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Company launched to develop tidal energy along North Wales coast

North Wales is already home to several offshore windfarms Credit: PA

A new company is being launched to develop tidal energy along the coast of North Wales.

North Wales Tidal Energy & Coastal Protection will explore the possibilities of building tidal lagoons which will create sustainable energy.

Based in St Asaph, NWTE aim to work with local communities and business people to create a world-leading tidal energy programme.

Once completed, the company says North Wales will benefit from cheaper electricity and coastal communities will be safer from flood risks.

This is a major infrastructure project that we are addressing, with benefits here in North Wales and beyond. We are determined to protect the beautiful environment in which we live while providing power, amenity and employment for the long-term.

– Eryl Vaughan, NWTE

Flood defence plans are tested at St Asaph

Natural Resources Wales say they will be speaking to people in St Asaph about their future flood defences plans for the area next month.

It comes as a flood prevention exercise is carried out to check how effective the response to possible flooding is.

Flood defence plans are being tested Credit: ITV Wales

John Roberts, who was Mayor at the time told ITV Wales that people are still very nervous about the potential flood threat and want a permanent solution.

"If there is heavy rain people get worried," he said.

Flood defence plans are being tested Credit: ITV Wales

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Agencies making 'headway' in improving defences

Three flood warning areas cover a total of 599 properties across St Asaph, 548 of which are now registered to receive free flood warnings.

Natural Resources Wales will hold a public drop in session for residents in December to provide information about its long-term plans to reduce flood risk.

The flooding in 2012 was devastating for people in St Asaph, destroying homes and businesses, damaging infrastructure and unfortunately ending with tragic consequences for one family.

We've been working hard to support the community in the aftermath of the flooding and to make sure the city is better prepared to cope with flooding in the future.

We've already made huge headway in improving flood protection, but this exercise will be a vital test of the plans we've made and how all the agencies involved come together to work quickly and efficiently to protect people in such an emergency.

– Tim Jones, Natural Resources Wales

St Asaph flood response to be tested in emergency exercise

Credit: Dave Thompson/PA

A two-day emergency exercise is starting in St Asaph today to test the city's response to flooding.

Hundreds of residents were forced to flee their homes when St Asaph was hit by floods in November 2012.

Margaret Hughes, 91, drowned after her bungalow flooded. A coroner recorded a narrative verdict into her death, after an inquest heard she had been warned of impending floods, but had chosen not to leave her home.

Since then extensive work has been carried out to reinforce the city's defences including groundworks to allow temporary barriers to be installed at times of potential flooding, raising existing walls and embankments and the roll out of a 'community flood plan' with 33 volunteer flood wardens.

Over the next two days, officers from Natural Resources Wales, the emergency services and the local authority will 'act out' a flood scenario similar to the 2012 floods to test flood alerts, erecting temporary flood defences and testing emergency evacuation procedures and flood warden network.

Welsh glaciologists to study huge Antarctic lakes

Scientists will drill deep into the ice shelf. Credit: Prifysgol Aberystwyth University

Glaciologists from Aberystwyth University will fly to Antarctica at the beginning of November to study large lakes forming on the surface of ice shelves.

Professor Bryn Hubbard and Dr David Ashmore from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences’ Centre for Glaciology will be working with collaborators from Swansea University on the Larsen C ice shelf.

Larsen C covers an area two and a half times the size of Wales

It's a long, fringing ice shelf in the northwest part of the Weddell Sea, extending along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Professor Hubbard and Dr Ashmore will be using hot water to drill up to 150m down into the 200m deep ice shelf to study the many layers of ice that make up Larsen C.

The ice shelf is significant for scientists trying to understand the effects of climate change on Antarctica.

Two other ice shelves in the area, Larsen A and B, have broken up and disappeared since 1995 and scientists have been trying to understand why.

“Despite its accessibility, this region of Antarctica is surprisingly poorly known on the ground. Dark patches on satellite images appear each summer and these are interpreted as large surface melt ponds, but no one has actually studied them on the ground; to date we don’t even have a photograph of the lakes we believe we will see on Larsen C.

– Professor Bryn Hubbard Aberystwyth University

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Colwyn Bay waterfront to re-open to public

The latest phase of work on Colwyn Bay's waterfront project is to re-open to the public today.

The waterfront will reopen to the public today. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The project cost £6.7 million and included work repairing the damages to the existing sea wall and renewing a section of the promenade. It has been partly funded by the Welsh Government's flood defence grant.

The first phase saw hundreds of tonnes of sand being dropped on the beach. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Waterfront project is a programme of sea defences designed to protect against flooding and damage from the sea.

It has also included safeguarding the railway line, the A55, businesses and homes in Colwyn Bay.

The first phase saw hundreds of tonnes of sand being flushed onto the beach to provide a defence from the sea during storms.

Snowdon found to be taller than originally recorded

Experts have found that Snowdon is a metre taller than originally thought.

The three surveyors have discovered the iconic mountain now stands 1086m.

The height of Snowdon was last measured in the 1960s Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The team spent a night on the summit of Snowdon using high-tech GPS and mapping equipment.

But the Ordnance Survey which is responsible for creating the UK's maps says the height of 1085m is correct.

It says the summit was last measured in the 1960s where the height was measured to a natural rock which has now been buried under a construction.

The team of surveyors spent a night on Snowdon to carry out their work Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

We acknowledge that in very few cases there are enduring manmade features which can complicate our assessment of the natural summit; therefore decisions have to be made on a case by case basis.

Clearly, in this case something has been built on top of the natural rock and that has been measured and rightly shown to be a different height.

In this case Ordnance Survey has decided to preserve the original height of the natural summit of the mountain and retain the value 1085m on our maps.

– Ordnance Survey Spokesperson

Rare fungus found

The Fen Puffball was discovered in Powys. Credit: Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales says it's uncovered a type of rare fungus previously unknown in Wales during a survey of 200 of the country’s most important bog and fen sites.

The detailed surveys of peatlands in Wales often reveal rare and unusual species and it was during one of these the team found the Fen Puffball (or Bovista paludosa).

The National Peatland Survey has been looking at the benefits of good quality peatlands to people, the economy and wildlife.

Peatland is an important habitat for nature, stores millions of gallons of water to help reduce flooding and stores carbon which helps to combat climate change.

Finding this puffball in Mynydd Epynt in Powys was an added bonus as it's the first time this fungus has been found in Wales, it is extremely rare and only five examples have ever been recorded in the UK.

Such is its rarity that that the Fen Puffball is named on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) list as a UK priority conservation species

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