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There is a brand new visitor attraction in cool Carmarthenshire

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IN a dreamy, wooded valley with water all around, there’s a very special experience waiting to be discovered.

Paid for with the fruits of a remarkable fundraising effort, the Regency Restoration project is the largest piece of work undertaken by the National Botanic Garden of Wales since it opened in May 2000.

More than 200 years ago, it was one of the UK’s finest waterparks. It has taken five years and more than £7 million. It’s seen the restoration of a 1.5km lake, a waterfall and a cascade; a new 350-metre-long dam built, six new bridges. . . but now it’s restored and ready for all to see.

Fancy a walk? There are miles of perfect paths that take in all of the amazing features.

Love wildlife? Come and luxuriate in nature’s bounty, where kingfishers, brimstone butterflies, otters and wild trout thrive.

Looking for the perfect family day out? Here’s a place for adventure. To explore. Look under rocks, turn back the clocks and play at being children once more where there is freedom and space and beauty into which you can be loosed on a wondrous journey of discovery and delight. For children of all ages.

This is just part of what’s on offer at the national garden, of course.

The Botanic Garden is also now home the British Bird of Prey Centre – a unique collection of raptors and the only place in the UK you can see a golden eagle and a European sea eagle fly, with stunning flying displays every day. It provides awesome encounters with remarkable creatures and a guaranteed, never-to-be-forgotten, up-close-and-personal experiences with owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, kestrels and red kites.

The Botanic Garden’s centrepiece is the awesome glass dome that is Lord Foster’s Great Glasshouse, home to one of the finest collections of Mediterranean climate-zone plants in the world.

Cardiff-based writer and broadcaster Charles Williams said of this amazing building: “The world’s biggest single-span glasshouse looks like an alien mothership has crash-landed into the middle of some rural idyll (but in a good way).”

All around the Great Glasshouse you will find plenty of paths to take and around every corner is something to savour, enjoy and marvel at.

Why not take a tranquil lakeside walk?

A little further and you will find the ambitious Arboretum, where we are growing trees and shrubs from around the world with wild collected seed – planted for the future and growing fast.

Further still and you are on the wider estate where specially planned out and clearly-marked routes will transport you to new and amazing revelations – wild waxcap meadows where brightly coloured red, green and yellow fungi nestle like improbable gems in the tufty grass of the sheep-chewed pasture; and where the trees and hedgerows throng with whitethroats and flycatchers.

Not far from here, our carefully managed hay meadows reveal a treasury of orchids and other almost forgotten, stunning countryside wildflowers like ragged robin, yellow rattle, knapweed, greater burnet, eyebright and an abundance of orchids.

Make sure you include in your itinerary the unique and historic Double-Walled Garden, a steamy Tropical House, the busy Bee Garden, our Welsh heritage orchard and a newly-planted grove of more than 100 cherry trees.

For more information about the Botanic Garden, please visit our website.

If you want admission or booking info, contact our Admissions team on 01558 667149 or via gatehouse@gardenofwales.org.uk

For more details about the British Bird of Prey Centre, please take a look at their website

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea

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A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.

The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.

Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”

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Police appeal after Llanelli assault: victim required hospital treatment

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating an assault which occurred on Regalia Terrace, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire at about 12.05am, Sunday 3rd July.

The victim required hospital treatment.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the person in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the person is, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DP-20220703-011

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

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