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Carmarthenshire County Council election results

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WE will be reporting live from the Selwyn Samuel Centre, providing live updates on the results as they are announced.

The first two results announced were both Plaid Cymru gains. In Betws veteran Labour councillor Ryan Bartlett was defeated by the Party of Wales’ Betsan Jones.

In the most surprising result of the election so far, long-serving Dafen Councillor and Labour stalwart Tegwen Devichand has lost by 50 votes to independent (and paramedic) Rob Evans.

In Abergwili, finding someone to follow in Pam Palmer’s footsteps was always going to be a challenge for the Independents, and Plaid Cymru’s Dorian Williams took the seat by a convincing margin.

Herald columnist Matthew Paul failed in his bid to shake things up at County Hall, finishing third in Cilycwm (191 votes) behind Independent Thomas Arwel Davies (307) and Labour’s Maria Carroll (284).

In Cenarth Executive Board member Hazel Evans retained her seat with a convincing (712-115) win over Lib Dem challenger Phillip Gibbons.

Deian Harries held onto Ammanford for Plaid Cymru, beating Paula Treharne by 613-298.

In a battle of the David Jenkinses, Plaid Cymru’s Executive Board member David Michael Jenkins defeated Labour challenger David Emyr Jenkins by 430-376.

In Llangeler, Ken Howell unsurprisingly held the ward, Defeating John ‘the beekeeper’ Wigley (ind) by more than 500 votes.

Labour have picked up another seat from Plaid Cymru, in the Carmarthen North Ward. Town Councillor Ken Lloyd took the seat at the expense of former executive board member for education Gareth Jones. Peter Hughes Griffiths retained the other seat for Plaid Cymru.

Jim Jones was re-elected to the council by receiving 323 votes. Labour candidate Stephen Donoghue received 168 of the votes. With 98 of the votes going to the Conservative candidate, Siôn Davies with Plaid Cymru candidate John Williams receiving 251 of the votes.

Labour have held on to Tycroes with candidate, Tina Higgins receiving 534 of the votes, Plaid Cymru received 388 of the vote.

Penygroes was held by Plaid Cymru candidate, Dai Thomas with him receiving 582 of the vote. Labour candidate, Paul Blackwell received 239 of the votes and UKIP candidate Timothy Dean received 150 votes.

In Bigyn, Independent candidate Nigel Bevan received 414 votes and Terry Morris an independent candidate received 428 votes. Conservative candidate, Robert Thomas received 230 votes. Stephen Bowen, an independent candidate received 181 votes. Plaid Cymru candidate, Mike Burns, received 333 votes.

With the Llandybie results, independent candidate William Davies was elected with 744 votes along with Plaid Cymru candidate, Dai Nicholas having 725 votes. UKIP candidate, Nigel Humphreys received 128 votes. Labour candidate, Anthony Jones received 500 votes Sandra Jenkins, the Conservative candidate received 165 and Pat Jenkins, an independent candidate received 108. Plaid Candidate, Karen Davies received 451 votes.

In Burry Port, Labour candidates John James and Amanda Fox won, with 728 & 825 votes. Tomos Lloyd-Evans, the conservative candidate received 237 votes. Independent candidate Lisa Mitchell received 412 votes and Mike Theodoulou, an independent candidate received 548 votes.

Gareth Thomas held Hendy for Plaid Cymru with 432 votes, fighting off a challenge from Labour’s Steve Lloyd-Janes (385).

Long-serving Independent councillor Jane Tremlett held Laugharne by a comfortable margin.

In Llandeilo, independent candidate Edward Thomas held the seat with 798 votes. Conservative candidate, David Webb received 77 votes, and Liberal Democrat candidate, Lesley Prosser received 268 votes. Plaid Cymru candidate, Keri Lewis received 249 votes.

Plaid Cymru gained Trimsaran with candidate Kim Broom taking the seat with 225 votes. Labour candidate, Lisa Williams received 187 votes. Independent candidate, Neil Burman received 61 votes and independent candidate, Naomi Wilmot received 216 votes.

