Business plan 2021-22

Foreword by Sir David Henshaw and Clare Pillman

Welcome to our annual business plan for 2021/22.

We begin 2021/22 after a year like no other. We have been humbled by the way our staff have stepped up to support each other, their families and their communities through one of the most difficult periods in modern history. As with much of the rest of the public sector in Wales, we have had to significantly re-engineer the way we work, but throughout, our priority has been the well-being, health and safety of our staff, partners and customers. This will continue to be our focus into 2021/22 as we emerge from restrictions. Although the outlook is more hopeful, we recognise that things may change through the year and we will have to adapt.

For most of us, the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work, travel and interact with other people. We are clear that we will not return to the old ways of working. In fact, there are many positive things that we want to continue and build on. Many people have reflected how they have reconnected with nature through the pandemic. It has given us all a unique opportunity to think about our priorities and how we might live and work in the future. We will be taking forward our renewal programme, focussing initially on our accommodation, ICT and travel arrangements to support NRW in changing the way we work. Key to this will be conversations with our partners across a range of sectors to consider what we can do together.

Our collective response to the pandemic, shows the real power of working outside traditional boundaries, with us all coming together to make things happen quickly. We’ve all innovated and learned new things - we must harness this spirit to drive our collective response to the climate and nature emergencies, which are likely to drive much more significant restructuring in our social and economic fabric. We are witnessing the continued decline of species such as salmon and curlew, dependent as they are on habitats that are under threat. We will continue to focus on nature-based solutions as our central response to the climate and nature emergencies.

Across Wales, we are seeing the effects of climate change, most notably in the frequency and intensity of storms and the consequent flooding, such as Storm Christoph in January. We will continue to work with our partners in flood risk management to do all that we can to support affected communities, such as in Skewen, where a blown mine shaft caused devastation to a number of homes earlier this year.

With the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in China in October and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November, there are real opportunities to drive forward change in the International arena. We will share the evidence from the recently published State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) to inform the debate in Wales and internationally to make the case for accelerated action.

As we emerge out of Covid-19 we are seeing financial pressures across all parts of the public, private and third sectors. Against this difficult background NRW welcomes the additional funding for the year 2021-22 from Welsh Government for specific purposes. As a result we are making additional investment in areas such as flooding and reservoir improvements, peatland restoration, fisheries management and restoring river habitats through metal mine remediation and protecting our designated sites. We will do this using direct procurement, grants and land management agreements.

A buoyant timber market has increased our income which is being reinvested to accelerate adaptation of the NRW Estate to climate change by further increasing inspection, maintenance, and investment in features such as colliery tips and access infrastructure and into other sustainable land management. This should reduce long-term running costs as well as the benefits of the estate to Wales, which is important as timber markets tend to be cyclical so our income may well reduce in future years.

However, the challenges presented by the climate and nature emergencies are accelerating and growing. The ambition and demands on NRW have grown in all areas and although additional investment has helped this has masked pressures on some of our services. This has meant some tough decisions about where we focus our resources in the coming year. In addition, if we have to respond to a major incident or series of incidents during the year, we will need to redirect some resources. This will affect our ability to deliver everything we have set out in this Business Plan in its entirety.

We will work closely with the new Government to manage these challenges and ensure that NRW has the long-term budget to meet the Government’s ambitious agenda for Wales. Within the resources available to us we believe that this business plan will enable us to make good progress working with others to address the causes and impacts of the climate and nature emergencies.

Our connection to nature and the individual benefits to our health and well-being have grown over the last year. We will strive to build on this sense of connection, through the year to drive real practical actions on the ground that reflect a truly green - and just - recovery. In NRW, we have committed and dedicated staff who are steadfast in their ambition to make this a reality - for the benefit of both the natural environment and for everyone who lives in or visits Wales.

We look forward to working with you to achieve it.

- Sir David Henshaw (Chair) and Clare Pillman (Chief Executive)


Our purpose is set out in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, while how we work will be steered by the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015. This Business Plan sits under our current Corporate Plan up to 2022 (now being rolled forward to 2023).  It sets out what we plan to focus on this year to tackle the climate and nature emergencies. We will incorporate innovations developed through the lockdown period into our future working practices whilst still tackling the impacts of Covid-19 and the work resulting from leaving the EU.

In line with our duties under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, we have recently published the second statutory State of Natural Resources Report (SoNaRR) for Wales. It makes sober reading, reporting that Wales is a long way from achieving the sustainable management of natural resources. It highlights the need to make a step change in the use and management of natural resources to change course and address the nature and climate emergencies.  The three biggest pressures on the environment are our food, energy and transport systems.

