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Alleged drone misuse at Stack Rocks reported to police

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DRONE operators are being urged to avoid disturbing protected wildlife following a recent incident that was reported in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

A drone was spotted flying above Stack Rocks near Castlemartin at a time of year when protected seabirds such as guillemots and razorbills come ashore to nest.

National Park Authority Ranger for the Castlemartin Range, Lynne Houlston said: “Birds are particularly sensitive to disturbance during the nesting season and in this case the stacks were covered in thousands of seabirds, precariously perched with eggs on their feet.

“The cliffs around Stack Rocks also provide nesting sites for kittiwakes, chough, gulls, fulmar and raven. Ravens can start nesting as early as March. From mid-August to November seal pups are born within these caves and bays and these are also protected by law from disturbance.

“As well as putting wildlife at risk, the operator of this drone and was also flying in military airspace linked to the MOD’s Castlemartin Range without permission.

“The police have been informed and have been given the details of those who are alleged to have been operating the drone.

“If you would like to take a closer look at the birds and their chicks, the National Park Authority has arranged a free drop-in event at Stack Rocks from 10am-3pm on Saturday 22 June.”

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and a range of partners have developed guidance for drone operators, highlighting the issues of disturbance to wildlife. As well as seabirds, the advice also describes the impact drones can have on seals, wading birds, waterfowl and livestock.

Disturbance of wildlife is a crime and can be prosecuted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Reports of drone misuse should be reported to the police by calling 101.

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Concern over misuse of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard

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PEMBROKESHIRE residents are being asked not to wear the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower as proof of exemption from wearing a face covering, unless they have a genuine need.

The call comes following concern that the lanyards, commonly used as a discreet way of helping the wearer inform staff, colleagues and health professionals that they need additional support, help or time, are being used to avoid wearing a face covering during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jessica Hatchett, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Access Officer, said “Any fraudulent use of the Sunflower reduces its effectiveness for those who genuinely need it, as not all disabilities are obvious.

“I would like to remind those who need the lanyard to get it from a legitimate source, and not pay higher prices for copies that promote incorrect use.

“Even if you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you may not need the lanyard.”

A spokesman for the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said: “We in no way condone the misuse of our Sunflower lanyard, and find it distressing it might be used for this purpose.

“We do not ask for proof of the wearer’s disability, as some are yet to be diagnosed, or have conditions that are difficult to diagnose.

“The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is designed to discreetly indicate that the wearer or someone with them has a hidden disability – if that is not you, then please desist from wearing our Sunflower lanyard.”

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a global scheme, with an increasing number of businesses and organisations in the UK, including supermarkets, train and bus stations, leisure facilities and the NHS, now recognising the lanyard.

Face coverings remain a legal requirement in all indoor public places in Wales, including public transport and taxis, and where takeaway food and drink is sold.

This applies to everyone aged 11 and over, unless an exception applies. Children under 11 do not have to wear a face covering.

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Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine

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LETTERS will arrive in the coming days inviting Pembrokeshire residents aged 75 to 79 years to receive their first COVID vaccine at a mass vaccination centre, Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) has announced.

The letter will provide an appointment time at one of the following mass vaccination centres: Haverfordwest – Pembrokeshire Archives, Prendergast; and Tenby – Tenby Leisure Centre.

These mass vaccination centres will provide a safe environment, space to maintain social distancing while allowing more people to be vaccinated as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

It is vital that you make every effort to attend your appointment.

You will need to delay your vaccination if you have had a positive coronavirus test within 28 days of this appointment or if you are unwell with a fever, have a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

Please let us know if you cannot attend or need to delay your appointment as soon as possible by calling the number provided in your appointment letter. This will mean we can give your appointment to someone else and save NHS resources.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Until now we have been using our mass vaccination centres to vaccinate our front-line staff in health, social care and care homes. With over 85% of front-line health workers having had their first dose, and seeing rapid progress with care home staff and social care staff, we are now moving onto the next phase of our delivery plan.

“The opening of our mass vaccination centres to the public will allow us to offer more people a vaccine as soon as supplies are available to us. If you have received an invitation it is because you are in a priority group and at greater risk of complications if you catch COVID-19.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives and the COVID vaccine offers our community hope. By receiving your vaccine, you will continue to play your small but incredibly important part in protecting yourself, the most vulnerable in our communities and our local NHS. Thank you.”

When you attend your appointment please bring with you:

Your appointment letter

Some ID such as your passport, driving license or utility bill in your name
A face mask (if you don’t have one, you will be given one)
People aged 80 years and over will continue to be invited by their GP practice to receive the vaccine, all of which have now received a supply of vaccines. The health board has also commissioned GP practices to vaccinate housebound patients and residents in our care homes.

Hywel Dda UHB is working to offer a vaccine to everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 by mid-February. People over 70 years of age and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable as part of priority group 4 will be invited next to receive a vaccine. The health board will provide further information at the earliest opportunity.

Please do not attend any vaccination venue without an appointment and do not contact your GP, pharmacy or health board to ask when you will be invited. People are being invited to receive the vaccine in order of priority and we thank you for your patience.

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A4076 reopens following accident where everyone ‘miraculously walked away’

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THERE was a road traffic accident in icy and snowy conditions on the A4076 Dredgemans Hill on Sunday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 1.30pm to an accident involving a number of vehicles.

A number of readers sent photos in to the Herald.

The road re-opened at 3pm after a brief closure.

A witness said: “It was a miracle but we have all walked away from this.”

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