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Lakefield kids enjoy new water lab

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Pupils from Lakefield School: at the Water Lab

Pupils from Lakefield School: at the Water Lab

PUPILS from Lakefield School had the chance to test out the new water lab at the Llanelli Wetland centre at its official opening.

The children enjoyed watching the rain-powered mug cascade and playing with the giant chaos waterwheel in the innovative new outdoor classroom. The Water Lab is designed to help teachers show the important role of wetlands in the environment.

It’s a very current issue as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) – specially constructed wetlands – are increasingly used to manage flooding in a natural way in towns and cities. Features like ponds and wet ground can slow down, soak up and store rainwater.

A visit to the Water Lab will be on the itinerary for many of the 3,000 pupils that go on a school trip to WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre each year. And all visitors, young or old, can have a play when it’s not booked for a class.

The building has been funded by HSBC as part of WWT’s Inspiring Generations programme, which each year gives more than 12,000 school children from disadvantaged areas across the UK a free school trip.

The Herald spoke to some of people behind the event. Martin Sprey CBE and CEO of WTT said: “The education of young people is something I feel very passionate about. As a society with the technology we have we are becoming more and more disconnected from the natural world.

“Young people are inheriting some of the problems we are leaving them. This facility is giving them an exciting place where they can come and learn. It is open to any schools, which would like to come.

“We get about 60,000 children through our centres each year. I want them to be excited by what they do, to play, have fun and hopefully remember it. This is one of the best bird watching sites along the whole of the Welsh coastline.”

Sue Alexander, Senior Manager Environmental Programmes at HSBC told the Herald: “We are here today to open a water lab an educational installation, which we have funded. We have a five-year plan funding water projects around the world and we have a partnership with the WTT called inspiring generations.

“We find that this kind of programme fits in very well with what we believe in. We run a number of education programmes where staff can go out and get involved in community activities.

“It is important for our staff to come out and volunteer in the community they are part of. The big take away for me today is the fact that we are helping children who do not usually get an opportunity to come to these centres.”

Pam Styles, Learning Manager at WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre, led the activities. She said that she was ‘delighted’ by the new facility:

“The Water Lab showcases some fantastic SuDS features, demonstrating in a fun and engaging way how we can create buildings in harmony with nature supporting natural processes, preventing flooding and providing homes for wildlife all at the same time,” she added.

Paige Richards, a year 4 pupil involved in the activities thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Paige said, “I thought the Water Lab was great. The glass on the building was cool with all the different colours. The cups were really fun to watch as all the water trickles down. It was good to learn about the water cycle and to find out how water runs off different surfaces.”

 

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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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