Petition to Safeguard Kenfig Nature ReserveOne of the finest nature reserves in Wales is under threat.
The internationally important sand-dune habitats at Kenfig need to be managed, otherwise they will lose their exceptional value. Bridgend council carried out this work for many years but has had to withdraw due to financial pressures.
The sites owner, a secretive and unaccountable body called the Kenfig Corporation, has not been prepared to agree any future plans. Compulsory purchase may be the only option left.
Kenfig’s sand-dunes are recognised as a Special Area of Conservation, Europe’s highest nature conservation designation.
The Kenfig Corporation has charitable status and so is required by law to take decisions in the public interest. Natural Resources Wales, the country’s public nature conservation agency, has ben trying to negotiate with the corporation to secure the site’s future but these discussions have reached an impasse. The corporation has not been willing to agree to any of the proposed options, for reasons that are unclear. It is time for the decision to be taken out of their hands.
In exceptional cases, where there is clear public interest, the Welsh Government has the power to undertake compulsory purchase to protect a site like Kenfig. Compulsory purchase need not be costly, the site has no commercial value and so there is no reason why the Kenfig Corporation could not sell it to the Welsh Government for a nominal sum.