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Running the photo-marathon

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(Back row L-R) Kaloyan Cholakov, Llio James, Tegwen Morris, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg: (Front row L-R) Lynne Blanchfield, Wendy Phillips, Siwan Fflur, Kiera Ellis, Tony Hicklin

(Back row L-R) Kaloyan Cholakov, Llio James, Tegwen Morris, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg: (Front row L-R) Lynne Blanchfield, Wendy Phillips, Siwan Fflur, Kiera Ellis, Tony Hicklin

67 COMPETITORS took part in this year’s photo-marathon, which produced a very high standard of entries.

FfotoAber’s photo-marathon came under starter’s orders at 10am sharp in the Morlan Centre in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Oct 22). Supported by Aberystwyth Business Club, Cambrian Printers and Aberystwyth Town Council, this was the sixth annual photo-marathon competition.

Once again this year, the challenge was to take six pictures on six themes in six hours. The themes, revealed in pairs every two hours in the Morlan Centre, were: ‘The other side’, ‘Four’, ‘Raw’, ‘Pattern’, ‘Collection’ and ‘Blue’. Throughout a blessedly fine day, Aberystwyth was inundated with photographers rushing every which way, lenses poised.

Some retailers were very patient and even creatively helpful as shutterbug after shutterbug arrived asking to take a shot. The final collection of over 400 photos, revealed in an awards ceremony in the Morlan on Sunday (Oct 23) at 6pm, suggest that Aberystwyth butchers and fishmongers were particularly supportive as the photographers went in search of ‘raw’ images.

TO THE WINNERS THE LAURELS!

On Sunday, Tony Hicklin was announced as the winner for best collection in the camera with removable lenses category. Tony’s set of photographs included a remarkable close-up of the veins on a leaf as his ‘pattern’ submission. Llio James took the prize for best set of photographs taken with a fixed lens camera, with a close-up of sheep’s wool catching the eye. The prize for the best collection in the 16 years and under category went to Kiera Ellis for a memorable set of close-up photos, which included a knot in a frayed ‘blue’ rope. Charlotte Rigg won for best collection of photos taken on a mobile phone. Charlotte’s photographs show what great results can be achieved with a mobile phone camera. Once again, close-ups were the flavour of the day, and Charlotte’s shot of a daisy against the sun is spectacular.

The winners for the best photograph for each theme were: Samantha Rigg (‘The other side’), a black and white shot of a gravestone angel; Tony Hicklin (‘Four’), a panoramic shot out to sea which features four bollards in the foreground; Tegwen Morris (‘Raw’), a striking shot of four legs of lamb hanging in a butcher’s shop; Siwan Fflur (‘Pattern’), a topical close-up of a pumpkin; Wendy Phillips (‘Collection’), an ingenious shot of five charity collection boxes; Kaloyan Cholakov (‘Blue’), a surreal image of a one-way arrow framed in a diaphanous blue mist.

Tony Hicklin, Llio James, Kiera Ellis, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg, Tegwen Morris, Siwan Fflur, Wendy Phillips and Kaloyan Cholakov were all presented with a large print of their winning photograph, courtesy of Cambrian Printers. The judges made a special award to Lynne Blanchfield whose set of photos, they felt, represented Aberystwyth. Lynne was pleased to receive a Siop y Pethe voucher, particularly as she has just embarked on a course to learn Welsh. Winners of the collections were given additional rewards for their efforts. Tony Hicklin was presented with a voucher from Ultracomida, Llio James received photography books from the National Library, Kiera Ellis was presented with a voucher from communications company 52-4, and Charlotte Rigg received vouchers for use in Siop FfotoAber, courtesy of Four Cymru.

MORLAN EXHIBITION

David Lowe of Cambrian Printers, who processed all the photographs in double-quick time, said they were once again happy to be involved: “It’s a hectic Saturday evening and Sunday morning for us, from receiving the downloaded images to printing them all ready for the awards ceremony on the Sunday evening, but it’s worthwhile when we see them all hanging in the exhibition. I was glad for the competitors that the weather was kind this year as well.”

Returning as one of the judges was Jonny Morris from the Telegraph group. He was joined by professional photographer Betsan Evans and Aberystwyth Business Club member Aled Rees. Aled Rees admitted that the task, albeit enjoyable, was quite tough: “Looking at over 400 photos interpreting different themes and trying to come up with a winner was quite daunting – there was such an excellent array of images on show. It’s great, though, that the Business Club can be involved with the event and, being a partner since its inception, we’ve seen its potential growing year-on-year. If you get a chance, pop over to the Morlan to see the exhibition – it’s worth it.”

