Climate Change

Wales in 2051 – Green Skills

Wales in 2051 – Green Skills

Wales in 2051 is a series of six interconnected fictional stories exploring sustainability, working life and community in the year past the Net Zero deadline.

In this mini-series, told through six characters, we explore what the world could look like in a healthy, collaborative, and inclusive future where governing structures have adapted to fit a way of life that supports planetary boundaries and fair treatment of all people with well-being as the focus for measuring societal success.

Inspired by CAST’s social visions of low-carbon futures report, the manifesto by the Ministry of Imagination, Ciprian Sipos’ posts about future jobs, and Climate Outreach, we hope to show readers that everyone can play a huge role in achieving a sustainable present and future.

More importantly, through these stories, we want to focus on the role of skills and enabling environments to illustrate that we need all kinds of ideas, people, and institutions working together as one creative hive mind.

Our first set of stories have been developed by Camille Løvgreen and Dr Karolina Rucinska’s as part of their work on green skills, and formed part of a their work green skills, alongside a series of events and advice sessions.

Here is what they said:

“Nothing moves us like a good story. Through storytelling, we can imagine the future we are working towards, build hope and momentum, and come together to take collective action. These six characters and their setting let us talk, creatively, about big ideas without using big words. This makes it possible for everyone to see how they fit into the current and future world visions”

Karolina

“The idea of exploring these characters  through an imagined society with different operating structures and a different priority on the way we live is not only to imagine what a healthy coexistence between people and planet may look like, but to explore how quality of life can improve with a deeper connection to the people around us.”

Camille

Setting the scene

It’s 2051, just a year after what leaders of the past called the Net Zero deadline. Although the emissions continued to reduce over the decades, only a few benefited from the shift to low-carbon economies. Why? The transition worldwide was terrible due to the lack of planning, imagination, foresight, inclusion, and system thinking. Everything that was not meant to happen… happened. Between 2024 and 2035, the world experienced mass unemployment, instability, closure of borders, the collapse of ecosystems, barren agricultural fields, reversal of human rights, and collapse of economies.

A leading news agency correspondent visits nations worldwide to see how they are doing a year after the big two-oh-five-zero.  Most people forgot what 2050 was about, but a few remembered.

Welcome to Wales in 2051

Meet our characters

The stories are viewed through the eyes of the narrator, a leading A leading news agency correspondent, who sets the scene through a message sent to the editors of a leading news agency about the tour around Wales in…2051!

Starting with Adi, each story introduces a new character who describes their day. Each story leading onto the next, showing how we are all connected directly and indirectly and can positively influence each other’s lives.

Adi – a civil engineer with an expertise in environmental resilience

Cameron – a young school boy, friend of Adi and son of Luke

Luke – a family man and business owner

 

Aman – a community farmer

 

Cleo – a doctor

Gwen-Eddo – a policy-maker

Wales in 2051 – Green Skills Read More »

A Wales that cares: People, planet, and green skills – A focus on sustainability and equality

At Cynnal Cymru, we recognise that we are not the only organisation in Wales working to make sustainability challenges, and their solutions, visible and relatable.

Engaging with others is a key part of what we do and what we learn we try to share – through our advice and action planning, training – and posts like these.

We recently participated in an event organised by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) and Oxfam Cymru which highlighted the importance of acknowledging and valuing unpaid (or poorly paid) labour, a form of work that is predominantly undertaken by women across the globe and is often unrecognised.

This intersection of work and justice is close to our hearts. Cynnal Cymru is the Living Wage accreditation partner for Wales and we see Fair Work as a critical cornerstone of any equitable society and economy.

If this issue also touches you, please read on for more insights from the event from our Sustainability Strategist Karolina and further resources around the care economy, alternative economic models, inequality and climate.

A Wales that cares: People, planet, and green skills – A focus on sustainability and equality – IWA and Oxfam Cymru April 2024

I was curious and excited to attend this event and to explore how a Wales that prioritises people and the planet could be constructed. A key takeaway was that this cannot be done without first recognising and fairly rewarding unpaid (or poorly paid) labour, a form of work that is predominantly undertaken by women and is often unrecognised.

