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Which Christmas tree for Downing Street?

Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Next week will see tree growers from across Britain descend on a farm at Three Crosses near Swansea for the annual Christmas tree contest.

The winner is traditionally granted the honour of putting up a tree outside 10 Downing Street.

Our members work hard throughout the year to produce quality trees that the public want to adorn their homes.

They are trying to keep alive the tradition of buying a real Christmas tree and making it a family occasion.

Good growing conditions this year means we are expecting an exceptional display of spruces, pines and firs.

– Harry Brightwell, British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association


Mystery of butterfly 'disaster Summer'

Peacock numbers have fallen six-fold. Credit: Jens BÃŒttner/DPA/PA Images

Common butterflies saw their numbers collapse in Wales and across the UK over the summer, results from the Big Butterfly Count have revealed.

The majority of butterfly species studied as part of the scheme saw their populations fall in Wales, participants also saw the lowest number of butterflies per count since the scheme began with an average of just 11 butterflies spotted.

Widespread species such as the Ringlet (61% down), Meadow Brown (48% down), Small Tortoiseshell (40% down), Comma (64% down), Peacock (24% down), Small Copper (33% down,) and Gatekeeper (32% down) all struggled in Wales, with numbers falling in comparison to last year.

Numbers of the colourful Peacock have now dropped from a UK average of 3.6 individuals per count in 2013 to just 0.5 per Count in 2016, a six-fold decrease over three years.

The drop in butterfly numbers this summer has been a shock and is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps the very mild winter had a negative effect, or the cold spring, or perhaps the impacts of intensive farming and pesticides are really hitting these common species now.

– Richard Cox, Butterfly Conservation


Emergency crews launch search after canoeist seen in difficulty

A search is underway at Aberglaslyn in Snowdonia Credit: Google Maps

Emergency services are searching water at Aberglaslyn after a canoeist was reported to be in difficulty.

Police were called just before 3pm this afternoon.

Teams from North Wales Police, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the Welsh Ambulance Service, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue and Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue are at the scene.

Public views sought on bid to restore disused mill in Pembrokeshire

Credit: Bluestone National Park Resort

Plans have been unveiled to restore Black Pool Mill near Narberth. The 19th Century building is Grade 2* listed and was fully operational until the Second World War but has survived with a full set of machinery.

Bluestone resort wants to restore it to its Victorian prime. The flour mill sits within a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

A public consultation gets underway today.

In consultation with some of the UK’s leading heritage, ecology and biodiversity experts, we have designed an ambitious restoration programme for the mill and its surrounding landscape, to preserve, manage and improve the site in its entirety.

Historic integrity runs through the very core of this project and we are proposing a thoughtful and sympathetic approach, enabling the architectural features of the past to shine through and offering visitors a rare opportunity to take a step into history.

– William McNamara OBE, Bluestone CEO

Caerphilly mountain row: woodland trust 'shocked and appalled'

Caerphilly Woodlands Trust say they are "shocked and appalled" that cycling trails on Caerphilly Mountain may have been blocked.

Caerphilly mountain has many biking trails Credit: David Cheskin / PA Archive/Press Association Images

We extend a warm welcome to all public visitors to the enclosed area of beautiful woodland known as ‘Coed y Werin’.

The Trust is shocked and appalled by the dangerous actions of individuals sabotaging trails used by cyclists within the Trust’s enclosed area of woodland and the surrounding Caerphilly Mountain common land. We do not condone or encourage this reckless activity from our membership or the public.

– Caerphilly Woodlands Trust

Mr Davies said he is in the footage but that he is "unaware of its provenance", which he says could have been taken in his garden. He has denied trying to stop the bikers.

Former Welsh Secretary at centre of bikers row

The Former Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies, is in the centre of a row tonight over bikers using Caerphilly Mountain.

The video, which was passed to BBC Wales, allegedly shows Ron Davies blocking one of the trails used by the mountain bikers Credit: Footage acquired by BBC Wales

Earlier this evening, a video was passed to BBC Wales allegedly showing him blocking one of the trails used by the mountain bikers.

Mr Davies said he is in the footage but that he is "unaware of its provenance", which he says could have been taken in his garden. He has denied trying to stop the bikers.

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