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Weather concerns for Welsh farmers

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weather concerns“FARMERS are concerned with the impact that this prolonged wet weather will have on adhering to some cross compliance rules,” says NFU Cymru President, Stephen James, in his recent letter to the Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies.

In his letter, Stephen James endeavoured to highlight some of the issues that are arising on farms across Wales as a result of the continued wet weather that has battered Wales for the past six weeks or so. Farmers are particularly worried about the GAECs covering soils and supplementary feeding.

Stephen said: “Livestock keepers have little option but to feed where is most appropriate for the welfare of animals because flood water in many instances, is preventing access to parts of the farm. With lambing in parts of the country now firmly under way, ewes with young lambs have to be protected from the weather, meaning other livestock that may normally be housed at this time, are being forced to be kept outside for longer than usual. Therefore, we would request a relaxation on rules for supplementary feeding on land subject to agri environment commitments where no other suitable land is available.

“The extreme rainfall has also resulted in slurry stores filling up much quicker than expected and we would request that a pragmatic and flexible approach is adopted to recognise that slurry/waste water will need to be spread as soon as conditions allow.”

Stephen James went on to highlight the continuing struggle that farmers are having in completing their necessary hedge trimming in the small time frame allowed (September 1 – February 28). He said: “The sodden conditions have prevented machinery from being able to access agricultural land for much of the period that hedge trimming is allowed. With the continued wet weather forecast and the certainty that even when the weather improves it will take significant time for the land to dry, NFU Cymru requests that a Wales-wide derogation be introduced to allow for all hedges to be trimmed until the 31 March.

“NFU Cymru is doing its part in providing help and guidance to our members and have re-launched our Fodder Bank scheme, a free service that helps livestock farmers find feed and bedding for their livestock. I hope the Minister will realise our concerns for the industry and provide farmers with assistance in the areas highlighted within my letter.”

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Residents invited to a Pembroke Tunnel drop-in event

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NETWORK RAIL is inviting residents to a drop-in event to find out more about essential maintenance work at Pembroke Tunnel, west Wales, which will improve the resilience and reliability of the railway for passengers.
The work includes essential vegetation management and rock netting in the area with work taking place for a week in December before the main work takes place in January and February.
Ahead of the work residents are invited to a drop-in event on Monday 18 November from 3pm to 6.30pm at the Dutton Suite, Pembroke Leisure Centre, Bush, Pembroke, SA71 4RJ.
No appointments are necessary and members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions.
Then between Saturday 14 and Friday 20 December Network Rail will carry out drilling work overnight to install rock anchors at the top of the railway cutting as Network Rail prepare for the main phase of the works.
That will then take place between Sunday 19 January 2020 and Saturday 8 February 2020 where engineers will work day and night to install rock anchors and bolts before installing the rock netting across the railway cutting using road rail vehicles and specialist machinery.
Michael Pinkerton, scheme project manager for Wales and Borders, said:
“We would like to thank residents in advance for their patience and understanding as we carry out this work at Pembroke Tunnel.
“All this planned essential work forms part of our commitment to maintain a safe and reliable railway that is fit for use now and in the future. We are working closely with our partners to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum and encourage anyone wishing to find out more about this work to come along to our drop-in event later.”

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“We have a duty to win” says Crabb at campaign launch

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STEPHEN CRABB has launched his 2019 General Election campaign, highlighting the ‘duty and responsibility’ the Party has to win.
The Welsh Conservative candidate is hoping to be re-elected on December 12, having served as MP for the last 14 years.
At the launch at Martha’s Vineyard on Milford Marina, Stephen addressed a crowd of supporters with a promise to continue being a strong voice for Preseli Pembrokeshire in Westminster.
Stephen Crabb has consistently been one of the hardest working Welsh MPs with a strong track record of standing up for the local community.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Stephen said: “This General Election will be the most important for many years.
“We face a choice between the Conservatives who have a clear plan to unblock Brexit and improve Britain – or a coalition of opposition parties under Jeremy Corbyn, who want more years of delay and division.
“That is not in our national interest nor is it in the best interests of Pembrokeshire. The Conservative Party has a serious duty and responsibility to go out and win this election.
“Over the last 14 years I have fought tirelessly for local people and local businesses and if re-elected, I will continue to work hard to give Pembrokeshire a strong voice in Parliament.”
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Christmas shopping misery for west Wales rail users

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RAIL USERS in west Wales face festive misery due to engineering works which will close the Carmarthen to Milford Haven link for almost a month.

The line will be closed from this Sunday, until the Sunday before Christmas, at a time when many take the train to Swansea and Cardiff shopping for gifts for friends and family.

Signs have already been posted at railway stations confirming the delays.

Trains will be replaced by buses; rail officials have said.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “Due to essential maintenance work, rail replacement bus services will run between Carmarthen and Milford Haven from Monday, November 18 until Sunday, December 22.

“Pembroke dock and Fishguard services are also affected on Sunday November 24.

“On all other days of operation, the train services will continue to stop at Whitland, Clynderwen and Clarbeston Road, Fishguard and Goodwick, Fishguard Harbour and stations to Pembroke Dock.

“We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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