Keep Wales Tidy - A Big Issue Cymru Big List Subscriber
Keep Wales Tidy is an environmental charity that encourages local action to protect and enhance the environment of Wales. Our programmes support communities to help create a beautiful Wales that can be cared for and enjoyed by all. Lesley Jones, chief executive, explains the importance of looking after where you live.
Q. Can you explain more about what Keep Wales Tidy does?
This year, Keep Wales Tidy celebrates forty years as one of Wales’s leading community-based environmental charities. We encourage individuals and groups to value their local environment and our initiatives focus on protecting and preserving the natural landscape for current and future generations. We work with volunteers across Wales and teach schoolchildren to be environmentally responsible. We also monitor the levels of litter on Wales’s streets and advise local authorities on environmental policy and enforcement.
As well as this, we issue several beach awards, ensuring that Wales’s coastline is clean and safe for visitors. Plus, we have a very famous fan – Hollywood actor Michael Sheen is our ambassador! See the picture below.
Q. What are Keep Wales Tidy’s goals?
Keep Wales Tidy is working towards a beautiful Wales that can be cared for and enjoyed by all. We’re not just about litter and there are many ways in which we can protect and enhance our environment, so that we can contribute towards a sustainable future.
Q. Why is Keep Wales Tidy a part of The Big Issue Cymru’s Big List?
We support The Big Issue’s philosophy of helping to people in need. The magazine provides a valuable source of information on social issues and by being part of the Big List, Keep Wales Tidy can hopefully offer support to any Big Issue readers who want to get involved in environmental projects.
Q. How does the ethos of Keep Wales Tidy fit in with that of The Big Issue Cymru?
Keep Wales Tidy actively assists all sectors of the community to improve their local environment. We are a firm believer in developing skills of the volunteers we work with and providing learning opportunities for everyone, so as a fellow outreach organisation, we fully support the crucial work of the Big Issue in our communities.
Q. What are Keep Wales Tidy’s plans for the future?
In our fortieth year we have plenty to look forward to. Our Green Links initiative is improving visitor attractions at key tourist spots and promoting walking and cycling on Holy Island in Anglesey. The Long Forest Project will involve community volunteers, schools, farmers and landowners who want to develop natural habitats in the Brecon Beacons National Park. We’d also like even more people to take part in this year’s Tidy Wales Week, which asks the people of Wales to help to clean up their local area.
Q. Why is Keep Wales Tidy’s a success?
Keep Wales Tidy empowers communities. The Tidy Towns initiative has so far recruited over 33,000 volunteers from across Wales who have taken part in clean-ups and litter picks and turned neglected green spaces into allotments and valuable community assets, as well as improving wildlife habitats. At present over 94% of Welsh schools are registered Eco Schools with pupils spreading the message of environmental responsibility to their families and the wider community.