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Immerse yourself in Celtic spirit with new tourism campaign

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WALES and Ireland have an unbreakable bond formed through a shared heritage of ancient crosses, sacred stones, and even St Patrick – or so the story goes – and it’s these myths, legends, and beautiful rugged landscapes that are central to a new tourism project between the two countries.

Celtic Routes is a branded collection of tourism experiences encouraging travellers to visit Ireland and Wales to discover the Celtic spirit by suggesting immersive and authentic experiences in West Wales and South East Ireland.

The £1.7/€1.99million project brings six partners from either side of the Irish Sea together for the first time – Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Wicklow, Wexford, and Waterford.

It was developed to promote the natural, cultural and heritage assets common to each of the counties to increase visitor numbers and maximise their tourism economies.

Although each successful tourism destinations in their own right, the partnership encourages new and seasoned visitors to explore much wider areas, away from the major transit routes and well-known tourism ‘honeypots’.

Launched this week at Yr Egin in Carmarthen, the project has received £1.37/€1.59million from the European Ireland Wales Co-operation Programme.

Representatives of tourism businesses and organisations from across West Wales were amongst the first to discover their ‘Celtic Routes’ during the launch event, led by Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole.

“The links forged between the Welsh and Irish date back over the centuries – from links between our ancient saints to shared tales, myths and legends,” he said. “Indeed, the inspiration for the Celtic Routes brand goes back to our Celtic ancestors who experienced our world in three realms – the land, sea and sky and that is the ethos of the whole campaign.”

An ambitious marketing campaign is now underway targeting potential visitors from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the USA.

A toolkit is being made available for businesses and destinations with guidance and ideas about how they can create their own Celtic experiences and contribute to the success of the project.

And a group of businesses from Wales will soon be heading off on learning journeys to Ireland to learn and share best practice with their Irish counterparts.

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Farmer moved cows illegally

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A WEST Wales farmer has been ordered to pay £5,500 for moving cows without passports from England and abandoning them on a farm near Carmarthen.

Paul Taylor, of Wheel Farm, Worfield in Shropshire, admitted five charges of cattle offences when he appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court.Carmarthenshire County Council was first made aware of the offences when they were alerted by a farmer who woke up to discover eight cows had appeared on his land.

Council investigations soon established they had belonged to a former owner of the farm who had sold them on.In a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council, the court heard that Taylor had purchased 11 bovines that came from a farm in Carmarthen – only three had passports. It is illegal for cattle to be moved without a passport or licence.He then arranged for HF Pugh and Sons hauliers to transport them from the farm in Llanddarog onto his farm in Shropshire.

Further investigations by animal welfare officers revealed the cows were owned by Taylor. Taylor panicked and moved the cows back to the farm where they came from. He was then approached by council officers and tried to cover up by giving false information claiming the cows were never dropped off at his farm.In mitigation Taylor said he had been duped by a 3rd person and that he bought the cattle in good faith and was told they all had passports. He panicked when he found out they didn’t have passports and should not have been moved off the farm at Llanddarog. He decided it would be best if the animals were returned to the farm from where they had come.

He also accepted that he had lied to the officer in a telephone call and email but he felt he was between a rock and a hard place as the regulatory offences had been committed and he didn’t know what to do. He accepted he should not have lied and was remorseful for this.

He was of clean character and a number of character references were placed before the court for consideration.For moving the eight cows from his farm that was on a six-day stand still period for disease control purposes was fined £300; for moving eight cows without passports to a Llanddarog Farm, and not being tested for TB prior to been moved, £500; providing false information to a council animal health officer, £300; failing to produce registration documents for the eight cows, £300; failing to notify the secretary of state the movement of three bovines on to Wheel farm, Bridgenorth, Shropshire, £300 and failing to notify the secretary of state of the movement of three bovines off Wheel Farm £300. He must also pay £3,418 costs and £50 victim surcharge.John Herbert Pugh, of Wood View, Craven Arms, Newcastle in Shropshire admitted providing a false transport document to a council animal health officer.

He was fined £500 and told to pay £3,418 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

In mitigation, Pugh said he moved the animals as he had been informed by a 3rd party that the bovines had passports. When he found out they hadn’t and shouldn’t have been moved, he panicked and produced a false transport document.

He accepted that he should not have done this and admitted lying after he was asked for a formal statement off a council animal welfare officer.

Pugh had not been before a court previously and had worked in the industry for a number of years.

Character references were also produced on his behalf.

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Beware of unlicensed taxi drivers this Christmas party season

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A WARNING has been sounded about rogue taxi drivers as the Christmas party season approaches.
Carmarthenshire County Council licensing officers are urging people to stay safe when they use a cab.
They fear unlicensed drivers will be cashing in as growing numbers of people need taxis over the busy festive period.
Cabbies will be in high demand over the coming weeks as partygoers decide to drink and not drive. More people are also out shopping and the cold and wet weather means less will be inclined to walk home or wait at bus stops.
Licensing officers at Carmarthenshire Council have joined forces with the police to raise awareness of the problem and to carry out joint enforcement across the county during this busy period.
Residents are being warned they are not insured if they travel in an unlicensed cab, and people are being urged to check out cars and their drivers before they get in.
Licensed drivers will have been DBS checked, trained on how to safeguard members of the public, and should always wear identification badges.
Taxis are usually parked at known ranks, or their numbers can be found in various directories online.
Hackney carriages, which can be flagged down by the roadside, always have a roof sign, which is illuminated when they are available for hire.
They also display two identifying white door stickers and a white plate on the back bumper.
Taxis should display a list of fares for passengers and be fitted with meters, which should always begin with an initial charge of £2.20 before 10pm and £2.40 afterwards.
Private hire vehicles can only be pre-booked and not stopped in the street.
They carry two identifying yellow door stickers and a yellow plate on the back bumper.

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People trapped in cars after multi-vehicle accident

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A SERIOUS multi-vehicle crash has caused a Carmarthenshire road to close.

The accident happened at around 6.10pm on Tuesday (Dec 10) on the A476 at Heol Morlais.

The A476 Swiss Valley to Llannon road is currently closed in both directions

Emergency services remain at the scene.

BBC Wwles Today said three people were trapped in their vehicles.

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