Our campaign against the M4 motorway

Our campaign against the M4 motorway

Neil Aldridge

7,000 emailed the First Minister
21,000 signed #NoNewM4 petition
2 Bn estimated cost of the motorway
120 HA of SSSI impacted by the motorway

In June 2019 we were delighted when the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, shelved plans for a new motorway over Wales’ Amazon Rainforest – The Gwent Levels.

It was great news for both people and wildlife that the UK’s most ecologically damaging motorway scheme has been scrapped for good and we congratulated the First Minister Mark Drakeford on his decision and recognition of the vital wildlife haven that is the Gwent Levels.

We are also grateful to each and every one of you who supported and got involved in the #SaveTheGwentLevels #NoNewM4 campaign: including all 7,000+ of you who sent an email of objection to the First Minister Mr Drakeford and the 21,000+ people who also signed the #NoNewM4 petition and rallied with us at the Public Inquiry and outside the Senedd, in Cardiff Bay. We also thank all the lawyers who supported Gwent Wildlife Trust during the Public Inquiry.

The news to shelve the M4 motorway came at a time when international studies revealed that the world is on the brink of the sixth mass extinction - where 40 per cent of our insects are declining and just after a Climate Emergency was declared in Wales – we therefore congratulated the Welsh Government for the bold decisions they made for the future health of people and wildlife. 

The #NoNewM4 #SaveTheGwentLevels campaign has been a long and hard-fought battle and by working together we have shown that people can make a difference if you stand up, speak out and fight for what is right for the future of people, wildlife and our planet.

We believe the decision to shelve the planned M4 motorway is the catalyst for real change throughout Wales, and beyond, and shows that there are genuine alternatives to the destructive business-as-usual approach. It also demonstrates that we can all do our bit to not only protect but enhance the world around us.


I attach greater weight than the Inspector did to the adverse impacts that the (M4) Project would have on the environment. In particular, I attach very significant weight to the fact that the (M4) Project would have a substantial adverse impact on the Gwent Levels SSSIs and their reen network and wildlife, and on other species, and a permanent adverse impact on the historic landscape of the Gwent Levels.
Mark Drakeford
First Minister of Wales

Read First Minister Mark Drakeford's M4 decision letter in full

Read our M4 Public Inquiry closing statement

#SaveTheGwentLevels campaign

Watch our #SaveTheGwentLevels campaign film

Newport-born actress Aimee-Ffion Edwards pledged her support for the #SaveTheGwentLevels campaign with this recording of the world-famous poem Leisure, by W.H Davies, also of Newport. After hearing about the campaign from Gwent Wildlife Trust, Aimee-Ffion recorded the poem at Monmouth’s legendary Rockfield Studios. With this 3-minute film, Aimee Ffion and Gwent Wildlife Trust appealed to decision-makers to take time to consider the beauty of the Gwent Levels and its value to the people of Wales. Gwent Wildlife Trust would like to particularly thank Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Rob Waller and Neil Aldridge (photography), Nico Bee (Editor), ToyGlass Music and Giles Bell at Rockfield Studios (Recording) for giving their time and expertise to create this film.

We value your support

Here are some more ways in which you can continue supporting Gwent Wildlife Trust and the natural world