SoNaRR must inform action in the short and medium term for all those committed to tackling the climate and nature emergencies – indeed everyone in Wales. Following the recent elections we look forward to talking to the Government about their priorities as they use SoNaRR to develop their next Natural Resources Policy. 

And, working with Welsh Government and other UK environmental agencies, we will use the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow (COP 26), and associated events such as Wales Climate Week, to gain real momentum for change, particularly highlighting the important role of nature-based solutions in addressing both the Climate and Nature Emergencies.

This Business Plan sets out what NRW will do in the year ahead. We’ll draw on the evidence from SoNaRR and our Area Statements to challenge all parts of the public, private and third sectors to take action to meet the challenges set out in SoNaRR.

Our roles: what do we do?

As the largest Welsh Government sponsored body, we have a wide range of roles which we deliver in an integrated way to achieve our overall purpose of the sustainable management of natural resources within the places of Wales – all forming part of our day job:

  • Adviser to Welsh Government, industry, farming, landowners, managers, the wider public and voluntary sectors
  • Regulator for industry and waste sites, energy, marine, forest and designated sites for example, protecting people and the natural environment and supporting legitimate business; supporting the delivery and facilitation of renewable energy. We have a target to deliver 95% of permits to time
  • Designator for Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks and declaring National Nature Reserves
  • Responder to environmental incidents: we receive about 8,000 reports of environmental incidents a year and target our response to those categorised as ‘high’: we have a target to respond to 95% High Category incidents within 4 hours
  • Statutory consultee for about 7,500 planning applications a year: we have a target to deliver 95% of responses to time
  • Manager of 7% of Wales’ land area, including the Welsh Government Woodland Estate, National Nature Reserves and our flood defences and assets - 500km of flood defences and 4,000 assets (our target is to maintain 98% of assets in high risk locations to condition and to deliver our flood risk management capital programme). We also manage recreation facilities and a laboratory
  • Partner, educator, enabler supporting and facilitating other organisations’ work and helping people enjoy, learn in, learn for and learn about the natural environment
  • Evidence gatherer monitoring the environment, influencing, commissioning and undertaking research, developing and sharing knowledge and holding public records
  • Employer of our own staff as well as contractors and working with volunteers

Our values

Our values exemplify the way we want NRW to be and how we work:

  • We are passionate about the natural environment of Wales
  • We care for each other and the people we work with
  • We act with integrity
  • We make a difference now and for the future
  • We are proud to serve the people of Wales

Our organisation

Our organisational structure is designed to deliver locally, whilst maintaining high standards in the way we carry out our business and in the service we provide across the whole of Wales.  We are continuing to build our organisational culture and ways of working and this year we will be focussing on improving our internal controls through our business systems.

Our place-based approach focusses on seven place-based teams (including marine). These are led by our seven Heads of Place.  This is underpinned by a strong central team for policy and evidence, led by Heads of Business.  The organisation is enabled to carry out its responsibilities by our Finance & Corporate Services; Corporate Strategy & Development; and, Communication, Customers and Commercial directorates.

All our work aims to ensure that we manage natural resources sustainably and apply the Environment (Wales) Act 2016’s nine principles for the sustainable management of natural resources, helping others do the same – this is our purpose and fundamental to everything we do.  This all comes together in the local place where we monitor the quality of the environment; manage the NRW estate; permit and regulate industries to ensure environmental standards are maintained; respond to incidents when environmental emergencies happen; advise planners on new developments to reduce future impacts on the environment; develop projects with partners to improve the local environment and work with local government to ensure that the environment is central to the wellbeing of our communities.

Space does not allow us to include all the ‘business as usual’ work these teams will deliver over the lifetime of this business plan. Nevertheless, this work is vital to NRW’s contribution to the sustainable management of natural resources for Wales, alongside the specific strategic priorities highlighted below.