The event featured a series of debates and conversations, ignited by thought-provoking presentations by:

  • Anam Parvez , Head of Research, Oxfam GB, on care, climate justice and inequality – a perspective from the UK
  • Leah Payud, Portfolio Manager, Oxfam Philippines, on care, climate justice and gendered dimensions – a perspective from the global South.
  • Erinch Sahan, Business and Enterprise Lead, DEAL, on doughnut economics and alternative economic models
  • Helen Lucocq, Head of Strategy and Policy, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, on doughnut economics and alternative economic models in Wales.

The takeaways that we’d like to share, including resources from the event or found subsequently, are:

Necessity of a Paradigm Shift:

It’s crucial that we progress beyond using GDP as the only indicator of success. This measure has shown to be patriarchal and has been globally implemented with devastating consequences. To truly understand its impact on our climate, it’s worth listening to Mia Motely’s discussion on the imperative need for systemic change and a compelling story from Gabon.

Significance of the Care Economy:

It’s undeniable that women bear a disproportionate burden of caregiving duties. For a just transition to occur, it’s essential to recognise and appreciate these contributions. During periods of transition, it’s crucial to consider all forms of paid and unpaid labour, as the most overlooked types are often the most affected and necessary. To gain a deeper understanding, visit Oxfam’s website dedicated to care in the UK and listen to these two insightful podcasts here and here, plus an episode about the staggering amount of money women in the care sector send back home.

Making change in Wales:

If you are in a position where you can help reset this balance in Wales you can watch how one social care provider became a Living Wage employer here.

Interconnection of Climate and Inequality:

Climate change tends to exacerbate existing social inequalities, with minority groups often bearing the brunt. Those burdened with caring responsibilities are often left to protect and rebuild with little or no external support. Thus, climate action and disaster preparedness plans should be inclusive, considering those with caring responsibilities and people with disabilities. In this regard, developing nations have made significant strides, providing valuable lessons for developed nations. For further information, you can read stories of preparedness with gender in mind, about the impact of climate on women in rural areas, listen to the episode about preparedness in Bangladesh, heartbreaking stories about the impact on women due to climate; and about the lack of consideration for people with disabilities in action plans.

The Doughnut Model – A New Business Paradigm:

The Doughnut Model is an innovative framework for redesigning businesses to address both environmental and social needs. System thinking skills are indispensable for facilitating this transition. To learn more, visit the Doughnut Lab.

Green Jobs & Just Transition Across All Sectors, Including Care:

The definition of green skills needs to be broadened to prevent exacerbating existing social inequalities.

Real Stories of Possibility:

There are countless solutions out there; they encompass technology, politics, socio-cultural changes, and are entirely achievable. Let’s make sure to share these inspiring stories! For a wealth of uplifting and inspiring stories, I recommend People Fixing the World.

The event spurred numerous questions:

  • What could these alternative metrics to GDP look like, and how can they be effectively implemented?
  • How can we ensure a just transition that benefits everyone, not just those with privilege?

We look forward to seeing these insightful discussions developed into a comprehensive position paper, which IWA should soon publish.

A Wales that cares: People, planet, and green skills – A focus on sustainability and equality Read More »

A Capital garden: how a steel company is taking action for nature

How have you decided to take action?

The creation of a biodiversity and wellbeing garden, designed to acknowledge the lengthy industrial heritage of the site and also to restore the area to a bio-productive space; introducing nesting boxes, bee hives, planters filled with pollinator friendly flowers, two ponds and a canopy with a green roof.

We see the garden as a multi-faceted tool for sustainability, it:

  • Gives nature a place to thrive
  • Is part of a wildlife corridor on site
  • Offers a real-world example of nature alongside industry
  • Is a mechanism for training
  • A clear embodiment of our sustainability aspirations
  • An inspiration for other businesses

How did you get started?

The inspiration for the garden was provided by the space itself (the Victorian walls presented an opportunity to conceive the area differently); the book ‘Islands of abandonment’ (Cal Flynn)  made me think about how places can revert to their previous states; and finally desire to do something positive and meaningful that would have internal and external benefits.

