This week we have been celebrating Wales Nature Week and some of the incredible work that Local Nature Partnerships are doing in habitats across Wales. We thought it would be a nice way of rounding off the week by interviewing one of our LNP Coordinators and finding out more about who they are and the kind of things they get involved in.
Tell us a bit about yourself Holly
Hi everyone, I’m Holly and I became the LNP Coordinator in Powys earlier this year. I’m a big nature fan in general but I’m particularly interested in invertebrates, the little things that are the backbone to our ecosystems and our survival.
I’m a Conservation Biologist and so most of my career so far has involved working for conservation and environmental charities. I’ve been lucky enough to work in some incredible places – I started my career working on Skomer Island helping to monitor seabird populations and I also spent time working in the rainforests of Borneo.
Outside of work I like be outdoors as much as possible - mountain biking, running, climbing, and walking.
For those that don’t know, can you tell us a bit more about what an LNP Coordinator does?
Our job is to coordinate the Local Nature Partnerships (LNP). LNPs are groups of organisations, businesses, community groups and individuals committed to conserving nature in their area and there is an LNP in every county area across Wales.
As Coordinators we encourage partnership working, sharing information (current projects, opportunities members can get involved in, policy, etc.), networking and sharing best practice.
We also act as gateway into the partnership. For example, a community group might get in touch about a wildlife conservation project they want to start, or they might want some advice on habitat management. I can then provide them with advice or, if it’s not my area of expertise, I can put them in touch with local experts and relevant organisations to help them.
Why did you chose to apply for the role?
I applied for this job because I was keen to work in wildlife conservation in Powys. I grew up in Powys and moved back to the county a few years ago but I’ve mainly been working across the border. The habitats and wildlife found in Powys are what inspired me to pursue a career in conservation in the first place so I want to do my bit to help protect and restore them.
I was also keen to work with the LNP so I could work with the main conservation stakeholders in the area, find out about all of the conservation projects happening across the county and encourage partnership working.
What does your day to day look like? What interesting projects are you working on now?
It’s quite a varied job. A lot of my time so far has been spent meeting with members of the LNP, finding out more about their work and how we can work together, as well as meeting with lots of new partners to broaden the LNP.
I have also been working with staff in Powys County Council to look at ways they can help to improve biodiversity, particularly on road verges, and applying for funding for projects such as creating community gardens and wildflower areas.
I am currently working on a joint citizen science project with the Brecon Beacons LNP and BIS (Biodiversity Information Service). We’re working with around 50 volunteer camera trappers who have borrowed camera traps from us to learn about and record the wildlife they see in their gardens.
The next thing on my to-do list is to start working with the LNP on the Powys Nature Recovery Action Plan (PNRAP), which will probably keep me busy for the rest of the year! The main aim of the PNRAP is to reverse the decline in biodiversity across Powys, looking at our priority species and habitats and the projects and actions that need to be undertaken by the LNP, as well as the public, to protect and enhance them.
For people reading this who want to get involved with Powys LNP, what’s the best way?
Anyone with the time, skills and expertise to feed into the work of the partnership is welcome to join in so please get in touch if you’re interested! - firstname.lastname@example.org
To find the Local Nature Partnership specific to your area and get involved in local nature recovery, you can find contact details on the Wales Biodiversity Partnership website under Local to You or contact the LNP Cymru team.