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A perfectly Pembrokeshire perspective – by Cara Jasmine Bradley

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Budding young travel writer Cara Jasmine Bradley writes about her experience at visiting Pembrokeshire last summer

IT WAS the moment that saw all my childhood dreams come true in a dramatic flurry afore my eyes.

The hoof beats below me intensified, and I laughed as I was showered in a mixture of sand and sea spray. The wind slapped at my face in refreshing fashion as we thundered along, tearing up the surf.

Slicing into the waterfall of rain, I felt overwhelmingly empowered and alive. I wanted the descending coastline to spiral onwards forever.

Towering cliffs doused in pulsating spillages of shrubbery dwarfed the cove on either side, creating an illuminating spotlight to my disposition.

The grey clouds overhead created a quintessential backdrop to the bursts of colour created by the blissful clash of the sea and its surrounding rolling meadows.

Leaning forwards, I embraced the rain and my every spine-tingling sensation, and allowed the horse to pick up his pace another notch. The feeling of sheer freedom was indescribable.
Pembrokeshire: the place that presented me with one of the most invigorating memories of my life.

Galloping along a deserted stretch of Haverfordwest beach truly made up the ingredients for the stuff dreams are made of. The drum of the hooves replicated my bursting heart, and I scarcely recalled a time I had felt more joyous.

It was the promise of horse riding on the beach that had initially enticed me to Pembrokeshire that summer, but it was the treasured alternate elements that sum up the mystical county that have kept my heart alight ever since.

Pembrokeshire quickly enlightened me the depth of its rural charm, showcasing just what the UK does best: nature. We arrived at our caravan that first evening to find that we already had our first visitor ready and waiting for us at the door. In the gathering dusk, the silhouette of a badger made my breath catch in my throat. I had never been in such close proximity to one before! The badger boldly held eye contact for a few seconds, before scuttling off, only to return every night!

Perhaps it was the prime location of our caravan that won me over. An overgrown pathway led us away from the caravan park. We passed by the towering wall of bold foxgloves and followed the aroma of sea salt until we found ourselves in an open field, which boasted astounding views out across the sea via the craggy cliff-side beyond.

Watching the sun set from that very spot became a nightly tradition that never failed to motivate and mesmerize.

The declining sun dropped an explosion of blood orange across the cliffs, sending its rays clambering across the still surface of the sea far into the horizon. It felt as though I was stood on the brink of the eye to the world, gazing at its magnificence through a magnifying glass.

Famed for its paradise perfect beaches that behold the ability to make one believe that they could actually be anywhere in the world, Pembrokeshire also modestly lets fans into its sacred secret of outstanding countryside.

It’s easy to get lost in the endless woodlands and forests spread generously across Pembrokeshire. And by ‘lost,’ I also mean in the metaphorical sense of the word, for it is almost impossible not to abort all of life’s worries and negativities under the protection of the rich canopy of trees.

Enchanted pathways zig-zagging through the heart of dense woodland defines a magical fairytale setting intent on inspiring.

The woods were stunningly silent, aside the therapeutic droplets of rain cascading from the branches. The air was thick with the revitalising smell of nature – that tantalising ambiance that can only truly be appreciated after the rainfall.

The blackberries sat plump on their bushes, squirrels darted across the undergrowth in our wake, and mysterious flora and fauna shimmered in delight amidst the showers.

There was just something about trekking through the superlative forests that made me feel like a child again; uncontrollably wide-eyed with admiration and enthrallment. The scenery that generously enveloped me was so beautiful, so surreal, that I felt as though I was floating through a pleasant day-dream. You almost find yourself checking tree trunks for signs of fairies, resisting the urge to jump in puddles, and making wishes out of dandelions. Even the most cynical of adults would fail to fall victim to the spell.

Sharing my time with this mind-blowing landscape forced me to shrug off my stifling coat of conformity and simply be myself. I was walking hand in hand with the person I had almost forgotten to be. I was awakened, and my soul followed suit.

Quite often during our trip, we would pack our bags with a picnic, which we would relish half way through our lengthy walks, nestled somewhere between the forests and the coast. There is something quite thrilling about a mid-hike picnic. Rain sodden sandwiches tarnished with stray flecks of sand are part of the deal in the UK, and you know what? It only adds to the authenticity! Fleshly picked blackberries enhanced the flavour of the day, their tangy bitterness somewhat ruled out by the pride of souring and picking our own desserts straight from the trees!

One morning, we took a drive into a nearby town, enjoying the serene sights that walled the country lane ahead of us. We pulled over to catch a better glimpse of the sea from a particularly high spot en-route, and stumbled across a vast orchard adjacent to the cliffs. The lazy morning sun shone through the branches of the trees, the golden rays of its glow making patterns waltz underfoot. The scent of ripe, sweet apples drifted along the breeze, accompanied by the light buzz of the appreciative bees.
The time I spent walking around the orchard, lost in thought, was perhaps not as significant as my spectacular ride across the beach, but it is equally as memorable in terms of unrivalled serenity.

During our time in Pembrokeshire, we frequented a variation of dainty villages and towns, from Broad Haven to Tenby. Doused in a vibrant olde-worlde fishing village charm, Tenby was undeniably as pretty as it was wealthy in culture. With pastel-coloured houses rising above the coast, Tenby is a nostalgia-provoking location that posses the power to escort all of us back to care-free childhood afternoons spent on the timeless beaches of the UK.
A drive through Pembrokeshire will reveal a whole trove of hidden gem villages, quivering with the prospect of being uncovered.

Pembrokeshire ferociously ticks off the credentials for the most desirable trip. Combining pearly sands, twinkling seas, electrifying countryside, adorable towns, and endless adventures to be indulged and shared, this is what makes us so proud of our wondrously versatile United Kingdom.

