Content types

This is part of the content and publishing manual.

Content types are regularly reviewed and updated.

Last updated 21 February 2023.

Content needs to be published in a way that makes it easy for users to find.

Users come to our website with a specific task in mind. They want to get it done as quickly and easily as possible. 

Our content types can help us decide:

  • what the content is for 
  • where we publish it
  • how we publish it

Guidance that helps users carry out a task

Guidance helps users complete a task whether it is to find out something, tell us something, or apply for something. 

Examples of user tasks

  • Find out if someone can take away my hazardous waste
  • Check if a septic tank is registered for a house I want to buy
  • Find out how much a permit will cost to start my new business
  • Apply for a grant for my volunteer group to restore peatland in my area
  • Find out if I can burn garden waste I've collected as landscape gardener
  • Find out if I'm allowed to metal detect on NRW land
  • Get flood alerts sent to me
  • Find out if I can fish for trout on a certain river
  • Find out what to do about bats in my roof

People will be able to find, understand and use our content and services if they are built around users' tasks.

How content is created 

Content designers are responsible for how content is written and structured. Subject matter experts are responsible for the facts. 

All content should have an evidenced user need.

Content will be written in line with the style guide​ and writing for web guidelines.

Get in touch with the digital team as soon you believe users need new or revised content.

Board papers or meeting minutes

We publish board papers and minutes on our website. We also publish meeting notes of several NRW forums.

To create papers that we can publish:

Send your accessible documents to the digital team using the content request form.

Corporate information: plans, strategies, reports and policies

Corporate strategies, plans, policies and reports can:

  • set our direction
  • explain our priorities
  • explain how we'll reach goals
  • describe how we are doing

Examples include:

  • corporate plan
  • annual report
  • grant strategy
  • enforcement and sanctions policy

All strategies, plans, policies and reports will be published as web content.

Content should follow our style guide and writing for the web guidelines. Read these to find out how to write your title, summary and body copy.

Remember to use sentence case for page titles and put the date in the title if the page is part of a series that has the same title, for example:

Annual report 2022

Annual report 2021

Annual report 2020

Consultations and public notices

We publish consultations and public notices on both Citizen Space and our website.

Most consultations are published on Citizen Space, including:

  • new or changed policy or strategy
  • forest resource plans
  • charges for permits
  • changes to standard rules permits
  • flood risk management schemes

We publish the following on our website:

  • environmental permits
  • marine licences
  • water abstraction and impoundment licences
  • drought permits and orders

Citizen Space: publishing consultations

Design consultations with a digital audience and digital responses in mind.

Do not create consultations for print and then try to shoehorn them into a digital tool.

This means:

If you must include documents, make sure they are accessible. 

Work with your communications partner on any Citizen Space consultations.

Consultations published on our website

Consultations and public notices are published in 'permits and permissions'.

Evidence reports

Evidence reports we publish must be accessible whether they are produced by us, or commissioned by us and produced by others.

Document creators should follow our:


Blogging makes it easier to talk about our work, share information and connect with people who have a common concern.

It can help you raise awareness of new and existing services, highlight successes and things we’re learning, and start conversations with your users.

When to use blogs

Use blogs for:

  • describing any work you’re doing or thinking about
  • outlining new practice or theory in a particular area
  • sharing ideas and what you’re learning
  • inviting opinions on plans or developments

Style and tone of voice

All content on our website should follow our writing for the web guidelines and style guide.

Blogging offers a personal way of engaging with people. They are written by named authors who put a face to what might otherwise be perceived as a faceless organisation. It’s this personal channel that, for users, adds credibility and a sense of openness.

This means you should write as you speak. Write as an individual, not as an impersonal organisation or team.

You should still follow the style guide but this does not mean you cannot be warm, candid or personal. You should be all of these things.

Blogs can - and should - spark conversations. This means being accountable for the things you write and working with the communications team to respond to any comments.

This will help improve our users’ experience with us and help us learn more about them.

After you write a blog, read it out loud to check it’s written the way you speak. Once you’re happy, always have someone else review it.


Your blog should have a title that tells readers what the post is about and entices them to read it.

Break up text with paragraphs, headings, images and bullet points to make the blog easier to read on a screen. Paragraphs no more than about 5 lines long are easiest to read.

Every blog should have at least one image. Images should:

  • have alternative text that describes the image for people who cannot see it or use a screen reader
  • have a title if they are a screenshot or convey information
  • be attributed properly to avoid copyright infringement

If you use links, make sure they are embedded in the text. Avoid link text that says ‘Click here’ and phrase the link text in a way users will know what website they will be taken to if they click on the link.

Call to action

At the end of your blog post, think about your call to action. This could, for example, ask your audience to:

  • attend an event
  • follow a social media account
  • leave a comment and join in a conversation
  • read related posts (which you can add using the ‘related posts’ box)

Submit your blog

Send your completed form and pictures to the communications team.



Blog title:

Blog content:

Closing summary or call to action:

Description of photos provided and details of anyone we need to credit:

Education resources

Education resources for schools and other providers are published in Guidance and advice by the education team.

Writing education content

All content should follow the style guide and writing for the web guidelines.

Page titles

Page titles must make sense. The title should provide full context so that a user can easily tell if they’ve found what they’re looking for.

'St Asaph flood 2012: education resources'

is better than

'St Asaph'

Create a subtitle

This is the text that will appear in an internal search result below the page link. It may appear in a Google result if we use it as the meta description.

Use this to help the user decide whether they should click the link and view the whole page.

The subtitle is one sentence and under 160 characters.

Images and videos

Images and videos must be accessible. For images, follow the guidelines set out in writing accessible documents guidelines.

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) have a helpful guide for making audio and video media accessible.

Jobs, placements and apprenticeships

Information about job vacancies, apprenticeships, placements, work experience and volunteering are published in 'About us'.

Job vacancies are published and removed by the recruitment team.

Other opportunities, like apprenticeships and volunteering, are published by the digital team.  

Publishing job vacancies

We follow the style guide and writing for web guidelines including:

  • capitalising job titles (eg Water Quality Permitting Officer)
  • writing sub-headings in sentence case

Add a subtitle

This is the text that will appear in an internal search result below the page link. It may appear in a Google result if we use it as the meta description.

Use this to help the user decide whether they should click the link and view the whole page.

The subtitle is one sentence and under 160 characters.

Last updated