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Turn down the lights and discover the benefits dark skies bring

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OFFICERS from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Pembrokeshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales are encouraging members of the public, businesses and organisations to join a county-wide effort to reduce light pollution.

As well as giving people a clearer view of the dark skies above, reducing light pollution can also benefit wildlife and improve your health.

There are eight designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. These are some of the best places to experience the night sky, away from areas where the stars are obscured by light pollution, but are easy to access.

Park Authority Health and Tourism Policy Officer, Hannah Buck said: “It is difficult to capture in words the experience that people gain from looking up at the sky on a clear night in a place that is free from light pollution, where the stars and the magnificence of the Milky Way can be appreciated.

“Light pollution not only obscures our ability to see the stars, it also wastes energy which in turn can lead to increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This has been proven to have a negative impact on human health and can have significant impacts on wildlife.”

Park Authority Biodiversity Officer, Sarah Mellor added: A number of our bat species such as horseshoe bats are very sensitive to artificial lighting and will actively avoid lit areas. Light pollution can completely change their environment and can lead to them abandoning roosts or delaying their emergence from roosts reducing their foraging time. In some cases lighting can even cut them off entirely from the best insect-rich feeding areas.

“Birds can also be affected. The Pembrokeshire islands of Skomer and Skokholm are home to 350,000 pairs of Manx shearwaters. Each year the young emerge from their nest burrows in September to begin their migration to South America. These inexperienced birds are easily put off course by artificial lighting on the mainland and on ships. Each year volunteers help to rescue grounded Manx shearwaters and release them back at sea to continue their journey.”

One of the simplest ways to show your support for the effort to reduce light pollution is to take part in Earth Hour, which will see lights across the globe turned off from 8.30pm-9.30pm on 30 March.

Businesses and landmarks around the world also take part in the initiative, switching off their lights to help make a noise for the Earth Hour movement. For more information on Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org.

Any local residents, community councils or businesses that would like to know about dark skies or light pollution should contact Hannah Buck by emailing hannahb@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.

To find out more about the Dark Sky Discovery sites in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park visit www.discoveryinthedark.wales/pembrokeshire.

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Welsh Deputy Minister visits New Farm Shop

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Pictured : Julie Morgan AM

A new farm and produce shop on the Scolton Manor estate outside Haverfordwest has been visited by a Welsh Government Minister.

Julie Morgan AM – Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care – called at the shop to see the Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) in action.

The shop provides work experience, training and supported employment opportunities in retail and customer service for people with learning disabilities, disabilities and autism.

It is an addition to Pembrokeshire County Council’s existing supported employment offer through Norman Industries, the Authority’s sheltered employment factory in Snowdrop Lane, Haverfordwest.

The shop is the result of partnership working involving Workways+ and Experience for Industry – both funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government – Norman Industries and the management and staff at the Council-run Scolton Manor attraction.

The shop, which opened just a few weeks ago, will be supplying the public with fresh produce from the walled gardens at Scolton Manor, local meats, produce, tea and coffee.

It also provides a retail outlet for some of the arts, crafts and products made at Norman Industries.

Over the coming months the shop will also be supplying chutneys made by participants and employees at the supported employment café in Milford leisure centre ‘Caffi Man Cwrdd’.

The Deputy Minister was welcomed by County Councillor Tessa Hodgson, the Authority’s Cabinet Member for Social Services.

The farm shop has been partially resourced and staffed through some of the £400,000 ICF money allocated to expand supported employment opportunities regionally.

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Haverfordwest: Police promise extra patrols for GCSE results night

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THERE will be an increased police presence in Haverfordwest tonight, in response to an anticipated influx of young people who will be celebrating their GCSE results.

Parents are being asked to go over their child’s plan for the evening, before they head out. Sergeant Haydon Mathias is overseeing the operation.

He said: “It’s a big day for teenagers, and we understand they want to celebrate after all of their hard work.

“We’ll be there to make sure they do that safely, and without disrupting others.

“This is usually a busy night for us, and historically we have seen crime and anti-social behaviour rise. You’ll notice my team out and about from early this evening to stop that happening. They’ll be seizing alcohol from anyone they suspect is under the age of 18, and dealing with any other issues that arise.

“We’re asking parents to take the reins and discuss plans before your child goes out. Make sure you know where they’re celebrating, who they’re with, and how they’re getting home. It’s useful to make sure your child’s phone is fully charged, in case of an emergency.

“I encourage anyone with concerns to come and speak to an officer or Police Community Support Officer around the town, or contact Dyfed-Powys Police.”

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Llangwm Church Donation Box Stolen

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St Jerome’s Church: Second theft in a year!

 

A DONATION box has been stolen from a village church, the second theft from the historic building in a year.

The donation box at St Jerome’s Church, Llangwm, is believed to have been taken in the last few weeks.

The box is usually kept next to the Talking Tapestry of Langum, a project which tells the story of the village’s origin with the invasion of the Flemish in the 12th century and its later history.

Pamela Hunt of Heritage Llangwm said: “This theft is the second from St. Jerome’s in a year.

“If anyone has seen or knows anything, then please let the police know.

“If they feel unable to do that, but would like to contact us at St Jerome’s Church, then email info@heritagellangwm.org.uk

“We will treat your contact in the strictest confidence.”

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