership of the wetland and be responsible for it.
  4. The NMB can then have a collective approach as to who would be most appropriate to take on that work.


  1. The Chair confirmed that the role of the NMB in relation to this work is that it is the first port of call for mitigation proposals and it acts as the catchment mitigation approver, balance competing needs, and determines betterment commitment per solution.


  1. Simon Evans noted that a fundamental problem with wetlands is that they need an installations permit. In England, this problem has been circumvented with a regulatory positioning statement from EA which allowed the wetlands to be owned by a third party. In Wales, it is understood that they are being treated as tertiary treatment and have to be owned by the water company with no opportunity for a third party to own them.


  1. Ann Weedy responded that she would have to take that away to see whether there is any consideration for following a similar route that the EA has followed.


  1. Nia Thomas (Bannau Brycheiniog National Park) added that a statement will be shared through to the relevant partners in due course to help clarify some of the issues surrounding this matter.


  1. Merry Albright noted that in the Wye, eighty years of mitigation certainty needs to be provided whereas everywhere else in the UK in a protected, failing catchment, under the Levelling Up Act, would have to provide six years. If it is possible to find out why the government is unwilling to include the Wye in the Levelling Up Act then potentially a lot more Wetlands could do a lot of work for less time while other bigger and more sector specific actions are brought on-stream.


  1. The Chair responded that this should be raised with the UK government and she is willing to take that away and potentially include that in a letter that is sent out to the government in the future.


  1. Merry Albright asked if the same could be done with Welsh Government.


  1. Councillor Charlton noted that this is something that can be done together cross border.


  1. The Chair asked if an action could be minuted for discussion at the Cabinet Commission.


  1. Sarah James added that Farm Cymru were involved in some meetings with Welsh Government, DEFRA, NRU, and Welsh Water around conversations in relation to phosphate research at a government level.


ACTION: To include item on mitigation with the UK and Welsh governments at the Cabinet Commission.


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