New flood risk maps now live
Richard Weston, Flood Risk Analysis Team Leader talks about the new online maps for flood risk.
We have taken action against a north Wales skip hire company due to the risk of serious pollution at its yard.
Information about our organisation, the work we do, our news, consultations, reports and vacancies.
Information on the permits and licences we supply to individuals and businesses, to help protect both people and the environment.
Find out how we assess if a business complies with environmental legislation, details of our charges and if a site has a permit, licence or exemption.
Find places to go and things to do in the outdoors. We’ve got lots of information to help plan your visit.
Our role in planning and development and what you need to do to protect wildlife, landscape and people if you are a planning a development.
Our approach to gathering evidence, what information is available, and where you can access it.
Find out how to get involved with us and the land we manage, and details of our work with community groups and social enterprises.
Information about the Welsh forest industry and our management of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate.
Find out more information about how we help conserve the wildlife and biodiversity in Wales.
Learn about your flood risk and what to do during a flood, including how to sign up for flood alerts.
Information for waste sites, including details of the landfill allowance scheme and statutory recycling details for local authorities.
Find out about our role in regulating energy generation and how we're supporting development of renewable energy.
From today (1 July), you will be able to check your flood risk, view areas benefiting from flood defences, and see which areas can receive flood warnings by using our new online flood risk map. This information was previously available on the Environment Agency’s website, but now we’ve integrated our own interactive map viewer into our website so you can view flood risk data sets for Wales right here. The new online flood risk map has taken a considerable amount of work to produce, but now we have a platform we can use to make more of our information available to view online. This first phase has ensured that the basic data around flood risk is available to replace the information that was previously available via the Environment Agency's website. We’ve launched this in BETA to gather feedback that will help us improve how we develop our online maps in future. So please tell us about your experience in using the maps – be it good or bad. Whether you want to check the flood risk to your new home for insurance purposes, or view which areas are benefiting from flood defences, we want you to be able to use our maps to find the information you need. As a flood risk management specialist, I’m familiar with using technically complex modelling and mapping tools as part of my job, but when looking to develop maps for people to use on our website, we needed to make sure the product we developed was as easy as possible for everyone to use. We also wanted to produce a map that allows more functionality for users. Previously, when looking at Wales' flood risk data on the Environment Agency's website, you could only view one dataset at a time, but with this new mapping system you can add or remove different layers within the same map viewer. This means you can see all the flood risk data without having to move to different pages. Keep an eye out for further updates about other online maps related to aspects of Natural Resources Wales’ work – but in the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts about using the new flood risk maps.
Many organisations have groups of people who are not members of staff to help them think about how the organisation works, how it is run and how it should develop. The Welsh Government will soon be looking for new Board Members for Natural Resources Wales to help take the organisation forward. A key aim is to attract applications from people from all walks of life, so that public body boards become more representative of Wales’ diverse population. Here, Dr Madeleine Havard, one of Natural Resources Wales’s Board Members, shares her experience and throws light on what’s involved…. I‘ve been involved with a wide range of organisations over the years, many of them charities and most of them related to the environment. I am someone who rather than saying ‘what are they going to do about X, Y or Z?’ will tend to think ‘what can I do about X, Y or Z?’ Often, that means getting involved with others to make things happen, or happen differently! This is how I come to be a Board Member of Natural Resources Wales: I’m passionate about our environment, I believe it’s vital to look after it for the benefit of everyone in Wales, and beyond, and especially for the generations to come. So what does a Board Member do? Well, we have many different roles but it boils down to two things really: to help Natural Resources Wales do the job it was set up to do, and ensure that it does that job well. As a Board, we have made our ambitions clear from the outset – we want NRW to lead Wales to be the world’s best at managing our environment and natural resources. Two years on, we have almost completed the groundwork of getting three separate organisations together into one. Now, we are moving into the really exciting phase where we can plan projects that will deliver natural resource management in a more joined up way. Natural Resources Wales is responsible for a huge range of activities in Wales, from growing trees to protecting our seas, reducing flood risk to regulating business. There are always issues of huge importance and great interest to be discussed and debated at the Board: How can we encourage development that works with the environment rather than against it? How should we work with partners to report on the state of natural resources? What are the best ways to manage our rivers and their fish? How can we involve and reflect the diversity of Wales’s people and places in our work? And lots more… In the next few years, we will be responding to the Well-being of Future Generations Bill, the Environment Bill and the Planning Bill, to say nothing of the Heritage Bill, the Review of Designated Landscapes and the Welsh curriculum review. Our challenge is to put sustainable natural resource management at the heart of everything we do, and developing natural resource management plans for every area of Wales will be key to this. The Board is currently made up of nine Members and the Chairperson, selected to bring different points of view, and the ability to call on different experiences, to our discussions. What we all have in common though is our interest in the work of NRW, but who in Wales doesn’t, when our natural resources are so important to us all? A question I get asked a lot is ‘how do you get to be a Board Member?’ The simple answer is you apply! The Welsh Government is eager to see public body boards becoming more representative of the people of Wales and are encouraging people from all areas of Welsh life to think about getting involved. I did just that and was delighted to be appointed. I’ve met many committed and passionate people, visited some brilliant sites and projects, read lots of papers on fascinating subjects, and I hope given helpful guidance and advice on what I think this innovative organisation should be doing. All to help sustain and enhance the environment, people and economy of Wales.
