When to publish on GOV.WALES or Natural Resources Wales

This is part of the content and publishing manual

Purpose of this guide

This guidance advises how to decide whether to publish information to www.gov.wales or naturalresources.wales.


Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales work together.

  • Welsh Government is responsible for overall strategy and sets priorities for Natural Resources Wales
  • Natural Resources Wales works to realise the overall strategy and priorities for example by managing resources, regulating and responding to incidents

Both organisations may also be responsible for different aspects of the same subject.

This creates some challenges for online publishing:

  • information for publication online may be created in partnership and it may be unclear where to publish it
  • content meeting related user needs may be published to different websites

These challenges may reduce the effectiveness of our work and make it harder to meet our shared objectives. For example, if a user lands on one website they may not be made aware of important related information on the other website.

Principles for wholly owned content

Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales each have a website proposition. These propositions describe where to publish content wholly owned by only one organisation:

They state that information wholly owned by one organisation should be published only to their website.

For example, publish:

  • a Welsh Government strategy to gov.wales
  • a Natural Resources Wales strategy to naturalresources.wales
  • an application form for a grant administered by Natural Resources Wales to naturalresources.wales
  • an application form for a grant administered by Welsh Government to gov.wales

Principles for shared content

Information produced in partnership should consider:

  • user needs, for example where users expect to find the information
  • who has greater day-to-day responsibility for the guidance or service
  • location of existing closely related content

In general, Natural Resources Wales provides more of the practical guidance enabling users to behave in the required or desired way.

The subject matter experts from both organisations should agree their preferred approach for each subject.

They should discuss their preferred approach with content designers in their organisation:

Link between the sites

Subject experts should identify opportunities to link between the sites when closely related user needs are met across both.

They should discuss these opportunities with content designers in their organisation.

For example, Natural Resources Wales may publish several pages each meeting different user needs related to hazardous waste:

  • submit your hazardous waste return
  • register or renew as a hazardous waste producer
  • how to complete a hazardous waste consignment note

Welsh Government may produce content relating to another aspect of hazardous waste and identify a need to help users find related content on naturalresources.wales. A good way to link may be:

It is unlikely that reproducing the structure of the other site is a good option. For example,  creating several pages on GOV.WALES with identical titles to those on naturalresources.wales which link to naturalresources.wales for the detail. Doing this is extra effort and creates competing search results.

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