Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson led a National Assembly debate on the topic of rewilding on ‘World Environment Day’ earlier this month.

So-called ‘Re-wilding’ projects, aimed at restoring natural wilderness habitats, could make a contribution towards cutting the nation’s carbon emissions, according to conservation groups such as Rewilding Britain.

However a new £3.4m project based in the Dyfi Valley called ‘Summit to Sea’ has attracted criticism from politicians and farmers for a perceived lack of local consultation.

“Something momentous seems to be happening,” she said.

“Rewilding is a hot topic, and a controversial one. It tends to grab headlines when carnivores are reintroduced, like bears and wolves.

“As much as a quarter of the UK’s land could be restored to nature without a consequential fall in food production or farm incomes. And [Rewilding Britain] is calling for billions of pounds in farm subsidies to be spent on creating native woodlands and meadows, and on protecting peat bogs and salt marshes.

“As well as helping wildlife, they claim that the plan could cut our country’s carbon emissions to zero,” she added.