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Calling all otter spotters

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otter spottersOTTER sightings on the Pembrokeshire coastline are on the increase, but extra help is needed to find out more about this furry wildlife favourite.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has teamed up with Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Officer Sue Burton to ask people to report coastal otter sightings for a county-wide research project.More than 60 sightings have been recorded by members of the public on the Pembrokeshire Coast since the project began two months ago.

National Park Ranger Ian Meopham said: “We only have one type of otter in the UK – the Eurasian Otter – which is most commonly found living in freshwater, but in Scotland these otters make constant use of the sea, and it seems that in Pembrokeshire they are spending a lot of time on the coast too.

“People have spotted them around St Davids, Stackpole, and Abermawr. Quite a lot of the reports so far have been from sea kayakers, surfers and people out coasteering. Someone was even lucky enough to spot an otter with a guillemot [sea bird] in its mouth.”

Ian is inviting people to report sightings to Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids, where you can pinpoint your otter spot on a map. A logbook will then be passed on to Pembrokeshire Marine SAC Officer Sue Burton for the project, which is a repeat of a 2002 coastal survey and looks to establish whether the otters making use of the coast are a separate population to those using the inland waterways.

Sue said: “We already know there are otters using this part of the coastline for foraging and even breeding. What we want to know now is whether they are using it seasonally or whether the same otters are active on the coast all year.

“As well as new otter sightings, we are interested in sightings going back to 2002, especially any sightings north of Newport, and east of Bosherston as we currently have few recorded sightings in these areas. We do rely heavily on sightings from the public so the more otter spotters, the better!”

The Park Authority also uses information about current sightings to advise outdoor activity providers about particularly sensitive areas of coastline, so they can avoid disturbing the otters and their habitat. Report your otter sightings at Oriel y Parc (open daily, 10am-4.30pm) or call Sue Burton on 01646 696108 or email SACofficer@PembrokeshireMarineSAC.org.uk, giving the date, time and place where you spotted your otter.

Sue Burton is giving a talk with Geoff Lyles, of The Otter Consultancy, at the Marine Wildlife Sightings event on November 20th, run by Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum at the Merlin Theatre, Haverfordwest.

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Community

The young can be recycling ambassadors for Pembrokeshire

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NESTLE WATERS UK, which has a plant in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, has launched R-Generation, a new education programme to equip primary and  secondary students with the skills to inspire positive change in their school community and beyond.


The R-Generation resources provide curriculum links to PSHE, Citizenship, Science and Geography, and  offer a whole-school approach to being more actively sustainable.


The resources for primary students include a range of interactive activities that can easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning such as an  assembly presentation, school launch guide and four workshops focused on key topics such as reusing,  recycling and being an active citizen.


The aim of the programme is to empower students to take recycling  into their own hands, by creating school surveys, interviews and analysis that help students better  understand what recycling means for their school and how they can build better habits for the future. To  make this a manageable goal for primary school students, the resources showcase simple tips on  understanding labels, checking your bins and knowing how to recycle in your local area.


The programme also offers resources for secondary students, which focus on creating a team of R Generation Ambassadors who create an Action Plan to make their school community more sustainable.


Through a series of workshops, students will learn how to lead by example, exploring other young  influential sustainability ambassadors to inspire their thinking. These R-Generation Ambassadors will then  create a 10-week sustainability plan for their school, featuring school recycling challenges and ideas about  how to include their wider school community of parents, councillors and local press to make a difference in  their local community.
Emma Barker, a teacher at Grampian Primary Academy in Derby, said: “The R-Generation programme has equipped my class  with important skills to be able to drive a lasting change within the school. It’s helped them to realise they  have a voice and are able to communicate their newfound knowledge about recycling and sustainability  with confidence. They are immensely proud of the projects they have implemented across the school, and  they have helped to inspire others to make small changes to help the environment.”


Hayley Lloyd House, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé Waters UK said: “Thinking beyond sustainability and  reducing our impact on the environment are at the heart of everything we do, and the world needs  everyone to take action and do their bit now, more than ever before. We hope to showcase the variety of simple actions children, schools and local  communities can take to create circularity in their organisations that can help reduce their impact. These  small changes can have an impact on a global scale and we can all be part of the change our planet needs  for tomorrow and the future.”


The R-Generation primary and secondary resource packs are now available to be downloaded for free at:  http://r-generation.co.uk/

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Community

Have your say to help improve well-being in Pembrokeshire

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The Well-being Assessment is a requirement set out in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

PUBLIC feedback is being invited on an important document which aims to improve all aspects of well-being in Pembrokeshire.

The Draft Well-being Assessment for Pembrokeshire, produced by Pembrokeshire’s Public Services Board (PSB), is online now at: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/assessment-of-local-well-being-2021

The Well-being Assessment is a requirement set out in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

The Act requires key public and third sector organisations to create a PSB and work together to improve the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of its area and communities.

The Well-being Assessment looks at the key issues for people and communities in Pembrokeshire, across all aspects of well-being, through data, information sources and research, engagement with local people and stakeholders, and consideration of future trends.

The Well-being Assessment is a crucial step towards creating the next Well-being Plan by May 2023, which will enable the PSB to identify, prioritise and agree the objectives and actions to improve well-being in Pembrokeshire.

There are many issues which affect well-being such as inequalities in health and standards of living, population change, air pollution and flood risk, limited resources for social care, lack of housing, poverty, climate change and depletion of natural resources.

Members of the public are invited to read the draft document and provide feedback.

Changes will be made in response to the feedback where appropriate to improve the document.

Work will continue prior to approval of a final version in March 2022. The draft document and brief response form is be available at: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/assessment-of-local-well-being-2021

Please make your responses by Monday, February 21.

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Community

Citizens sought to sit on Council’s Governance and Audit Committee

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Council Chamber

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council is looking for two citizens to sit as Lay Persons of its Governance & Audit Committee.

The committee’s work includes:

  • Reviewing and scrutinising the Authority’s financial affairs
  • Making reports and recommendations in relation to the Authority’s financial affairs
  • Reviewing and assessing the risk management, internal control, performance assessment and corporate governance arrangements of the Authority
  • Making reports and recommendations to the Council or to the relevant Committee on the adequacy and effectiveness of those arrangements
  • Plus several other functions

The successful applicants will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the value of the Audit function. They are also expected to demonstrate commitment to the values of accountability, probity, openness, independence, fairness and sound financial management in the public sector.

Citizens cannot become a Lay Member if they are:

  • A member or officer of any Local Authority
  • If they have in the period of 12 months ending with the date of appointment been a member or an officer of any Local Authority
  • If they are a spouse or civil partner of a member or officer of any Local Authority.

The appointment will be made by a panel of five individuals including an Independent Chairman, three Members of the Council and a Community Council Member.

An allowance will be payable for attendance at Governance & Audit Committee meetings.

The closing date for applications is 24 January 2022. Applications are welcomed from all sections of the community.

For a full description of the role and an application pack please contact

Jackie Thomas (tel: 01437 776292) or e-mail: JackieJ.Thomas@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

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