At The National we have reported on campaigns from across Wales. We have delved into local issues, legal fights and environmental concerns.

Of course, we would have loved to have done more but we did the best with the resources we had at our disposal. 

Here is some of our best work:

Cwmfelinfach

Residents who had been engaged in a six year-long fight against plans for a waste processing plant, which would also burn natural gas in an on-site drier, sought to highlight their campaign with an adaptation of the famous American folk song, This Land Is Your Land.

Though a legal challenge to the planning permission, granted by Caerphilly Borough Council in 2015, for the plant at the Nine Mile Point Industrial Estate at Cwmfelinfach ultimately failed on a legal technicality, the council did conceede it would hold an investigation of concerns raised.

The dispute centres on how the original planning application was handled as the applicant wasn’t required, by the council, to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment with the planning application. 

Local officials previously highlighted the issue of emissions, from the drier, and the valley’s geography which leads to a recognised weather phenomenon known as 'temperature inversion'. This is when cold air is trapped by warm air above it, which also means pollution cannot easily escape. 

Poet Patrick Jones who has lived in the area for 22 years, and is the older brother of Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire, asked former Sony Records recording artist Martyn Joseph, from Penarth, to sing the adapted version of the famous Woody Guthrie protest song. 

“The campaign group liked the idea and it has given us a bit of a lift and lots of people know Martyn and it has been quite galvanising,” said Patrick of the song and video.

At May's local government elections Philippa Marsden, who had been the Labour leader of the borough council, lost her seat as members of the campaign group ousted the local ward member.

Barry Incinerator

In Barry meanwhile, the Docks Incinerator Action Group has been fighting against the construction of an incinerator since 2008.

In September 2021 council officers took enforcement action against the plant, which has never been fully operational, after 'discrepancies' were found between the scheme that was granted planning permission in 2015 and what had eventually been built.

Insurance giant Aviva only submitted its evidence in an appeal against the council's decision this July but campaigners fear they, and the wider public, have been denied access to have full sight of all the documentation.

There is an "urgent need" for the people of Barry to have access to Aviva's evidence, Barry and Vale Friends of the Earth told The National.

A spokesperson said the general public have a right to be privy to decisions which impact upon their health and the environment which surrounds them.

Red Squirrels

Dr Craig Shuttleworth, from Bangor University, has spent almost 30 years working to save the endangered red squirrel in Wales - and his work has led to a change in the law.

In 2021, The National helped Dr Shuttleworth, an internationally-recognised expert on the endangered mammal, expose the fact Natural Resources Wales had no guidance on monitoring red squirrel populations on Welsh Government land on Ynys Môn.

December 2021 saw cross-party support as the Senedd backed changes to the Forestry Act to protect red squirrels and other Welsh wildlife. The new laws were in response to a petition launched that June which called for “new laws to protect rare red squirrels from habitat loss which causes population decline due to outdated 1960s tree felling laws”.

In a month it had gathered 10,000 signatures leading to a debate in the Senedd.

Dr Shuttleworth told The National that he was "thrilled to bits" with the outcome of the debate: "It is fantastic that rare Welsh forest wildlife is going to get better habitat protections." 

Penrhos

Also on Ynys Môn, a campaign group is fighting against plans to fell 27 acres of ancient woodland, and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beautry, to make way for a holiday village. "I'll tie myself to a tree," said Hilary Paterson-Jones, when she spoke with us. 

The plans by Land and Lakes, a company based in Cumbria, would see the nature reserve relocated to the nearby Cae Glas toxic waste dump - planning permission has been granted by the local authority. 

Earlier this week, Penrhos was voted the UK's favourite park following a public ballot by the charity, Fields in Trust. But the future of Penrhos hangs in the balance. 

Pontsarn

Plans for a water treatment works have met with opposition in Merthyr Tydfil where residents fear the contiuned loss of green space and local amenity.

Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water wants to build a single 100-acre water treatment works on a family farm in Pontsarn to replace the smaller Pontsticill, Cantref and Llwyn-on works, which it says are "aging and have become increasingly difficult to maintain".

But significant numbers have backed a campaign calling for a rethink, with opponents saying a brownfield site previously under consideration should remain the preferred location.

"Pontsarn is like the green lungs of Merthyr, what with it having been a heavily industrial town to the south," campaign organiser Fran Allman Bevan told The National.

Model Farm

Model Farm, near Cardiff Airport, has also been under threat from a potential business park development from a huge multinational - with its tenant farmers facing losing their land against their wishes.

Supporters staged a rally outside the Senedd in August 2021 while the Jenkins family, also discussed with us the impact of the plans, having farmed the land since 1935

Environmental campaigner, Maxine Levett, subsequently launched a judicial review. After the Vale of Glamorgan Council accepted there were procedural irregularities the planning application was quashed

Naturalist Iolo Williams recently threw his weight behind the campaign to save the farm, and campaign group, Vale Communities Unite vow they won't rest until Model Farm is saved from development.