Advice came from lots of quarters; social projects Project Nestbox and the Sirhowy Bee Company, and also from gardeners within our team, alongside friends and family. We have also never stopped listening to ideas and are currently working on an edible gardening journey to share crops with our staff. 

What is a key challenge that you have faced?

The challenges came from the environment within which the garden is sited and also creating the ‘right’ balance between core business activities and maintenance. Would the bees thrive? Which plants are hardy, low maintenance and good for biodiversity? Can we allocate sufficient resource within weather windows? (we are after all, a steel company and not a botanical garden, so there is only so much time we can devote to the garden itself).  However the latter point is almost moot – where there’s a will there’s a way.

What benefits have you seen?

The benefits have been significant:

On the environment – we have returned life to a formerly barren area. The space is now full of flora and fauna, most obviously flowers, shrubs, birds, bees, insects and amphibians.  

On the workforce – I can’t think of a better project that’s communicated the values of sustainability and the importance of biodiversity, from materials re-use to eco-systems.

On the organisation – it has been a real success in convincing the outside world that we listen, think, plan and act on sustainability. This has manifested itself in improved relations with key stakeholders and customers. Banks in particular, value organisations who take their responsibilities seriously.

Do you have any words of advice for those starting their biodiversity journey?

The big takeaway from our project is no matter what resources you have – or don’t have – at your disposal, do what you can with what you’ve got. Any area can be used, waste can be upcycled. Imagination and commitment are more important than financial resources.

Capital Coated Steel is a processor of pre-finished steels and metals, offering slitting, decoiling, profiling and shearing services. A Welsh owned company established in 1972, Capital serves multiple markets including building envelope, domestic appliance, cold rooms and general manufacturing. At Capital we believe in long-term relationships, looking after our customers, supporting staff, contributing to the local community and taking our sustainability responsibilities seriously.

Not sure where to start on your own biodiversity journey? Check out our Nature Wise course to learn about the links between human activity and ecosystem disruption. Our eco-literacy training will help you develop the knowledge to enable you and your organisation to take action for nature recovery.

A Capital garden: how a steel company is taking action for nature Read More »

How does my job relate to nature?

Why holding a space for nature-connection is my dream job

Our Sustainability Trainer Sara Wynne-Pari discusses her sustainability journey.

Growing up in rural North Wales has greatly influenced my love for nature and my dedication to protecting the natural environment. Although I’ve worked across a wide variety of disciplines, nature and biodiversity have been a constant underlying theme. I enjoy helping others on their sustainability journey and being a good environmental communicator, able to understand and tailor discussions to individual needs, has been integral to my work.

This passion for both nature and communication has led me to be the lead trainer and project manager for  Nature Wise, our eco-literacy training programme. I also develop content and deliver bespoke nature-based training to help organisations improve their understanding of the nature crisis and recognise ways they can take action to reverse it. 

I’m currently studying an IEMA-accredited MSc in Environmental and Business Management at Bangor University. Although I was nervous to return to education two decades after my bachelor’s degree, I have found the experience re-energising. It is rewarding to develop my own knowledge but also great to be able to apply all the experience and insights I have gained to what I’m learning.

When I’m not working, you’ll find me exploring the beaches of Ynys Mon, waiting for the cuckoo’s return to Nant Ffrancon, looking for new swimming spots or riding my electric bike through Eryri (Snowdonia). Delivering the NatureWise course has given me an even deeper respect and connection to nature and I feel very lucky to be able to hold a space for others to explore this through the course.  

Nature Wise is a science-based, action-focused course to help participants understand the relationships between people and natural systems. It shares knowledge, builds understanding and provides the tools to motivate and catalyse action. 

We can’t live without nature — it provides us with the essentials for life, such as clean air, water, and food, and greatly contributes to our physical and mental wellbeing. It is our best ally in the fight against climate change. 

There’s a way we can all incorporate nature into our work – of course planting trees and volunteering outdoors is important but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There are lots of other ways we can help, for example, you could become a nature champion at work, sharing tips and ideas with your colleagues; encouraging your organisation to incorporate wildlife corridors and pollinating plants around your business sites or incorporating biodiversity considerations into your procurement process. 

