What is your role at Arup?
My focus is on two projects with Welsh Water, helping them maintain and improve sewer systems. My job includes sending out survey crews and coming up with ways to make sure the system works properly.
Is there anything you think is particularly special about nature in Wales?
I grew up in west Wales and we have fantastic beaches there – one of my favourite spots is Tresaith (in Ceredigion). I love seeing birds, seals and dolphins. Since moving to the valleys I really appreciate the waterfalls and forests, and I like walking at Garwnant (in the Brecon Beacons, near Merthyr Tydfil).
Why did you take the Nature Wise course?
I was interested because I saw it as an opportunity to link my work with my interest in nature. I like spending time outdoors, doing walking and cycling in the Brecon Beacons, so I often think about how to improve the environment.
How useful did you find the course?
It was very helpful to focus on what you can do as an individual, how I can think in a more eco-friendly way and talk to others about preserving nature for future generations. I really liked hearing success stories like the recovery of the red kite.
Why should someone do Nature Wise?
It’s great for beginners, as it explains why it’s important to look after the natural environment, sets out the problem and lays out solutions. For those with more knowledge it’s a refresher. We need policy makers to have these attitudes embedded.
What have you been doing to help nature since doing the course?
Arup’s very good at considering the impact of its actions, but I have presented what I learnt to my colleagues and that’s been a useful reminder.
Personally, I’ve been working on my garden and had been planning to dig up the tree stumps. I’ve now realised they’re a vital habitat that’s being lost. I’ve explained this to my children – it’s a good teaching opportunity! Another thing in my plan is to try to have more native plants.
What about the future?
I hope construction will use more nature-based solutions, like using wetlands. And I hope that will filter through into the general population and people will realise how important nature is, and have more of a connection.
What is your message to other engineers?
I’d say that the more we involve nature in solutions, the more durable that project will be. So let’s work with nature rather than fight against it!
Nabod Natur – Nature Wise is a science-based, action-focused course to help individuals to understand the relationships between people and natural systems. It shares knowledge, builds understanding and provide the tools to motivate and catalyse action.