Since the e-campaign launch in mid-October, celebrity endorsement and support has also come from wildlife champion Iolo Williams, who presents a film with schoolchildren talking about why they love the Gwent Levels and want it saved from destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BecNLdxOPJ8
Other celebrity #SaveTheGwentLevels supporters have included Sex Pistols legend John Lydon and Stereophonics front man Kelly Jones (see photos).
Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust Ian Rappel said: “Next month, before the end of his term of office as First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, will make a decision on the proposed M4 ‘Black Route’ and ultimately the fate of Gwent Levels.
“With this in mind, Gwent Wildlife Trust has continued to raise the profile of the Gwent Levels, because we know time is running out to influence and inform decision-makers with the strength of opposition to the M4 plans.
“We’ve partnered with The Wildlife Trusts around the UK with our #SaveTheGwentLevels e-campaign to encourage everyone across the country to send their own personal letter of opposition straight to Carwyn Jones.
“The Gwent Levels is of national importance – in biodiversity terms it is comparable with the rainforests.”
Gwent Wildlife Trust fought the plans for a new motorway during the 18-month long Public Inquiry - the findings of which have still not been made public.
The Trust have continued to fight the proposed new M4 but they say they still need everyone who cares about nature and understands its importance for people, to voice their concerns while there is still time.
The historic and beautiful Gwent Levels wetlands are home to rare wildlife including otters, critically endangered water voles, dragonflies. And for the past few summers, cranes have returned to the Levels after a previous absence of 400 years, to breed on the site of the proposed M4 route.
Mr Rappel added: “If you’ve not already done so, please make your voice heard by Welsh Government – loudly and clearly – by joining our #SaveTheGwentLevels e-campaign and telling Carwyn Jones this proposed new M4 motorway should be scrapped.
“Please be in no doubt that the planned new M4 motorway will cost the Earth in every sense. It contradicts Wales’ excellent Well-Being of Future Generations Act and threatens to leave taxpayers with a bill of around £1-2 billion pounds - for a possible saving of only 10 minutes' average journey time.
“That’s even before we consider the permanent damage to some of the most important sites for wildlife in Wales, including Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Magor Marsh Nature Reserve. Then there’s the motorway’s impact on the health and wellbeing of people who live in and visit the Gwent Levels, as well as the thousands of children who come to Magor Marsh every year.
“For the doubters out there - we’re not naïve, we know there are transport issues around the M4 near Newport, but we also know that building another motorway is not a 21st century solution. That’s why we back the report compiled by Sophie Howe - the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. Welsh Government should scrap their plans and, instead of wasting billions of pounds on a new motorway, they should instead invest in a modern fully integrated public transport system, fit for the people of Wales.
“Habitats for wildlife and people’s access to the glorious green space that is the Gwent Levels should not be sacrificed in favour of a new motorway.
“We await Carwyn Jones’ decision. In the meantime, we’d like to express our sincere thanks to the thousands of people who have so far supported the #SaveTheGwentLevels campaign and we urge anyone who hasn’t joined the e-campaign to make their voice heard asap.
“Please join us in our battle to save this precious landscape now and for future generations.”
Find out more about and join Gwent Wildlife Trust’s #SaveTheGwentLevels campaign here: www.gwentwildlife.org and join the e-campaign here: https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/30798/action/1 or via social media @GwentWildlife