Our Living Trails project

Project introduction

Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government, in collaboration with Gwynedd Council, have recently launched the ‘Ein Llwybrau Byw’ / Our Living Trails project which has the long-term aim to promote and restore biodiversity along the Wales Coast Path corridor. Binnies has been contracted by NRW to deliver this 9-month long project which also aims to promote greater connection between people and nature, so that more people understand the importance of a healthy natural environment, and the benefits it brings to us.

About the project

The project will be working in partnership with landowners, as they will be an integral part of the project. Land along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path corridor includes farmland, open countryside, cliffs, meadows, beaches and urban environments. The land provides an important opportunity to address the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and coastal ‘squeeze’ whilst promoting a healthy, resilient society. It will investigate ‘best practice’ and recommend an approach to ‘scale up’ the roll out of biodiversity improvement projects along the Wales Coast Path corridor, and potentially other national trails and rights of way in Wales in coming years.

Project aim and objectives

The Our Living Trails project is about learning. We want to identify how do we best go about improving biodiversity along the Wales Coast Path. We want to do this in a way which optimises as many other benefits as we can such as health, water quality, carbon sequestration, flood risk management.

• What types of biodiversity improvement projects do we do, where and why?
• What data do we need and who do we need to work with?
• What’s the best way to work with landowners and other stakeholders along the Wales Coast Path?
• How do we fund these projects and measure their impact?
• How do we best raise public awareness of biodiversity and the benefits it brings?
• What’s the best way to define the Wales Coast Path corridor?

The project will be investigating what has worked well in the past by learning from ‘best practice’. We also want to learn from what has not worked so well! As part of the project, we will be selecting two case studies, from a long-list of case studies nominated by attendees to our Introductory Webinar (held on the 15th July 2021)  Watch the Introductory webinar

Pilot Studies

We will also be starting two pilot ‘biodiversity improvement’ projects in 2021 in Gwynedd, with a focus on learning from the process of getting them up and running.

The first pilot project will work with a farm to restore hedgerows and the important ‘cloddiau’ habitat. The project will consider grazing management and coastal habitat restoration. The second pilot project will take a whole farm approach, and will include habitat restoration, farming practices and management of development pressures. Discussions are on-going and more detailed plans, including the location of the projects, will be released as soon as we have agreement from the landowners and farmers.

Are you a landowner or farmer in Wales, with land along, adjoining or near to the Wales Coast Path?

If so, we are seeking your views about biodiversity on your land - whether it is farmed or not.

Your experience will inform our pilot project to understand how land management can improve coastal biodiversity. Please complete this short 15-min anonymous survey by 29th October 2021..

Start the survey 

Get in touch

We would like to hear from you. Have you got ideas on how to increase biodiversity along the Wales Coast Path? Are there case studies we can learn from and improve upon? Maybe you’ve heard of similar projects in the UK or beyond that we could learn from?

If you would like to nominate a case study, or to join our mailing list, please get in touch with Quentin Grimley at Natural Resources Wales