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Call for Welsh towns to have 20% tree canopy cover

Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/PA Images

The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) is launching a petition calling for all cities, towns and villages in Wales to have a minimum 20% tree canopy cover.

It also backs the planting of native trees which, it says, can provide a habitat and nectar source for pollinators and fruit trees which will provide a sustainable source of food.

Credit: Marijan Murat/DPA/PA Images

It says the tree canopy cover in Wales varies dramatically, from just 4.5% in Fochriw in Caerphilly to 34% in Trimsaran in Carmarthenshire.

It also cites a study in Wrexham, last year, which, it says, showed trees save the local economy £1.3m every year by:

  • Intercepting 27 million litres of rainfall from entering the drainage system, the equivalent of saving £460,000 in sewerage charges.
  • Absorbing 1,329 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Improving health by removing 60 tonnes of air pollution, saving the health services £700,000.

People often refer to the more attractive areas of towns as being ‘leafy’. Areas like this can provide a more attractive and healthy environment for people to live and work in, for all kinds of reasons.

We want everyone to benefit from trees, so we’re working to persuade local authorities around Wales to plant more trees where people live.

– Angharad Evans, Campaigns Officer

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Opposition against proposed Snowdonia hydro-electric scheme

The Woodland Trust says the iconic beauty spot in Snowdonia is under threat. Credit: Woodland Trust

A row is brewing over plans for a £12 million hydro-electric scheme near Betws y Coed in Snowdonia.

The scheme would involve abstracting water from the river above Penmachno bridge and diverting it through 1,000 metres of pipeline around the Fairy Glen before returning it to the river near the junction with the River Lledr.

Developers RWE Innogy say it would provide energy for around 2,700 homes.

But Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust, says nearby woodland would be affected.

"Ancient woods are our richest, most important sites for a vast range of insects, birds, animals, flowers and trees and are home to more threatened species than any other UK habitat.

"We simply cannot afford to lose them, and fencing off areas for natural regeneration can never compensate for their loss."

– Rory Francis, Woodland Trust

Public enquiry to discuss new Newtown Bypass

The £58 million bypass is due to be completed by 2017 if it gets the go ahead. Credit: ITV News

Residents of Newtown will have their say on a new proposed bypass around the Mid Wales town.

The £58 million bypass is due to be completed by 2017 if it gets the go ahead, although it has faced some criticism based on the initial outlines of the route.

"We are now on the cusp of what could be the largest investment in the area for a generation, with a £58million pound bypass along the A483 at Newtown, £20million of commercial development in Newtown and the investment in a fibre-optic broadband network providing high speed broadband access throughout the area"

– Doug Hughes, Chair of Severn Valley Effect project
The proposed new route has been met with opposition Credit: Alan Griffiths Contractors

A planning inspector will take 12 weeks to prepare a report on the new bypass based on suggestions from the public over a 3 week period.

The public enquiry is due to start at 10am at the Elephant and Castle Hotel in Newtown.

A van, satellite dishes and even a kitchen sink recovered over ten years

Dave Kennard, Chairman and Founder NARC Credit: NARC

Pembrokeshire based voluntary group Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this dive season.

Founded in 2005 by local diver Dave Kennard, the army of volunteers has carried out hundreds of dives to help protect the coast of Pembrokeshire.

As well as the more common finds such as plastic bags, shopping trolleys, bikes, cans, tyres, lost angling gear, the group has stumbled on some more surprising discoveries including satellite dishes, a Mitsubishi van and even a kitchen sink.

It’s amazing to have been going for 10 years. What started out as a mission to tackle marine litter that is often out of sight, out of mind, has grown into an established group with regular clean ups, hard working volunteers and strong partnerships with local schools, the community, fishermen and our funders. We are not trying to just protect our marine environment by collecting litter but also educate everyone to consider the conservation of our beautiful coastline.

– Dave Kennard, Chairman and Founder NARC

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Watch: Northern Lights captured over Wales

Did you catch the Northern Lights over Wales last night?

Many of you did see The Aurora Borealis and have been sending in your photos.

If you missed it then watch this film captured over three hours at Cemaes Bay, Anglesey by@rayvon0 and speeded up.

And, weather permitting, the forecast for Friday suggests it may be another good night for catching the lights.

So, what are the Northern Lights?

Northumberland in April. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Around three days ago the Sun launched a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection), containing millions of tons of charged particles, more or less straight at the Earth.

It is hitting the Earth's magnetic field.

Northumberland in April. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The charged particles are chanelled down the field's lines and into the Earth's atmosphere.

Here they interact with the atmosphere's atoms and produce light.

The colour depends on the atoms they hit.

You can get a forecast here.

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