Our Well-being Objectives and Corporate Plan to 2022

Our strategic priorities and work this year contribute to achieving our Well-being Objectives described in our Corporate Plan:

  • Champion the Welsh environment and the sustainable management of Wales’ natural resources
  • Ensure land and water in Wales is managed sustainably in an integrated way
  • Improve the resilience and quality of our ecosystems
  • Reduce the risk to people and communities from environmental hazards such as flooding and pollution
  • Help people live healthier and more fulfilled lives
  • Promote successful and responsible business, using natural resources without damaging them
  • Develop NRW into an excellent organisation, delivering first class customer service

Our Strategic Priorities for 2021-22

For 2021-22, we are focussing on the same five strategic priorities in our annual business plan as last year:

  • Responding to the climate emergency
  • Responding to the nature emergency
  • Developing and using our evidence with partners to advocate for and deliver the sustainable management of natural resources
  • Developing NRW into an excellent organisation that serves the communities of Wales
  • Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the European Union, taking opportunities for a green recovery

Integrated actions that help tackle the nature and climate emergencies – so called Nature Based Solutions – are at the heart of this year’s business plan.  Many of our priorities provide multiple benefits, improving biodiversity and locking in carbon through our planned work on peatland restoration, woodland creation, and management of marine inter-tidal habitats. Improving biodiversity and the condition of habitats can benefit the climate and air quality, whilst addressing the causes of climate change such as fossil fuel emissions will help reduce the impact of airborne chemical deposition on sensitive habitats. These areas are at the heart of our work this year and we are keen to work in this way with others – industry, agriculture and landowners.

We have identified key areas of work we will take forward in 2021/22 under each of the strategic priorities. Understandably, some of our work contributes to more than one of the strategic priorities but is listed against the best fit.

Responding to the Climate Emergency 

Responding to the climate emergency through coordinating action and delivery in relation to climate adaptation and mitigation, including natural resources impacts and opportunities to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint and contribute to achieving a net zero Carbon Wales by 2050.

We deliver this in our business as usual activity for example, by monitoring and collating data to inform our decision making on reducing Wales’ and NRW’s carbon footprint; managing our estate to maximise carbon sequestration opportunities; planning for and responding to drought and flooding incidents as well as the emergence of new threats to our natural environment such as pests and diseases. We control carbon emissions through our regulatory duties, permitting the use of new emerging technologies to tackle carbon emissions where appropriate.

Specific additional delivery priorities for 2021/22 includes:

Reducing our carbon footprint

  • Deliver decarbonisation consistent with the top ten priority areas identified in our climate emergency response, including fleet, buildings and procurement, including our supply chain emissions
  • Develop and trial delivery of a programme of behaviour change and staff engagement on climate change.  
  • Ensure that the decarbonisation benefits of increased homeworking, reduced commuting and office emissions is embedded in our NRW Renewal programme
  • Facilitate renewable energy projects on NRW managed land and improve our understanding of the role of the marine environment in mitigating climate change 

 Creating new woodland  

  • Support Welsh Government’s ambitious Glastir funding scheme through allocating more resource to verification of proposals as available grant increases in Rounds 9 and 10
  • Develop and deliver our woodland creation programme supporting Wales’ ambitious targets for woodland cover

Restoring peatland

  • Create the conditions for the recovery of declining biodiversity and the full range of ecosystem services associated with peatlands in good condition through our 5-year programme to bring Welsh peatlands under sustainable management
  • Deliver the ‘New LIFE for Welsh Raised Bogs’ EU project 

 Managing flood risk

  • Deliver the first phase of improvements identified in the February 2020 ‘Floods in Wales’ Review Reports. Implement review recommendations on the NRW Estate
  • Deliver major capital schemes and investigate options to reduce the risk of flooding to communities through the Flood Risk Management Capital Programme and natural flood risk management - delivering additional benefits for the environment and for wildlife
  • Invest £2.9 million in reservoirs on our own land and ensure the safe and responsible management of structures owned by others to ensure their compliance with the Reservoirs Act

Responding to the Nature Emergency

Responding to the nature emergency In 2018 NRW published its first nature strategy ‘Vital Nature’.  Since then we’ve been delivering our annual action programmes to improve the conservation status of protected sites.  With partners we’re delivering the Sands of Life dune project and a wide range of other projects. Through all our work we deliver direct and collaborative action to improve biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, protect habitats, species and natural resources, manage water, land and sea sustainably and minimise pollution.

We deliver this in our business as usual activity in a number of ways for example, by gathering evidence on the resilience of ecosystems; providing statutory advice to local authorities on planning applications; managing our National Nature Reserves and the Welsh Government Woodland Estate. Our regulatory activities protect biodiversity on land and in water, preventing damage to protected sites and supporting the improvement of habitats. For example we face the ongoing challenge of raising the quality of our rivers and streams for people and biodiversity whilst balancing the competing demands on the use and management of land and water.

