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Mid Wales top for autumn walks

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Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre: One of the Autumn highlights chosen by NRW

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre: One of the Autumn highlights chosen by NRW

THREE walks in mid-west Wales have been chosen among the top 10 autumn walks across the whole country.

The Ridgetop Trail near Aberystwyth, a walk in the Cors Caron Nature Reserve, and the Cwm Cadian Trail at Tan y Coed are among a variety of routes chosen by Natural Resources Wales to highlight the beauty of the Welsh countryside.

Whether you’re a seasoned walker or just fancy a stroll with family and friends and whether you prefer woodlands, moorlands or beaches, there will be somewhere for you to discover.

Other walks recommended by NRW include several in neighbouring Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. Mary Galliers, NRW’s Recreation Marketing and Tourism Officer said: “Our sites offer every kind of spectacular display that this time of the year has to offer. From the golds, reds and browns of the turning leaves still on the trees to the rusts and yellows of grasslands and the purples and reds of bogs and moorlands.

“Autumn is a great time for visiting places that have been busier during the summer months so that you can enjoy the once crowded beaches or splash in puddles and enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot in peaceful woodlands.

“Look out for unusual fungi and late flowering plants in sand dunes, and mosses and lichens along riverside paths.

“As well as enjoying a great day out, you will be doing your health good, too, as people who are active and enjoy the outdoors are more likely to have longer, healthier and happier lives.”

Amongst the top 10 is the Elidir Trail in Pont Melin-fach near Ystradfellte in the Brecon Beacons National Park. In the heart of Waterfall Country, the falls can be spectacular after heavy rain.

Along the trail, according to folkore, is the entrance to the fairy kingdom. But even it you don’t spot a fairy, you’ll see plenty of mosses, ferns and lichens along the way!

Trees from around the world line the Forest Garden Discovery Trail in Coed y Brenin Forest Park near Dolgellau. Finding the name labels and fascinating fact signs can be a great game for younger walkers and a great place to visit during half term.

The vast wetland at Cors Caron National Nature Reserve near Tregaron is a dramatic sight at any time of year but its colours really come into their own in the autumn. It is a fantastic place for wildlife, too, and on warmer days you may see dragonflies and damselflies darting over the water or even a lizard or an adder basking on the boardwalk in the last of the year’s sunshine.

The top 10 autumn walks include several shorter walks suitable for families with young children. Every route is waymarked and takes you through either a woodland or a National Nature Reserve that is managed by Natural Resources Wales.

Some of these sites also have visitor centres and cafes where you can find out more about what you’ve seen and enjoy a warming cuppa!

The NRW top 10 autumn walks are:-

  • Route 1: Cors Caron Walk, Cors Caron National Nature Reserve, Tregaron, Mid Wales
  • Route 2: Forest Garden Discovery Trail, Coed y Brenin Forest Park, near Dolgellau, North West Wales
  • Route 3: Ridgetop Trail, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, near Aberystwyth, Mid Wales
  • Route 4: Coed Llangwyfan Circular, Coed Llangwyfan, near Denbigh, North East Wales
  • Route 5: Dune Walk, Morfa Dyffryn National Nature Reserve, near Barmouth, North West Wales
  • Route 6: Water Break-its-neck Trail, Radnor Forest, near New Radnor, Mid Wales
  • Route 7: Pont Annell Walk, Caio Forest, near Llandovery, South West Wales
  • Route 8: Minwear Woodland Walk, Minwear Woods, near Haverfordwest, South West Wales
  • Route 9: Cwm Cadian Trail, Tan y Coed, near Machynlleth Mid Wales
  • Route 10: Elidir Trail, Pont Melin-fach, Brecon Beacons National Park, South East Wales
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Christmas gift fair returns

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Last year at the Food Fair: The annual Christmas celebrations return this year

NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.

The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.

This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.

The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.

On Saturday​,​ ​November ​​25, ​the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!

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Community

‘​I​t’s ok to say’

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FUW raise awareness: Urging people to 'say' on World Mental Health Day​

​ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.

The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.

“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts​.​

“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.

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Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters

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One of the chosen few: Stella Foster (Pic. Mark Woodward)

A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.

Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.

Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.

The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.

“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.

“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.

Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.

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