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Pembrokeshire prose and poems at Llangwm’s 5th Literary Festival

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‘LLANGWM’S fifth literary festival is a wonderful showcase for Pembrokeshire talent.’ says
Michael Pugh, Director of the Llangwm Literary Festival.

‘We some very powerful images from the renowned photographer David Wilson who lives in
the village.’ continues Pugh. ‘In his book ‘The Village’, David’s images capture the soul of
Llangwm’s tight knit former fishing community. These images are all the more important
because many of them were taken during lock-down. It is amazing to look back and see how
far we’re advanced from there and how the human spirit can triumph over adversity.
Local artist and photographer, Ian Jacob, who was born in Llangwm and lives there now is
excited to be unveiling his first book at the festival. ‘Body Rock Sand’ is the fruition of an
idea that developed in Jacob’s mind when, as a young art student, he was captivated by the
images of Lucien Clergue’s, ‘Née de la Vague’ (Born of the Waves). Clergue’s images are
the inspiration for Ian’s very own images on the interplay of skin, sea and sand in
Pembrokeshire’s beaches.

St David’s based master-forager Julia Horton-Mansfield returns to the festival for the fifth
time to invite guests to ‘Come Forage with Me’ and explore the richness of the Cleddau
shoreline and to find out more about the health-giving properties of the delicious foods
literally growing all around us. On a darker note, and for those who enjoy a spine-tingler,

Llangwm-based writer, Pippa ‘the Pen’ Davies, joins Pembrokeshire’s Diana Powell, and
Maggie Himsworth for the unveiling of an intriguing Crime Cymru anthology of short stories
by Welsh Women and to explore what it is that attracts us to read about crime!

For those who have their own story to tell, Narberth’s Emma Baines will be running ‘Write
by the River’; a creative workshop on the Cleddau for those who wish to write about the
mighty river and what it means to them.

Poets, and writers, and anyone who just wants to share a poem or song are warmly invited to
Llangwm rugby club’s ‘Poems and Pints’. This year’s session, inspired by the themes of
Joyce’s Ulysses, and Poems of War in connection with Ukraine, promises to be very high-
octane indeed. No festival in Wales would be complete without a song, and Llangwm is no
exception with its bold Village Voices to entertain with their latest repertoire.
Llangwm’s Ellie Brick, in support of the idea that you need a fit body to get the best out of
your mind, will be blowing the cobweb’s away with a Sunday morning stretch and dance.

And for those who just want to sit back, leave it to Deb Winter, local storyteller
extraordinaire. Her tales will take you to new horizons and undiscovered worlds.

For more information on the festival, please contact [email protected], or visit our
website: www.llangwmlitfest.co.uk

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Community

Communities at the forefront: West Wales showcases innovative solutions

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PLANED has announced a forthcoming workshop titled “Are the Solutions Already Here?” set to take place in West Wales. This unique gathering aims to bring together community leaders from across the region to share and discuss innovative, people-led solutions to the myriad challenges they face.

Scheduled for March 8th, the event is poised to highlight the positive transformations already underway in West Wales, showcasing them as a beacon of hope and inspiration for other communities grappling with similar issues. PLANED, a community-focused organisation with over three decades of experience, is at the helm of this initiative, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to fostering social and economic opportunities within the region.

The workshop will be facilitated by Dr Edward Jones, a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Bangor University Business School, renowned for his extensive research on economic growth across Wales. Dr Jones expressed enthusiasm about the event, noting its potential to spotlight how local communities are harnessing their assets for greater control and sustainability. He cited the Dryslwyn community’s efforts as a prime example of local initiatives that have catalysed energy and dynamism within the region.

In recent years, PLANED has supported numerous community-led initiatives, including share schemes and asset transfer projects like the community purchase of Tafarn Sinc and Crymych Arms. The upcoming event will feature discussions on these projects, with insights from notable speakers such as Dr Rosie Plummer, Owain Gryffudd, and Cris Tomos. Their experiences are expected to underline the social benefits of community engagement and the support available from PLANED and other organisations for the longevity of these projects.

Iwan Thomas, Chief Executive of PLANED, highlighted the significance of the event in showcasing how communities can be empowered through the right mix of people and skills to find local solutions. The event promises to showcase examples from Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire, illustrating the region’s leadership in community-led regeneration.