Specific additional delivery priorities for 2021/22 includes:

Putting nature at the centre 

  • Progress the goals of ‘Vital Nature’, NRW’s strategy for nature – including helping everyone in Wales value its species and habitats; enhancing biodiversity and building ecosystem resilience and connecting protected sites to form an integrated network, using a robust and open evidence base. Give NRW staff the knowledge and skills to deliver our biodiversity and ecosystem resilience goals, inspiring and enabling landowners, business leaders and community groups to do the same. 

Protecting special habitats and species - terrestrial, freshwater and marine

  • With partners, accelerate our work to improve the recovery, maintenance and enhancement of Wales’ national site network (formerly Natura 2000 Network) including supporting capital investment into nature reserves and marine, terrestrial and freshwater projects
  • Help reverse the decline in biodiversity through delivering targeted action for declining species or those on the edge of extinction, including the Curlews in Crisis project, salmon and sea trout, native oyster, marsh fritillary butterfly, shrill carder bee and red squirrel
  • Lead the consortium of partners through the project application process for Natur am Byth with the National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • NRW will work with WG to finalise contributions to the WG/DEFRA joint contingency plan for notifiable and emerging diseases of aquatic animals in England and Wales

Managing land sustainably

  • Deliver the AONB National Grant Partnership Programme. Support greater partnership working across Wales’ designated landscapes – National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)
  • Manage the Welsh Government Woodland Estate (WGWE) to the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), and contribute to the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) Review
  • Work with land owners, farmers and land managers across Wales to progress the delivery of the sustainable management of natural resources across Wales
  • Deliver the £5 million ambitious metal mines restoration programme on seven rivers in Wales (Afon Teifi, Afon Tywi, Afon Rheidol, Afon Ystwyth, Afon Dyfi, Afon Conwy and Afon Goch Dulas (Parys Mountain Ynys Mon)).
  • Check the condition of all the spoil tips on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate following the impact of storms in 2020 and 2021 and address any identified issues. Participate in the WG initiated Colliery Tip Task Force and support the Coal Authority and Local Authorities to remediate the issues identified on the highest risk sites.

Managing the sea sustainably 

  • Implement the Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP), develop supporting guidance and evidence and apply this in advice and in decision making to support sustainable development at sea
  • Implement and support further development of the Wales Marine Protected Area Management Framework 

Managing freshwater sustainably

  • Develop and progress delivery of the priorities in the River Restoration Programme and for the nearshore marine environment, as defined within opportunity catchments - those that will provide the best benefits for water quality, biodiversity and fisheries management and other factors. There are 10 such catchments:- the Dee, Clwyd, Conwy, Anglesey, Teifi, Taff/Ely, Cleddau/Milford Haven, Swansea Bay, Central Monmouthshire and the River Ithon.
  • Deliver the SAC (Special Area of Conservation) Rivers project, investigating and tackling phosphate pollution for rivers including the Wye, Usk, Cledddau, lower Teifi and the Dee
  • Work with WG to identify the resources required to undertake the new duties contained in the new Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021

Developing and using our evidence with partners to advocate for and deliver SMNR

Developing and using our evidence with partners and communities to advocate for and deliver the sustainable management of natural resources (SMNR) through state of natural resources reporting, area statements and joint working to improve the resilience, well-being and connection of nature and people: using evidence, sharing evidence and developing evidence.

We deliver this in our business as usual activity for example, by working with national stakeholders to gather share, promote and update evidence on the state of natural resources in Wales, and using evidence based Area Statements to inform our priorities, projects and engagement with stakeholders in our seven places, particularly the Public Services Boards as they prepare their well-being assessments and plans.

Specific additional delivery priorities for 2021/22 includes:

Creating a Shared Vision for the natural environment for 2050 

  • Prepare the first engagement phase of the programme to develop the shared vision for the natural environment, working with the advisory group

Improving and Presenting Evidence about the Natural Environment 

  • Promote and embed the messages from SoNaRR2020 and encourage its application in policy and decisions in NRW and with external stakeholders
  • Implement phase one of the new monitoring programme for terrestrial protected site features and undertake a review of freshwater monitoring
  • Undertake a review of evidence quality and initiate a quality improvement programme for evidence
  • Continue to maintain and improve our evidence services

Work with Partners and Communities using Area Statements  

  • Promote the messages from SoNaRR at all the Public Services Boards across Wales. Use our Area Statements to shape the PSB Well-being Assessments and Well-being plans

Developing NRW into an excellent organisation that serves the communities of Wales

Developing NRW into an excellent organisation, through engagement and collaboration with stakeholders around the sustainable management of natural resources and focussing on new ways of working, to improve benefits to communities from the environment.