Deian Creunant from FfotoAber added: “It’s quite a challenge for people used to working in this digital age – taking six images in six hours on six themes. Many of the competitors say it’s tiring mentally and physically as they walk so much around the town. The final exhibition though is worth seeing – over 400 pictures capturing the story of the day. Don’t miss the exhibition in the Morlan – and look out for the pictures appearing in Aberystwyth shop windows as well in the coming weeks.”

All the photo-marathon images will be exhibited at the Morlan Centre until November 11. Winning entries from FfotoAber’s schools competition can be viewed at the Arad Goch Centre. For more information on FfotoAber, go to www.ffotoaber.cymru.

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River benefits after polluter pays

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A MAJOR river pollution incident in Mid Wales has cost a company £40,000.

Pencefn Feeds Ltd, near Tregaron has paid the sum after a detailed investigation by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) into the incident in December 2016.

Around 18,000 fish are thought to have been killed on a five-mile stretch of the Teifi when approximately 44,000 gallons of pollutant leaked from an anaerobic digestion plant.

The West Wales Rivers Trust will receive £15,000 to restore fish habitat in the area.

And a further £5,000 will go to the Countryside Alliance Foundation to fund education activities about fish and the local environment for children in the Tregaron area.

The payments are consistent with a potential fine and have been made as an “enforcement undertaking”. This means that the money directly benefits the local environment.

The final £20,000 is being paid to recover all investigation and legal costs relating to the case.
Ann Weedy, Mid Wales operations manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “This has been a very complex and time-consuming investigation and we are pleased to see the financial penalty being
used directly to repair some of the damage caused by this incident.

“This will make the Teifi a better place for fish and other wildlife by fencing river banks and developing riverside vegetation.

“We hope these payments serve as a reminder to businesses that we will take enforcement action if they pollute Wales’ environment and don’t operate responsibly.”

As well as investigating the incident and overseeing the clean-up operation, NRW also investigated the roles of all companies involved in the incident.

However, the sub-contractor mainly responsible for the incident, Hallmark Power Ltd, went into liquidation so no prosecution could be taken against them. And the main contractor, ComBigaS UK, also no longer exists, so no action could be taken against them either.

ComBigaS Denmark had links to the project but has no legal basis in the UK and is therefore not covered by UK law.

Site owner, Pencefn Feeds Ltd, had raised concerns with the companies about the quality of work, but this had not been acted upon. This would have provided significant mitigation if the matter had gone to court, so NRW concluded that accepting an enforcement undertaking was the best option in this case.

Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith OBE, Director of Afonydd Cymru, the umbrella body that represents Wales’ six Rivers Trusts commented: “This was a tragic case that was bad for the river Teifi and its
fisheries.

“Nonetheless, we commend the use of an Enforcement Undertaking to resolve the regulatory aspect of the case as some funding will now be put towards restoration within the catchment itself.

“The resolution of longer term damage remains a separate issue.”

Rachel Evans, Countryside Alliance Director for Wales, said: “Fishing for Schools is always grateful to receive funding to help us reach out to more young people who benefit from our unique approach to education through angling.

“Funding coming from a pollution incident and resultant settlement whilst sad, will highlight the ever-present need to align conservation and the environment with our school work.

“Tregaron has always been a bedrock of angling within the Welsh community and heritage. We fully intend to enhance and extend that rich legacy by putting this award to good use.”
NRW has been monitoring the Teifi since the incident and confirms there has been minimal effect on invertebrates.

Salmon fry have been found in the affected area, so it is likely that at least some eggs did survive.

However, juvenile and adult salmon were killed. Large numbers of brown trout were also killed, and this species will take some time to recover.

Ann Weedy continued: “The Teifi is one of the most iconic and important recreational and net fisheries in Wales and an internationally important Special Area of Conservation for endangered fish such as lampreys, salmon and bullhead.

“We all need to work together to do all we can to restore the river and reduce the number of pollution incidents damaging our precious environment in Wales.”
NRW has carried out more than 100 pollution prevention visits to farms in Ceredigion and the Teifi catchment in the past year and these have helped reduce the risk of pollution from farm slurry.

It has also inspected the other three anaerobic digestion plants in Ceredigion to ensure that their pollution prevention measures are suitable.
Pencefn Feeds Ltd has now applied for an environmental permit so they can continue to operate (see additional information for more details).

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River benefits after polluter pays

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A MAJOR river pollution incident in Mid Wales has cost a company £40,000.

Pencefn Feeds Ltd, near Tregaron has paid the sum after a detailed investigation by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) into the incident in December 2016.

Around 18,000 fish are thought to have been killed on a five-mile stretch of the Teifi when approximately 44,000 gallons of pollutant leaked from an anaerobic digestion plant.

