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Increase in some sea bird populations across Wales

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INITIAL national seabird census results from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) indicate a healthy increase in guillemots and razorbills around the Welsh coastline.

This included increases at large colonies, such as New Quay Head. Here almost 5,400 guillemots and 230 razorbills were counted compared to 3,835 guillemots and 126 razorbills in 2000.

The work by NRW specialists and volunteers, which is part of the UK-wide seabird census “Seabirds Count”, was completed this summer, with the final stretch covering the area from St David’s Head in Pembrokeshire to Tywyn in Gwynedd, approximately 150km, over 5 days.

In most count sectors with rocky cliffs, seabird species could be found nesting, with herring gull and fulmar commonplace and colonies of guillemot and razorbill tucked into protected gullies, out of the prevailing south-westerly winds.

There is less positive news for kittiwakes whose numbers are declining, which follows the UK-wide trend. At New Quay Head, the number of birds has declined from 375 to 335.

Kittiwakes are more susceptible to food shortages as they can only feed on prey near the sea surface, compared to diving species such as razorbills which can access prey at a range of depths. In the North Sea, increased sea surface temperature has been linked to climate change and a negative effect on the availability of the main prey of kittiwakes, the sand eel.

Matty Murphy, NRW Senior Marine Ornithologist, said: “Seabirds are an incredibly important part of our environment in Wales and give us really good information about the health of our seas.

“It’s great that we have finished the coastal part of Seabirds Count. This data about the health of the seabird population helps us to understand the effects of climate change and other pressures on the marine environment.

“This evidence is something we use to inform things like our planning advice and licensing, but also what we can do to improve our seas to make the best possible habitat for these fantastic birds.”

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Climate change protesters pack the streets of Haverfordwest

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Hundreds of protestors flooded the streets of Haverfordwest today to join in one of the biggest global climate strikes to date.

The event took place at County Hall from 11am on Friday, September 20, where hundreds flocked in unison to show their support for the many global activists around the world in protest of the way we live on our planet.

Leading the charge for the world-wide events were multiple organisations including Extinction Rebellion and UK Student Climate Network, as well as 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist for the planet’s well-being. Children all across the globe have been puled out of their schools to join the protests for change on how we consume our planet’s resources and these acts have been met with mixed responses.

Some are happy that others are taking a stand for the greater good of our planet, whilst others seem to be disgruntled by all the commotion the protests have caused in their areas.

At County Hall in Haverfordwest, singing and chanting could be heard as the school children, toddlers, pensioners, families and college students all joined the call for imminent action to tackle the climate emergency.

The climate protest was also attended by Cllr David Simpson and director of development Dr Steven Jones, who assured the public that the authority was working towards its zero carbon goal.

In a statement on Facebook, Extinction Rebellion said: “Hundreds turned out to support today’s Global Climate Strike in Haverfordwest alongside hundreds of thousands around the world! A clear message was delivered and responded to by the leader of Pembrokeshire County Council who has invited you to be represented in their work in months to come to meaningfully address the climate emergency in our beautiful county and beyond. The tide is rising, and so are we!”

The protests ended as the groups made their way to Castle Square, where final chants and songs echoed around Haverfordwest.

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Refinery protest over: Two activists arrested at scene, others reported for summons

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THE PROTEST organised by Extinction Rebellion at Valero Refinery came to an end last night (Sept 19).

Specialist officers were deployed to the scene and as a result of that, two protestors were arrested for unlawful obstruction of the highway and transferred to Haverfordwest custody.

Others who took part, police said, decided to end their protest and have been reported for summons and the items used by them have been seized by the police.

Police said: “All protestors have now left the area and police are maintaining high visibility patrols.”

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “Officers spoke to the protesters and partner agencies throughout the day to ensure a balance was maintained between allowing people the right to peaceful protest and the requirement to ensure the safety of, and minimise the disruption to, business and the community. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

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Pembroke Dock: Man hospitalised after ‘jumping through pizza shop window’

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A PEMBROKE DOCK man has been taken to hospital after becoming injured by glass in Pembroke Dock.

According to a passing motorist a male was seen shouting and screaming in the street – he was being restrained by others.

He then jumped into the glass window of the PizzaTime take away in Meyrick Street, cutting his stomach on the glass.

Multiple police vehicles and an ambulance attended the incident which took place at around 15.30 HRS.

The road was temporarily blocked.

Once police car remains on scene (16:49 HRS)

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