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Council support for Botanic Gardens until 2020

Credit: ITV Cymru/Wales

Carmarthenshire County Council says it will extend its support to the National Botanic Garden of Wales until March 2020.

Members of the executive board have agreed to extend the authority’s £1.35m interest free loan to the Garden and allow the continued occupation of farmhouses, currently leased by the council, for two more years.

It says visitor numbers are up on last year by 17 per cent and income on the previous year has increased by 23 per cent.

A £7m Regency restoration project has also started with £3.55m of Heritage Lottery funding secured, aiming to boost tourism, conservation, heritage, volunteering and skills-development opportunities.

Climate change allows expensive fungi to be grown in Wales

Black truffles can fetch £1700/kg Credit: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL/Pixsell/PA Images

An expensive Mediterranean black truffle has been cultivated in the UK for the first time, the farthest north that the species has been found.

Researchers believe the truffle, mostly found in northern Spain, southern France and northern Italy, was able to grow in Wales due to climate change.

It was grown in Monmouthshire as part of a project run by truffle firm Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd (MSL) and it was harvested in March 2017 by a trained dog named Bella.

The aromatic fungus was growing within the root system of a Mediterranean oak tree that was planted in 2008 and treated to encourage truffle production.

This cultivation has shown that the climatic tolerance of truffles is much broader than previously thought, but it's likely that it's only possible because of climate change, and some areas of the UK - including the area around Cambridge - are now suitable for the cultivation of this species.

– Dr Paul Thomas, MSL and the University of Stirling


19-year-old goes missing at Royal Welsh Show

19-year-old James Corfield was last seen at the White Horse pub. Credit: Dyfed-Powys Police

Concern is growing for missing 19-year-old James Corfield.

The teenager from Montgomery was last seen at the White Horse pub in Builth Wells at around midnight on Monday.

He was reported missing just before 2pm on Tuesday, July 25 after failing to meet friends at the Royal Welsh Show where he had been camping.

He is described as being 6ft 2, of slim build with short brown hair and was last seen wearing a blue Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt and jeans.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they wanted to thank the public for their offers of support and have asked locals to check their gardens, sheds and any outbuildings for signs of James.

Officers are now following all possible lines of enquiry and are being assisted by specialist search teams at a number of locations around Builth Wells.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.


Safety call after Ogmore river mouth rescues

Credit: RNLI

RNLI lifeguards and Penybont Surf Lifesaving Club members have issued a safety warning to visitors of a Vale of Glamorgan beach after a series of multiple casualty rescues in a river mouth.

Lifeguards and the surf lifesaving club have rescued more than 20 people from the river at Ogmore beach over the last two weekends, including three young children who became stranded on Sunday.

An area next to the river at Ogmore by Sea, which is usually rocky, has become covered by sand and there have been higher than normal numbers of visitors using this section of the beach to base themselves. Many are being tempted to swim in the river, unaware of the depth of the water or the unpredictable currents running in the water there.

Anyone visiting Ogmore by Sea or any of beach with RNLI lifeguards should always swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been identified by lifeguards as the safest place to swim and is supervised by lifeguards at all times.

– Ross Gribble, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor
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