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New veg garden at S4C’s Carmarthen base on university campus funded by Keep Wales Tidy

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Canolfan S4C Yr Egin has been awarded a new garden package by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy.

They’re one of the first establishments in the country to benefit from the Local Places for Nature scheme.

Yr Egin will create a food growing garden on the centre’s land.  The plants, equipment and materials are all being provided for free by Keep Wales Tidy.  The package will be a great opportunity for Yr Egin to lead locally by demonstrating good practices to the variety of community groups that collaborate with it.

By collaborating with one of Yr Egin’s current projects, ‘Blaguro’, the package will be a way of extending that project by offering more opportunities to the social groups and movements that collaborate with the centre to grow vegetables on the site.

In addition, the garden will be a space for the creative community that works with Yr Egin, and an ideal venue for the University students and staff to relax and enjoy the fresh air.

Llinos Jones, Yr Egin Project Engagement Officer, said: “We’re extremely glad and grateful to have received this valuable package from Keep Wales Tidy, this will enable us to work closely with Carmarthen’s communities, giving people opportunities to work with and experience nature on their doorstep with high-quality equipment, and in a safe and creative environment.”

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Last year, over 500 small gardens were created, restored and improved across Wales.  Community groups and establishments of all kinds and sizes took part – from disability charities and youth groups to social initiatives and carers’ groups.

Louise Tambini, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy, said: “Over the twelve months, more people than ever have come to appreciate the value of nature on their doorstep. But urgent action must be taken to give reverse its decline.

“We are delighted that Yr Egin has had the opportunity to make a real difference through Local Places for Nature.  We hope that other communities will be inspired to take part.”

(Lead image: UWTSD)

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen Primary school issues warning after pupils as young as EIGHT are watching graphic violence on viral hit Netflix TV show Squid Game

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Richmond Primary School in Carmarthen has issued a warning to parents after reports of Year 4 children attending the school had either watched Squid Game on TV or had downloaded third-party apps associated with the show.

Squid Game has become a viral hit TV show for streaming platform Netflix – and is currently the service’s most-watched ever series.

The South Korean show however has high levels of gore, death, violence, and physical assault. It also has graphic depictions of suicide, murder, and sexual assault.

The plot is based on a group of adult debtors, thieves, and gamblers competing against each other in a series of childhood games for a grand cash prize. However, there is a dark twist to these seemingly innocent games – losing competitors are violently killed off in ways that grow more twisted as the games grow more intense.

A statement on Richard Primary School’s social media said that while Squid Game has a rating of 15+, children and young people are likely to know about the show via word of mouth and because it is so popular on social media. They may be unaware of the extent of gore, death, and violence the show contains. It also focuses on adult themes that are not appropriate for younger sensibilities.

For young people who live with mental health issues, they may be triggered by some of the content

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Mobile App

The “Squid Game Challenge” (also known as K-Game Challenge) is an app for smartphones and tablets that has been released for Android and iOS, and the two systems differ significantly on their age ratings for the game. The iTunes Store rates the app as 12+ (advising of “mild/infrequent horror/fear themes”), while the PEGI rating for Android is just 3+, which means that very young children might be able to download and play the game even with parental controls activated on their device or through Google Play.

The gameplay is frequently interrupted by pop-ups and ads (sometimes appearing while the user is rapidly tapping their screen while attempting to complete the challenge). This could easily lead to unwanted purchases or accidental visits to inappropriate sites beyond the app.

Warning for parents

Richmond Primary School warns: “As a parent or carer, keep a watchful eye on the content that your children are viewing. Speak to them openly and chat about how they have been spending time on their devices; let them ask questions too. Ensure that the parental controls are activated on your child’s device and that age-restricted child profiles are properly set up, as well as any on-demand services available through the family TV (such as Netflix, in this case) to prevent inappropriate content being streamed.

“If you see your child replicating the challenges from the show or hear them talking about scenes and characters from Squid Game, it would be a timely opportunity to discuss with them that the programme is not intended for children, that much of the content would be inappropriate for their age, and that the violence in the series is very realistic and often upsetting.”

(Lead image: Netflix)

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New cattle-focused veterinary practice launches in West Wales

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The Cattle Vet, a new, independent veterinary practice focused on cattle, has launched in West Wales.

Based in Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn and Cardigan, the practice is led by two highly experienced, cattle-focused vets – Richard Cumming and Lies Beekhuis.

Richard’s career choice was driven by his own experience of growing up in the farming community of West Wales; his family’s farm, with pedigree Simmental cattle, is based close to Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthen. Richard qualified in 2016 and has been working in West Wales ever since.