Carmarthen Town West Plaid Cymru candidates Emlyn Schiavone and Alan Speake, won the seat with 739 and 661 votes respectively. Labour candidate, Julia Ault received 238 votes with fellow Labour candidate, receiving, 255 votes. Independent candidate Arthur Davies received 510 votes and Russell Sparks had 454 votes.

Labour held on with Lliedi with candidates Rob James and Sahana Najmi with 890 votes and 629 votes respectively. Conservative candidate, Stephen Davies received, 312 votes and fellow Conservative candidate, Stefan Ryszewski receiving 191 votes. with UKIP candidate, Bram Richards receiving 184 votes. Plaid Cymru candidates, Colin Jones ad Dyfrig Thomas received 264 and 244 votes respectively.

In the Tyisha ward, Labour candidates Suzy Curry and Andrew McPherson won the seat, with 543 and 407 votes respectively, gaining the seat from the independents. Plaid Cymru candidate, Terry Davies received 362 votes and independent candidates Jeff Owen and Roger Price, received 288 and 189 votes respectively.

In Hengoed, Plaid Cymru candidate Jennifer Phillips and Labour candidate Penny Edwards, became the county councillors for the ward after receiving 394 and 408 votes respectively. Fellow Plaid candidate, Martin Davies received 315 votes. Conservative, Kelvin Flynn received 230 votes. Independent candidate Clifford Jones having 304. Sian Caiach lost her seat, and received 372 votes.

Long-serving councillor John James and newcomer Amanda Fox won comfortably in Burry Port, maintaining the two seats for Labour. The duo beat off the challenges of two independents and a Conservative candidate, with Fox finishing 180 votes clear of third-placed Mike Theodolou.

In another shock result for Labour, long-serving Llandybie councillor Anthony Jones was heavily defeated by PLaid Cymru and the Independents, finishing in third more than 200 votes behind second-placed William Davies.

ABERGWILI

Lisa Fearn (Independent) – 448
Dorian Williams (Plaid Cymru) – 629

AMMANFORD

Alun Harries (Plaid Cymru) – 613
Paula Treharne (Labour) – 298

BETWS

Betsan Jones (Plaid) – 402
David Barlett (Labour) – 309
Krishna Seunarine (UKIP) – 77

BIGYN

Terry Morris (Independent) – 428
Nigel Bevan (Independent) – 414
Mike Burns (Plaid Cymru) – 333
Robert Thomas (Conservative) – 230
Stephen Bowen (Independent) – 181
Jeff Edmunds (Labour)
Kathryn Lodge (Labour)
Eryl Morgan (Labour)

BURRY PORT

Amanda Fox (Labour) – 825
John James (Labour) – 728
Mike Theodoulou (Independent) – 548
Lisa Mitchell (Independent) – 412
Tomos Lloyd-Evans (Conservative) – 237

BYNEA

Deryk Cundy (Labour) – 539
Ian Wooldridge (Plaid Cymru) – 373
Ceri Morris (Conservative) – 218
Dai Hughes (Independent) – 49

CAMARTHEN TOWN – NORTH

Ken Lloyd (Labour) – 805
Peter Griffiths (Plaid Cymru) – 765
Gareth Jones (Plaid Cymru) – 581
Les Clark (Independent)  – 489

CARMARTHEN TOWN – SOUTH

Charlie Evans (Conservative)
Phil Grice (Labour)
Gareth John (Plaid Cymru)
Alun Lenny (Plaid Cymru)
Barry Williams (Independent)

CARMARTHEN TOWN – WEST

Emlyn Schiavone (Plaid Cymru) – 739
Alan Speake (Plaid Cymru) – 661
Arthur Davies (Independent) – 510
Russell Sparks (Independent) – 454
Matthew Thomas (Labour) 255
Julia Ault (Labour) – 238

CENARTH

Hazel Evans (Plaid Cymru) – 712
Philip Michael (Liberal Democrats) – 115

CILYCWM

Thomas Davies (Independent) – 307
Maria Carroll (Labour) – 284
Matthew Paul (Independent) 191

CYNWYL ELFED

Glyn Evans (Plaid Cymru)
Henry Jones (Independent)

