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West Wales woodlands win awards



Huw Denman: With Mr and Mrs Holding.

Huw Denman: With Mr and Mrs

WOODLANDS in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire have won gold and silver respectively in the UK’s premier competition for Silviculture – the growing of trees for timber or other crops.

Glynaeron and Ty Rhyg woods (part of Coed Preseli) at Crymych, Pembrokeshire, took gold in Royal Forestry Society’s Excellence in Forestry Silviculture Award 2015 with Penrhiwiar, Cefn Gwenffrwd & Cwm Cae’r Odyn (part of Bryn Arau Duon), owned by Ilchester Estates taking Silver.

The RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards rotate around England, Wales and Northern Ireland and this was the first year they had been held in Wales.

Glynaeron and Ty Rhyg are owned by Robert and Jill Holding. Their woodlands delighted judges who said: “This two-part entry was a very clear winner, scoring highly on all judging criteria. It was apparent that all aspects affecting the sustainable productivity of the site, for landscape enhancement, wildlife and archaeological conservation, soil and water protection, as well as timber production and income generation, had been addressed… It is an excellent example of the benefits to be gained from the practical implementation of continuous cover forestry principles.”

The Holdings said: “The forest is very important to us. We visit it as often as we can, sometimes several times a week and particularly get great pleasure from the stands managed under continuous cover. Not only are the continuous cover stands profitable, but they also feel like a real forest with big trees and luxuriant understory of vegetation and natural regeneration which provides habitat for woodland birds and other species. Selective felling every four years gives us a regular income from the forest and allows enough light to encourage the trees and natural regeneration to respond and grow. Being in Tŷ Rhyg on a sunny day sometimes feels like being in an ‘old growth’ Sitka forest in Oregon or natural spruce forest in central Europe. We get great pleasure from the fact that visitors like to walk in our woods and that birdwatchers come especially for the woodland birds and report them on the Pembrokeshire Bird Blog, and this is in a productive commercial forest.”

Of Penrhiwiar, Cefn Gwenffrwd & Cwm Cae’r Odyn (part of Bryn Arau Duon), the judges said: “We were impressed that within landscape constraints a very well planned sequence of forest operations was in progress designed to maximise financial returns while maintaining diversity of native ground flora within ancient woodland sites, and providing a venue of high quality for commercial and sporting events. Record keeping and monitoring were demonstrated to be of a very high standard while forest product marketing ensured that the best prices were obtained for all outputs from the forest, including large diameter timber which is mostly sold and used locally.”

Other Excellence in Forestry Gold Awards went to Caia Community Woods in Wrexham; the Llewesog Estate in Denbigh; Conwy’s Bron Haul Woodland; and Warren Woods in Bodfari.

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Demolition of 4 Tys begins in Tyisha, Llanelli



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

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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Greatly respected Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant crowned Police Officer of the Year



DESCRIBED as a ‘perfect example of an exemplary Dyfed-Powys Police Officer’, Sergeant Gemma Davies wins the Police Officer of the Year title at the force annual awards. 

The Dyfed-Powys Police annual awards are a celebration of talent, offering individuals and teams the chance to be recognised and rewarded for their commitment, hard work, achievements and success.

Held at a virtual ceremony on November 18, the awards have showcased some of the force’s outstanding work, with a focus on those who have made an exceptional contribution to policing priorities.

Sergeant Gemma Davies from the Ammanford area, has served with Dyfed-Powys Police for 14 years and was nominated for the award by her manager and her team members – of which there are 33 that she currently supervises in the Carmarthenshire Neighbourhood Policing Team. 

Acting Sergeant Ian Roach said: “Gemma is a fantastic police officer. She’s compassionate and really listens, and cares for the communities she serves, but also her team members. 

“Her standards as an officer are second to none – she’s the best Sergeant I’ve ever worked with. She puts so much work and effort into ensuring communities are safeguarded, and that priorities are met. 

“We deliver as a team as a result of Gemma’s enthusiasm and drive. She is so thorough – no stone is left unturned when she’s looking to resolve a problem.” 

The Police Officer of the Year award recognises excellence, dedication, and initiative within the role.

Not only has Sergeant Gemma Davies scooped this award, but she was also a finalist in the Inspiring Leadership award and nominated in the Here for You category in this year’s annual awards.

Inspector Dawn Fencott-Price said: “Gemma will take on any challenge with a smile and positive attitude – which is infectious and in turn is reciprocated by her team and colleagues from partner agencies.

“She is innovative – one example being where she introduced online virtual meetings for key individuals in the community at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, which proved invaluable in ensuring our communities were kept informed, updated and reassured at such an uncertain time. This was in fact so successful that it was adopted and replicated across the force area.

“She has also instigated many multi agency operations in response to community concerns to tackle the supply of drugs in Carmarthenshire, one notable example being in Bynea last year, which resulted in the seizure of a large number of cannabis plants with a street value of more than £300,000.

“Previously recognised for her relationship building and intelligence gathering in hostile environments by the Senior Management Team, she is passionate about promoting and adopting a problem-solving approach to ensure they get to the root cause of problems.  I have witnessed Gemma’s professionalism first-hand and continue to do so on a regular basis.”

Acting Sergeant Ian Roach concluded: “Gemma is excellent – you couldn’t ask for a better Sergeant. Everyone looks up to her, she is a shining light that motivates everyone she works with.”

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Llanelli animal rescue centre handed grand boost



Many Tears Animal Rescue

AN ANIMAL rescue centre in Llanelli has received a financial boost as it gears up for its busiest time of the year.

Many Tears Animal Rescue in Cefneithin has received a £1,000 fillip from Persimmon Homes West Wales.

The money comes as part of the housebuilder’s Community Champions scheme. Each and every month Persimmon donates up to £64,000 to good causes across the UK.

The centre rescues unwanted animals and offers life-saving treatment and operations.

Sylvia Van Atta, who founded Many Tears Animal Rescue with her husband Bill, said: “We’re delighted to receive this generous donation from Persimmon Homes.

“We give animals hope of a new life when sometimes they have only known a life of misery, neglect and cruelty.

“On average, we rescue and rehome 3,000 dogs a year, which is an incredible achievement for a small charity.

“When dogs come to us they are seen by a vet and then placed in foster homes around the country, which helps them to acclimatise into a home environment. From here, they go onto their forever home.

“Our running costs are very high so donations like this from Persimmon make the world of difference.”

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support Many Tears Animal Rescue with this donation.

“The number of animals they help each year is very impressive indeed. I wouldn’t like to think what would happen to these animals otherwise as I know the council run rescue centres are under tremendous pressure.

“All of this has been exasperated by the number of people who bought dogs during various lockdowns, only to decide later on they couldn’t look after them properly.

“We wish Sylvia and her team well for the future.”

Persimmon is preparing to start work on stunning new homes on Aberavon seafront. Househunters can now register an interest by visiting or calling 01639 509 055

For more information visit, or to apply for Community Champions funding visit

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