The West Wales Rivers Trust will receive £15,000 to restore fish habitat in the area.

And a further £5,000 will go to the Countryside Alliance Foundation to fund education activities about fish and the local environment for children in the Tregaron area.

The payments are consistent with a potential fine and have been made as an “enforcement undertaking”. This means that the money directly benefits the local environment.
The final £20,000 is being paid to recover all investigation and legal costs relating to the case.

Ann Weedy, Mid Wales operations manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “This has been a very complex and time-consuming investigation and we are pleased to see the financial penalty being used directly to repair some of the damage caused by this incident.

“This will make the Teifi a better place for fish and other wildlife by fencing river banks and developing riverside vegetation.

“We hope these payments serve as a reminder to businesses that we will take enforcement action if they pollute Wales’ environment and don’t operate responsibly.”

As well as investigating the incident and overseeing the clean-up operation, NRW also investigated the roles of all companies involved in the incident.

However, the sub-contractor mainly responsible for the incident, Hallmark Power Ltd, went into liquidation so no prosecution could be taken against them. And the main contractor, ComBigaS UK, also no longer exists, so no action could be taken against them either.

ComBigaS Denmark had links to the project but has no legal basis in the UK and is therefore not covered by UK law.

Site owner, Pencefn Feeds Ltd, had raised concerns with the companies about the quality of work, but this had not been acted upon. This would have provided significant mitigation if the matter had gone to court, so NRW concluded that accepting an enforcement undertaking was the best option in this case.

Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith OBE, Director of Afonydd Cymru, the umbrella body that represents Wales’ six Rivers Trusts commented: “This was a tragic case that was bad for the river Teifi and its fisheries.

“Nonetheless, we commend the use of an Enforcement Undertaking to resolve the regulatory aspect of the case as some funding will now be put towards restoration within the catchment itself.
“The resolution of longer term damage remains a separate issue.”

Rachel Evans, Countryside Alliance Director for Wales, said: “Fishing for Schools is always grateful to receive funding to help us reach out to more young people who benefit from our unique approach to education through angling.

“Funding coming from a pollution incident and resultant settlement whilst sad, will highlight the ever-present need to align conservation and the environment with our school work.

“Tregaron has always been a bedrock of angling within the Welsh community and heritage. We fully intend to enhance and extend that rich legacy by putting this award to good use.”

NRW has been monitoring the Teifi since the incident and confirms there has been minimal effect on invertebrates.

Salmon fry have been found in the affected area, so it is likely that at least some eggs did survive.

However, juvenile and adult salmon were killed. Large numbers of brown trout were also killed, and this species will take some time to recover.

Ann Weedy continued: “The Teifi is one of the most iconic and important recreational and net fisheries in Wales and an internationally important Special Area of Conservation for endangered fish such as lampreys, salmon and bullhead.

“We all need to work together to do all we can to restore the river and reduce the number of pollution incidents damaging our precious environment in Wales.”
NRW has carried out more than 100 pollution prevention visits to farms in Ceredigion and the Teifi catchment in the past year and these have helped reduce the risk of pollution from farm slurry.

It has also inspected the other three anaerobic digestion plants in Ceredigion to ensure that their pollution prevention measures are suitable.

Pencefn Feeds Ltd has now applied for an environmental permit so they can continue to operate (see additional information for more details).

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Ceredigion County Council’s Apprenticeship recruitment campaign is now live

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THE council’s 2019 Apprenticeship programme is now open for applications until Sunday 22 September.

A council apprenticeship gives learners the opportunity to build skills and confidence while earning a salary and gaining a nationally recognised qualification. With roles available in Business Administration, ICT Technical Support and Social Care teams, there is an opportunity for everyone.

The first year of the programme is nearing an end and has been a great success. Alanah Lloyd recently completed a Business Administration Apprenticeship. She said: “I would recommend doing an apprenticeship at Ceredigion County Council to all my friends. I enjoyed the balance of real responsibilities and having the space to keep on learning.”

Maria Lloyd, Alanah’s mother said: “When Alanah was successful with her application I was delighted. It gave her the opportunity to show her work ethic and continue with her education in an organisation where there is career progression. Alanah has now gained a permanent position at the council. I would highly recommend apprenticeships to other parents.”

Lynne Connolly, Apprenticeship and Work Experience Coordinator, Ceredigion County Council said: “This year we are continuing to demonstrate our commitment to ‘grow our own’, offering opportunities for school and college leavers to continue education in a working environment and for members of the community looking to return to work or change career. All our apprentices are paid well above the minimum apprentice wage which reflects how much we value their contribution.”

To apply and find out more visit career.ceredigion.gov.uk or contact us at apprentice@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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