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Llanelli Wetland Centre: So many birds to discover

Llanelli Wetland Centre: So many birds to discover

WITH MORE than 20 rivers winding through the county of Carmarthenshire, it makes total sense to utilize them during this year of adventure. It even homes parts of Wales’ longest rivers which are the Tywi and the Teifi.

Choose from challenging water sports, explore quaint market towns or just relax beside the riverside and take in the scenery, there’s something for everyone.

Active adventures

Get active in Wales’ longest river, the Teifi. Go paddling, river swimming, rafting, kayaking, the list goes on! You’re sure to find something suited to you, but always remeber to be safe and use a trusted organiser.

Fancy channelling your inner Indiana Jones? Just go for it!

Walking and wildlife

Rivers mean lush valleys and interesting wildlife, so pack your binoculars and lace up your walking boots to discover Carmarthenshire’s unique landscape on foot. For an easy ramble, opt for the Dinefwr Park wildlife walk, which combines 12th century castle ruins with heronspotting on the Twyi. The Cennen Arms pub is the starting point for two walks – one easy, one more challenging – that see you cross rivers, spot red kites and marvel at majestic Carreg Cennen. Or learn the legend of Twm Siôn Cati – also known as the ‘Welsh Robin Hood’ – whose footsteps you can follow on an invigorating three mile walk along the River Twyi and up into the steep caves where he lived. Red kites circle above you and, in summer, the woodlands are a carpet of beautiful bluebells.

The WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre lies just off the Loughor estuary and its saline lagoons receive saltwater from the river at high tide; this combines with freshwater to create a unique – and threatened – habitat supporting fascinating wildlife. Visit in the winter to spot up to 50,000 migratory birds, who use the lagoons as a roosting area or stopover spot on their way further south. If you visit the Wetland Centre in February, you can participate in the first ever WWT Welsh Puddle Jumping Championship! And in the summer, kids can get up close to nature on a canoe safari.

Riverside road trips

Discover Carmarthenshire’s riverside market towns and iconic monuments on two wheels – this part of the world is blessed with some extremely scenic driving routes. The Twyi runs beneath the chic town of Llandeilo and the oldest town in Wales, Carmarthen, while you can follow the river Gwendraeth on foot to the atmospheric Kidwelly Castle. The Taf runs beneath the famed Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ Writing Shed in the town of Laugharne; you can peer into the studio which looks just as though the writer had stepped out for a walk. Newcastle Emlyn, which was built on the site of a Welsh fortress, sits on a loop in the River Teifi – explore historic inns in the town then follow the river west to beautiful Cenarth Falls; in the early autumn, gather with other nature enthusiasts to catch a glimpse of the salmon leap; the fish seem to defy gravity as they jump up and over the rapids on their way upstream.

Casting off

The rivers of Carmarthenshire, in particular the Teifi and Twyi, attract fishermen from near and far in the spring and summer months, all with their eyes on one particular prize: sewin, better known as sea trout. As well as sewin, the salmon runs in early May and late summer see avid anglers take to the water. While in picturesque Cenarth Falls, pop into the National Coracle Centre to explore the tradition of coracle fishing by night, a practice that’s still alive in the county today. Plenty of places in Carmarthenshire offer the chance to have a go at fishing for yourself: award-winning pub The Dolaucothi Arms’ garden has four miles of fishing rights for salmon and sea trout, so you can combine a tasty meal with an afternoon’s angling, with fantastic riverside walks and bridle paths for the non-fishers.

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Cost of living support available at Carmarthenshire’s customer service Hwbs

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FROM Thursday, December 1, Carmarthenshire County Council’s customer service Hwbs in Carmarthen, Ammanford and Llanelli will offer an enhanced range of support, advice and services to residents. 

This additional service has been introduced from an action taken at a recent cost of living collaboration event that was hosted by Carmarthenshire County Council that saw stakeholders gather to discuss ways of helping the people of Carmarthenshire with the increasing cost of living. 

The Council’s team of Hwb advisers will be available every day, along with housing officers and employability advisers, to provide tailored packages of support to residents, with advice and guidance on what our residents are entitled to claim, based on their individual circumstances. Visitors to the Hwbs can also access information on the services available to support them as the cost of living increases.

The aim is to also work closely with specific third sector organisations such as Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Careers Wales to support this work and by also being present in the Hwbs to provide even further advice to residents.

Targeted support will also be available at every Hwb, with each day dedicated to a service area that matters most to residents. Officers from various Council service areas, will be on hand to answer questions and offer support and advice to residents in need.

The services available at Hwbs on particular days are:

Monday – Recycling and waste advice

Tuesday – Trading Standards

Wednesday – Employability

Thursday – Housing

Friday – Various services

The information and advice offered on a Friday will differ from week to week and will be dictated by the needs of residents and other factors.

Cllr Linda Evans, Deputy Leader and Cabinet lead said: “Since April, our Hwb Advisers have helped over 800 Carmarthenshire residents by providing advice and support on accessing a range of council and third-party support schemes, including blue badges for disabled parking, council tax discounts, school meals and uniform grants, referrals to employability schemes and much more.

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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 Festival publishes its Entertainment schedule

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“CHILDREN AND families are at the heart of our festival this year,” announces festival vice chair Debbie Ince. “On Friday 18th November the festival stalls will start trading at 10am but in the evening there will be the official opening, followed at 6:15pm by Santa coming through the town on his sleigh. A children’s Lantern procession from CK to King Street led by Llandeilo Primary School’s Samba group will meet Santa on King Street to tunes by the Llandeilo Town Band and bilingual hymn singer Ffion Haf. Once the children had their fill of Santa, the Christmas Lights will be switched on by Mayor Gordon Kilby. Local legend singer and actor Harry Luke and Ffion Haf will entertain the crowd until 8pm.”

People enjoying the festival

A spectacular and pet-friendly Laser Show will replace the controversial fireworks at 8pm. “There’s also a tea cup ride on King Street for kids,” adds Ince. “On Saturday and Sunday kids can go to Santa’s Grotto 10 – 4, and on Saturday to St Teilo’s Church or Hengwrt for activities. At our park and ride on Beechwood Estate ‘Sgiliau’ will be open for our youngest visitors.”

“There is of course plenty of entertainment for adults, too,” adds festival chair Christoph Fischer. “From Davies & Co Station Road to Flows on Market Street, most Llandeilo venues will play indoor music, many day and night. The stage will host a variety of acts: from school and adult choirs, bands, solo singers and dance groups, such as Mixed Youth Group, Lotus Sisters Belly dancers and Sunflowers Wales. Cooking demonstrations on Saturday and a Santa Run on Sunday morning round up the festival programme. You can find updates on the Llandeilo Town App Dyma Llandeilo.”

Santa at the Parade

“With our wide selection of street food, arts-,crafts-, fashion- and food stalls there should be something for everyone,” adds stalls coordinator and treasurer Mered Williams. “See you all on the 18th.!”

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