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Environment

Swansea families invited to attend a host of eco-friendly activities during school summer holidays

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Wand making, woodland wellbeing sessions, and outdoor art classes are just some of the environmentally friendly activities on offer to Swansea families over the summer holidays thanks to housing association Pobl.

More than 16 free activity days are taking place for children and parents from July 21st to September 1st as part of Pobl’s Penderi Green Regeneration Project.

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The events, which are being arranged by the project’s partner the Environment Centre , are aiming to encourage families to get outdoors and get creative during the school break.

The sessions will begin with a print making and art class led by local artist Mary Hayman at Blaen-y-Maes Drop in Centre on July 21st. As part of the Art For All class, artists of all ages are encouraged to create drawings and collages of the fresh fruit and vegetables being grown at the centre from 3.30pm to 5pm. The art classes will return to the Drop in Centre on July 28th, August 4th, 18th and 25th.

Families can also unleash their craft skills in Cadle Mill from July 25th, with charity Small Woods Wales leading ActifWoods Woodland and Wellbeing sessions from 10.30am to 1pm.

As part of the activities families will get the chance to create woodland crafts, explore the outdoors, and take part in wellbeing activities together in the fresh air. Sessions will also run on August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

And Forest School sessions with Carys Lovering are taking place in Blaen-y-Maes from August 3rd, with families being shown how to create willow crafts, wands and necklaces by whittling, wool crafts, natural prints and also enjoying nature-based games. The sessions run from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm to 3pm, with further classes on August 10th, 18th, 24th and September 1st.

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The sessions are being run as part of housing association Pobl’s Penderi Green Regeneration Project, which aims to positively transform the lives of people living in the Cadle, Blaen-y-Maes, Penplas, and Portmead areas, collectively know as the Penderi Regeneration area.

The project is focussing on the regeneration of Penderi’s green spaces and supporting environmentally friendly activities and businesses.

Kate McCabe, Community Development Facilitator for Pobl, said: “The Environment Centre is really making a positive difference here in Penderi, and this is just the latest fantastic initiative aimed at encouraging families to enjoy their outdoor spaces.

“These sessions are a great opportunity for the community to try out different activities that support both people and nature to thrive. It’s all about encouraging the community to care for the natural environment and for us all to realise that we need quality green spaces for our own wellbeing, as well as understanding how important it is for us all to look after nature now for future generations.”

Matt White, project officer at the Environment Centre, said they were excited to be delivering a series of activities encouraging families to enjoy the outdoors together this summer.

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He said: “This programme of free activities will be fun for everyone who takes part this summer holidays, and we’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy!

“Not only will it give families a chance to try something different, such as craft making and art, it will also give them a chance to explore some of the beautiful green spaces throughout our area.

“Families will get the chance to make some really lovely memories as part of these activities, so don’t miss out!”

The Penderi Green Regeneration Project is funded by UK Government through the Community Renewal Fund (CRF). The sessions are being supported by the project’s partners Swansea Environment Centre, Room To Grow, Swansea Council and Swansea Community Farm.

For activities at Cadle Mill meet at Cadle Mill Road, SA5 4PA off Pentregethin Road (Cadle entrance to Penllegaer Valley Woods).

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Carmarthenshire

Residents encouraged to have say on Teifi Valley flooding schemes

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Consultation on flood prevention schemes by Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion councils in the Teifi Valley has been extended to August 31 to give more residents an opportunity to have their say.

Face-to-face events in Llandysul and Llynybydder have been added to the previous online only consultation.

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Residents can visit the powerhouse in Llandysul on Wednesday 24 August between 10am and 1pm, or between 3pm and 6pm. There’s also an event at Llanybydder RFC on Thursday 25 August between 10am and 1pm, and also between 3pm and 6pm.

Officers from Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion County Councils and Natural Resources Wales will be in attendance to answer any queries along with a representative from the consultants appointed by both authorities.

The council’s say that all partners involved want to understand the impact that flooding has on communities, how the flooding happens and to assess different flood measures that will reduce the impact during increasingly stormy weather in the future.

People will be able to submit feedback in person by writing their comments down and putting them in the box located at the venues. This will be in addition to the comments and suggestions submitted during the online consultation process.

The councils say that feedback from the consultation and these events will feed into the next stage of work and form part of any decision making that Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government will undertake to design and implement any flood risk reduction scheme.

