CHARITY RSPB Cymru has been recognised by the Welsh Language Commissioner for its service to the public through Welsh.

The conservation charity works billingually including on Ramsey Island, near St David's in Pembrokeshire, where warden Nia Stephens is one of just two permanent human residents.

Originally from Cardigan Nia says she is pleased to be able to use the Welsh language in her everyday work.

"The Welsh language is very important to the RSPB Cymru, and to me," said Nia.

"It is important that we have an RSPB that represents Wales. A lot of Welsh speaking staff work for the charity.

"I send a lot of e-mails in Welsh. I translate the Island social media messages to Welsh; we do everything in Welsh and English, I think that's very important."

The commissioner has awarded the charity Cynnig Cymraeg status in recognition of the service it offers in Welsh.

READ MORE:

Ramsey Island is owned and protected by RSPB Cymru, and two wardens shepherd the island for nine months a year. As well as Nia and her colleague the island is home to Atlantic Grey seals, which return every year from mid-August, and birds such as guillemots, choughs, Manx shearwater and even peregrine falcons.

Nia first visited Ramsey Island at the age of 20, and instantly fell in love with the place.

"Working here is a dream, it's such a privilege for me to call the island my home" says Nia, who guides visitors on tours around the island during the spring and summer season.

"When the boat comes in, I always welcome them to the island in Welsh with a ‘croeso,’ and introduce myself in Welsh.

"At least then, the people who speak Welsh know that I can speak the language, and they speak Welsh to me all day afterwards."

"I think people can almost always work out that I speak Welsh, and then they can speak Welsh with me about the wildlife.

"It makes a difference to their day."

Nia lives on the Ramsey from March to November, and some of her daily tasks include research on wildlife, shepherding, and conservation work on the island.

"I feel shocked all the time when I meet people from St David's who have never been to Ramsey Island," she said.

"I believe the Welsh language gives visitors a better experience. It's hard to explain why, we'd be the same, you feel more comfortable.

"It makes you feel, like you're part of something. It’s makes a difference."

Aled Roberts, Welsh Language Commissioner, said: "I would like to congratulate RSPB Cymru on their Cynnig Cymraeg (Welsh Language Offer) award

"I also have to congratulate Nia, for improving the visitor experience, and for promoting the language to visitors beyond Wales.

"We look forward to working with the charity further in the future, and wish them well, in developing their Welsh Offer."

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.