My name is Suzanne and I am a community worker and a conservationist. I am also a poet, and a parent, and a grandparent! I have a background in countryside management and have worked as a ranger in North Wales, as well as supporting several rare species recovery programmes. I co-ordinate Renew Wales activities in North Powys as a way to reduce the impact of climate change in my own region, with the help of my host organisation Robert Owen Community Banking Fund, in Newtown.
Why are you drawn to this area of work?
I have always enjoyed helping people get together and I love the countryside of Wales. I feel very protective of this landscape after many years of working in Flintshire– I realised my dream when I moved to a small cottage in a Welsh-speaking village in southern Snowdonia 2 years ago. I want to protect and enrich the environment that sustains us and improve local conditions for healthy living.
I’ve supported community development work in the past with communities of interest– groups of women, neighbourhood ward residents, young people, and conservationists. With all my community work there has been an environmental focus—whether protecting habitats or air quality, or saving energy and costs, or even supporting local food and job for young people. The first steps are usually about getting organised and getting networked, and pulling in specialist support to groups at early stages, so they can make their dreams a reality. Too often this specialist support is hard to find, or negotiate, and that is why I admire the work of Renew Wales.
What is your vision of your region in 2050?
- There will be a diversification of farming on smaller parcels of land in mid Wales with benefits to wildlife. Intensive farming methods, for chickens and eggs, sheep, and beef and dairy cows will be a memory. Local people will volunteer on local farms to produce local food. Their employers will give them paid time off to carry out this volunteering.
- We will have more broadleaved tree cover in mid Wales and less flooding events/improved air quality
- Renewable-powered cars on the roads will be the norm. There will be a charger point network that is easily accessed and encourages people to socialise and shop, even work while they charge their car.
- People will have access to local food, multi-modal transport and have more time socialising face to face they will have healthier lives and less stress/better support networks.