Offenders have been busy improving the environment for people living near Fairwater, Cwmbran by clearing away more than two tons of rubbish from two streams in the area.
The group of 40 offenders worked for three days to clear litter from the streams under a new link-up between Natural Resources Wales and the Wales Probation Service (WPS) aimed at getting law-breakers to clean up their local environment.
The streams are tributaries to the Dowlais Brook, which is currently failing European Standards for fish and invertebrates under the Water Framework Directive.
The offenders, who had been given community payback orders – formally known as community service – also cleared away thick vegetation beside the streams so that local people can once again enjoy the footpaths in the area.
Ioan Williams of Natural Resources Wales said:
“Having litter in the river can cause pollution and hazards for wildlife and can increase the risk of flooding downstream by blocking watercourses. It’s also unsightly and spoils the area for people.
“This pilot project has been a great success and will help us to improve the environment for the people and wildlife of Cwmbran.”
Terry Reddington of the WPS said he was delighted to be working in partnership with Natural Resources Wales for the benefit of the local environment and community.
“I really feel that the offenders can see a benefit of what they’re doing and will help them to develop a stake in their local community,” he said.
Both Natural Resources Wales and the WPS said they were keen to continue working together to deliver even more benefits for the environment and people who value what it has to offer.
Last year, offenders carried out more than 600,000 hours of practical work in Wales as part of the community payback scheme.
Caption: One of the group clears away thick undergrowth blocking a path.