Natural Resources Wales

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Natural Resources Wales's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Natural Resources Wales is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.naturalresources.wales

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | THE NATIONAL FOREST COMPANY
work at a landscape scale in both the
heart of the forest andCharnwood.
As a success story for Defra, the NFC
operates on the national stage, hosting
research programmes, demonstrating
best practice and trialling new
ventures. In 2018 we launched the
National Forest festival, Timber,
winning the best new festival at the UK
Festival Awards and curating a unique
event that celebrates woods and trees
through arts, music and ideas. We are
also part of international networks
such as the Queen’s Commonwealth
Canopy, helping to shape global policy
and ambition to protect and restore
ourforests.
The Environment Plan
In this context, the government’s new
25-year Environment Plan represents a
welcome and forward-looking strategy
that highlights many opportunities
for the future. This includes the
appointment of our Chair, Sir William
Worsley, as the new tree champion,
a commitment to “net gain” for
biodiversity through the planning
system, and the new Environmental
Land Management Scheme to help
accelerate funding for public goods
like tree planting.
We will need all these measures to
deliver positively if we are to realise
the benefits to “natural capital” that
trees can bring. The plan will also be a
strong test for the country’s aspirations
for “clean” growth, to ensure that only
growth that enhances the environment
and promotes community wellbeing
issupported.
As we look forward, we are all
challenged by the urgency of a
changing climate. We believe that the
National Forest provides a positive
test bed, a “greenprint”, for how
we can respond in a real place in
real time. We have shown how you
can transform a landscape within
a generation, and our next step is
to demonstrate as rapid a shift to
sustainable living, so that we are able
to adapt to and mitigate the impacts
of climate change. This will be a bold
aspiration for the next 25 years both
within the National Forest and beyond
our boundaries. Like a forest, our
message is simple: it is time to think
long term but act now.
Our message
is simple: it is
time to think
long term but
act now
Restored opencast, 2013
19NATURAL RESOURCES WALES |
ENVIRONMENT, FOOD & RURAL AFFAIRS
Clare Pillman, CEO Natural
Resources Wales
Overlooking Glyder
Fawr, Snowdonia
Natural Resources Wales is the largest government-
sponsored body in Wales, employing approximately
1,900 people. Chief Executive Claire Pillman joined the
organisation not long before hundreds of species were declared
to be at risk of being eliminated from Wales entirely. Claire
tells
The Parliamentary Review
how she and her team seek to
respond to this issue while continuing to champion the Welsh
environment and help people lead healthier lives.
With its rugged, mountainous landscape, rolling countryside and iconic coastal
scenery, Wales is a place I am proud to call home.
In February 2018, when Natural Resources Wales was looking for a new chief
executive, I felt a pull. It has been a privilege and an honour to take up the role
in this world-first organisation, which I believe has huge potential to make a
difference for the environment, our wildlife and our communities in Wales.
The organisation was born of two ground breaking pieces of legislation: the
Environment Wales Act of 2016 and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Wales
Act of 2015, in addition to three separate organisations.
The 2016 act has established a shared set of principles, allowing organisations to
work together in a more sustainable, proactive and collaborative way to manage
our natural resources. It brings everybody to the table and helps us to realise our
shared aspirations and goals.
FACTS ABOUT
NATURAL RESOURCES WALES
»CEO: Claire Pillman
»Founded in 2013
»Offices across Wales
»Services: Ensuring that the
natural resources of Wales
are sustainably maintained,
enhanced and used
»No. of employees: 1,900
Natural Resources
Wales
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | NATURAL RESOURCES WALES
The 2015 act requires organisations
to think more about the long-
term effects of their decisions on
communities and to work better with
people, with communities and with
one another.
I believe we now have the
extraordinary opportunity to transform
the way in which the public sector
works, and we are already doing that.
With change comes challenge
The journey to become the
organisation we are has not been
easy. By the time I took up the role,
Natural Resources Wales already had
its challenges – staff morale was low,
and we were making the headlines for
all the wrong reasons.
Coming into the role, my priority was
to focus on some of the long-standing
issues within the organisation, in
addition to focusing on people, so we
could get it right for our staff, for our
customers and for the public whom we
are proud to serve.
At the top of my in tray were the
results of the latest people survey. They
were not easy reading but gave me
fantastic and rich insight as to where
we were as an organisation and what
we needed to change. What quickly
became clear to me is that our staff are
united by a purpose and a passion for
what theydo. They are a dedicated,
motivated and highly skilled workforce,
and I’m proud of what they deliver
every day.
Their passion for what they do was
not matched by their passion for the
organisation. I set about bringing the
organisation together as one team,
focusing on what unites us rather
than divides us and introducing new
organisational values that reflect who
we really are. Our first face-to-face
organisation-wide staff away day was
a key milestone along that journey,
breaking down barriers and creating
an organisation that people feel like
they belong to.
Seeing the bigger picture
In my short time in this role there are
already many things I’m proud of, but
none more so than the development
of our Uwch Conwy project,
nearSnowdonia.
In early 2019 work began to restore
the River Machno at Carrog Farm,
removing the man-made flood
embankment and allowing the river to
reconnect with the natural flood plain
to slow flows and improve habitat.
To enable work to take place during
the closed season for working within
the river and reduce the need to