Unsure of how you can implement any of that in your role? Worried you don’t have the right influence, or can’t figure out the steps to getting there?

Join us for the Nature Wise eco-literacy course! We will provide you with information, ideas and inspiration. We also offer bespoke courses for any organisations who would like more tailored content.

Sara Wynne-Pari is one of our Sustainability Trainers. She leads Nature Wise eco-literacy training, regularly running Nature Wise for Work which helps you understand your human-nature relationship as it fits in with your job role, and how you can improve your work’s relationship to nature via achievable goals.

How does my job relate to nature? Read More »

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like? 

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like?

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like? It’s a topic that has been on my mind a lot since joining Cynnal Cymru in February as the Senior Programme and Policy Lead, leading our Fair Work and Living Wage team. Unsurprisingly for a charity called ‘Sustain Wales’, we’ve always been a sustainability charity first and foremost. But for a few years now, we’ve worked on developing our aims on ‘just transition’, and that has included embedding the fair work agenda outlined in the Fair Work Wales report in 2019 into our aims. That has meant working with trade unions, writing policy papers on spreading fair work principles throughout existing government programmes, and sitting on the Welsh Government’s group aimed at tackling modern slavery.  

We’re also the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation partner for Wales, meaning we essentially host Living Wage Wales in house. Living Wage Wales has delivered over 22,000 pay rises for low-paid workers across Wales through this work, including 5,575 in 2023 alone – making a direct contribution to tackling the cost of living crisis. This fits with another key Cynnal Cymru principle – focus on action, not just words. 

This is what myself and my colleagues on the Fair Work and Living Wage team work on – but what does it have to do with sustainability? I’d say it has a huge contribution to make. We should be honest about the fact that there are vested interests who are opposed to carbon reduction and nature-positive actions, particularly at the scale we know these need to happen at. It barely needs saying, but profit motives very often run against sustainability aims. A tree can be a project stewarded by communities over hundreds of years that provides space for nature and clean air for people, or it can be a blocker to a new car park. At time of writing, it was only yesterday that we heard the UAE government plans to use COP28 to make oil deals.  

There are often efforts to protect private profit motives via leveraging the jobs business creates, to bind the inexorable destruction of the natural world to the interests of working people. In this framing, environmentalists and their causes are painted as cloistered from the demands of the real world that most people have to deal with. There’s no hiding from the fact that this can be an emotive and powerful dividing line, carving the people whose world is being worsened away from efforts to protect it. We saw in the recent Uxbridge by-election how action on emissions, in this case Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ), can be utilised for political gain. 

Focus on action – not just words.

For me, then, a just and fair transition isn’t just a slogan. It is a vital tool in our efforts towards carbon reduction and nature restoration. If our sustainability efforts are questioned, we can very happily point to the work we do to ensure that people have access to fair working conditions and boosting the pay of those in the lowest-paid jobs so that they can afford to live and not just exist. Work on a fair and just transition can bind working people to the cause of sustainability – not an inconvenience for people, but an opportunity. At a legislative level in Wales, the recent Social Partnership and Public Procurement Act has amended the Well-being of Future Generations Act to include ‘fair work’, and our well-being indicators include payment of the real Living Wage and trade union membership. This binds the cause of working people even closer to the task of saving our planet. 

If we get it right, the green transition gives us the opportunity to repair many of the broken elements of our economy. It can mean high-quality, unionised, green jobs spread across communities that have seen unfair working practices and low pay proliferate. Green skills training programmes that prepare our workforce for the future can contribute to bringing an end to the gender and racial inequities we see today. And of course, it can mean the avoidance of the road to disaster our climate and natural world are currently on.

So, as we look at Wales Climate Week and COP28, let’s keep the things that are important to people – their livelihoods, incomes, and their everyday lives – at the forefront of our minds. That’s what a just and fair transition is all about. 


Harry Thompson is Cynnal Cymru’s Senior Programmes and Policy Lead. He manages the Fair Work and Living Wage team, which work towards Cynnal Cymru’s strategic goal of a fair and just society. He comes from an economic policy background, having led projects on topics such as empowering trade unions, the Welsh Government’s fiscal framework, and community empowerment.

He is also our Equality and Diversity lead.