We deliver this in our business as usual for example, by delivering our statutory obligations to permit, ensure compliance and take enforcement action within all regulatory sectors. We also assess the severity of approximately 8000 environmental incidents reported to us each year, ensuring we prioritise responding to those in the high category. Serving the customers and communities of Wales are at the heart of what we do, and we continue to improve and innovate the services we provide to meet their needs.

Specific additional delivery priorities for 2021/22 includes:

Responding to and Managing Incidents 

  • As part of our role as a Category 1 responder work with our multi-agency partners to manage significant incidents and support each other as appropriate
  • Contribute effectively to multi-agency partner reviews, share debriefs, assign and monitor actions and use the learning to improve.

Regulation – permitting, regulating, and where required enforcing compliance

  • Produce and submit the Site Environmental Review (SER) for Magnox sites by July 2021
  • Review our approach to the permissions we give for the shooting and trapping of wild birds in Wales. This includes the destruction of their nests and eggs.

Benefitting Communities

  • Support Welsh Government’s Tourism Action Plan, including the Wales Coast Path and National Trails 
  • Connecting people with nature and improving well-being by delivering the priorities of the Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Programme to support our work in embedding SMNR
  • Connecting people with nature and improving wellbeing by delivering the priorities of NRW’s health programme

Developing our Organisation

  • Develop an organisational approach to climate change adaptation informed by the new international ISO adaptation standard 
  • Deliver our Workforce plan, including succession planning and our apprenticeship / placement programme
  • Collaborate and engage with our staff helping them to give their best, creating our culture by embedding our #TeamNRW values throughout the organisation
  • Identify, report and embed the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2021-2024 action plan
  • Focus on our ‘3 lines of defence’ approach to governance – to ensure that robust operational management, risk management and compliance and internal audit enable us to manage our resources efficiently and effectively

Ensuring Everyone’s Well-being, Health and Safety

  • Ensure those who visit land we manage, or work for us, do so in a safe environment including Covid-19 measures
  • Attain registration to ISO 45001

Understand and improve our Customers’ Experiences 

  • Implement our Customer Experience and Engagement Strategy which places the customer at the heart of how we do business
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of experiences felt and perceived by our customers, by initiating an independent customer journey mapping exercise

Making the most of our Commercial Opportunities

  • Implement our Commercial Strategy which outlines how we our commercial activity will maximise the benefits across Planet, People and Prosperity for Wales, creating and driving change in the way we do business, moving towards a more circular economy
  • Implement the new Timber Sales and Marketing Plan 2021 –26

Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the European Union, taking opportunities for a green recovery

Collaborating with partners in response to major change, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the European Union, providing advice and guidance and taking opportunities to maximise a green and blue recovery.

We deliver this in our business as usual activity for example, by using evidence to inform our engagement with Welsh Government and the Devolved Administrations on the challenges and opportunities emerging from the Green Recovery and Brexit.

Specific additional delivery priorities for 2021/22 includes:

Providing advice and guidance 

  • Deliver the priorities in the EU Exit Programme to deliver NRW's remit following the EU Exit
  • Provide evidence and advice to inform the development of the Welsh Agriculture Bill, Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme, and Welsh future fisheries policy
  • Contribute to Welsh Government’s work on the Environmental Principles and required governance, including the role, remit and function of a new oversight body for Wales and understanding the impact of the new body on NRW’s own role and remit 

Delivering our Covid-19 Renewal Programme and contributing to the Green Recovery

  • Support our staff through the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Implement the findings from our Covid-19 Renewal programme, looking at future ways of working, including more home working, increased use of digital and streamlining our fleet and office accommodation.

Managing our performance

As a place-focussed, delivery organisation, we need to be able to demonstrate how well we have performed. Using this Business Plan, and its descriptions of our ongoing work and priorities, we have developed a performance dashboard that our Board will use four times a year to scrutinise delivery and hold our Executive Team to account.  The performance dashboard is an important part of the Business Plan as it sets out the measures and targets in detail and incorporates a wider representation of what NRW does.

Below this Dashboard sit several layers of performance management, which allow our Leadership Team, Services, Places, teams and individuals to monitor performance.  Taken together this gives a comprehensive picture of the organisation’s performance. It is key to ensuring we consider holistically both the Services we offer and the Places we work in and is fundamental to our decision making.

