A CAMPAIGN to save the ancient woodland of Cwm George and Casehill Woods near Dinas Powys, has resulted in success.

National Resources Wales (NRW) had proposed constructing a dam 60m wide and 3.5m high in the meadow at the Woodland Trust site in Dinas Powys.

NRW proposed the dam as one option to alleviate potential flood risk.

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The campaign by the Save Dinas Powys Woods and Protect Homes from Flooding group was launched in March 2019 after the Woodland Trust said NRW was proposing to build a dam within its site of Cwm George and Casehill Woods.

The group said the proposals would involve cutting down 2000 square metres of trees including 350 square metres of ancient trees and regular flooding upstream during high rainfall would result in further destruction of ancient trees, hedgerows, wildlife, and plants.

Dormice and other protected species like bats were at risk, the group said.

The woods, much-loved by the community, attracts visitors from other areas and is the Woodland Trust’s most visited site in Wales with more than 50,000 visitors.

Hundreds of people took part in marches in 2019 to oppose the dam.

NRW released its draft Outline Business Case in February 2020 and a consultation period with the local community took place.

Hundreds of people attended a meeting in February to oppose the dam and they wrote to NRW, with their views, during the coronavirus lockdown.

Chairman of Save Dinas Powys Woods & Protect Homes From Flooding, Peter Smith said the group welcomed the announcement that NRW will not develop a dam in the Dinas Powys Woods.

“Local people recognise the flood risk in the village, but are overwhelmingly in favour of a natural flood management programme (NFM) in the Cadoxton River and Eastbrook catchments, plus improved channel maintenance and if required local hard defences, rather than an environmentally unfriendly dam,” Dr Smith said.

“Our proposals will slow the flow of the rivers upstream thus reducing the risk of flash flooding, and by removing obstacles improve flow downstream.

“We now look forward to working with NRW and The Woodland Trust to design an effective NFM scheme.

“Both have expertise in this area, and, having made funds available for NFM projects, we know that the Welsh Government is keen for Wales to become an exemplar of good practice. community involvement and support will remain key features of our campaign.”

He added: “We are grateful to people far and wide who have supported our campaign, including the Woodland Trust, our local community councils, and county councillors.

“We extend our particular thanks our local MS, Jane Hutt, for her advocacy and support.”

Community councillor, Chris Franks said NRW must not now ignore any problems.

“Clearly over the years there has been reduced spending on maintenance of the stream through Dinas Powys and towards Barry,” he said.

“The public has said that the NRW must improve monitoring of flows on the Cadoxton River, implement natural flood management measures and improve flow at Cardiff Road bridge where the stream passes under the A4055 to reduce flood risk.”

Vale MS Jane Hutt said: “‘Following our meeting on May 19 Sir David Henshaw chairman of NRW wrote to me on May 22 to say that NRW received almost 400 responses to our consultation on the Outline Business Case with the vast majority being opposed to the upstream storage option on the Cadoxton Brook.”

NRW chairman, Sir Henshaw said: “When we consider the marginal case for this option, it is therefore clear that we will not be pursuing an upstream storage scheme.”