What we do
The Countryside Council for Wales has a legal
duty to look after the precious Welsh landscape. Our work in this
field roughly divides into three roles – choosing and protecting
the special landscapes, awarding grants and offering advice
- CCW advises the Welsh Government on choosing which
areas should be designated National Parks and Areas of Outstanding
Natural Beauty. These presently cover about a quarter of Wales and
are special areas that are protected from inappropriate
- We advise on defining sections of coastline as Heritage Coast
and we are also identifying the most valuable seascapes around the
- CCW has been involved in putting together a register of
landscapes that are of special historic interest.
- CCW has developed methods of assessing the character and
qualities of landscapes and seascapes to support this work.
- CCW is responsible for the notification of Sites of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSIs). CCW must be consulted by planning
authorities, water, gas and electricity companies before allowing
any development that might affect an SSSI.
- CCW is involved in identifying prospective Special Areas of
Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar Sites.
- National Nature Reserves are declared by CCW, and often owned
or leased by the Council. Others are held by approved bodies.
- Local authorities consult with CCW before establishing Local
- CCW applies to the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly
Government to designate Marine Nature Reserves.
CCW gives grants to support projects that will improve the
landscape and will often help the environment and wildlife at the
same time. Grants are also given to projects that improve access -
making it easier for people to visit and enjoy the countryside. The
grants are available to local authorities and organisations in the
public and voluntary sections.
Offering advice – the impact on special places
CCW’s third role is to advise planning authorities and others on
developments that may affect the landscape - not to prevent
necessary development or change but to help conserve and enhance