AN ONLINE campaign to save a site of special scientific interest has seen more than 4,000 people throw their weight behind it in just a month.

The campaign – #SaveTheGwentLevels – was launched in mid-October by the Gwent Wildlife Trust.

The charity decided to set up the online campaign to oppose a plan to construct a new M4 relief road which could destroy an area it believes is “Wales’ equivalent of the Amazon rainforest for its diversity of wildlife”.

And so far, 4,170 people have signed the campaign, which sends an e-mail to the Welsh Government showing opposition.

Chief executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust Ian Rappel said: “Next month, before the end of his term of office as First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones will make a decision on the proposed M4 ‘Black Route’ and ultimately the fate of Gwent Levels.

“With this in mind, Gwent Wildlife Trust has continued to raise the profile of the Gwent Levels because we know time is running out to influence and inform decision-makers with the strength of opposition to the M4 plans.

“We’ve partnered with The Wildlife Trusts around the UK with our #SaveTheGwentLevels e-campaign to encourage everyone across the country to send their own personal letter of opposition.

“The Gwent Levels is of national importance – in biodiversity terms it is comparable with the rainforests.”

He added: “If you’ve not already done so, please make your voice heard by joining our #SaveTheGwentLevels ecampaign and tell Carwyn Jones this proposed new M4 motorway should be scrapped.

“For the doubters out there – we’re not naive, we know there are transport issues around the M4 near Newport, but we also know that building another motorway is not a 21st century solution.

“Habitats for wildlife and people’s access to the glorious green space that is the Gwent Levels should not be sacrificed in favour of a new motorway.

“Please join us in our battle to save this precious landscape now and for future generations.”

The Gwent Wildlife Trust fought the plans for a relief road during the 18-month public inquiry. A decision on the longawaited M4 relief road will be made by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The Gwent Levels are home to rare wildlife including otters and the critically endangered water voles.

You can find out more about the campaign by visiting the website, 

A spokesman from the Welsh Government said: "Environmental measures, including replacement and new habitats have been carefully integrated into the M4 Project proposal it would not destroy the Gwent wetlands. 

"The Inspectors’ report on this, and all matters considered by the year-long Public Inquiry, is being considered and will shortly inform decision making on the future of the scheme."