Wednesday 22nd: Nature Based Solutions

Each day we had loads of activities to join in with at home and online, including fun events for kids and families, and live discussions with those making a difference to Wales’ future.

All our downloads are still available, and our live sessions were recorded and are available to watch on YouTube. Just click on the buttons next to the session title to access them.

10.00am: Welcome Message from Iolo Williams

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Iolo Williams is a Welsh nature observer and television presenter, best known for his BBC and S4C nature shows, working in both English and his first language of Welsh.

 

10.15am: Vlog – Farming and Nature

From the mountains to the meadows, farmland can be great for wildlife and provide lots of different environmental benefits. Join Rhys Evans as he takes a look at some of environmental public goods and nature based solutions on the family farm in Rhyd-y-main, Meirionnydd.

10.30am: Video – Biodiversity Means Business

Wildlife Trusts Wales’ vision for the Wrexham Industrial Estate Living Landscape and how it helps businesses, workers, communities and wildlife thrive.

11.00-12.00pm: Live Discussion: Wales National Forest

In March this year the Welsh Government outlined ambitious plans to create a National Forest, a connected ecological network of woodland running throughout Wales, that will play an important role in protecting nature and addressing biodiversity loss. This session will be introduced by the Minister Lesley Griffiths MS, and some of the key people involved from Coed Cadw – the Woodland Trust, CONFOR and Llais y Goedwig will outline their vision of how this can help deliver nature based solutions.

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Chair, Natalie Buttriss, Coed Cadw Woodland Trust, Natalie has spent most of her working life in the environmental charity sector. Natalie was previously CEO at The Vincent Wildlife Trust, Deputy Chief Executive/Head of Marketing at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Corporate Relations Manager for Sustrans. In her spare time she enjoys walking the hills, paths and nature reserves of Wales

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Lesley Griffiths MS
Lesley Griffiths is the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. She was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in May 2007 and has served in several ministerial roles since then, taking up her current role in 2018. Outside of politics, her main hobbies are music, walking and watching Wrexham Football Club.

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Anthony Geddes, Confor National Manager for Wales. A Sustainability professional with 15 years’ experience in the investment, timber recycling and renewable energy industries, coming to realise that environmentalists, educators and economists need to co-exist. His goal is to develop a sustainable productive timber supply in Wales.

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Maria Wilding, Llais y Goedwig. Maria is a project manager with 25 years’ experience in community forestry, third sector support and social enterprise development.

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Chris Matts manages the Woodland Trust properties across south and west Wales. He project-managed the Trust’s First World War centenary woodland creation site in Wales, a new £1.2 million, 130 acre woodland park in Carmarthenshire. Currently managing the creation of Brynau Wood, near Neath, the Trust’s largest ever woodland creation site in Wales, a Plant! site where the National Forest project was launched in March.

12.00pm: Blog – Nature Based Solutions

Nature is key in addressing challenging issues.
What are nature based solutions, and how can they help address some of the challenging issues we face?

12.10pm: Vlog -Farming and Nature: Magnificent Moorlands

The Welsh uplands can offer so much – from producing food, to giving nature a home, storing carbon and reducing flood risk. Join Rhys on the family farm where he’ll be taking a closer look at the heather moorland and the different benefits it provides!

12.15pm: Video – Seagrass restoration project

Last year Sky Ocean Rescue, WWF and Swansea University launched the seagrass restoration project to help this important habitat to thrive once again. Over the Summer of 2019 a million seeds were collected from existing meadows around the British Isles, including Porthdinllaen in the Llŷn Peninsula by a group of volunteers led by Swansea University and planted off the Pembrokeshire coast in March this year –  where they continue to grow.

Join Chris Clark to learn more about how the Less is More approach can help achieve a more profitable, resilient business model for farming alongside a thriving natural environment.  Based on his copious knowledge and experience, Chris will introduce practical steps on how to improve the profitability of upland farm businesses in response to proposals to phase out direct payments. The approach has the added benefit of being capable of generating environmental benefits. Gethin Owen will present a personal account of how adopting the measures described by Chris have benefited his farm business in North Wales.

Chaired by Arfon Williams, RSPB Cymru 

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Arfon Williams: Arfon Williams is Head of Land and Sea Policy for RSPB Cymru, has worked for Welsh Government designing and delivering agri-environment schemes and has a mid-Wales farming background.

