Jane Davidson’s puts her passion for the environment down to spending the vast majority of her life outdoors. The Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing explained, “I was brought up in Africa and as a child spent most of the time outdoors. Lessons were outdoors, my parents were keen walkers and I cycled to school from the age of five. I was literally outdoors all the time. When I came to the UK in my early teens, it was such a shock to find that people spent so much time indoors.
“I think that living in Africa also gave me a passion for sustainability. Anyone who has spent a long time in a developing country will tell you that you always harness all that you can, you don’t waste a thing. It was another shock to realise that here people are measured by how much they have rather than how much they do.
“I have always been an anti-consumerist, as both a parent and an individual. As a family, we have always had old cars and I have steered my children away from designer clothes and products. It’s far more important to value what’s around you. I have also always been a strong environmentalist and think it’s essential that we don’t let our negative actions affect the rest of the World. I keep saying, we only have one Planet; we need to look after it. We should all be passionate about our environment. We all rely on clean water, and clean air to grow food and maintain good health, as well as for the well being of the Planet.
And the keen environmentalist walks her talk; “We have always grown a lot of our own fruit and veg, from the more common things like peas and beans through to the more unusual, like Jerusalem artichokes and we manage to produce quite a lot even though our garden is east facing and on a slope! Any gardener will tell you that the right conditions such as a south facing aspect and good soil will be easier to work and increase yields. It’s one of the reasons we are moving to a small-holding in West Wales in May; now the children are grown up, we can really concentrate on being as self sufficient as possible. I intend to keep bees and my husband has already bought me a National hive though it’ll probably be next year before I get a swarm. I’ll need someone to advice me at first; I’ve heard the Mayor of Cardigan keeps bees so that’ll be one of my first calls.”
“I also love walking and am looking forward to being able to do more of that later in the year.
When I leave, after the election in May, I am going to be walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path; it’s a way of walking out of my old way of life and into my new one.”