Summit to Sea

Wales, UK

Ben Porter

Summit to Sea: Exploring a cross-sectoral approach to delivering for nature at scale in Mid Wales

Project Achievements

Situated across the central Welsh counties of Powys and Ceredigion, the project area stretched from the Pumlumon uplands (the highest part of Mid Wales) to the marine-protected areas of Cardigan Bay. The Pumlumon massif forms the largest watershed in Wales and is the source of the rivers Severn, Wye and Rheidol. Overlapping with the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere Reserve and comprising the Dyfi National Nature Reserve, this area also contains several Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. The area encompasses a diverse range of habitat types including grazed upland grassland, deciduous woodland, lowland pasture, saltmarshes, dune systems, freshwater lakes and rivers, an estuary and marine reefs. With a strong farming history spanning thousands of years which have helped to shape this landscape,the communities who live here are rightly proud of this extraordinary but little-celebrated part of Wales.

Working alongside the communities, natural resource users and owners of the uplands, lowlands and coastline, Summit to Sea facilitated a co-design process to create a shared vision and blueprint for the landscape that supports healthy and biodiverse ecosystems which deliver economic, ecological and social benefits, through connecting land and sea, appropriate to the local place and culture in Mid Wales. This process involved hundreds of people, significant and careful relationship and trust building and the sharing of power equally across participants, giving more power back to citizens, creating more sustainable relationships and solutions. To appropriately reflect this new vision the project has been renamed by the community to Tir Canol. This translates as: Tir=land, Canol = Middle. The more significant meaning of finding the ‘middle ground’, reflecting the collaborative and inclusive approach of the project.

RSPB Cymru and the Woodland Trust have committed resources to ensure the co-development and delivery of plans will continue. Since May 2022, the project has received funding from the National Nature Service programme and the Coastal Capacity Building Fund, both of which are Welsh Government funded. The project currently has a number of funding applications awaiting decisions. A large amount of work in delivering the vision and blueprint has been undertaken on a voluntary capacity wherever possible.

Project Partners

RSPB Cymru (Wales)
Coed Cadw (Woodland Trust – Wales)
Pen Llŷn a’r Sarnau (SAC)
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Marine Conservation Society
Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Quick Facts

ELSP funding

US$ 197,953

Duration of grant

May 2020 – May 2022

Project Gallery

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