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Students strengthen Lesotho link

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lesotho linkYSGOL Dewi Sant head boy Rhys Jones and head girl Ebony Owen are to spearhead a special fact-finding delegation from St Davids to the Royal Village of Matsieng, Lesotho next spring half term.

The visit, which is being organised by the St Davids Matsieng Link group, is planned to strengthen and broaden the link between the two communities which was first set up in 1999, when the Queen Mother of Lesotho paid a week long visit to St Davids.

Since then there have been regular visits to St Davids, especially at St Davidstide by the late Queen’s second son, Prince Seeiso, who until recently was Lesotho’s High Commissioner in London, while here in St Davids the support group has raised substantial sums of money to assist aids orphaned students at Matsieng’s secondary school.

The former St Davids Church in Wales primary school also at one time made links with St Matthews primary school in Matsieng when Mr Raymond Griffiths was head teacher.

The purpose of this new visit, which will be lead by the chairman of the group, St Davids City Councillor Chris Taylor, will be to explore all avenues for strengthening and updating the link, especially with the younger generation. High on the agenda will be visits to Moshoeshoe II High School in Matsieng, and also some of the local primary schools.

Both Rhys and Ebony are keen members of their Young Farmers Clubs, and they also hope to visit local farms in the area, as well as looking at other aspects of the local economy such as manufacturing, administration and tourism

“Our charitable work is very important, and will continue to be a significant part of our role in the future,” Chris Taylor told The Pembrokeshire Herald, “but we want the link to go much further than this. We want to build real links and bonds with our opposite numbers, and there will also be much that they can contribute to us. Twinning if it is to have any long term meaning has to be a two way process, and this is what we are hoping to initiate during this visit.”

Making up the fourth member of the party will be Ysgol Dewi Sant English teacher Eleanor Walker who will help to co-ordinate the school’s involvement in the visit.

The group is receiving considerable practical assistance from Dolen Cymru, the national organisation which co-ordinates links between Wales and Lesotho, and also from Wales Africa Community Links which is generously assisting with the costs of the journey to Lesotho.

“One of the unfortunate things is that we will be travelling back to St Davids on St Davids Day,” said Chris Taylor, “but I hope that we will be able to have an advance celebration before we leave. One thing I do know is that because of Dolen Cymru’s long standing involvement with Lesotho, the locals are very used to, and by all accounts very good at, celebrating our national Saint’s Day!”

It is hoped that Ysgol Bro Dewi will not be left out of the overall twinning with Matsieng, and plans are already afoot for Dolen Cymru to set up a teacher exchange between one of the primary schools there and St Davids.

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Large emergency service mobilisation to assist driver who went over cliff near oil refinery

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POLICE, ambulance, coastguard, and RNLI and two helicopters were all involved in the extraction of a casualty from a vehicle which had gone over a cliff and landed on the beach at Popton Fort very near to Valero Oil Refinery on Thursday morning.

The emergency call came just after 6.30am, with a large number of rescuers arriving quickly to assist the driver of the vehicle.

Valero oil refinery confirmed that the incident did not involve their facility.

RNLI Angle posted on social media saying the following: “Our crew were paged at 6:37am to a vehicle over the cliff near Popton Fort.

“A vehicle had left the road and fallen onto the beach below.

“Police, ambulance, the fire service and St Govans and Tenby coastguard rescue teams were already on scene, however the lifeboat was requested to assist with evacuating the casualty due to the difficult location.

“Following assessment and stabilisation by paramedics, it was decided that the casualty’s injuries were potentially too severe for transfer by sea, but not ruled out completely due to the incoming tide.

“With this, a request was made for the air ambulance to attend.

“With the air ambulance paramedics now on scene, their assessment was that evacuation by helicopter would be the most appropriate, therefore a further request was made for the a coastguard rescue helicopter to attend and evacuate the casualty.

“With the option of evacuation by lifeboat still a possibility, the all-weather lifeboat stood off should it be required.

“With the coastguard helicopter now on scene, the casualty was handed over into the helicopter for onward transfer to hospital.

“The lifeboat was stood down to return to station, arriving back at 8:30am.”

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National Park Trust supporters take a walk on the wild side

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SUPPORTERS of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust were treated to a dazzling display of wildlife during a recent guided walk through Skrinkle Meadow.

The event, which took place against a backdrop of glorious summer weather, was arranged as a way of expressing thanks to Trust supporters and highlighting the importance of meadows and the Trust’s Make More Meadows campaign.

The Make More Meadows campaign has been running since April 2019, and seeks to reverse a dramatic national decline in wildflower meadows over the last 75 years. So far, it has raised enough money to support 13 meadow sites, covering a total of 132 hectares and providing vital habitats for pollinators and other wildlife.

Director of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust Jessica Morgan said: “The Walk and Talk event at Skrinkle was an excellent opportunity to showcase the colourful results of meadow restoration, and our thanks go to National Park Authority Ranger Service Manager Libby Taylor, whose expertise turned this into a thoroughly enjoyable visit. National Park Authority Wardens have worked for years to improve biodiversity at Skrinkle Meadow, and seeds from the meadow have been used to create other wildflower meadows in the Park.

“On this occasion, six-spot burnet moths stole the show, but in previous years Skrinkle Meadow has provided some of the best orchid displays and richest variety of wildflowers in the county.”

The meadow regeneration theme was of particular interest to many of the attendees, who either have meadows of their own, or are considering establishing new ones.

To learn about the work of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust and exclusive supporter events like this, sign up to the newsletter at https://pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales/

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Paddleboarder with suspected wrist fracture assisted by Fishguard RNLI

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ON SATURDAY (Aug 13), a female paddleboarder, who decided to take a swim when located at Aber Bach, unfortunately fractured her wrist when diving from a nearby rock. Her female companion called for assistance which resulted in Fishguard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat being tasked to the scene, located between Fishguard and Dinas Head.

The inshore lifeboat, with three crew members, launched at 2.20pm and arrived on scene at 2.40pm. Her injury was assessed by a crew member, who is a practicing doctor, and she and her companion were transferred to Pwllgwaelod beach where their car was located and they drove to Withybush Hospital for further treatment.

The lifeboat then returned to base at 3.00pm.

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