HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 cc757-8
8. Mr. Ron Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next intends meeting representatives of conservation groups in Wales to discuss the progress of the Welsh wildlife appeal; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Grist

My right hon. Friend has no present plans to meet conservation groups to discuss the progress of the Welsh wildlife appeal. I am pleased that the Welsh Office has been able to contribute £10,000 towards the costs of organising the appeal, and of course the Government already give financial support to some of the bodies involved in it.

Mr. Davies

I assure the Minister that that support is very welcome, but I suggest that he should seek a meeting with the conservation groups in Wales to discuss conservation in the Principality. Will he discuss in particular with the conservation groups the threat that is posed to the estuarine environments of south Wales? Three are protected by either national or international accords, but they are threatened by the construction of barrages across them. What assurances or reassurances is the Minister able to give that environmental considerations will he of prime importance either before or during the progress of those schemes?

Mr. Grist

Each scheme will have to be looked at in its own right. Therefore, I cannot give a blanket answer to the hon. Gentleman's question. A meeting with Ministers, or an appeal, is a matter for the organisers. The Government's attitude to conservation cannot be impugned. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 dramatically improved the framework of nature conservation.

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