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Plaid Cymru’s first Member of Parliament

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_81952565_gwynforevansTHE 50 YEAR commemoration of the election of Plaid Cymru’s first Member of Parliament, Gwynfor Evans, will start this week with a Parliamentary debate led by current Carmarthenshire MP Jonathan Edwards.

On a warm summer’s night in Carmarthen in 1966, the face of British politics was changed forever. A huge crowd packed Guildhall Square to see Gwynfor Evans being returned as the first ever Plaid Cymru MP.  It was a political earthquake, and not long afterwards the SNP won a seat in Scotland.  The Carmarthen by-election on July 14th 1966 is seen by many as the political spark that fired the long journey to devolution in both countries.

Fifty years on, a bas-relief plaque to commemorate Gwynfor’s historic achievement will be erected outside Carmarthen’s Guildhall during a celebration on Saturday July 16

The 50 year commemoration will begin with MP Jonathan Edwards, who today represents the vast majority of Gwynfor Evans’ original constituency, who will lead a debate in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 4th July to mark Mr Evans’ contribution to Welsh politics.

Constituency colleague Adam Price, Assembly Member and former MP for the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency, will this week table a Statement of Opinion in the National Assembly for Wales for fellow AMs mark the contribution of Gwynfor Evans in establishing the institution.

Jonathan Edwards MP told The Herald: “Gwynfor’s legacy has been to inspire generations to the cause of our country. The admiration for Gwynfor across all political parties indicates his enormous contribution in creating the Wales we have today.

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“Gwynfor’s ambition for Wales was to secure self-government.  His 1966 victory was the catalyst for Harold Wilson establishing a Royal Commission on the UK Constitution – a commission which recommended the establishment of legislative parliaments in Wales and Scotland.

“Whilst it was the votes of the Welsh people which ultimately delivered the National Assembly for Wales, there is no doubt that Gwynfor’s election represented the beginning of the journey to political autonomy.

“One of his many notable achievements in Parliament was to challenge Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to establish the Welsh language television channel S4C – a mammoth accomplishment which will be appreciated further as S4C prepares for its relocation to its Carmarthenshire home.

“I am delighted to have secured a debate in Parliament to commemorate the contribution of Gwynfor Evans to Welsh politics and Welsh nationhood.  Gwynfor was known in parliament as the ‘Member for Wales’ – a recognition of his deep passion and commitment to Wales and her people, and a representation of his unwavering endeavour to always put Wales first.”

Assembly Member Adam Price added:”Gwynfor Evans was the founder of modern Welsh nationalism. His integrity, eloquence and commitment to the cause of Wales set an example to which all of us in Plaid Cymru try to aspire.

“His depth of commitment on issues such as nuclear disarmament, industrial democracy, social co-operation and international concord proved to be very difficult for many of his fellow MPs from Wales to handle.  In many ways Gwynfor Evans was their conscience – something which Plaid elected members continue to provide to unionist politicians today.

“Gwynfor’s election transformed the Welsh political landscape.  He worked to see Wales as a responsible member of the international community, acknowledging the inter-dependence of nations – a topic which dominates Welsh politics today.

“It is an honour to have followed in his footsteps as an MP for Carmarthenshire and now an Assembly Member for his old constituency in the Welsh Parliament Gwynfor set out to establish.

“My Statement of Opinion is a small way in which members of that Welsh Parliament can demonstrate their recognition and appreciation of Gwynfor’s contribution to Wales and Welsh politics.”

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Carmarthenshire’s sensory garden: why locals should embrace this wellness trend

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WITH ‘#sensorygarden’ 499.1k views on TikTok – locals have the advantage of experiencing a sensory garden on their doorstep at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Wildlife experts explain why you should visit.

Wildlife expert Sean McMenemy shares how sensory gardens can do wonders for our wellness whilst providing a safe haven for wildlife and encourages Carmarthenshire locals to visit their local sensory garden this autumn.

A sensory garden is an outdoor space that stimulates the five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste, and can be created in your own garden. Sensory gardens at home remain relatively rare, but the trend is growing with the TikTok hashtag ‘#sensorygarden’ amassing 499.1k views*. 

Carmarthenshire, dubbed the Garden of Wales, has a huge array of beautiful green spaces to explore. It’s home to the National Botanic Garden of Wales which spans a huge 568 acres, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The stunning Great Glasshouse features a sensory trail that explores the largest single-span greenhouse in the world! From fluffy flowers from South Africa to a strongly scented Australian plant, it’ll engage all your senses. 

Having recently gifted King Charles with a beautiful oak sapling, the National Botanic Garden of Wales care deeply about the nation’s natural heritage. For those visiting the garden, the paths are wheelchair accessible with manual wheelchairs available on site. Open 10am – 6pm every day of the week.

