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Storms ‘devastating’ for seal pups as two thirds die

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STORMS Ophelia and Brian have wreaked havoc on Skomer and Skokholm islands with the impact being devastating for the wildlife, buildings and equipment.

Over two thirds of the seal pups on Skomer perished in the storms and buildings on both islands were left unrecognisable.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales need your help now to raise at least £25,000 to reverse the impacts of these unforgiving storms. They need your help to monitor the impact on wildlife as well as to repair the damage and storm-proof the islands for the future.

Skomer and Skokholm Islands are internationally significant wildlife and heritage sites, home to many important species including over half of the world’s population of Manx Shearwater and the Puffin.

Skomer Island is an important breeding site for the Atlantic Grey Seal. The island staff monitors the seal population throughout the year. Natural events like this can have a profound impact and the monitoring is important in understanding the effects on the population.

Lizzie Wilberforce, Conservation Manager for Skomer and Skokholm, said: “These storms were the strongest since 1987 and unfortunately, violent storms like these are becoming more common as our islands are exposed and vulnerable to severe weather. It is vital that we start to put protocols in place to better deal with the potential impacts, on both the islands’ wildlife and infrastructure. Your donation would mean we can be better prepared for similar weather in the future.“

You can donate to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales by texting SEAL23 and your donation amount to 70070, or by calling them on 01656 724100.

They need your help to raise the £25,000 needed to:

  • Develop a protocol for dealing with seabird wrecks
  • Monitor the impacts on seals and seabirds
  • Repair the immediate storm damage
  • Storm-proof the Islands for the future

Any additional funds raised exceeding £25,000 will help replace essential equipment for the islands.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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