I am proud to be the Member of Parliament for one of the country’s most scenic destinations, including the ancient Forest of Dean itself, one of the oldest surviving woodlands in England, and parts of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
It is also a privilege to represent an especially biodiverse area, with an abundance of plant and animal species.
I feel very fortunate to call an area as beautiful as the Forest of Dean my home and know that the overwhelming majority of my constituents feel the same. I therefore see it is an important part of my role to protect our natural environment for the enjoyment of my constituents and future generations to come.
For example, in conjunction with other Wye MPs, I have campaigned to tackle phosphate pollution in the Wye – a problem caused by the runoff from agriculture. We wrote to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury suggesting that the fines handed out to water companies be directly invested back into protecting at risk rivers and now that is exactly what is being done, bolstered by more money for enforcement action and a new requirement for water companies to make the largest investment in environmental infrastructure in history.
I’ve also been engaging closely with the repair works on the dams at Cannop Ponds, including meeting with Forestry England and the local action group. For my part, I am doing what I can to facilitate all stakeholders working together to ensure an outcome that enables the ponds to continue to be enjoyed by residents.