Wildlife expert and founder of bird food provider Ark Wildlife, Sean McMenemy, explains the benefits of sensory gardening: “Sensory gardens provide a great deal of physical and mental benefits for different people and purposes. From getting vitamin D from sunlight to improving physical fitness by maintaining a garden, there are several physical benefits. Mentally, you can benefit from a mood boost and relaxation by spending time surrounded by calming stimulation.

“Sensory gardens can also have huge benefits for children, older people, those with learning disabilities and those who struggle with their physical and mental health. You can also create a sensory garden for your pets and garden wildlife!”

Top tips for creating your own sensory garden

If you do have the outdoor space, creating your own sensory garden is therapeutic in itself and doesn’t need to be a complicated process. The most important thing is to ensure that the garden engages all five senses. 

Melody Estes, landscape design gardening supervisor, says: “Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned pro, you can always improve your garden by adding some sensory elements.” 

Here are some tips from Melody for creating a sensory garden:

Sight – Plant colourful flowers that change with the seasons.

Sound – If you have a fountain or water feature on your property, consider adding some relaxing music to play alongside it. You could also place chimes near your front door to welcome people in.

Smell – Use scent. Consider planting scented flowers or herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme that will give off a lovely aroma when they bloom.

Touch – Mix textures. The texture of plants can be as important as their colour and shape. Try using plants with soft leaves like ferns or grasses that are texturally different.

Taste – Planting herbs, fruits and vegetables not only provide tasty treats, but is a sustainable source of food.

Sean McMenemy adds: “Sensory gardens are an easy way to engage with wildlife and the outdoor environment. Growing your own plants and vegetables provides countless ways to learn about the natural world.

“You can bring your sensory garden to life by using bird feeders to attract beautiful feathered friends into your garden. They’ll bring the sound element to your sensory garden naturally. Fragrant flowers will attract colourful butterflies and other pollinators to your garden, giving you something to observe whilst helping nature to thrive.”

Some people may not have the time, money or space to create their own sensory garden. However, those with balconies and window ledges can still plant colourful, sweet-smelling flowers and edible plants. This mini sensory garden can still provide the benefits and satisfaction of an outdoor garden.

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Prince and Princess of Wales to visit Wales

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THE PRINCE and Princess of Wales have planned a trip to Wales to visit a variety of communities across the nation and learn about the work of key charitable organisations. 

The Prince and Princess have a deep affection for Wales, having made their first family home in Anglesey, and have thoroughly enjoyed their previous visits and the warmth and kindness shown by the Welsh people. 

Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to spending more time in Wales over the next few years, they hope to strengthen their relationship with communities in all parts of Wales. 

During their first engagement, Their Royal Highnesses will visit the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, where they will meet crew, volunteers and some people who have been supported by their local unit.

Holyhead is one of the three oldest lifeboat stations on the Welsh coast and has a remarkable history of bravery, having received 70 awards for gallantry. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then take a short walk to the Holyhead Marine and Cafe Bar, where they will meet local people, including representatives of small businesses and organisations, including the Coastguard and Sea Cadets. 

In their second engagement, the Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to visit Swansea. 

Their Royal Highnesses will visit St Thomas Church, a re-developed church in Swansea which supports people in the local area and across the City and County of Swansea. 

Over the last two years the church has been transformed into a thriving community hub and is home to a vast array of services, including:

  • A foodbank which supports over 200 people per week
  • Swansea Baby Basics which distributes essential items for vulnerable mothers across the city, such as toiletries and clothes
  • Facilities for the homeless including food, showers and toilets
  • A not-for-profit cafe and community training kitchen
  • A surplus food distribution network which collects food from supermarkets at the end of each day and distributes it from the church to prevent food waste and to help end food poverty

As part of their visit, Their Royal Highnesses will meet those volunteering at the church across different initiatives including Baby Basics and the foodbank. Their Royal Highnesses will also spend some time meeting members of the public gathered outside the church. 

The Princess of Wales has previously worked with Baby Banks and the in summer of 2020 brought together 19 British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, operated by Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities. 

Her Royal Highness has visited a number of baby banks across the UK, including in London, Sheffield and West Norfolk where she has spent time speaking with families about their experiences of using their local baby bank services, as well as helping unload donations. 

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Carmarthenshire farmer dies following attack by bull near Llandeilo

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A FARMER has died following an incident with a bull on a farm in Llandeilo.

The 58-year-old, named locally as Maldwyn Harrier, was attacked by the animal during a TB test on Friday morning.

Police have confirmed that they were called to a farm in the Penybanc area of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, and are investigating alongside the Health and Safety Executive. 

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