As Wales Nature Week draws to a close Vee Brannovic, LNP Coordinator for Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen, has written us a blog to give us a sneak peek into the partnership in her area and how you can get involved.
Hello – I’m Veronika and I’m the Local Nature Partnership Coordinator for Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen. I’ve been doing this job for just over a year but have been a member of the partnership for over 10 years so already had a pretty good idea of what to expect in the role.
The LNP is made up of local people and groups interested in nature, environmental NGOs like Gwent Wildlife Trust, Groundwork and Butterfly Conservation, local authorities and governmental organisations such as Natural Resources Wales.
Until 2017, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen had two separate Biodiversity Partnerships. They have now merged to form the Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen LNP. We have quarterly meetings and usually a summer visit to local sites of interest. Recently, meetings have been online but we’re hoping to have an outdoor meeting in the near future.
So, what does an LNP Coordinator do? The job is very varied – one of the reasons I enjoy it. It’s a mixture of work that involves being at a computer, visiting project sites and meeting community groups and individuals to talk about nature-based projects.
Recently I’ve spent time writing and submitting a final report and payment claim for a grasslands project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, created some videos for Wales Nature Week, planted some willow trees in a park, set up a wildflower planting session for the upcoming Carers Week and met with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) to discuss locations for monitoring newts, adders and lizards. I also organise the LNP meetings, apply for funding and manage nature recovery projects of various scales.
I’ve had a close connection to nature since I was a child and this has grown stronger over the years. I’ve struggled with my mental health since I was a teenager and spending time in nature, even just in my garden or looking out of the window, always helps me.
Being involved in nature recovery at a local level is also good for my own wellbeing. Yesterday, I got to walk in the sunshine looking at ponds – how many jobs involve that? Every day I learn something new about local nature. While out with George from ARC, I learned how to tell the difference between frog and toad tadpoles from their behaviour and that they emerge at slightly different times.
If you’d like to know more about Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen LNP you can find us here: biodiversitywales.org.uk/Blaenau-Gwent-and-Torfaen
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.