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'Dramatic' comeback for rare butterfly

Credit: Andy Seeley

Conservationists say one of Wales’ rarest butterflies is making a comeback in Carmarthenshire.

The wildlife charity, Butterfly Conservation, says it's been working to stabilise numbers of the internationally threatened Marsh Fritillary by increasing and improving habitat areas.

The work has paid off with experts reporting a dramatic increase in numbers in Carmarthenshire.

Since the mid 2000’s the Marsh Fritillary has struggled here. But site conservation work by ourselves and partner organisations, combined with improved weather during the butterfly’s flight period, has meant numbers are stabilising and on some sites we have seen a spectacular recovery.

– Russel Hobson, Head of Butterfly Conservation Wales

Woman fined for not cleaning up after dog on beach

The woman was given a £75 fixed penalty notice Credit: PA

A woman has been fined £75 for failing to clean up after her dog on Pendine beach.

Council environmental enforcement officers were on duty in the area and issued the woman with a fixed penalty notice.

Officers saw a man and woman walking a dog each on a lead. The dog in the woman’s control defecated. Officers then saw the woman kick sand over the faeces and walk away making no attempt to remove it.

This offence happened on a day which was warm and sunny and there were lots of people on the beach including children. Burying dogs mess in the sand does not constitute its removal and I would like to remind the public that this is unacceptable.

– Carmarthenshire County Council


National Botanic Garden receives restoration funding

Artist John Horner painted stunning pictures of the Gardens during the Regency period. Credit: National Botanic Garden of Wales

The first stage of a £6.7 million plan to restore historic Regency landscape at the National Botanic Garden of Wales has been given the go-ahead.

It's been announced that the Garden has received initial financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop it's plans for the Regency Restoration project.

In what will be the biggest project in the Garden's history, it will aim to uncover the origins of Middleton Hall - the grand estate that the Garden now occupies.

The scheme will also involve major archaeological work which will see the restoration of the Regency landscape of the area, including the contemporary planting scheme that formed the heart of its parkland.

The work will involve restoring some of the Regency designs of the Garden. Credit: National Botanic Garden of Wales

"It is an ambitious project and the most significant undertaking since the Garden opened in 2000. It is one which will not only provide enduring value to this part of Wales but is also very much about honouring the original vision of...all the Garden's founders."

– Dr Rosie Plummer, Director of the National Botanic Garden
The Middletons were a wealthy family who settled in Carmarthenshire and helped establish the East India Company. Credit: National Botanic Garden of Wales

Controversial changes to maternity care in west Wales begin

The changes come into effect today Credit: PA

Controversial changes to complex baby care in West Wales begin today.

Health bosses at Hywel Dda local health board are moving consultant led maternity services from Withybush hospital in Pembrokeshire, to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.

The plans have sparked protests in the area and on the steps of the Senedd.

The new neonatal unit at Glangwili Hospital will be operational from today.

Isla goes down the aisle - thanks to a Tesco tannoy

A couple will walk down the aisle - after the boyfriend proposed over a supermarket tannoy in Carmarthen.

Anthony popped the question over a supermarket tannoy. Credit: Wales News Service

Isla Gray, 34, was in the Tesco aisles when her boyfriend Anthony Rowlands nipped off to secretly use the supermarket microphone.

And she was standing next to other shoppers when she heard the words: "I love you Isla Gray - will you marry me?"

Other shoppers started clapping and cheering as Isla shouted out: "Yes!"

The surprise proposal happened at the Tesco Metro on Morfa Lane, as the couple did their weekly shop.

One minute I was shopping down the aisles at Tesco - the next I discovered Anthony wanted to take me down the aisle. It was a lovely thing to do - he is full of surprises.

– Isla Gray

Anthony, 35, has been secretly planning the surprise proposal and Tesco staff were happy to help out.

A Tesco spokesman said: "The lady was at the checkout and he went onto our tannoy to ask her to marry him - thankfully she said yes. People were cheering and she was clearly thrilled."

Volunteers come together for garden makeover

Volunteers from Carmarthenshire have spent the past few days transforming a garden to ensure a disabled girl is no longer forced to stay indoors.

Frances Watkins from Cwmgwili had to watch from the sidelines as her family enjoyed their garden because it was unsuitable for her wheelchair.

But now thanks to a team of locals and the charity WellChild all that has change. Dean Thomas reports.


Mum grateful for garden makeover to help daughter

A mum from Cwmgwili says she's pleased with the work of volunteers from across Carmarthenshire to help transform her garden to make it wheelchair accessible for her daughter.

Marie Watkins says her daughter, Frances, who has cerebral palsy, can now go outside in her wheelchair to join her family and play with the other children.

Volunteers help with garden makeover for Cwmgwili family

Frances can now take her wheelchair outside into the garden. Credit: ITV News

Volunteers from Carmarthenshire have been helping to transform a young girl's garden to make it wheelchair accessible for her.

11-year-old Frances Watkins from Cwmgwili has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy and used to sit indoors, watching her family enjoy their garden as it was not suitable for her wheelchair.

Last week, a team of local volunteers from the Department of Work and Pensions and the charity WellChild helped to give the garden a special makeover so that Frances can now join her brothers and sisters in her garden.

Mother raises awareness of 'Slapped Cheek Syndrome'

Dwynwen wants local health boards to provide more information and provide a specific blood test. Credit: ITV News

A woman from Carmarthenshire is campaigning to raise awareness of 'Slapped Cheek Syndrome', a virus that usually affects young children.

Dwynwen Davies, from Llanybydder, lost one of her babies to the condition, and now wants to warn other pregnant mums of the dangers it can pose.

She wants local health boards to provide more information about the virus and offer a specific blood test which could possibly have saved her baby's life.

Children with the illness, which presents itself as a red rash on the face, usually recover from the cold-like symptoms in a few days, but it can be deadly to unborn babies.

Dwynwen has set up a petition online, where you can find more information on her campaign.

'No evidence of criminal offences' in councils' handling of tax payers money

A police investigation into the handling of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire county councils' handling of tax payers money has found "no evidence of criminal offences."

Gloucestershire Constabulary have now completed their enquiries and have confirmed that following an objective and independent analysis of the evidence, they did not find any evidence to suggest that any criminal offences had taken place. On the basis of this, the police will be taking no further action in relation to these mattes. Both local authorities have been advised of this decision.

– A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson

The matter was referred to Gloucestershire Constabulary due to the close working relationship between Dyfed-Powys Police and both local authorities involved.

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