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Chris Clark with his wife Fiona, owns and manages Nethergill Farm in North Yorkshire.  He is a Partner in Nethergill Associates, a business management consultancy currently assisting with the conjecturing and management of future farming uncertainties.  A former farm tenant and farm manager, Chris now has thirty years of business management experience, many within the agriculture and allied food industry, of which over thirty years were managing his own businesses.  

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Gethin Owen farms at Nant-yr-Efail near Abergele on the North Wales coast with his family, and is a former regional winner of the RSPB Nature of Farming award. He farms 35 suckler cows and 650 ewes, and also grows spring oats and barley, forage peas, swedes and red clover. The farm is run following traditional principles of variety in space & time and being as self-sufficient as possible to reduce input costs.  Gethin is passionate about creating a home for wildlife, and demonstrating that this can be mutually beneficial in its co-existence with productive and sustainable agriculture.

1.30pm: Live Zoom Class – Children’s Yoga

Join Lorna and Melissa from Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) for children’s yoga, wear something comfy and bring a mat if you have one.  Register for the session here

1.45pm: Video – LIFE Project

Healthy bogs bring great benefits to wildlife and people. They help tackle climate change by storing vast amounts of carbon, they provide a home to rare plants and animals, and they are great places for people to visit and enjoy the outdoors. This four-year project has been created to improve the condition of seven of the most important raised bogs sites in Wales, repairing around 690ha of peatland.

2.00pm: Download – Family activity 

Build an amazing bug hotel using eco friendly materials from your garden

2.15pm: Vlog – Farming and Nature: Fantastic Ffridd

The Ffridd is an iconic habitat, unique to Wales. Join Rhys on the farm to learn more about the importance of farming in maintaining this special habitat (spoiler alert – contains bluebells!)

 

2.30-3.30pm: Live Discussion –  Hedges and Edges: Why a new land use scheme needs to support these unsung heroes of the countryside

Why a new land use scheme needs to support these unsung heroes of the countryside. Aiming to vastly increase tree cover as hedges and on many edges. Coed Cadw believes its urgent targeted delivery can benefit farmers, our Welsh communities and nature, within a climate and ecological emergency.

Download the ‘Hedges and Edges’ presentation here

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Chair, Geraint Davies – Has farmed near Bala for 22 years and is a Board Member of Natural Resources Wales.

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Jerry Langford – has worked for the Woodland Trust in Wales for many years, initially responsible for woodland acquisition and management in Wales and subsequently moving into project development and public affairs work and managing the staff team in Wales until 2018.  He now does policy advocacy and co-ordinates external influencing work in Wales. 

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Will Evans – A beef and arable farmer from Bangor on Dee, in North East Wales. He produces and hosts a podcast called Rock & Roll Farming, which he started in March 2017 with the aim of showcasing agriculture and the people involved to the wider public. He is also the co-founder of eatfarmnow.com 

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Keith Powell – Seventh generation hill farmer and vet who passionately believes that a thriving rural community and economy can deliver not only food but also the biodiversity, flood prevention and carbon sequestration gains required today

3.40pm: Vlog – Farming and Nature: Wonderful Woodlands

Woodlands play a vital role on farms. In this short video, Rhys explains a bit more, and discusses how farmers can be encouraged and rewarded for planting and managing woodlands.

3.45pm: Video: Beavers – a nature based solution?

How beavers could be part of a green recovery for Wales, help restore biodiversity and their role in nature based solutions to the climate crisis.

4.00-5.00pm: Live Discussion: Farming and Nature Based solutions: Lessons from the Llŷn Peninsula

Join the Llŷn Partnership to find out the latest about their Payment for Outcomes project. Working with National Trust tenant farmers, the project seeks to explore new ways of supporting farmers to help nature thrive on their farms, and to demonstrate the merits of sustainable farming, not just for the benefit of nature, but for the long-term future of farming.

To know more beforehand about the Payment for Outcomes Project, click here.

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Arwel Jones is the Llyn Landscape Partnership Project Manager. His interests and expertise are in developing and implementing sustainable business models that complement the strengths of rural areas, building capacity through knowledge transfer and developing new learning networks for the benefit of future generations.

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Jan Sherry is Senior Manager at PONT where she leads on biodiversity and habitat advice. Previously Jan worked for the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and later Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for 15 years as the Heathland Ecologist and latterly covering broader upland habitats. After leaving NRW she took up her PONT role and also established herself as an independent consultant.

