Natural Resources Wales Facilitation

Resources for Change is an approved contractor used by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in their work, and in June 2013 we were asked to assist them in planning and delivering a number of stakeholder consultation events which would inform the creation of their first three year Corporate Plan.

Guiding principles for this work were that consultation should be meaningful for their wide audience of stakeholders, which ranges from large corporate businesses to small local single issue groups, and includes industry, local and national government, large public bodies, and the third sector. The events needed to be accessible in terms of location, and allow contributors to make their views known in the language of their choice, Welsh or English.

Given the very recent establishment of NRW (April 2013) from the former Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency (Wales) and the Forestry Commission (Wales) this consultation needed to bring together stakeholders from all the legacy bodies, together with stakeholders with an interest in some of NRW’s additional functions.

By the end of July we had planned and delivered 12 sessions across six locations, enabling over 250 people to participate in workshops sessions, contributing and hearing the views of others. Participants included, amongst others, representatives from the refinery, extraction and timber industries, local authorities and the National Parks, campaigning and lobby groups (National and local) and academics; together with national and local charities, some of whom had potentially diametrically opposed interests, such as those representing walkers, and those representing off road motor cycling.

During the events, participants were encouraged to work in smaller focus groups to ensure all participants were able to make their views heard, and we provided briefings for NRW trained facilitators to ensure consistency of approach at each session. This also enabled those who wished to work through the medium of Welsh the opportunity to discuss and create written notes in Welsh.

Following the sessions, all the raw data information provided by participants was provided in a readable format to NRW, (including the translation of Welsh notes into English) together with a summary of the key points that emerged from the events, and some analysis. This was done within 10 days of the last event, enabling NRW to meet their own very tight timescales for the production of their Corporate Plan.

We have also facilitated the production of their first Community Strategy which you can find out about here.

For more information about this and similar work, please get in touch with Cerys.

You can find out more about the work of Natural Resources Wales on their website.