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Batman to visit Bishop’s Palace

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View from top of cathedral  St. Davids Bishop's Palace 3(20)Pembrokeshire is home to more bats than anywhere else in Wales. And this August, visitors to St Davids Bishop’s Palace can explore the area’s nocturnal wildlife as well as its history, through a unique partnership between Pembrokeshire National Park and Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.

Visitors to the Palace will be given an exciting opportunity to learn about bats, starting with a talk from Craig Stringer, a Pembrokeshire National Park Discovery Ranger for ten years. Craig will share his knowledge about the flying mammals, before embarking on a 90 minute walk in search of the fascinating creatures.

Currently 18 species of bat have been recorded in the UK, of which 15 have been recorded in the National Park with 12 of the species also breeding there. But being nocturnal creatures and with the largest species being the size of a small pear, bats are often difficult creatures to explore.

St Davids Bishop Palace, which is cared for by Cadw, is home to several species, including Common and Soprano Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bat, the latter a species that hunts for insects along the River Alun. The Palace and its adjacent Cathedral also forms a ‘des res’ for bats, and at least eight species have been found there, including the rare Greater Horseshoe bat, which uses the Bishop’s Palace as a winter roost.

A night-time walk around the historic building and its grounds lead by Craig Stringer will let wildlife enthusiasts search for bats through identifying clues and using bat detectors to locate the creatures through the sounds they make.

Craig Stringer, Discovery Ranger and bat expert, said: “The Palace is an excellent site for bats, offering places for the creatures to breed, roost and feed, and there are several species to be found there.

“Bats make different noises depending on their species, for example the Horseshoe bat warbles and whistles! So it’s great fun for visitors to use the information that they’ve learned during the talk to identify the bat species. It’s quite a spooky experience which adds to the appeal, especially for children.”

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, said: “The Brilliant Bats events appeal to families and wildlife enthusiasts alike, and these types of events are a fantastic way to attract new audiences to explore Cadw sites and learn about their local heritage.”

Amanda Canby-Lewis, Head Custodian, St Davids Bishop’s Palace, added: “The Palace may no longer be home to people but it is still very much lived in and there’s something magical about seeing its resident creatures of the night against such a dramatic backdrop.”

For further information about the events, visit www.cadw.wales.gov.uk. Find Cadw on Facebook and follow @CadwWales on Twitter to stay up to date with news and events about Cadw’s 128 historic sites this summer. 

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Dairy challenges Pembrokeshire kids to win £1,000 for their school

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ECO-FRIENDLY kids in Pembrokeshire are being urged to get creative with recycling and win their school £1,000.

The call comes from Wales’s leading yoghurt producer, Llaeth y Llan, who want to hear from primary schools with wizard ideas for re-purposing their plastic pots.

They’re offering £1,000 for the school with the best plan for reusing those little pots in a fun and useful way.

And to show they’re serious about making sure Llaeth y Llan yoghurt even more environmentally friendly they are also urging schools to collect the lids and send them back to the dairy.

Llaeth y Llan have put up a total of £20,000 to encourage schools across Wales to recycle and Director Gruffudd Roberts said: “Climate change and the environment are now global issues and a lot of that is down to young people and their concerns.

“As a company we believe it’s vital to involve children in spreading the message of the importance of recycling to secure the future of our planet.

“We are extremely excited to see the designs created by each school using our pots.

“Not only is recycling our main focus, we are proud to fund prizes that will assist the children’s future.

“Being able to give £20,000 worth of prizes to schools whose budgets are stretched makes the project worthwhile.

“School funding is simply not going to buy vital equipment such as Chromebooks, garden supplies, sports gear and school trips. We want every school in Wales to have an equal opportunity to win their share of our £20,000 prize fund.”

Llaeth y Llan yoghurt, made with local Welsh milk, was started by dairy farmers Gareth and Falmai Roberts over 30 years ago and is still a family-run operation based at Tal y Bryn Farm, in the Vale of Clwyd.

These days though their yoghurts are on sale all over the country and are on the shelves of the UK’s biggest supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Co-Op’s.

Those distinctive pots now come off a state of the art production line and Gruffudd Roberts added: “We’ve already seen many innovative ideas for the pots from schools across Wales but there’s still time to stake your claims to a share of the £20,000 prize fund.

“We’d especially like schools to take pictures as they make their creations at each step and send them to us along with a main picture showing the end result.”

Entries for the competition close on February 25th and full details on how to take part in Llaeth y Llan’s are on the website at www.villagedairy.co.uk/school-registration/

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Marisa celebrates in style with Chatty Man Alan Carr

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A Slimming World Consultant from Whitland celebrated their group’s success by meeting chat show host and comedian, Alan Carr.

Alan, a well-loved TV personality, co-hosted the annual Slimming World Awards with the organisation’s founder and chair Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE. Margaret opened her first group in 1969 and over the last 50 years Slimming World has become the nation’s favourite way to lose weight*, supporting almost one million slimmers.

Marisa Miles, who runs a Slimming World group at Sports & Social Club, Saundersfoot every Wednesday, was delighted to get a chance to meet Alan, and said it was the perfect end to a fantastic year for the Saundersfoot Slimming World group. “The members at our Saundersfoot group make me burst with pride, not only have they seen big changes on the scales, many have improved their health and completely changed their lives too.

“For many people, taking that first step into a Slimming World group takes a huge amount of courage. But they’re always certain of a warm welcome and introduction to our fabulously flexible eating plan which means you’re never hungry while you’re losing weight. And when you join a group and stay each week members support each other with motivation, tips and ideas, cheering each other on and boosting each other to face any challenges.

“Watching people grow in confidence each week and take on things that they didn’t think possible before losing weight absolutely amazes me. I feel proud of the small part I play in supporting people to achieve their dreams and to celebrate alongside them when they do, so I was honoured to represent the Saundersfoot group at the Slimming World Awards. Alan was left in awe of the difference Slimming World makes to people’s lives too.”

Alan, who presented comedy chat show Chatty Man on Channel 4, said it was great to meet Marisa at the event, which was held at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. He said: “I met so many people who had transformed their lives and it was clear how much the support they received from their ‘Slimming World family’ meant to them. Every one of them spoke passionately about how they couldn’t have made those changes to eat more healthily and become more active without the support of Consultants like Marisa and their group every week. I left the awards feeling so uplifted and positive, I wish I could’ve bottled that Slimming World feeling.

Marisa continues: “Last year was our 50th year, which was full of celebrations and successes. We’ve supported more people than ever to achieve their dreams and we’re so excited about what 2020 has in store.”

“For anyone who may be thinking of taking that step to lose weight and improve their health this New Year I truly believe that joining a local Slimming World group is the best way for people to learn new habits and make long-term healthy changes. At the Saundersfoot group they’ll discover a whole world of support to help them achieve their dreams and stay slim for life – with lots of fun along the way too!”

To find out how you could get that Slimming World feeling call Marisa on 07834643525 or visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk to find your nearest group.

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RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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