CYNWYL GAEO

Steven Holmes (Conservative)
James Williams (Plaid Cymru)

DAFEN

Rob Evans (Independent) – 508
Tegwen Devichand (Labour) – 452

ELLI

David Darkin (Labour)
Sion Davies (Conservative)
John Jenkins (Independent)
Ruth Price (Plaid Cymru)

FELINFOEL

Julia Evans (Conservative)
David Richards (Independent)
Bill Thomas (Labour)

GARNANT

Nigel Jerrett (Plaid Cymru) – 167
Kevin Madge (Labour) – 494

GLANAMMAN

David Michael Jenkins (Plaid Cymru) – 430
David Emyr Jenkins (Labour) – 413

GLANYMOR

Beatrice Roberts (Labour) – 702
John Prosser (Labour) – 537
Sean Rees (Plaid Cymru) – 536
John Jones (Independent) – 333
George Herbert (Plaid Cymru) – 328
Alison Carter (Independent) – 280
Chris Wilson (Independent) – 182

GLYN

Jim Jones (Independent) – 323
John Williams – 251
Stephen Donoghue (Labour) – 168
Sion Davies – 98

GORSLAS

Anthony Frost (Conservative)
Gary Jones (Labour)
Wynne Jones (Labour)
Bri Kirby
Aled Owen (Plaid Cymru)
Darren Price (Plaid Cymru)

HENDY

Gareth Thomas (Plaid Cymru) – 432
David Erasmus (Independent) – 77
Steve Lloyd-Janes (Labour) – 385
Keith Perry (UKIP) – 59

HENGOED

Penny Edwards (Labour) – 408
Jennifer Phillips (Plaid Cymru) – 394
Sian Caiach (Independent) – 372
Martin Davies (Plaid Cymru) – 315
Clifford Jones (Independent) – 304
Kelvin Flynn (Conservative) – 230

KIDWELLY

Jeanette Gilasbey (Plaid Cymru) – 623
Philip Thompson (Labour) – 553
David Edwards (Green Party) – 109

LAUGHARNE

Jane Tremlett (Independent) – 382
Abi Thomas (Plaid Cymru) – 300
Don Avery (Independent) – 273
Steve Morris (Labour) – 134

LLANBOIDY

Bertram Phillips (Plaid Cymru) – 504
Ellis Evans – 259
Lionel Phillips (Independent) – 142
Jean Myers (Labour) – 127

LLANDDAROG

Celia Davies (Plaid Cymru)

LLANDEILO

Edward Thomas (Independent) – 798
Lesley Prosser (Liberal Democrats) – 268
Keri Lewis (Plaid Cymru) – 249
David Webb (Conservative) – 77

LLANDOVERY

Handel Davies (Plaid Cymru) – 583
David Long (Labour) – 240
Julian Dutton (Liberal Democrats) – 124
Cliff Johnson (UKIP) – 75

LLANDYBIE

William Davies (Independent) – 744
Dai Nicholas (Plaid Cymru) – 725
Anthony Jones (Labour) – 500
Karen Davies (Plaid Cymru) – 451
Sandra Morgan (Conservative) – 165
Nigel Humphreys (UKIP) – 128
Pat Jenkins (Independent) – 108

LLANEGWAD

John Mansel (Plaid Cymru) – 754
Monica French (Liberal Democrats) – 231
George Reid (Independent) – 169
Carol Jones (UKIP) – 70

LLANFIHANGEL ABERBYTHYCH

Cefin Campbell (Plaid Cymru)
Richard Hart (UKIP)

LLANFIHANGEL-AR-ARTH

Linda Evans (Plaid Cymru)

LLANGADOG

Andrwe James (Independent) – 421
John Morgan (Independent) – 309
Elizabeth Barlow (Plaid Cymru) – 240
Christoph Fischer (Liberal Democrats) – 54

LLANGELER

Ken Howell (Plaid Cymru)
John-Y-Gof Wigley (Independent)

LLANGENNECH

Gary Jones (Labour)
Paul Lockwood (Conservative)
Jacqueline Seward (Labour)
Gwyneth Thomas (Plaid Cymru)
Ian Williams (Plaid Cymru)