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like?  Read More »

A large wave crashes onto the edge of the pier with a visible lighthouse in Porthcawl.

National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) launches research project into climate change and engagement with the public

This week NICW has launched a new climate research project run by Cynnal Cymru to explore how climate change is communicated to communities. Over five months, the research team will analyse current trends and meet with communities to ultimately help public bodies engage better with the public to manage long-term climate risks.

Climate change is a serious issue that will transform landscapes worldwide, including Wales. The impact will be particularly significant here in Wales, where 60% of the population and the infrastructure we depend on are located in coastal areas. Many communities in these areas are situated below the high tide line, and rising sea levels and increased storms will gradually erode coastlines at a rate of 20-67m every 100 years. This rate is expected to increase to 82-175m depending on the level of carbon emissions.

However, rising sea levels are not the only change that the people of Wales will experience. Prolonged heat waves, heavy storms, and droughts might become the new norm, posing significant challenges to everyone. Therefore, it is essential to consider these impacts when maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, which is often over 200 years old.

It is also crucial to recognise that the likelihood and severity of these risks will increase in the coming decades. Public bodies, the Welsh Government, and other important stakeholders must make critical decisions on responding to this risk, which may require responding to this risk and ensuring that communities are also engaged in the difficult decisions around planning and investment.

About the Project

The new project launched on November 6, 2023 and is set to end in March 2024. Its main objective is to help public bodies make better decisions and engage with the public to manage long-term climate risks. This learning will be applied to other climate threats as well. The project will focus on engaging those who are directly or indirectly affected by the risks, as well as the wider public, who may be affected in the future by the use of our nation’s infrastructure assets or in their homes. 

To accomplish these goals, the project will analyse current and emerging data about climate threats and ways to communicate these threats through interviews with stakeholders, including the NICW. Additionally, the analysis of the call for evidence, which is currently open, will be considered. Ultimately, this is a scoping project that aims to assist NICW in establishing a wider research program for 2024/2025 and provide recommendations on governance.

Cynnal Cymru, a sustainable development charity, was chosen to run the project due to their innovative approach to how the public, including policymakers, can act in the face of uncertainty.

Cynnal Cymru

“We are excited to contribute to this important initiative by providing direct insight on climate, engagement, and decision-making to those whose decisions will directly impact the well-being of communities in Wales”.

Helen Armstrong 

“We commissioned this project because we wanted to be pushed and challenged about how we think and communicate climate change with the public and decision-makers in Wales.” 

Steve Brooks 

“Climate change affects us all, but its effects vary across Wales and we want to ensure diverse voices are part of our strategy.” 

About the National Infrastructure 

The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) was established in 2018 as an independent, non-statutory advisory body to Welsh Ministers. Its key purpose is to analyse, advise and make recommendations on Wales’ longer-term strategic economic and environmental infrastructure needs over a 5-80-year period. Welsh Ministers have recently set the NICW a new remit for this Senedd term which includes investigating and making recommendations to the Welsh Government on climate change resilience.  

About Cynnal Cymru 

Since 2002, Cynnal Cymru has paved the way for sustainable development in Wales. We aim to help organisations create a fairer and more secure future for all through training, consultancy, research, and facilitation. A fair and secure future is sustainable and climate literate, which is why we provide training and consultancy as a partner of the Carbon Literacy Project and across other sustainability areas. Our Fair Work team help businesses create fairer working practices as the Welsh accreditor of the real Living Wage. 

National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) launches research project into climate change and engagement with the public Read More »

Nature Wise for business – ‘Give it a go, because the clock is ticking’

Tell us about Orangebox and your role 

We design and manufacture office furniture and the company is sustainability-led. Our HQ and two factories are in south-east Wales, and three years ago we were bought out by Steelcase, a big American company. 

I joined as a furniture designer around 20 years ago, but just over a year ago I became Head of Sustainability. I’m interested in minimising our carbon footprint and I also look after our energy efficiency. 

Why is nature important to you and the businesses? 

I do a lot of cycling, I’m a keen birdwatcher and part of a conservation group. So I’m passionate about biodiversity and I’m helping Orangebox acknowledge that climate change isn’t the only big risk.  

