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Cragen calling for clean seas during Pembrokeshire visit

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THE MYTHICAL Cragen is set to visit the shores of Pembrokeshire with a message to clean the seas.

Visitors to Tenby, Stackpole and Goodwick will have a chance to catch a glimpse of Small World Theatre’s new mythological monster, which will appear along Wales’ epic coastline throughout the summer during the Year of the Sea.

Last Friday (Jul 20) Aberporth witnessed the first sighting of the Cragen off the Ceredigion coast, as hundreds participated in a beach clean, before the 20 metre long sea monster emerged with the message to keep the waters clean.

Cardigan-based Small World Theatre created the giant sea-faring puppet. The theatre company, established in 1996, is excited about touring its latest giant in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Isle of Anglesey and Conwy, encouraging people to explore Visit Wales’ newly launched ‘The Wales Way’.

The Wales Way is a new family of three national routes that will lead visitors into the heart of real Wales. The Coastal Way travels the west coast around Cardigan Bay, a 180-mile road-trip between the sea and mountains. The Cambrian Way crosses the spine of Wales for 185 miles between Llandudno and Cardiff. The North Wales Way leads 75 miles into the island of Anglesey.

There are many accounts of sea monsters during ‘The Age of Exploration’ when European explorers sailed into uncharted waters. Their appearances were often thought to be prophetic, the harbingers of doom and disaster, or portents of great change.

Cragen is inspired by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner’s illustrated book published more than 460 years ago, and held at the Roderic Bowen Research Centre, University Wales Trinity Saint David.

Members of the public are invited to visit Cragen performances between July – December and participate in activities and events alongside the Wales-wide tour, including The Wildlife Trusts ‘Sea Wales 7D’ Augmented Reality Roadshow (where you can learn about some of the incredible marine wildlife that calls Wales home), beach cleans organised by Keep Wales Tidy and National Trust Wales and family activities galore organised by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and others.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Lord-Elis Thomas said: “The Year of the Sea gives us an excellent opportunity to show our fantastic coastline to the world. From our 50 islands, our 230 beaches with more Blue Flags per mile than anywhere else in Britain – to our world-first 870mile long Wales Coast Path.

“However, it also gives us a platform to raise awareness of the need to care for our environment – and the impact our activities can have on our seas and coastline. The Welsh Government is committed to reducing the use of single use plastics, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this innovative project by the Small World Theatre. Cragen will help raise awareness of the impact of single use plastics and the backdrop of our amazing coastline will be a reminder of the beauty that needs to be kept for future generations.”

The project received funding via the Tourism Product Innovation Fund (TPIF) and is supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government; the Fund aims to encourage new innovative product ideas working in partnership which will have a greater impact and attract more visitors.

The Cragen will be at Tenby North Beach on July 27, Stackpole Quay on August 3 and The Parrog in Goodwick on August 17.

Follow Cragen’s travels online cleanseascragen.wales and share your ‘sighting’ on social media using the hashtags #cleanseascragen #findyourepic #cleanseas.

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Ongoing incident closes busy Haverfordwest road

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A MAJOR road in Haverfordwest has been closed due to a police incident this afternoon (May 5)

A man was seen holding onto the outside railings of a bridge, talking to police officers.

The police said: “We are dealing with an ongoing incident, with concern for the welfare of a male, which has meant the A487 between Cartlett Road and Thomas Parry Way in Haverfordwest has been closed.

“Motorists are asked to avoid the area and find alternative routes.

There are reports of long queues for motorists in and around Haverfordwest with some drivers messaging The Herald saying “Town is gridlocked.”

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James Oulton found not guilty of 30 counts of sexual assault against 11 ex-pupils

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JAMES OULTON, 34, the primary school teacher who was accused of 30 charges of sexual assault against pupils has been found not guilty of all charges at Swansea Crown court today, following a lengthy trial (May 4).

The charges, now dismissed, had related to his time as a Haverfordwest primary school teacher, between 2012 and 2018.

Mr Oulton had described the accusations as a “witch-hunt”.

He confirmed he had made a formal complaint against one officer involved.

Speaking after the verdict, James Oulton said: “I am glad two years and eight months of hell for my family, colleagues and friends has come to an end.”

“I’m just glad it’s over and that the jury came to the right verdict.”

The press was only able to report on the prosecution case, but not the defence case – because Oulton him self via his barrister had made an application to the court for a press restriction.

The Herald feels that this press restriction on the reporting of both sides of the case, once granted, was unlawful, and is appealing to the Court of Appeal on a point of law.

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Nineteen arrests and weapons seized during knife crime action week

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NINETEEN people were arrested and a number of weapons were seized as police took part in a national week of action against knife crime, police have said.

Dyfed-Powys Police has released its results from Op Sceptre, which ran from April 26 to May 2, during which officers across the force took part in activity to crack down on crime involving blades.

The week was led by the force’s roads policing units (RPU), with a focus on targeting operations in key areas throughout the four divisions.

Neighbourhood policing teams were instrumental in engaging with shopkeepers, creating educational videos for communities on social media, and working with RPU on joint patrols in crime hotspots.

Inspector Andrew Williams said: “There have been some excellent results forcewide  from this year’s Op Sceptre, and as a result of the increased proactivity in key areas, there has also been a vast amount of other offences detected.

“This was thanks to some outstanding work by roads policing units, neighbourhood policing teams, the joint firearms unit and response officers.

“Our approach was to educate our communities on the laws around carrying and selling knives, and the dangers associated with having a blade on your possession, which was backed up with operational activity across the force.

“This has been very well received, and will be continued during the next operation.”

During the week 20 stop searches were carried out, resulting in seven arrests and numerous weapons being seized.

Twelve people were arrested for drug driving following stop checks on vehicles, one of which led to the discovery of a cannabis cultivation in the Cardigan area.

Traffic offence reports were issued to 41 drivers, and two people will be dealt with for failing to stop for officers when requested.

Neighbourhood policing activity saw engagement with 95 shop owners and community leaders, with officers and PCSOs reassured to find that most businesses were complying with the Challenge 25 policy. Those who were not will be dealt with accordingly.

Insp Williams said: “Our work to tackle knife crime will continue as we consider intelligence logs that were submitted during the operation and develop targeted plans to deal with concerns in our communities.

“We would also like to remind people that while our knife amnesty has now concluded, the best way to dispose of an unwanted blade is to take it to your local recycling centre.”

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