LLANGUNNOR

Michael Maynard (Labour)
David Watson (Independent)
Dewi Williams (Plaid Cymru)

LLANGYNDEYRN

William Evans (Plaid Cymru) – 825
Sion Davies (Labour) – 393

LLANNON

Emlyn Dole (Plaid Cymru)
Dot Jones (Labour)
Rob Owen (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
Alun Owens (Independent)
Margaret Thomas (Labour)
Philip Williams (Plaid Cymru)

LLANSTEFFAN

Anne Jones (Plaid Cymru)
Hywel Thomas (Independent)
Roger Van Praet (Independent)

LLANYBYDDER

Ieuan Davies (Independent)

LLIEDI

Rob James (Labour) – 890
Shahana Najmi (Labour) – 629
Stephen Davies (Conservative) – 312
Dyfrig Thomas (Plaid Cymru) – 264
Colin Jones (Plaid Cymru) – 244
Stefan Ryszewski (Conservative) – 191
Bram Richards (UKIP) – 184

LLWYNHENDY

Fozia Akhtar (Labour) – 582
Sharen Davies (Labour) – 574
Theressa Bowen (Independent) – 275
Meilyr Hughes (Plaid Cymru) – 154
Robert Davies (Plaid Cymru) – 150
Amy Evans (Independent) – 135
Ruth Elvins (Conservative) – 117

MANORDEILO & SALEM

Joseph Davies (Independent)
Catherine Nakielny (Liberal Democrats)
Dr Rhys Thomas (Plaid Cymru)

PEMBREY

Hugh Shepardson (Independent) – 845
Shirley Matthews (Labour) – 836
Peter Freeman (Plaid Cymru) – 491
Bob Walpole (Labour) – 352

PENYGROES

Dai Thomas (Plaid Cymru) – 582
Paul Blackwell (Labour) – 239
Timothy Dean (UKIP) – 150

PONTAMMAN

David Evans (Labour)
Trevor Smith (Plaid Cymru)
Barrie Wiltshire (UKIP)

PONTYBEREM

Liam Bowen (Plaid Cymru) – 660
William Skinner (Labour) – 236
Keith Evans (UKIP) – 184

QUARTER BACH

Tom Addey (Labour)
John Davies (Plaid Cymru)

SARON

Alan Cooper (Labour)
Alun Davies (Plaid Cymru)
Carl Harris (Plaid Cymru)
Steve Jeacock (Labour)
David Jones (Conservative)
Nia Owen-Lloyd (Conservative)

ST CLEARS

Philip Hughes (Independent)
Hywel Thomas (Plaid Cymru)

ST ISHMAEL

Meinir James (Plaid Cymru)
Lydia Stephens (Independent)
Susan Webb (Conservative)

SWISS VALLEY

Anthony Morgan (Independent) –  498
Paul Harries (Labour) – 272
Betty Jones (Conservative) – 99
Jordan Randall (Plaid Cymru) – 76

TRELECH

Jean Lewis (Plaid Cymru)

TRIMSARAN

Kim Broom (Plaid Cymru) – 225
Naomi Wilmot (Independent) – 216
Lisa Williams (Labour) – 187
Neil Burman (Independent) – 61

TYCROES

Tina Higgins (Labour) – 534
Mike Nicholas (Plaid Cymru)

TYISHA

Suzy Curry (Labour) – 543
Andrew McPherson (Labour) – 407
Terry Davies (Plaid Cymru) – 362
Jeffrey Owen (Independent) – 288
Roger Price (Independent) – 189

WHITLAND

Sue Allen (Independent)
Bryan Haddon (UKIP)
Natalie Jones (Plaid Cymru)
Vivienne Morris (Labour)

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Carmarthenshire County Council cracks down on fly-tippers

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council handed out a total of £4,350 in fixed penalty notices (FPN’s) related to fly-tipping last month.

17 FPN’s were issued as a result of CCTV footage at Carway recycling facility, resulting in a total of £2,675 in fines being given.