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Hilary Kehoe is Senior Development Officer at PONT and is the Chair of Nature Friendly Farming Network Cymru.  Hilary Kehoe farms with her family at Tyddyn Isaf, near Bangor, running cattle and sheep enterprises that work across Anglesey and Gwynedd for conservation management. 

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Carwyn Roberts is a tenant farmer at Cwrt Farm, a National Trust farm on the LLŷn Peninsula.  

5.10pm: Vlog – Farming and Nature: Grazing is Amazing

Join Rhys on the rhos, where the cattle are creating ideal conditions for wildlife. A fan of orchids? Then this is the place for you!

5.15pm: Download – Sustaining Nature and Farming on Llŷn: The Payment for Outcomes project

An overview of the Llŷn Payment for Outcomes project.

5.30pm: Video – Meadows Matter

Tour of an Upland Fringe Meadow in the Elan Valley

5.45pm: Download – Blue carbon: the importance of Welsh seas in tackling climate change

A new study commissioned by Natural Resources Wales has revealed the important role our seas and coasts play in offsetting carbon emissions by storing large amounts of carbon in a range of different marine habitats. Many people associate the storage of carbon with habitats such as woodlands and peatlands, however marine habitats are important in storing “blue carbon”. The recently published study investigates “blue carbon” habitats in Wales, from the intertidal flats of the Menai Strait and the seagrass of Porth Dinllaen, to the spindly brittlestar beds off the Pembrokeshire coast and the expanses of sand and gravel covered seabed further offshore. The study reveals that, each year, the Welsh marine environment locks away carbon amounting to the equivalent annual emissions of 64,800 cars or 115,400 return flights from Cardiff to the Canary Islands. The study provides further evidence that our diverse coasts and sea play an important role in helping Wales tackle climate change and protecting our natural environment for future generations.

The full report will shortly be published on our website . Alternatively, please email siobhan.vye@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk for more information.

6.00-6.30pm: Webinar – How and where should we focus action on Welsh peatlands to address the nature and climate change emergencies?

A discussion about approaches and priorities and an insight into what the LIFE Welsh Raised Bog Project hopes to achieve in the next few years.  

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Patrick Green – Project Manager, LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs Project, NRW – Patrick Green is NRWs Project Manager for the LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs Project and manages seven staff working on restoration, education and engagement work. The project aims to restore seven of the most important lowland raised bog sites in Wales

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Dr. Peter S. Jones – Lead Specialist Advisor, Peatlands, NRW – Dr Peter Jones is NRWs Lead Specialist Advisor for peatland habitats, with a strong focus on the development of conservation and restoration programmes for peatlands in Wales.

6.45pm: Blog – It’s in our nature

Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales, on why tuning into nature is good for us and the environment.

6.55pm: Vlog – Farming and Nature: Magical Meadows

Who doesn’t love hay meadows?! Rhys takes a closer look at this wonderful habitat and the multiple benefits it provides, not only for nature but for the farm business as well. Last stop of the day…but saving best till last!

7.00pm: Video demo – Green Squirrel 

Learn how to make an infused vinegar and create your very own all-purpose citrus cleaning spray – reduce plastic, save money and try out some green cleaning!

7.30pm: Download – Rewild your life

Did you know spending time in nature boosts your connection with the natural world, and it can also help you feel good too?

From 20 seconds to 20 minutes (and longer), we’ve got some ideas for easy ways to spend time in nature every day, to make it part of your daily routine.

7.45pm: Blog – Magnificent Meadows Wales

‘Hospital Fields’ – Looking after and creating flower-rich grasslands for the wellbeing of our wildlife, environment and communities.

8.00-9.00pm: Webinar Conservation Grazing – PONT

An introduction to conservation grazing – livestock grazing that meets nature conservation objectives. This webinar will include all the advice you’ll need to get started and plan your grazing, including animal care, legislation, timings and habitat considerations.

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Hilary Kehoe – Senior Development Officer – PONT
Hilary has worked for PONT since 2008, and is also the Chair of Nature Friendly Farming in Wales. She has a huge amount of experience working to establish conservation grazing. Hilary delivers a range of courses for PONT including a one-day Conservation Grazing course on which this webinar is based.