“My mother has reared cattle since I was a young child and we now show pedigree cattle as well,” he says. “Growing up I remember scenarios where things were going wrong, and my mum was very stressed and then we’d call the vet and suddenly it would all be sorted. For me, the vet was always the person who turned up and fixed the problems – and I decided that was what I wanted to do. Now as a vet I realise we can go one step further and try to prevent these scenarios from happening.”

Originally from The Netherlands, Lies Beekhuis qualified in 2006 from Utrecht University and has worked in practice and taught vet students in Carmarthenshire since 2010. She is a European and RCVS specialist in cattle and the partner of a dairy farmer who farms at Gilwen farm in Newcastle Emlyn.

“Lies has been a mentor to me and as is a vital part of the business,” says Richard. “Being a specialist she’s able to train vets and farmers, and offers a very high level of service to address more complicated situations. Her specialist status helps to maintain us at the forefront of veterinary medicine.”

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Richard and Lies mainly focus on cattle but are happy to service all livestock on farms. They chose to specialise in cattle because of their extensive experience in this area and a desire to create a practice that excels in one specific area.

The practice covers all aspects of veterinary work including pregnancy diagnosis, sick cows, emergency work and TB testing. Lies and Richard understand that preventative medicine is essential for farmer’s survival, so they can provide support by helping to improve the overall health of the herd.

“By clinically examining groups of animals, and analysing data weak points can be identified,” says Lies. “Data recording and collection are essential in this.”

The aim of The Cattle Vet is to provide outstanding support and expertise for cattle farmers in West Wales.

“We’re focused on being the best we can at cattle, working at the forefront of the cattle industry and anything  dairy and beef related rather than trying to spread ourselves thinly across all farm enterprises,” says Lies. “We want to work with forward thinking farmers and support our industry in this changing and evolving market.”

More: thecattlevet.co.uk

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Carmarthen

First Cymru cut bus services due to shortage of drivers

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Bus company First Cymru has announced some major changes to their network, reducing the frequency of services and outsourcing some routes to other operators due to an ongoing shortage of drivers.

A spokesperson told the BBC that despite double the number of drivers it usually recruited, a backlog in applications by the DVLA and the effects of the pandemic meant that it was taking months for licences to come through.

The shortage was due to drivers having to self-isolate, an increase in staff absence and drivers leaving the company to take up HGV jobs elsewhere as the nation-wide HGV driver shortage continues.

A spokesperson for First Cymru said: “We have been actively recruiting staff and doubled our training activity to increase the volume of recruits.”

“We have a strong pipeline but we have experienced considerable delays with licence applications at DVLA and this has had a considerable impact on us.

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“PCV [passenger-carrying vehicle] driver shortages are both industry-wide and UK-wide, and as a result we are unable to loan drivers from our colleagues across the UK.”

All the changes to First Cymru Services

From Monday 13 September

Carmarthen services 205, 206 and 215 will no longer be operated by First Cymru. Services will instead be run by local Carmarthen operator, Morris Travel.

From Sunday 19 September

Swansea service 15 to Waunarlwydd and service 30 to Trallwn will no longer be operated by First Cymru. These will be instead run by Neath-based local operator, South Wales Transport.

The X10 express service from Swansea to Cardiff will be suspended. First say that patronage on this service was low and passengers should make journeys on other services or by train.

Service 28 to Penplas and Penlan used to run one service an hour to Penplas, and two per hour to Penlan roundabout. This will be reduced to two buses per hour, although both services will run as far as Penplas. A larger bus will also be allocated to the route to ensure capacity is able to meet demand.

Service 6 to Port Tenant will be reduced from half-hourly to hourly.

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Service 4 from Morriston Hospital to the City Centre and Singleton will be reduced to run every 15 minutes from its previous 12 minute frequency.

University service 8 and 10 will not see their usual 24 hour running during University term-time, with services finishing around midnight instead on service 8 and 10pm on service 10.

Swansea to Llanelli services 110 and 111 will see their timetables reduced to every 20 minutes, similar to the current Saturday service.

In Port Talbot, service 81 and 82 will be reduced to operate hourly instead of their current half-hourly frequency.

Service 87 between Neath and Margam will now operate every 30 minutes instead of its current 20 minute frequency.

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Bridgend to Porthcawl service 63 will be reduced from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes.

Bridgend services 64 and 65 will now be every 2 hours instead of their usual hourly frequency.

From Sunday 26 September

Swansea to Uplands service 19 and Swansea to Three Crosses service 22 will no longer be operated by First Cymru, with Neath-based local operator South Wales Transport running these routes instead.

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