Protecting our natural environment

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.



The Future of Cannop Ponds

I am very pleased that Forestry England has listened to my constituents’ views, expressed in their consultation on the future of Cannop Ponds.

An update on the River Wye

I recently hosted a meeting between the Friends of the Lower Wye, the Environment Agency (EA) and Welsh Water in Cinderford, to discuss the water quality of the River Wye.

Last chance to attend Cannop Ponds public engagement sessions

Several months ago I alerted my constituents to public engagement sessions on the future of Cannop Ponds.

The last of these sessions are due to take place at the Speech House Hotel on Thursday and there are still a few spaces remaining – you can reserve a ticket here:

Mythbusting the Environment Act

It has been brought to my attention that Extinction Rebellion have displayed signs around the Forest of Dean claiming that I “voted to block a law requiring water companies to dump less sewage in our water and seas.”

This is simply untrue.

Cannop Ponds Update

I have again met with representatives from the SAVE CANNOP PONDS group. The meeting held today follows on from one I had with the group in August to discuss the future of Cannop Ponds.

Meeting with the Save Cannop Ponds Group

It was a pleasure to meet with representatives from the SAVE CANNOP PONDS group earlier today.

A useful and constructive discussion was had. I made it clear that I’m on the side of keeping the Ponds.