The list below shows our high-level dashboard – we publish progress quarterly on our website.

Respond to the Climate Emergency

  • Reducing our Carbon Footprint
  • Creating New Woodland
  • Restoring Peatland
  • Managing Flood Risk

Respond to the Nature Emergency

  • Putting Nature at the Centre
  • Protecting Habitats and Species - Terrestrial Freshwater and Marine environments
  • Managing Land Sustainably
  • Managing the Sea Sustainably
  • Managing Fresh Water Sustainably

Developing and using our evidence with partners to advocate for and deliver SMNR

  • Creating a Shared Vision for the Natural Environment for 2050
  • Improving and Presenting Evidence about the Natural Environment
  • Work with Partners and Communities using Area Statements

Developing NRW into an excellent organisation that serves the communities of Wales

  • Responding to and Managing Incidents
  • Regulation – permitting, regulating and where required enforcing compliance
  • Benefitting Communities
  • Developing our Organisation
  • Ensuring Everyone’s Well-being, Health and Safety
  • Understand and improve our Customers’ Experiences
  • Making the Most of Commercial Opportunities

Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK leaving the European Union

  • Providing Advice and Guidance following the TCA
  • Delivering our Covid-19 Renewal programme


We know finances and resources will continue to change in the future. This is the first financial year for a long time that we have not held reserves to supplement our funding. In order to help bridge that gap, Welsh Government (WG) has guaranteed NRW £9m additional budget to supplement the core Grant in Aid for 2021-22. As a result, we can set our Business Plan on a budget of £216m. This allows NRW to operate at a similar funding level to the previous financial year.  We have however, had to make some difficult decisions. The additional funding is a temporary measure pending a more detailed review of essential expenditure and budget requirements for 2022-23 over the coming months. We will continue to pay close attention to efficiency, effectiveness and delivery, driving and securing value for money.

In prioritising our funding, we have sought to maintain a balance between addressing pressures on core costs, ongoing development and delivery of additional responsibilities and duties.

We have been able to direct resources to re-baseline some core non-staff budgets, invest in key programmes (for example, reservoirs and Wild Bird Review);  direct an additional £1m to fund flood revenue pressures; deliver an ICT Development and Innovation programme of over £4m; deliver a second year of the non-flood capital programme (circa £14.5m); a flood capital programme (£17m) and spend on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate (circa £17m). The budget presented also reflects a £14m flood capital programme.

We have allocated £4.3m of our budget to grant funding others’ work. This is allocated across two of our three funding mechanisms; Shared Outcome Request (SOR) Funding and Strategic Allocated funding (SAF). We are not planning to run a Competitive Grants Programme in this coming year. The table below summarises how our grants project work enables a wide range of outcomes to be delivered across Wales:

Spend on Grants £m
Wales Coastal Path 1.3
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty 0.5
SOR Grants 0.5
National Trails & Arts Council for Wales 0.4
Capital Programme - WG Funded - Fisheries Afonydd Cymru 1.0
Capital Programme - WG Funded - Peatlands 0.6
Total 4.3

The budget assumes we will follow the UK Government public sector pay freeze and continue to spend less on travel and subsistence.

Our budget of £216m has been distributed across our directorates as outlined in the table below:

Expenditure budget 2021-22

Directorate Staff – Trajectory £m Other Staff £m Non staff £m Revenue projects £m Capitol projects £m Total £m
Communications, Customer and Commercial Not applicable 0.4 9.7 0.2 Not applicable 10.3
Corporate Strategy and Development Not applicable 1.6 1.2 0.3 Not applicable 3.0
Evidence Policy and Permitting Not applicable 0.7 15.9 5.8 6.7 29.1
Finance and Corporate Services Not applicable 0.9 16.9 0.5 4.9 23.1
Operations Not applicable 2.1 18.4 7.7 26.9 55.1
Staff - Trajectory 95.4 Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Total expenditure budget 95.4 5.7 62.1 14.4 38.5 216.1


Income budget 2021-22 Total £m
Grant in Aid 122.8
Charges 38.7
Commercial 48.1
European and other external 6.2
Total income budget 216.1

We have also identified additional funding that will be directed to reinstating some of the budgets that we have reduced in order to balance the budget in addition to addressing other pressures.

We hope you find our Business Plan interesting and useful. If you have any queries or comments please get in touch at

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