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:

Case studies

Most users just want practical information. Case studies can be counter-productive as they’re just something else for the user to read, and can complicate search results.

We do not publish case studies.

If the goal is to help explain guidance then it is best to concentrate on getting the wording of the guidance right instead.

For situations with only a temporary interest, for example to promote our data or services, then it is better dealt with as a news story, press release or blog. Speak to the communications team.

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.

Press releases and media statements

Press releases and media statements are emailed directly to media contacts by the communications team. They are also published in the ‘News’ section of our website and promoted on our social media pages.

They must be published using the ‘news release’ template and include:

  • the date when the article was published
  • a quote
  • links to related articles, guidance or consultations
  • an image

Featured stories

The most recent press release or media statement will feature on the ‘news’ landing page.

Writing and formatting requirements

Contact the communications team. All content should follow the style guide and writing for the web.


You should keep the title short. It should summarise what the article is about. 

All press release begin with ‘Press release’ in the title. For example, Press release: Water voles reintroduces at Oxwich nature reserve.

All media statements begin with 'Statement' in the title. For example, Statement: New control of agricultural pollution regulations.


One sentence of no more than 30 words encapsulating the whole story of what the activity is and how this will help the environment. If you had to reduce the story to one sentence, this would be it.

Body copy

Start with the most important bit, then the next most important and so on. People should be able to leave the story half way through and still have an understanding of what you’re trying to convey.

With the exception of the intro, sentences should usually be no more than 25 words. And sentence lengths should vary. This prevents monotony and aids understanding. It also helps you keep punctuation to a minimum. 

Never use a long word when a shorter alternative is available. 

Each sentence should appear as a separate paragraph.

Links should only be in the body of the text and not in 'related links'.

The word count should be at least 200 words and usually less than 400.


All quotes must be in the 'quote' format.

They should always start with the name of the person quoted followed by their title and the name of the organisation. The title of the person quoted should almost always be used. 

Speech marks are opened at the start of every paragraph but only closed at the very end of the quote.

For example: 

Kelly McLauchlan, Duty Tactical Manager for Natural Resources Wales said:

“The predicted heavy rain is likely to cause disruption to parts of South and Mid Wales overnight and into tomorrow, so we’re advising people to keep up to date with flood alerts and warnings issued in their areas.
“Our teams have been working with partners to make preparations and to minimise any potential risks to communities.
"In the very rare instance where you do not wish to name the person (for example where this may lead to an increased risk to the individual concerned) quoting a “spokesperson” is acceptable, but try to avoid this wherever possible." 

Retention schedule

Press releases and media statements are deleted after 2 years.

LIFE project press releases and media statements will be deleted 5 years after the projects have finished.


The communication team publish information about NRW projects on Citizen Space.

This is for:

  • high profile NRW projects
  • long term projects that impact people (for example, long term trail closures or travel disruption)
  • LIFE funded projects

All other projects are considered on a case by case basis by the communications team.

Citizen Space: publishing projects

Design project pages with a digital audience in mind.

This means:

Any logos that need to be included must be at the bottom of the page.

Images and videos can be used but must be accessible.

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

Work with your communications partner on any Citizen Space projects.

Example of project pages

Retention period

LIFE project pages will be maintained by the digital team for at least 5 years after the end of the project.

Other project pages should be reviewed 6 months after the project has ended unless it is still of high public interest. The communications team can discuss deletion with the digital team if needed.

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