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Sheepdog’s long journey home

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Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 09.37.27A HOMESICK sheepdog made an incredible 240-mile journey back home in just 12 days after running away from his new farmhouse.

Farmer Alan James was amazed when four-year-old Pero appeared on his doorstep after he was given to another farm more than 200 miles away.

Pero’s real-life ‘Lassie Come Home’ adventure began when he ran off from his new home in Cockermouth, Cumbria, to make the cross country trek to the country village of Penrhyncoch, near Aberystwyth.

Father-of-five Alan, 54, said: “It was amazing but we have no idea how he did it. He must have a Sat-Nav in his brain.”

Pero is one of 15 sheepdogs on the family farm – but was given as a trial to another farm in Cumbria to see how it worked out.

But the homesick pooch ran off from his new home in Cockermouth while out herding sheep.

It is a mystery how he used his apparent homing instinct to navigate his way back to Wales – a journey which took 12 days at an average of 20 miles a day.

Alan said: “A sheepdog can go all day and cover a lot of ground. But it is a mystery how he found his way here.

“We don’t know how he was fed or if he hitched a lift. But it was incredible when he turned up on a doorstep.

“We would love to solve the mystery of how he managed it.”

Wife Shan, 47, told how they were so taken aback by Pero’s loyalty they’ve decided to welcome him back home for good.

She said: “He was very excited to be back both with the family and the other dogs.

“We have a lot of dogs and a friend knew the farmer in Cockermouth was looking for a dog that could round sheep and follow a quad bike.

“We thought Pero would be ideal for the job. We let him go on a trial at the beginning of March.

“We were then told that Pero had disappeared on April 8, and was nowhere to be seen.

“But then last Wednesday evening my husband Alan went out to check on the animals after supper and there was Pero on our doorstep.

“It was a bit of a shock, and the dog was going crazy after seeing Alan.

“It’s a total mystery as to how Pero has managed to find his way back to us. We know that dogs can find their way home, but 240 miles is a long way to travel.”

Mrs James said she believes the black and white sheepdog must have somehow persuaded good Samaritans to feed him on his way home, as he didn’t appear to be malnourished.

She said: “When he came back, he wasn’t hungry or weak, so he must have managed to find food somewhere.

“He must have stopped in places along the way.

“We would love to know if anyone along the route had seen a mystery black and white sheepdog. It is an amazing adventure – and we are very happy to have him home with us on the farm.”

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Amendments introduced to the Cardigan Safe Zone

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AS MORE people are expected to visit Ceredigion’s towns over the coming weeks and summer months, changes are required to ensure our streets are safe for everyone, by allowing people to maintain a 2 metre social distance at all times.

Introducing changes over the Easter period has meant that some amendments will be made over the coming weeks.

Following a review, the initial phase of the Safe Zone (Phase 2) for Cardigan will be amended to Phase 2a, with Morgan Street and The Strand remaining as a one way system (unchanged current arrangement).

Road closures affecting the High Street in Cardigan will commence ahead of the May Bank holiday weekend at the end of May. The road closures will be between 12pm and 4pm daily.

As part of Phase 2a, the following work is being undertaken:

  • Placing road markings for all disabled bays along High St & Pendre
  • Placing loading bay road markings opposite Dewi James Butchers
  • Introducing new reflective bollards to replace the red/white baulks. This will allow traders to operate in the road as per their licence. The widened footpaths within the trading areas in the road will be raised to the same level as the adjacent footpaths to create a flat accessible area for pedestrians.
  • Placing a chicane outside the Black Lion Hotel to slow traffic flow
  • Implement a one way system along College Row to improve pedestrian safety
  • Reversal of one way along St Mary St to allow access to Chancery
  • Close the top of Pwllhai for licenced trading and pedestrian safety

A map of Cardigan and all the latest information on the Safe Zones is available on Ceredigion County Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/safezones   

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New Quay youngster answers RNLI’s mayday call and raises nearly £2,000

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OVER the May Day Bank Holiday weekend a New Quay schoolboy took to the water on his paddle board and raised nearly £2,000 for the RNLI Mayday Mile appeal. He is now urging more people to take part this May in any way they can to raise funds for equipment before the busy summer season on the coast. 

Steffan outside Newquay RNLI lifeboat station after completing his challenge

Steffan Williams, 12, a pupil from Ysgol Bro Teifi answered the RNLI’s mayday call for fundraising and decided to not just do one mile on his paddleboard but attempt 10 miles in one day. He is now encouraging more people to get involved with the appeal to raise funds.  

Steffan said, “The RNLI Mayday Mile is a great way to raise money for the charity that saves lives at sea as you can do one mile or 100 miles in any way you want. You could run it, walk it, dance it and make it fun in fancy dress. 

Steffan Williams before his challenge on Sunday May 3

“I decided to take to the sea on my paddleboard, and I am really pleased I completed my challenge of 10 miles in one day. It was really hard going as the wind picked up in the afternoon but I did not want to give up. 

“I have been really shocked at the support and want to thank everyone who has donated, I am so happy!” 

Steffan’s total so far is £1,812 and he is the RNLI’s top individual fundraiser in the UK and Ireland. To support Steffan visit https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/steffans-paddleboarding-mayday-challenge

The RNLI’s Mayday Mile campaign will be running throughout the month of May and anyone can take part by joining up on the RNLI’s Mayday Mile website https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/.  

With more people expected to be holidaying close to home this year, the RNLI predicts a summer like no other.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Steffan has done a fantastic job on raising so much money for the charity and we are very grateful indeed. He is a true hero. This summer we expect to be very busy and urge people visiting our coast to take the necessary precautions.  

“Always check the weather, the tides and if you are on the water remember to wear a buoyancy aid and take means of calling for help, a mobile phone or radio. Remember we are on call 24/7 so if you see anyone in trouble on the coast please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Contact Hywel Dda for second vaccine appointment

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HYWEL Dda University Health Board (UHB) is asking anyone who received a first Pfizer vaccine at one of its mass vaccination centres in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire more than 21 days ago to get in touch if they have not received a second vaccine appointment.       

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Second doses are essential for longer term protection, so it’s important that everyone comes forward for their full course when called.

“Our records show that a small number of people across our three counties have not responded to our invitation to receive their second dose. We won’t leave anyone behind and there is still time for them to receive it within the required timeframe.”

Additional clinics will be put on in the next couple weeks to administer these second doses. If it has been more than 21 days since your first Pfizer vaccine please email COVIDenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk with the subject title “Second Pfizer dose request” with your full name, date of first vaccine and a contact phone number to book your appointment. If you are unable to email you can also contact the health board by calling 0300 303 8322.

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