This includes:

  • £125 FPN issued to a Carway female for depositing a bag
  • £400 FPN issued to a Carway male for depositing black refuse bags, blue recycling bags and paint pots at the site on several different occasions
  •  £125 FPN issued to a Carway female for depositing a bag
  • £400 FPN issued to a Carway resident for depositing blue recycling bags and other items

Fixed penalty notices issued at other locations in the county include:

  • £125 FPN issued to a female for depositing a black refuse bag at Red Roses recycling facility.
  • £300 FPN issued to a Gorseinon resident who failed in his duty of care when he had his household waste removed by a person not registered as a waste carrier.
  • £400 FPN issued to a Llanelli resident for fly tipping after CCTV footage provided by a member of the public led to his identification.  The male was seen driving along the rear lane between James Street and Swansea Road in Llanelli where he was seen throwing a blue recycling bag from his moving vehicle into the lane.
  • £300 FPN issued to a Llanelli resident who failed in their duty of care after their waste was found in an overgrown verge/hedgerow in the rear lane of their street.  The resident claimed to have paid a male to dispose of their waste but failed to provide their details.
  • £300 FPN issued to a Llanelli business for failing to produce waste transfer notes after waste produced by the business was found illegally deposited in Swiss Valley, Llanelli. The business was issued a notice requiring them to produce waste transfer notes within 7 days which they failed to do. The business was also issued a legal notice to ensure any waste from the business is disposed of correctly in the future.  

Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability said: “The introduction of CCTV at Carway recycling facility has enabled us to clamp down on the unlawful dumping of waste at this site. I hope this serves as a reminder that all waste deposited at our recycling facilities must be placed in the correct container, with all bags and boxed removed from the site.”

“The Council’s CCTV strategy will be extended to other recycling facilities in the county in the coming months to help combat instances of fly tipping in these areas.”

“I would urge anyone who needs to dispose of waste to do so responsibly. We have recycling centres at Nantycaws (Carmarthen), Trostre (Llanelli), Wernddu (Ammanford) and Whitland as well as a bulky waste collection service and weekly household waste collections. When paying for rubbish to be disposed of, please use a licensed business and ensure that you are given a valid waste transfer note when waste is collected.”

For more information on disposing of waste please visit Carmarthenshire.gov.wales/recycling

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Wales stands firm in support for Ukraine

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IN THE latest update on the Ukraine crisis, Wales’s Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt thanked all those households across Wales who have come forward to offer their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the War and encouraged more households to provide this vital support.

APPEAL FOR MORE HOST FAMILIES

The Minister for Social Justice said: “I’m delighted to say that over 5,650 people from Ukraine, sponsored by the Welsh Government and Welsh households, have already arrived in the UK.
“More than 8,200 visas have now been issued to people from Ukraine who have sponsors in Wales, so we expect the number of arrivals to continue to grow in the coming weeks.
“Thousands of Welsh households sponsored Ukrainians to arrive in Wales and committed to hosting them for at least six months.
“As we move into the autumn, we approach the end of that initial period.
“We hope hosts and Ukrainians will agree to extend many of those placements, but we need additional hosts to support those who cannot continue living where they are.
“To ensure a warm welcome to Wales, I’m inviting households across Wales to come forward and open their homes to welcome those seeking sanctuary.
“We’re immensely thankful to all those across Wales acting as hosts to Ukrainians, but more households must come forward.
“I completely understand that there are those who want to help but may not have the resources to do so, given the circumstances we’re all facing with the cost-of-living crisis.”

