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Botanic Garden gets £6m investment

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AS WALES celebrates St David’s Day, its National Botanic Garden is in full bloom thanks to a multi-million pound investment from the National Lottery.

Recognised as the world’s youngest national botanic garden, horticulture will now meet history in Carmarthenshire’s 226 hectare site as a funding boost of £6m will help restore its Grade II listed Regency landscape to its former glory – with the reinstatement of interconnecting 18th century lakes, cascades, bridges and dams.

Baroness Kay Andrews, UK Trustee and Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, the complete heritage of this important landscape will now be saved for future generations to appreciate, whilst adding a fascinating new dimension to one of Wales’s premier tourist attractions.

“Once completed, this exciting project will confirm the Botanic Gardens’ place at the top of everyone’s to-do list. It will make not only an amazing day out for families and people of all ages and a must-see for those outside Wales and even further afield.

“Helping regenerate the economy of south west Wales by attracting new visitors and new jobs, the enhanced Botanic Gardens will ensure this area of Wales stands its ground in terms of both visitor numbers, cultural significance and as a place for everyone to have fun.”

Original estate owners, the Middletons, began to lay out formal gardens from the late 16th century using wealth gained from procuring spices, herbs and other goods as founders of the East India Company in the early 1600s.

But it was not until the estate was purchased by MP for Carmarthen, Sir William Paxton, in 1789 that the grounds came into their own.

Protégée of world-famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, Samuel Lapidge was commissioned to design the landscape and gardens to include an innovative water park with water flowing around the estate linked by a network of dams, sluices, bridges and cascades.

It is these ground-breaking water features that will be brought back to life for modern day visitors to enjoy.

A specially designed mobile phone app will enable visitors to explore using interactive information and maps, transporting them back a few centuries at the touch of a screen.

The project will be made possible by more than 300 new volunteers who will be recruited to join the Garden’s existing team, while accredited training as part of the restoration work will mean four new apprenticeships will also be created.

While it will be some time before visitors can experience the splendour of the Middleton estate, there is still plenty on offer at the Botanic Gardens this Spring.

Dog owners can bring along their pooch in a new and highly popular Doggy Days scheme held every Monday, so no one has to miss out on what the Garden has to offer – two legs or four!

As well as taking in the beauty of Wales’s Springtime flowers, visitors can see their exotic counterparts in the Garden’s iconic Great Glasshouse designed by Norman Foster, which houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere and some of the most endangered species on the planet.

There’s also a brand new tropical butterfly house to enchant all ages, home to large, colourful butterflies with see-through wings and colour-changing abilities.

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Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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