drive through the river many times, a
Monsterveyor belt was trialled, with
great success. It reduced the number
of river crossings from over 1,000 to
two, enabling 2,500 tonnes of gravel
from the man-made embankment to
be moved elsewhere on the farm for
other uses at a time of year when this
work would be prohibited to protect
important fish spawning beds.
Collaboration is at the heart of this
landscape-scale project – a partnership
Using innovative
technology to benefit
the environment
I believe we
now have the
extraordinary
opportunity to
transform the
way in which
the public
sector works,
and we are
already
doingthat
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | NATURAL RESOURCES WALES
The 2015 act requires organisations
to think more about the long-
term effects of their decisions on
communities and to work better with
people, with communities and with
one another.
I believe we now have the
extraordinary opportunity to transform
the way in which the public sector
works, and we are already doing that.
With change comes challenge
The journey to become the
organisation we are has not been
easy. By the time I took up the role,
Natural Resources Wales already had
its challenges – staff morale was low,
and we were making the headlines for
all the wrong reasons.
Coming into the role, my priority was
to focus on some of the long-standing
issues within the organisation, in
addition to focusing on people, so we
could get it right for our staff, for our
customers and for the public whom we
are proud to serve.
At the top of my in tray were the
results of the latest people survey. They
were not easy reading but gave me
fantastic and rich insight as to where
we were as an organisation and what
we needed to change. What quickly
became clear to me is that our staff are
united by a purpose and a passion for
what theydo. They are a dedicated,
motivated and highly skilled workforce,
and I’m proud of what they deliver
every day.
Their passion for what they do was
not matched by their passion for the
organisation. I set about bringing the
organisation together as one team,
focusing on what unites us rather
than divides us and introducing new
organisational values that reflect who
we really are. Our first face-to-face
organisation-wide staff away day was
a key milestone along that journey,
breaking down barriers and creating
an organisation that people feel like
they belong to.
Seeing the bigger picture
In my short time in this role there are
already many things I’m proud of, but
none more so than the development
of our Uwch Conwy project,
nearSnowdonia.
In early 2019 work began to restore
the River Machno at Carrog Farm,
removing the man-made flood
embankment and allowing the river to
reconnect with the natural flood plain
to slow flows and improve habitat.
To enable work to take place during
the closed season for working within
the river and reduce the need to
drive through the river many times, a
Monsterveyor belt was trialled, with
great success. It reduced the number
of river crossings from over 1,000 to
two, enabling 2,500 tonnes of gravel
from the man-made embankment to
be moved elsewhere on the farm for
other uses at a time of year when this
work would be prohibited to protect
important fish spawning beds.
Collaboration is at the heart of this
landscape-scale project – a partnership
Using innovative
technology to benefit
the environment
I believe we
now have the
extraordinary
opportunity to
transform the
way in which
the public
sector works,
and we are
already
doingthat
21NATURAL RESOURCES WALES |
ENVIRONMENT, FOOD & RURAL AFFAIRS
between Natural Resources Wales, the
National Trust, the local authority and
a private landowner.
Volunteers have also been vital to
the success of this project, ranging in
age from primary school children to
pensioners. With support from local
people, charities and schools, 500
metres of hedgerows and two hectares
of new woodland have been planted.
Over time, these will lock in carbon
and slow the flow of water but also
provide shade, shelter and new habitat
for wildlife.
The project has achieved so much
more than I can put into words
here. It’s forged relationships that
will last for a lifetime. It’s shown
the community how to work with
nature, rather than against it. It’s
made connections that weren’t there
before and educated a new generation
of young environmentalists. It’s
shown people how the environment
is connected to everything we do –
including our health.
Two kilometres of new footpaths
were also developed as part of the
project, linking existing footpaths
and bridleways. A scheme to deliver
exercise referral in rural areas is now
helping to link people back to their
environment and encourage people to
look after their health.
The benefits of a project of this
size can only be achieved through
collaboration. As well as the passion
and dedication from professional
partners, over 1,000 volunteer hours
have helped bring this project to life.
An organisation fit for the
future
As with the rest of the UK and
the world, it is a critical time for
Wales’ environment and our natural
resources. Last year, our government
declared a climate emergency and
the recent
State of Nature
report
identified that one in six species of
wildlife, plants and fungi are at risk of
disappearing fromWales.
While these challenges are daunting,
in Wales we have the legislative
framework to support joined-up
delivery and as an organisation we are
now structured to deliver holistically
and collaboratively at a local level.
What is clear is that we can’t do it on
our own.
While we may have the legislation
to support change here in Wales,
if the public sector is to survive and
thrive during times of austerity and
uncertainty, we all must change
andadapt.
We all need to work closely with our
local authorities, NGOs, the private
sector and our communities to truly
realise our full potential and to deliver
the outcomes we aspire to. Our
collective challenge is to hand over
to the next generation, having begun
to turn the tide and to have grown
everyone’s understanding of the
importance of our environment for our
present and future wellbeing.
In my short time
in this role there
are already many
things I’m proud
of, but none
more so than
the development
of our Uwch
Conwy project,
near
Snowdonia
Volunteers key to
success of Uwch Conwy
project

www.naturalresources.wales

This article was sponsored by Natural Resources Wales. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development