Who are you, what do you do and why did your organisation get involved with Renew? Born and raised in the Vale of Clwyd with a background in Ecology and a passion for Gardening, I am committed to promoting respect for the natural world and the fundamental understanding that nature and natural systems underpin everything we are and all that we do. North Wales Wildlife Trust community and education officer since 2010. We are committed to our vision of ”A North Wales rich in wildlife valued by all, and we do this by Making places better for wildlife and Connecting wildlife and people. For over a decade, NWWT have been raising awareness about wildlife gardening, aiming to connect communities with the natural world by engaging with it directly, be it through habitat creation, citizen science, food growing or training and delivery in outdoor education. Gardening for wildlife and all that it involves goes hand in hand with Renew Wales’ objectives, learning to live more sustainably is the most realistic way of reducing our impact on the world and reducing the scale and impact of climate change.
Case study 1: Brynteg, Wrexham (2014). A community group wanted to establish a kitchen garden on a plot behind a community café run by volunteers. We engaged with local youth centre to set up a growing project that would supply the café with fresh fruit and vegetables. The patch was designed and funding sourced from national lottery. The community was involved in the construction and youth groups worked hard to build the garden during one summer holiday season. The icing on the cake on returning to the café during the following summer to be presented with a plate of mainly homegrown produce topped off with a dessert of fresh strawberries from the garden…bendigedig!
Case study 2: An established community group in Holywell wanted to utilise their local churchyard for community food growing to secure future local food security. Through a collaborative process the site was designed and funding sourced locally to establish a community orchard, nuttery, an apiary and a wildflower meadow. Funding was secured from other sources to purchase equipment for the group to maintain the site and also to provide educative interpretation panel.
What is your vision of your region in 2050? What will have changed and how will we have got there?
Communities have created a local economy based on small scale, local production. People will trade in skills, labour and produce through community cooperatives which has largely replaced the private sector.
Subsidised re-wilding schemes will be taking place across former agricultural land and farmers will be paid to trap carbon to help stabilise climate change. New and biodiverse habitat will be created with wildlife corridors connecting habitats across a living landscape, allowing unhindered movement of wildlife escaping the impacts of climate change.
Children will be educated outdoors on average 2 out of 5 days per week as the environment is seen as central to the syllabus, making best use of the school playing fields, wildlife gardens and local community woodlands planted across the country in 2020.