Communities and Nature Project
Find details of the European Regional Development project to create high quality facilities that help promote the fantastic natural environment in Wales
High quality facilities are vital to attract more visitors to rural areas throughout the year and provide valuable, sustainable jobs in communities where they are most needed.
The Business Plan set out three broad aims for the Communities and Nature project:
- to maximise the economic benefits of natural capital by increasing the volume, length and value of visits to the countryside, and through job and enterprise creation
- to ensure that the benefits of activities undertaken through CAN were shared with disadvantaged groups through employment, training and volunteer opportunities
- to enhance sustainable development in Wales by providing high quality local leisure opportunities and improving the attractiveness of each spatial plan area
How the project was funded and managed
The Communities and Nature (CAN) was a £14.5 million project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
It was led and managed by the Countryside Council for Wales, while Environment Agency Wales acted as joint sponsor for the Wild Fishing Wales project.
The project was active in the whole of the Convergence Area, with the exception of the Valleys Regional Park and it worked closely with many other projects funded through the E4G Theme.
CAN’s outputs and achievements
- 33.5 jobs (full time equivalent)
- 12 enterprises
- 454 kilometres of access
- 1,798,147 visits to the natural environment
CAN deployed innovative methods to ensure all initiatives adhered to principles of environmental sustainability and secured benefits for visitors, as well as for disadvantaged communities. Emphasis was placed on:
- Ensuring that the supply of new infrastructure, such as visitor attractions, was matched with new demand through increased marketing and promotional work
- Developing sound monitoring and evaluation methods, both at a bid level and for CAN’s activities as a whole
- Fostering innovation at all levels
- Building capacity in communities
The CAN Handbook
The CAN Handbook is intended as a best practice guide for CAN initiatives. It is made up of 12 chapters and five annexes.
Each CAN initiative has its own requirements, so if you cannot find the information you need in the handbook, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of projects funded by the project
You can see our CAN Video on Youtube to hear from some of our partners involved in the projects.
- Pembrokeshire County Council – Better access
- North Wales Wildlife Trust – Enhanced wildlife walks
- Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust – Near Machynlleth, better access and facilities
- Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust - 360 degree viewing platform, osprey project
- Groundwork – Loughor estuary, art work and better access
- Greenlinks – Upton Castle, garden and path improvements
- Swansea County Council – Nature reserves and better access
- BTCV Llys Nini – RSPCA ground improvements and new access routes
- BTCV Pembrey – Better access
- Denbighshire Dee Valley – Creation of long and short walks near Llangollen
- Bridgend – Better access
- Lon Las Ogwen GCG – Cycle route linking Bangor and Bethesda
- Plas Glyn y Weddw – Creation of an open air amphitheatre on Pen Llŷn
- RSPB – Conwy Reserve, new facilities and better access
- Stackpole Mencap – Pembrokeshire, new tea room and better access
- Conwy and Denbighshire County Councils – Improvements to Loggerheads Country Park, Mold, and to The Orme visitor centre
- Cadair Idris NRW – visitor centre and tea room
- Cwm Idwal NRW – visitor centre and better access
- Dyfi Biosphere – A suite of walks in mid Wales
- Keep Wales Tidy – Cycle hire company on Anglesey
- Snowdonia Society – Tŷ Hyll tea room and honey bee centre on the A5
- Wildlife Trust South and West Wales – Wildlife, wicker and walks
- Snowdonia National Park Authority – New cycle route between Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert
- Felin Uchaf – New visitor centre and café
- Newborough Forest – Better access to the forest on Anglesey
- Gwynedd Council – Cycle route around Trawsfynydd lake