Part of the Orangebox team volunteering at the Stump up for Trees nursery outside of Abergavenny.

How important is nature in your sector? 

Increasingly so, but we are at the first rungs on the ladder. Orangebox prides itself on being environmentally-led, but it’s always felt like we’ve been pushing. Now customers are asking how they can reduce their carbon footprint. The biodiversity and nature discussion is nowhere near as mature, but as we see more media exposure of biodiversity loss that will increase exponentially in the next 5 years.  

What do you think are the best things about nature in Wales?  

It’s the variety. I love where I live because in half an hour I can be on top of a mountain, on a cliff looking out to sea, or at Newport wetlands surrounded by thousands of starlings. 

I work in a design studio on the banks of the Taff, where I’m lucky to look onto woodland. Every time we see a species of bird we print out a picture and put it on the wall. You won’t believe how many species we’ve seen!  

Why did you choose to do Nature Wise? 

The minute I saw it, I wanted to deepen my knowledge of how ecosystems work and get a better understanding of biodiversity loss. Because I’m with Cardiff Conservation Volunteers my course was essentially free, as it was funded by GWR. 

Volunteering at Stump up for Trees.

How was the course? 

I really enjoyed it. The trainers knew the content and had passion for it, and it was just the right level in terms of complexity. 

What changes are you making, following the course? 

Personally, I’ve pledged to do more in my village and have been talking to my neighbours. But more impactful will be how I can help at Orangebox. We’re thinking harder about the materials we use and where they come from. For example, we use a lot of wood, and while that is low impact compared to plastics and metals, we still have to buy most of it from abroad. So we’re working hard on developing partnerships that allow us to source wood from well-managed forests in the UK.  

Litter Gareth collected from a local stream.

What would you say to others about why they should sign up for Nature Wise? 

Give it a go, because the clock is ticking.  


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. 

Nature Wise for business – ‘Give it a go, because the clock is ticking’ Read More »

What inspires you to take action on the climate and nature crisis?

“I’m really excited about the future if we tackle these crises in a positive way. We’ve lost so much biodiversity in Britain. And in my lifetime, if we could see that natural spectacle come back, what a wonderful future we could create.” (Dan)

“There’s a trillion planets but as far as we know, we are on the only one that can sustain life! It just proves how precise the conditions need to be for life. And you know, climate change, it’s not about the planet: it’s about life, here.” (Carys)

“As a kid, I enjoyed playing in nature. It’s so important for confidence, learning about yourself. And that’s only going to be possible for kids in the future if they don’t have to worry about how resilient the environment is.” (Gethyn, Ecologist)

“I was born in rural France and I can see all this change. If we don’t make a difference now, then the world we live in will be so different, so dangerous for the future generation. Think about that! We have to sort it out.”

“We’re helping to decarbonise Wales one business at a time so they can have a good carbon footprint and a solid carbon reduction plan because it just makes perfect sense.” (Dave, Auditel)

“I think the vegan movement and a more plant based lifestyle is a way that is going to help propel us into a more conscious future.” (Carly)

“It’s my duty of care as a teacher to have an interest in sustainability and make sure it has a direct impact in education and on future generations.” (Mary)

“I’m involved primarily for my and others’ future generations. But also because it’s the sensible way to live” (Ceri)

“I’m of the insect-splattered windscreen generation. My children have no concept of it; it’s declined by 80% in my lifetime. It’s the proverbial canary in the coalmine. Halting and reversing the moving baseline is what inspires me.” (Ben, Woop Woop Magazine)

“The time is now to think and work collectively to envision a brighter and environmentally just world. Join the conversation to realise a better planet and collective future. We need to move beyond doom and imagine what is possible.” (Louise)

“SMEs account for over half of the UKs economy and I feel a sense of honour and privilege in playing a part in a more sustainable commercial future.” (Louis, Web Marketer UK)

“My belief that we have a moral obligation to leave the world a better place was strengthened when I travelled & experienced the impact of climate change first hand. Now I use my unique skillset to try to reverse the damage that’s been done” (Ant, Motion Manor)

“When you have a home planet that has everything in it to help you live a good life, it makes sense to look after it. It’s self care – for us as a species who have the good fortune to exist in this bountiful ecosystem.” (Sylvia, Cynnal Cymru)

What inspires you to take action on the climate and nature crisis? Read More »

'It's important for people to disconnect from work and get out in nature' Julie Longton, Associate Director (Grasshopper Communications)

Nature Wise for Business – ‘being outside and close to nature is crucial for wellbeing’

What is your job at Grasshopper Communications?