WALES WILL STEP UP TO THE PLATE

Jane Hutt continued: “What we all know, and has been proven countless times, is that the people of Wales are one of the most generous across the globe, and I’m sure we will step up to the plate once again.
“The idea of hosting can be daunting. That’s why we have funded Housing Justice Cymru to provide a Host Support service which includes expert and reliable information, training, advice, and guidance for people hosting, or those considering hosting, Ukrainians in Wales.
“More information on sessions and training can be found on the Housing Justice Cymru website. We also publish regularly updated guidance for hosts and sponsors at gov. wales/ukraine.
“We still need many more households to consider whether they could provide a home for those in need. This would normally be a commitment to hosting for 6 to 12 months.
“If anyone is considering this, we encourage them to register their interest at gov.wales/offerhome, and to attend one of the ‘Introduction to Hosting’ sessions, facilitated by Housing Justice Cymru. You won’t need to continue the process if you decide it is not for you.
“We have also partnered with Airbnb.org to ensure very short-term emergency placements can be provided to prevent homelessness.
“If you cannot host for more than 6 months but you could offer your property for up to 30 days at a time, you may also be able to contribute. Visit gov.wales/offerhome and follow the link to the Airbnb.org platform.”
Finally, the Minister stated: “We will continue to communicate with those who host Ukrainians, with updated guidance and information to support the valuable role you are undertaking.
“To all those that are already hosting and to those that are considering hosting, thank you, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.”

WESTMINSTER MUST BACK HOSTS
DURING COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS

Conservative MS Mark Isherwood raised how the cost-of-living crisis affects Ukrainian refugees.
Where families had taken in those fleeing Russian aggression, he noted a risk of sponsorships not continuing beyond six months because the hosts cannot afford the rise in fuel costs.
He asked the Minister what discussions she’d had with the UK Government about increasing the £350 contribution to households who’d taken in Ukrainian refugees.
The Minister agreed with Mark Isherwood that ending a specific ministerial post dealing with refugees was regrettable.
She noted a lack of information from the UK Government over the summer months and since Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as head of the Conservative Government.
Ms Hutt said: “We asked for an increase at least to £500, or up again, doubling to £700 per month. An urgent decision is needed regarding this as they reach the end of their six-month period.
“That period is underway, so we’re writing to all hosts to see if they will continue.”

UK GOVERNMENT URGED
TO PICK UP THE PHONE

The Minister thanked Mark Isherwood for introducing her to a charity offering support in North Wales, Link, and hoped that he and his colleagues would bring pressure to bear on their Westminster colleagues to ensure those in need from Ukraine and those in Wales helping them received support.
She added: “I look forward perhaps that we might have some telephone calls from the Prime Minister and other Ministers to us in Government. We must engage with them and follow this through.
“There is a huge job of work to be done here. We’re taking responsibility in the way I’ve outlined, funding our welcome centres and paying thank-you payments to hosts if they support a family who initially arrived in Wales under the Ukraine family scheme.
“That’s not happening in England. The commitment that we’re making is considerable.
“I hope everyone will join us today, saying that we need to press for those answers in terms of financial support.”

THE THREAT OF HOMELESSNESS

Sioned Williams of Plaid Cymru raised the spectre of Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless in Wales due to a lack of financial support and the end of existing hosting and housing placements.
The Minister praised the work of local authorities across Wales supporting refugees.
She said: “There are very imaginative programmes. That includes a whole range of issues like repurposing empty buildings.
“Local authorities are really coming up with a whole range of ways in which we can support people, perhaps, from a welcome centre, or a host family, into that intermediate accommodation, and then on to other longer-term accommodation.”
Pembrokeshire currently houses around 200 Ukrainian refugees, with the demand for assistance outstripping the availability of suitable accommodation.

NOT ONE PENNY FROM WESTMINSTER
TO SUPPORT FAMILIES FLEEING WAR

Responding to a question from Mabon ap Gwynfor about problems housing family groups, Jane Hutt hit out at the lack of support from the UK Government and how it’s u-turned on a commitment to help families.
“The UK Government has never given a penny towards the family scheme.
“The former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in one of his last PMQs, actually said that he thought the Ukraine family scheme should get the same funding and support as the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It’s never happened.
“We have provided thank-you payments to people who are hosting Ukrainian families. It’s all Welsh Government money; it’s not UK Government, because they don’t provide a penny. And also, the British Red Cross—£246,000—who are actually supporting Ukrainian families who are hosting family members under the Ukrainian family scheme.”
On Wednesday, September 28, Eluned Morgan, Wales’s Health Minister, announced the continuation of free healthcare in Wales to Ukrainian residents displaced by the ongoing conflict.
The exemption will continue to apply unless there’s a significant change in circumstances in Ukraine.

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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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