The Wales Coast Path is the first of its kind in the world – and the longest continuous path along a nation’s coastline. Most people will be exploring the path with a smart phone in their pocket, so with our @WalesCoastPath social media accounts we have opportunities to engage with people separately from our main @NatResWales accounts. Going Social – the beginning When we launched the Wales Coast Path in 2012, one of the first things we did was set up our social media channels to spread the word of its launch and to provide platforms for people to share their photos, stories and experiences along the #WalesCoastPath. We only set up Twitter and Facebook accounts initially, as these were the most popular at the time. In the early days we found that it was often the behind the scenes work we did, linking up with various partners and tourism bodies, both locally, nationally and internationally through Visit Wales, that drove their success. After establishing Twitter and Facebook, the initial influx of followers flew in. The visual element (photos, videos and content) of Facebook works well and Twitter proved good as a place to ask questions about the path and interact in real time. The next step… The launch of the Wales Coast Path website, and linking through it to our social media, focused our attention on the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). To help bring us up to the top on Google search, we created a Google+ account which linked to the website. For a long time this remained in the background and was quite static. However, recently there’s been a boom in followers, possibly as more sites like Wales Online and Daily Post are also posting more content on their Google+ channels. So now we are working more proactively to maintain it and post engaging content. Pinterest is an unusual one for us. It works well because it’s visual – so great for posting fantastic images of the Welsh Coast, but it’s not that social as there isn’t much interaction – people just pin the stuff they like! But by using the Google Chrome plugin, it’s very straightforward to maintain and share links to posts on our website. Instagram is a more recent development for us, and has been a bit of a slow burner, but is gradually increasing in terms of followers as more and more people are made aware of our account and are using hashtags like #lovethewelshcoast and #walescoast. The main challenge I find with Instagram is that it is fairly limited to phone use, and therefore a bit trickier to manage from the office. But there are ways around it, and it’s an investment worth making, especially as it’s easy to link up with other social media channels. The reason we have so many channels is that although they mainly do one thing – share information – they do that in different ways to different audiences and serve to maximise the interaction we achieve. Different people have difference likes and dislikes when it comes to social media and we have to make sure we’re catering for this. I’d definitely recommend registering an official social media account with all of the various channels. Even if you don’t use them straight away, they may become more popular or easier to use later on down the line and by then your name could be already taken. The biggest challenge for managing the social media is to allocate the resources to get it set up and maintained. Fortunately, from the beginning of the project we had someone dedicated to working on the digital channels. By now, there are two of us who manage it as part of our jobs, and even sometimes in our own time – after all, not all social interaction happens between 9-5pm. The Wales Coast App Beyond the use of social media we have worked closely with Keep Wales Tidy, Visit Wales and a third party developer to create and improve a Wales Coast app. The app is currently available on the apple and android formats and can be downloaded from our website. Social media is a really important tool for engaging with local users and attracting the visitors that contribute to our economy, enjoy the health benefits of being outdoors and explore our wonderful coastline. We hope to continue building the followers on all our channels and seeing more people share their photos and experiences with us as they continue to discover the shape of a nation!
The Welsh Government announced on 7 November the results of the quality of Wales’ bathing waters during the 2014 season.
The results show that bathers were able to enjoy clean water at our fantastic beaches.
Here’s a video showing one of our samplers at Dinas Dinlle beach in North Wales. We collected samples from all of the 102 bathing waters every week from May until September.DISCOVER MORE OF OUR VIDEO BLOGS
Find pages beginning with: