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‘Last chance’ for Welsh households to pick up a tree in monumental planting scheme

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COED CADW, the Woodland Trust in Wales, are urging people to take advantage of the final weekend of the Welsh Government’s tree giveaway, My Tree Our Forest, to help tackle the effects of climate change.

Over the past year, households across Wales have been collecting trees, free of charge, as part of the giveaway, with each tree contributing towards a National Forest for Wales. So far, the project has allocated tens of thousands of trees to Welsh households.

As part of the popular My Tree Our Forest initiative, over 60 collection hubs facilitated by Coed Cadw will close for the final time on 31st March 2023.

With each phase of the giveaway, more collection hubs were introduced across Wales to keep up with demand, including new hubs in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells, Conwy, Risca and more.

Ten different species of native and broadleaf trees are available to choose from and take home. These are: Hazel; Rowan; Hawthorn; Silver Birch; Crab Apple; Sessile Oak; Dogwood; Dog Rose; Field Maple; and Elder.

As well as cleaning the air and improving our mental health and wellbeing, broadleaf trees are a haven for birds and wildlife. Planting a tree in your garden can improve the biodiversity of your space by providing food and shelter for a range of different species.

Natalie Buttriss, Director of Coed Cadw said: “Tree planting season comes to an end this month, so this is the final window to collect a tree from your local hub and plant it at home to help fight the effects of climate change.

“Trees have always offered simple and cost-effective solutions to the challenges we all face and through the My Tree Our Forest initiative, we hope to inspire people from all backgrounds, regions and walks of life to play their part, and make the most of the multiple benefits trees can bring. Visit a local hub and plant a tree in ’23!”

Members of the Welsh public are encouraged to collect a tree, free of charge, from a local collection hub near them. On collection they will receive advice from trained volunteers on the best tree for their space, as well as how to plant and care for their new tree.

Those unable to attend a hub, can take part in the Plant a Tree for Me element of the campaign where a tree can be planted on their behalf by landowners providing green spaces as part of the scheme, helping to create a National Forest for Wales.

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Community

Pembrokeshire Lane Blighted by Illegal Dumping Incident

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OVER a dozen large plastic vegetable oil drums along with assorted rubbish were discovered discarded along a rural lane in Pembrokeshire, sparking outrage amongst local residents. The unsightly scene, strewn with 15l and 20l drums and accompanying cardboard packaging, was first noticed by Councillor Di Clements near her farm residence, spanning across the road between Martletwy and Minwear.

Upon the unsightly discovery, Councillor Clements undertook an immediate investigation into the debris, sifting through the detritus in hopes of uncovering any clues that might lead to the identification of those responsible. The presence of numerous black bin liners containing smaller containers suggested the waste originated from a food service establishment. It is believed that the rubbish was illicitly deposited sometime between 4 pm on Sunday, 25th February, and the early hours of 6:30 am on Monday.

Prompt action was taken by Councillor Clements, who reported the incident to Pembrokeshire Council. The council’s swift response was commended by Clements, as a waste advisor was quickly dispatched to the scene to further investigate the matter. By Monday afternoon, the council had successfully cleared the debris.

Councillor Clements is currently appealing to the public for any information regarding suspicious activities that could lead to the identification of the perpetrator, who she suspects may be a repeat offender in the area. Expressing her dismay, Clements remarked, “I am extremely disappointed to see this and I can’t believe someone would do this.”

The council and Councillor Clements extend their gratitude to those involved in the prompt cleanup and urges anyone with information to come forward.

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Community

Local woman honours brother’s memory by planting trees at school

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VHARI RUSSELL, founder of Creating Nature’s Corridors charity, led a tree-planting initiative at a school in Roch village, commemorating her late brother Rory Bernays from Pelcomb Cross.

Russell, driven by a profound sense of purpose following her brother’s untimely passing, established the charity with a mission to address the pressing issue of climate change by planting trees. Her dedication culminated in a significant milestone as she spearheaded the planting of 1,000 trees and hedging plants at her nephew and niece’s school on Friday, the 22nd of February.

The event, held at the heart of Roch village, witnessed an inspiring collaboration between students, parents, and teachers, as they united to expand the existing woodland and establish a new hedgerow within the school grounds. Mr. Evans, the headmaster, expressed his gratitude for the generous donation, emphasizing the joyous atmosphere as students enthusiastically participated in the planting activities.

“We are delighted to have been given this gift of over 1,000 plants,” remarked Mr. Evans. “The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves planting on Friday. It’s a wonderful legacy to have created, and our school is very lucky to have such supportive parents to make the playground such a wonderful haven for nature and students alike.”

For Russell, the initiative holds deep personal significance, as it honours her brother’s love for nature and his commitment to instilling the same passion in his children. Reflecting on the experience, Russell highlighted the importance of planting trees at her nephew and niece’s school, following previous endeavours at the Pelcombcross community playground.

“Rory loved the great outdoors and always encouraged his children to enjoy it, so it was really important to me that we planted at Ozzy & Aoife’s school,” Russell remarked. “It was such fun planting at the school; many children had never planted a tree before, and the delight on their faces was magical.”

The initiative not only serves as a testament to Russell’s dedication to environmental conservation but also embodies a poignant tribute to her brother’s memory, ensuring that his legacy lives on through the flourishing greenery at local community spaces.

For further information, readers are encouraged to visit Creating Nature’s Corridors.

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Community

Voting made easy in new video with Pembrokeshire Supported Employment Programme

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A new video has been created in partnership with Pembrokeshire Supported Employment Programme (PSEP) to illustrate how accessible voting can be for all. 

Pembrokeshire County Council Electoral Services has been working hard to ensure that everyone who wants to vote has access to all the information they need to do so, whether that be via postal vote or in person at a polling station.

The skills of film graduate Aeran Hopewell, currently working with the PSEP, were put to good use as they shot and edited the video featuring colleagues Kath Brookes and James Pugh, along with Electoral Services and Communications team members.

The video provides a run through of how to vote, including the need for photo ID in some elections, and aims to reassure anyone who has concerns about voting at a polling station.

It demonstrates that the process is straightforward and that there are always people on hand to assist when needed. 

It will be available to watch on the Council’s YouTube as well as being shared among support, community and access groups around Pembrokeshire and with other Local Authority partners.

Member Champion for people with learning disabilities at Pembrokeshire County Council Cllr Alistair Cameron said: “It is vital to address the barriers some face when it comes to voting in person and this excellent film, created with the input of those people we hope will benefit, goes some way to reassuring everyone that there is always help on hand.”

Returning Officer Will Bramble added: “The upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election is the first time registered voters in Wales will need to show photo ID so it is fantastic to see this video explaining the process and it will hopefully encourage more people to head to their polling stations.”

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