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New traffic-free route in Pembrey to boost local economy

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261340009_hols_sw_CefnSidan_16x9AN IMPORTANT new walking and cycling route linking the villages of Pembrey and Kidwelly with Pembrey Country Park, Burry Port and the Millennium Coastal Path will be officially opened this Friday (Aug 5). The new route will provide enhanced, traffic-free access to popular tourism destinations along the Carmarthenshire coast and also link to two existing walking and cycling routes that are already a hit with tourists and local users.

The path will enhance the experience of visitors and increase the numbers using local services and facilities, rather than bypassing them.  It has been estimated that the route will attract an additional 9,250 tourist trips each year and increased annual spending of up to £287,000 in the town. It will also encourage people to travel actively, improve connectivity and enhance the quality of life of the community and visitors.

The £300,000 project has been delivered by Sustrans Cymru, Carmarthenshire County Council and the Coastal Communities Fund. The new route is a 1.6km path along a disused railway line that runs through the heart of Pembrey. It will provide access to the popular tourist attractions Pembrey Country Park and to the Millennium Coastal Path. The project has also upgraded and installed new signage along the 10km route between Burry Port and Kidwelly.

The original route consisted of a narrow, worn and muddy track with overgrown vegetation. The new path has been constructed along a disused railway line and includes safe road crossings. Users will benefit from an improved surface making it accessible all year round. It also provides an alternative alignment for the Celtic Trail, part of the National Cycle Network, avoiding sections in Pembrey Forest which have been severely affected by flooding in recent years.

A bicycle ride will be held to celebrate the opening of the new path. Invitees to the event include the local MP, AM, Councillors, and representatives of local businesses.

Jane Lorimer, National Director at Sustrans Cymru said: “I am delighted that Sustrans in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council has been able to provide this new route, thanks to funding from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).  We know where routes have been built in coastal areas in Wales they have resulted in people walking and cycling for more of their everyday journeys, helping them to lead healthier lifestyles, save money and enjoy the beautiful scenery around us.  This new route offers great potential to boost tourism and have an impact on how local people choose to get about every day.”

Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “The new path will link up the communities of Burry Port, Pembrey and Kidwelly to the very popular coastal path creating a safe, traffic-free route for people to use for commuting and for pleasure.”

Council Leader Emlyn Dole said: “Carmarthenshire is set to become the cycling capital of Wales; the county already has a reputation for being a great place for mountain biking and future plans include a new velodrome in Carmarthen and a £5million expansion to the Tywi Valley cycleway.

“We welcome this latest investment in Pembrey which will complete the route that links Burry Port Harbour, the MCP, and Pembrey Country Park with Kidwelly and the Gwendraeth Valley cycle route.

“As well as being a healthy and environmentally friendly way of getting around, cycling is a growing sport and a major contribution to Carmarthenshire’s thriving tourism industry.”

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Scrub removal at Pembrey to improve dunes for biodiversity

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If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

SCRUB provides a splash of greenery in our sandy spaces, but too much scrub smothers the sand dunes and has a devastating effect on the specialist plants and invertebrates which live there. 

This winter Natural Resources Wales will be removing non-native, invasive plant species from areas of dune at Pembrey to help wildlife thrive.

The coast around Pembrey is home to 20% of all the plants in Wales and features a large sand dune system. Sand dunes are listed as the habitat type most at risk of biodiversity loss in Europe.

The Dynamic Dunescapes project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered in Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is working at Pembrey with Carmarthenshire County Council’s Outdoor Recreation Service to improve the condition of these dunes for wildlife.

Some non-native plant species, like the dense scrub plant sea buckthorn, are invasive and they are growing quickly in this dune system – spreading further across large areas of dune each year. 

Many of the dunes’ rare and specialist wildlife needs bare sand or low grassland habitat to survive and gets lost under or outcompeted by scrub. 

If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

Scrub removal in specifically chosen locations will help to restore the habitat types that these species need, and this work will play a part in ensuring the dunes at Pembrey have a healthy, biodiverse future. 

Improving the ecological condition here will increase this coastal landscape’s resilience to other threats, such as extreme weather events and changing conditions brought on by climate change in the future.

The first phase of this work is to take place in Pembrey Country Park around Car Park 8 and the second will take place on the foredunes in front of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which is managed by NRW. 

It is scheduled to begin in the last week of November and will last for two weeks. There will be a temporary closure of Factory Road outside the Country Park for one week – reopening on 5th December.

Ruth Harding, Senior Environment Officer at Natural Resources Wales, said:

“Sea Buckthorn control is important to improve the dune grassland habitats at Pembrey. Carmarthenshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales have carried out this type of habitat management over a number of years which has resulted in restoring the area to a dune grassland rich with different species of plants. 

You can best enjoy this during the summer months within the Pembrey Burrows and Saltings Local Nature Reserve. As part of Dynamic Dunescapes, we are now continuing this work, which will result in an overall increase in dune grassland habitat.”

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said:

“Whilst scrub is a valuable habitat it does need management to maintain it in good condition for wildlife. Cutting back the scrub will ensure it does not spread into areas where it is not wanted and or where it can destroy other habitat.”

Dynamic Dunescapes is not the only project working to restore Pembrey’s important sand dunes. The EU LIFE-funded Sands of LIFE project, managed by (NRW), has also been undertaking sand dune management to improve conditions for wildlife in recent years. The two projects work closely to build on and support each other’s work.

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Demolition of 4 Tys begins in Tyisha, Llanelli

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Four Tys

WORK to demolish the Four Tys housing blocks in Tyisha, Llanelli has started, marking the next exciting step in Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to Transform the area. 

The demolition work is set to be completed by civil engineering contractor Walters over the next 20 weeks and will enable the build of modern, mixed-use housing which meets the needs of the community.

Improvements to existing homes and the creation of community facilities and green spaces will also form part of changes on the horizon for Tyisha. 

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, chair of the Transforming Tyisha steering group and cabinet member for housing said: “The demolition of the Four Tys marks an important step in the Transforming Tyisha project. Although this process will evoke powerful memories for many of the people who have lived and worked in Tyisha since the Four Tys were built in the 1960s, their demolition will enable us to provide the housing and facilities that the community needs.

Local residents and businesses who may be impacted by the demolition process will be contacted throughout to ensure minimum disruption.”

This forms a part of the council’s ambitious plans to regenerate the Tyisha ward and the wider Llanelli town centre area which is undergoing massive investment.

The council is also seeking a partner to develop new housing and create a vibrant community. An early market engagement exercise is currently live which gives potential partners the opportunity to express their interest in working with the council to transform the area.

Fresh and innovative ideas for this exciting project can be submitted to the council until December 7.

For more information on the early market engagement process or the council’s Transforming Tyisha regeneration project please visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/tyisha

The demolition of the ‘Four Tys’ forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

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Serious assault in Ruby’s Bar Llanelli being investigated by police

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POLICE are investigating a serious assault which occurred in Ruby’s Bar, Llanelli, between 10:40pm and 11pm on Saturday, November 20.

A 35-year-old man received injuries which required hospital treatment.

A 31-year-old female and a 36-year-old male have  been arrested on suspicion of assault. Both have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed, or took footage of, the incident, or anyone who has any information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20211120-336.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.’

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