I’m a communications professional at Grasshopper, a communications agency with an office in Cardiff. Our work is all about social value, we create campaigns that change attitudes and actions in positive, lasting ways. We partner with like-minded organisations, such as renewable energy companies, environment agencies and local and Welsh Government, supporting campaigns on active travel, regeneration, net zero and conservation.  

What are the best things about nature for you? 

I work remotely and I’m usually in front of my laptop, so it’s critical I spend any free time out by the beach, or in the woods walking with my kids and spotting birds and beetles. 

I want to bring my children up so that they’re really fond of nature. Our local beach, Maenporth (near Falmouth), has lots of craggy rocks and little tunnels which kids love. We can go whatever the weather – they just love it! 

How important is nature to your sector? 

I think that for communications – for most industries – people have realised that the environment is important for staff wellbeing. The pandemic was a bit of a turning point, when we realised that we need human connection but also that being outside and close to nature is crucial for wellbeing.  

Why is nature important to you and the business? 

Personally, being closer to nature was part of the motivation for moving with my family from London to Cornwall. I wanted my children to be close to the woods and the beach, to have more work-life balance and be closer to wildlife.  

As for Grasshopper, wellbeing is a real focus for us – it’s part of our culture. It’s important for people to disconnect from work and get out in nature. In fact, this year we’re hopefully starting some team voluntary work to support a local conservation charity.  

Grasshopper Communications team on a wellbeing day.

Why did you do the Nature Wise course? 

I was keen to do it because at the time I was putting together a communications strategy for a project for Natural Resources Wales, called Natur Am Byth. The aim is to bring people closer to nature and protect endangered species. So Nature Wise was really helpful for that role, particularly for the work I was doing on how to inspire people. 

How did you find the course? 

I thought it was brilliant. The trainers were really good and it really was a two-way course with lots of discussion. Doing it over two days meant you could go away and digest it before coming back to the next phase. 

What would you say to others about doing Nature Wise?  

Go for it! Whether you’re a junior member of staff or a senior manager, it’s relevant for anyone with an interest in the environment who wants to take a more active role. 


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. 

Nature Wise for Business – ‘being outside and close to nature is crucial for wellbeing’ Read More »

Save our Wild Isles

The experience was organised by WWF Cymru, RSPB Cymru and National Trust Cymru together with experts from the Open University that brought to life the Save Our Wild Isles campaign and television series, demanding an immediate halt to the destruction of nature here in the UK and urgent action for its recovery.

The event outlined the challenges facing us and how everyone has a part to play in supporting this recovery – something Sylvia and Jason know first-hand from their experience teaching Cynnal Cymru’s Nature Wise | Nabod Natur course. It brought together nature ambassadors advocating on behalf of our precious grasslands, freshwater areas, woodlands and oceans in a combination of film screenings, panel discussions and interpretation boards, all accompanied by a delicious sustainable vegan meal provided by local caterers Wild Thing Cardiff.

This fantastic opportunity to network and share experiences with others working in the sustainability sector did, however, make clear just how much work still needs to be done. The statistics are deeply worrying: 30 million birds have vanished from our skies over the last 50 years and as many as 1 in 6 species is at risk of extinction here in Wales. And this is something humanity has caused: in the words of Sir David Attenborough, “this starts and ends with us”.

But all is not lost – part of the event was to promote the People’s Plan for Nature created by thousands of people across the UK in an inclusive participatory process calling for “urgent, immediate action from everyone to protect and restore nature for future generations”. The Plan is an ambitious vision which aims to bring the nature crisis and nature conservation to the forefront of decision making while maintaining the delicate balance between human and non-human needs. Add your voice now to the People’s Plan for Nature and make it too big to ignore any longer.

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