GWENT Wildlife Trust (GWT) says rare cranes have returned to the Gwent Levels to breed on the route of the proposed M4.
Common cranes died out across the UK 400 years ago, so their return to the Gwent Levels has been welcomed, but GWT warns another manmade threat is threatening their future - the proposed M4 motorway.
GWT have been contacted by a number of members who have sighted the cranes in the past week or so, on and around the Gwent Levels and their nature reserve at Barecroft Common, areas where the proposed new M4 route will be built over.
It is thought the cranes spotted come from The Great Crane Project, a reintroduction scheme which released 93 hand-reared cranes between 2010 and 2014 on the RSPB West Sedgemoor Reserve in Somerset.
Thanks to the success of the scheme for the past three years, a pair of cranes have flown from Somerset, to breed on the Gwent Levels during the spring.
GWT’s deputy chief executive Gemma Bodé said: “It is really exciting news that the cranes have chosen to return to the Gwent Levels to breed once again. The precious habitat we have here on the Levels is perfect for them as they need very quiet, secluded, wet areas to breed successfully.