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Carmarthenshire County Council’s  Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services Cllr Edward Thomas said: “We want as much feedback as possible from residents so that together we can look further into the options available to us to manage flood risk in these communities. The drop-in events will provide an opportunity for residents to speak to officers about the different options available and the next steps.”

Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management Keith Henson said: “We encourage the residents of Llandysul, Pont-Tyweli and Llanybydder to have their say in this consultation, either by attending the in-person events at the said locations or by visiting the online link on the council’s website. The responses from this consultation will enable us and our partners to explore what options we have to manage flood risk in the Teifi Valley.”

Lead image: Humphrey Bolton / Geograph)

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Environment

Swansea University named one of country’s best green spaces

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The spectacular and diverse grounds of Swansea University’s two campuses have once again been judged among the best green spaces in Wales.

The University is celebrating after being awarded a Green Flag, the international mark of a quality park or green space and recognises excellent visitor facilities, high environmental standards, and a commitment to delivering great quality green space.

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It has also retained its Green Heritage Site Accreditation which it gained for the first time last year. This special award, endorsed by Cadw, recognises sites that are both historically significant and meet Green Flag criteria.

Grounds manager Paul Edwards paid tribute to his teams’ efforts at both University campuses: “We are immensely proud to have retained both the Green Flag and Heritage Award status. Our sites offer very different challenges and rewards and it is through the hard work and dedication of the team that both are to the highest standards for the enjoyment of our students, staff and visitors.

“The grounds team’s in-depth knowledge ensures that the historic nature of the Singleton site and the beachside setting of the Bay Campus will continue to be preserved and enhanced for future generations.”

Swansea University received a Green Flag Award for its two campuses

Swansea University Registrar and Chief Operating Officer Niamh Lamond said: “We are extremely pleased to have retained the Green Flag Award for five consecutive years. This recognises the hard work and commitment of our outstanding grounds’ team in developing and managing our green spaces in a sustainable manner, whilst appreciating the historic and scientific nature of these spaces.

“Our grounds and gardens are important to the wellbeing of our staff, students and local communities and valued immensely by the University.”

This year the University is among 265 green spaces – ranging from formal gardens and parks to allotments and churchyards – across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.

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The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Each site was visited by expert judges who looked at criteria including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “Our local green spaces have a vital role to play in connecting us to nature. These awards go to prove that Wales’ parks and similar areas are doing a wonderful job in providing quality places to relax and enjoy.”

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “With more visitors than ever enjoying our green spaces, I’d like to congratulate the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards at these sites.”

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Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire council opens ‘Re-use village’ in Nantycaws

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Carmarthenshire County Council and CWM Environmental Ltd have officially opened Canolfan Eto, a brand-new re-use village in Nantycaws which the council says aims to help close the loop on waste in the county and give a new lease of life to unwanted items.

Canolfan Eto offers a sustainable shopping experience to customers looking to purchase a wide range of items including furniture, bicycles, paint, gardening items and much more.

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An education centre will soon host sessions for school pupils covering a range of environmental topics including; the importance of recycling, what happens to waste at recycling centres, how pollinators help us and how to support a circular economy in Carmarthenshire.

Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Member for climate change, decarbonisation and sustainability said: “The opening of Canolfan Eto in Nantycaws marks an exciting step in the expansion of the Eto project as well as the growth of sustainability in Carmarthenshire.”

“With an on-site repair workshop to transform donations, the project looks to repair and re-use items to keep them in use for as long as possible.”

Cllr Edward Thomas, Cabinet Member for transport, waste and infrastructure services said: “Canolfan Eto will provide opportunities for residents and visitors to purchase a wide range of donated items that have been repaired and re-used by the project; helping to reduce the number of items that enter into the waste stream.”

The Eto project also includes a shop located in Stepney Street, Llanelli town centre which opened in 2021.

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Donation stations are available at all of Carmarthenshire’s household waste recycling centres, where residents can donate items to the project.

The council says that Eto means ‘again’ and symbolises its ambition of a circular economy. It adds that Canolfan Eto will encourage visitors to purchase and donate previously used items rather than buying new whenever possible. The council say that the project will also help to achieve Carmarthenshire’s ambition of delivering a circular economy throughout the county as well as becoming a leader in recycling and re-use within Wales.

A circular economy focuses on eliminating waste by cutting down on throw away consumption and turning materials that would have previously been disposed of into a valuable resource. 

This project has been funded through Welsh Government’s Circular Economy fund. 

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