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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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Community

Ceredigion lifesavers go the extra mile during lockdown

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Loyal blood donors in Ceredigion have responded to a request from the Welsh
Blood Service to ‘donate differently’ by rolling up their sleeves to make a
lifesaving donation at one of the Service’s new regional hubs.

Across Wales, of the 6,808 individuals that visited a Welsh Blood Service donation
session in May 63% of donors attended a clinic that was not their usual donation
venue.

In Ceredigion, 293 donors came forward to give blood in May, with 34 attending a
donation session for the very first time.

Following a series of Covid-19 related venue cancellations and social distancing
restrictions, the Welsh Blood Service was unable to host donation sessions at the thirty
community venues it would typically visit across Wales each week.

The Service introduced a new collections schedule at the beginning of April which saw
collections taken from five regional donation hubs at different locations in Wales each
week. Donors were asked to travel to donate at their nearest hub.

Alan Prosser, Director of the Welsh Blood Service, said: “When it became clear we
couldn’t continue with business as usual, we knew we’d have to ask donors to donate
differently. Our regional donation hubs have replaced our usual local collections
programme and the response from donors has been remarkable.

“98.3% of the appointments we’ve made available since lockdown have been taken
and many of these appointments have been taken by donors who have been prepared
to go even further out of their way than they usually would just to make a potentially
lifesaving donation.”

The Service has also observed a sharp rise in the number of new donors coming
forward to donate.

Mr Prosser continued: “In May 2019, around 11% of those that attended our donation
sessions were new donors. This May, around 19% of our attendance has been people
who had never given before.

“We’ve also see a surge in the number of donors who haven’t given in years returning
to our sessions to help us boost stocks. It’s been amazing and we’re hugely grateful.”

Blood stocks in Wales have remained healthy throughout the pandemic as the reduced
collections activity has mirrored a reduction in the volume of blood used by hospitals.
However, the Service is urging donors to continue to attend their local sessions as and
when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“Blood stocks are currently very healthy thanks to the commitment of new and existing
donors but we need people to keep giving blood to ensure we can continue to meet
hospital demand in the coming months. Travel to donate is considered essential travel
and anyone who is fit, well and eligible to donate can book an appointment through the
welshblood.org.uk website.”

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Community

Porth Cymorth Cynnar supporting residents in Ceredigion

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During this challenging period, Porth Cymorth Cynnar has established a virtual platform to ensure that we are able to keep in touch with vulnerable residents across Ceredigion.

Due to the restrictions introduced to safeguard our communities against COVID-19, many residents are not able to access their usual provision or support such as parent groups or GP Referral Exercise Classes. Instead, we are ensuring that all residents whom are known to our services, and others, are kept in touch with, through regular welfare calls, should they wish.

Around 2000 residents from young people to families to carers, who may require or benefit from regular contact whilst their service is not operating in its usual form, will receive communication from our staff.

To date, almost 2000 welfare calls have been made, and have been well received by people across Ceredigion. Residents have said that it is great that someone is keeping in touch with them, to give them an opportunity to have a weekly phone call and someone to talk to.

Mrs Jones* (name changed for anonymity) who is 92 and lives alone, is used to receiving regular visits from Ceredigion’s mobile library was identified as benefiting from a weekly phone call, to check how she was doing, now that her usual library service would not be visiting for a while. Porth Cymorth Cynnar aimed to get in touch with Mrs Jones, but did not have a contact number. After tracking down a contact number through the local directory, a member of the Porth y Gymuned team was able to make contact. Luckily Mrs Jones has the support of family and neighbours to collect groceries, but nonetheless was extremely grateful to have someone to talk to, and to check that she is OK. A weekly phone check in has been organised with Mrs Jones, to ensure that she is doing well and to organise if she is in need of anything.

If you, or anyone you know would benefit from the Keeping in Touch Service, please get in touch with our Customer Services team on 01545 570881 or clic@ceredigion.gov.uk who will triage your query to Porth Cymorth Cynnar.

Porth Cymorth Cynnar are also regularly updating resource lists which are available on the Ceredigion County Council website here: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Community

The latest on plastic free Ceredigion

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At its meeting held on 17 March, the Council’s Cabinet received an activity update from the Plastic Free Ceredigion Task and Finish Group, which was set up after full Council approved a motion on 22 February 2018.

Full Council approved the ‘Plastic Free campaigns throughout the County, including Plastic Free Aberporth and Plastic Free Aberystwyth’ motion to ensure that the Council helps to reduce the amount of single use plastics used in our day to day operations.

The motion involved a number of factors including; reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and encouraging local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives. Promoting the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events, supporting beach cleans and any other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics.

Since 22 February 2018, the Council have removed 5 single-use plastic that were used across the local authority, implemented projects in conjunction with NRW with local primary schools, worked closely with communities throughout Ceredigion and commenced the provision of Water bottle re-fills on request to all visitors to our public facing buildings.

In January 2020, the Schools Service were successful in bidding for funding from the Circular Economy Capital Fund, which allows for the purchasing of milk dispensers which will remove the need for the provision of plastic milk bottles and straws by 1,979 pupils at Foundation and Key Stage 2. This is equivalent to a reduction of 376,010 plastic milk bottles per school year.

Councillor Alun Williams, Member Champion for Sustainability said, “These are initiatives which, together, make a real difference to the amount of single-use plastics going into the waste stream from Council activities. Whilst it’s important that everyone seeks to minimise their use of single-use plastics, it’s particularly important that large organisations like councils take these kinds of actions because they can have a wider effect which, in turn, can lead to industry changing to more sustainable practices. Ceredigion Council is trying to lead the way in showing what’s possible within an organisation.”

This supports one of the Council’s corporate priority of Promoting Environmental and Community Resilience.

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