A GROUP that has spent 25 years surveilling the Milford Haven waterway is celebrating its contributions to protecting one of the finest natural harbours in the UK.

Members of the Milford Haven Waterway Environmental Surveillance Group (MHWESG) met at the Port of Milford Haven’s headquarters on April 13 to acknowledge the extensive amount of research and surveillance undertaken to monitor the unique environmental characteristics of the Waterway over the last quarter of a century.

The group was established with the purpose to provide high quality environmental information to members enabling them to contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the rich and diverse marine environment, whilst sharing the information with the local and scientific communities.

Membership is composed of the major industries around the Waterway, the Port of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Natural Resources Wales.

During the celebratory event Group Chairman, Paul Howells of Dragon LNG, explained its history and achievements, which was followed by a talk from former member Jane Hodges about the group’s longest running project – an annual survey of breeding shelduck. The number of ducks successfully raising broods on the Waterway has more than halved since the mid 1990s but the average number of ducklings per brood has recently shown signs of increasing.

Environmental Manager at the Port of Milford Haven, Jonathan Monk, said: “The scope of work the MHWESG undertakes is vast and the commitment from members should be commended.

"The Milford Haven Waterway is one of the finest natural harbours in the UK and I am heartened that so much monitoring and reporting is invested into maintaining its rich environment.”