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Charity

More than £100,000 available to local projects via Sustainable Development Fund

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Community groups are encouraged to apply for funding before the September 7 deadline.

A NEW round of grant support has opened for projects based in and around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park that reduce local carbon emissions and respond to the climate emergency.

With a funding pot of more than £100,000, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is calling on local non-profit groups to submit their applications for the Sustainable Development Fund before the September deadline.

Do you run a community building that would benefit from having solar panels or an air source heat pump? Do you want to encourage your members or visitors to use bikes and need to install a bike rack or electric bike charging point? Are you a sports club that would like to install a water fountain to reduce the need for single use plastic? Or perhaps you have an idea to minimise waste such as a community fridge or recycling initiative.

Jessica Morgan, Funding and Grants Officer for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority said: “If you are seeking funding for a project in Pembrokeshire that contributes towards a reduction in carbon and helps respond to the climate emergency, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund may be for you.

“Organisations are welcome to reapply if they have completed a previous Sustainable Development Fund project and can demonstrate that the work has been completed and post project evaluation submitted.

“Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from individuals, sole traders or businesses. Any organisation that applies must be based within Pembrokeshire.”

Information about the Fund and an application form can be found at https://www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/about-the-national-park-authority/sustainable-development-fund/ – or call 01646 624800.

The deadline for applications is 12:00pm on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

The Sustainable Development Fund consists of money allocated from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Landscapes Sustainable Places Fund.

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Community

Potential sites for new hospital reviewed

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PEOPLE from communities across the three counties have helped assess five sites in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, as part of a wider process to identify a location for a new Planned and Urgent Care Hospital.

Attendees at the workshop, on Tuesday 28 June, were drawn from across the region, including participants with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, as well as health board staff and partners. Attendees reviewed each of the sites, before scoring them based on an agreed set of technical criteria.

Further information about the technical criteria, and how they were ‘weighted’ to determine the allocation of scores, can be found here. Transport and accessibility to services at the hospital was identified as the highest weighted criteria.

All the sites below are in a zone between and including St Clears and Narberth. This zone, which was agreed following our consultation in 2018, is the most central location for the majority of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area.

The health board is committed to the principle that the public voice in this scoring exercise would be no less than 52% of the total. Therefore, the Consultation Institute has increased the relative proportion of the public score accordingly. The scoring of the sites following the technical land appraisal workshop are as follows:

Site

Score

Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Kiln Park Farm which is located to the north of Narberth train station and adjacent to the A478, approximately 1km to the north-east of Narberth town centre

365

Agricultural land located to the north-east of Whitland town centre and situated between the A40 to the north, Whitland Rugby Club to the east and Spring Gardens to the south

373

Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Ty Newydd Farm which is located to the east of the Old Whitland Creamery site and Whitland town centre.

365

Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Penllyne Court located between Whitland and St Clears just outside Pwll-Trap.The site lies between the Swansea-Haverfordwest railway line to the north and the A40 to the south

334

Agricultural land at old Bryncaerau fields, located adjacent to the junction of the A40 and A477 in St Clears, between the A4066 (Tenby Road) to the south, the village of Pwll Trap to the north and the A40 to the west

372

The establishment of a new hospital is a fundamental part of the health board’s wider plans, which also include providing more community integrated care centres and services closer to people’s homes.

The benefits of the new hospital, which would bring together the Accident and Emergency Departments and acute medical care from Withybush and Glangwili hospitals, would include:

the ability to physically separate urgent and planned care so one has less of an impact on the other, which should give better waiting times for people already waiting too long for planned care
a more resilient response from clinical teams at the front door, as teams will be brought together, releasing ambulances back onto the roads and meaning people get quicker access to the decision making needed to allow them to go home, or be admitted to hospital if needed
more attractive medical staffing rotas, bringing larger teams of clinicians together and providing more opportunity and strength to our discussions around bringing more specialities into west Wales
more attractive rotas to support staff well-being and retention and act as an attractor for new staff

Lee Davies, Executive Director of Strategic Development & Operational Planning at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “I would like to thank all participants for their involvement and contribution in helping us to consider the sites for our new urgent and planned care hospital. The comments and questions received during the workshop were direct, honest, and challenging and highlighted the passion that exists in our communities for high quality health care. We believe this type of engagement is vital to ensuring we reach the best decision for the future location of the new hospital.
“The output from this workshop does not necessarily mean the new hospital will be located at the site with the highest score. This appraisal group is one of four, with the others reviewing matters covering clinical, workforce, and economic / financial issues.

“The reports for each of these appraisal groups will be considered by Hywel Dda’s Board in August. By following this thorough process and engaging with the public, the Board will be able to fully understand the evidence to decide on the best way forward, to meet the clinical, health and care demands for our future generations, and deliver the ambitions of the Healthier Mid and West Wales strategy and secure a scale of investment never before seen in west Wales.”

The land technical appraisal workshop and engagement process were managed with support and advice from The Consultation Institute, a not-for-profit, independent body, which provide guidance on best practice for engaging with communities.

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Community

Haverfordwest Youth Club hosts successful open evening

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Credit - Haverfordwest Youth Club

HAVERFORDWEST Youth Club posted to their Facebook page to thank those who attended their open evening last night (June 30). 

They celebrated Youth Work Week by sharing their amazing new facility in Haverfordwest with the local community. 

Haverfordwest Youth Club

The open evening was located at the new venue at The Picton Centre. They had a range of activities including VR goggles, face painting and jewellery making.

Haverfordwest Youth Club wrote: “A special thank you to Haverfordwest Town Council, Sian – Haverfordwest Morrison’s Community Champion and Martin Jones from Ogi for supporting the evening. Also, to our members Sara, Amelia, Sureya, Pippa and Lily for volunteering their time to help on the evening”.

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