The workshop has also garnered support from local Senedd Member, Samuel Kurtz MS, who praised the initiatives for bringing vitality and a sense of belonging to local communities. He underscored the importance of such projects in fostering connections among people who might otherwise remain disconnected, championing them as a model for future community-driven efforts.

The event, to be held at PLANED in the Old School Site, is currently open for registration via Eventbrite. Although spaces are limited, the overwhelming support and interest suggest that this workshop may herald a series of events aimed at promoting community solutions across Wales.

For those interested in attending, registration is available through the PLANED website and its social media channels. This workshop represents a pivotal moment for communities across Wales, offering a platform for sharing, learning, and driving positive change from the ground up.

For more information on PLANED and its initiatives, visit www.planed.org.uk.

Event Registration: Interested parties can register for the event at Eventbrite.

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Community

Oyster restoration project set to enrich the Haven Waterway

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AN EXCITING new project is underway to restore the once-abundant population of native oysters within the Milford Haven Waterway and, in doing so, improve the condition of the Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

This work is being carried out in partnership with Bangor University, the Pembrokeshire Marine SAC Officer and Tethys Oysters in Angle Bay, and forms part of the Blue Carbon Strand of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Wild Coast! Sustainable Landscapes, Sustainable Places Programme, funded by the Welsh Government and co-ordinated by Tirweddau Cymru Landscapes Wales.

Director of Nature and Tourism at the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, James Parkin, said: “Designated landscapes, such as the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, account for 25% of the Welsh landscape, which means they have a vital role in helping nature to recover.

“The Sustainable Landscapes, Sustainable Places Landscapes Fund is having a significant impact on our ability to create a sustainable and resilient environment for future generations.”

Since the project commenced in November 2023, Ostrea edulis broodstock have been collected from Angle Bay and Burton Ferry and transported to Bangor University, with the aim of rearing them and returning them to the Milford Haven Waterway to boost existing populations.

It is expected that up to 200,000 native oyster spat may be produced, but numbers could be significantly more.

National Park Authority Biodiversity Officer, Sarah Mellor, explained: “Native British oyster populations have declined dramatically over the decades, as a result of habitat loss, pollution, over-harvesting and disease. This has significant implications for the health of our marine environment. As well as being filter feeders that actively purify the surrounding water, oysters also store carbon, and their reefs also play an important role in fostering biodiversity by providing food, shelter, and protection for a wide variety of marine life.”

Currently, there are very few nursery facilities that can provide native oysters for restoration. To date, native oysters introduced to the Waterway have been reared in Morecambe Bay. The status of the Milford Haven Waterway as a Bonamia (parasitic disease) area also places additional restrictions on the movement of oysters.

There is a view that existing old native oysters may have some resistance to Bonamia. This, and the desire to protect the genetic make-up of local populations, which may also provide additional resilience, is why restoration using indigenous stock is so attractive.

Following biosecurity protocols and a brief period of quarantine, the first batch of approximately 40 oysters have commenced conditioning to spawn in their temporary nursery. The remaining oysters will be conditioned to spawn in the spring and early summer of 2024.

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Community

Pop up museum opens in Haverfordwest whilst Castle works continue

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WITH Haverfordwest Castle closed for the next couple years due to building works for the Heart of Pembrokeshire project the Haverfordwest Town Museum has had to relocate to the town centre.

Last September, plans to move temporarily Haverfordwest’s museum to the town’s Riverside Quay while levelling-up works in the town are ongoing were given the thumbs-up.

An application for a change of use of the former GAME electronic games store at 24-25 Riverside Quay to the temporary home for the ‘pop-up’ museum was submitted to county planners by historian and council presiding member Dr Simon Hancock.

The museum itself is moving from its current site at the Governor’s Office next to Haverfordwest Castle due to ongoing works connected with the £24m Heart of Pembrokeshire levelling-up redevelopment of that part of the county town, which is expected to last until Spring 2026.

Work is ongoing to set up displays and create a museum shop and the new Riverside home is hoped to open to the public on March 25.

Museum Curator Dr Hancock said: “We want to make the pop-up museum an informative and entertaining space. We will have models of the castle and Tudor Merchant’s house, displays on the Llewellin churnworks, the Port of Haverfordwest, items made in the town during the Victorian period, David Lindley paintings and the People of Haverfordwest panels.

“We will be open all year round in our new premises and so we will ensure there will be regular changes of content. We would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in volunteering for us.

“The pop-up museum would only be possible thanks to the stalwart support of the county council with funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund for which we are extremely grateful.”

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