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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

Water released to help migrating fish

The water release will last for five days. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) says it's taking steps to encourage salmon and sewin (sea trout) to reach their spawning grounds and improve stocks.

It says the dry September weather has been a welcome treat for most but for Wales’ fish populations the lack of rain is hindering their annual migration.

To combat this, NRW has worked with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water to release water from reservoirs into the rivers Tywi and Cleddau to encourage adult salmon and sewin to enter the rivers from Carmarthen Bay.

“The River Tywi and its population of salmon and sea trout is worth an estimated £10.2 million to the Welsh economy and the release will benefit anglers as well as boost fish numbers.........

The release of additional water from the reservoirs will not affect the public water supply and people who use the river have been alerted to take care as the flow will increase to four times its current level.

– Dave Mee, Fisheries Team Leader for NRW

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1,000 native crayfish released at Builth Wells

The native crayfish is under threat from a non-native species. Credit: Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) says more than 1,000 native white-clawed crayfish have been released into a Welsh river as part of continued efforts to save the species from extinction.

It's the third year NRW officers have captive reared and released the juvenile crayfish working in conjunction with the Wye and Usk Foundation.

The one-year-old crayfish were reared at Natural Resources Wales Cynrig Fish Culture Unit and have been released into specially selected ‘ark’ sites on a tributary of the River Irfon, near Builth Wells.

Releases sites are free from a lethal fungus. Credit: Natural Resources Wales

NRW says to date more than 2,700 captive reared crayfish have been released into the wild in a bid to offset the damage caused by the non-native American signal crayfish, climate change and the impact of pollution on habitat and water quality to the native crayfish population.

Flood work to begin in St Asaph

The Roe Parc and Spring Gardens areas were hit by flooding. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Natural Resources Wales will today start work to improve flood defences in St Asaph.

It'll mean temporary barriers can be installed when there's potential flooding.

In November 2012 one person died after 400 homes were inundated.

Crackdown continues on illegal fishing and poaching

Valuable salmon and sea trout are often targeted by illegal anglers Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Almost 140 people have been prosecuted in the last 12 months in an ongoing battle against illegal fishing and poaching.

The anglers were caught committing a range of offences, from not having a rod licence to illegal netting and cruel 'foul hooking', which involves dragging hooks through the water at high speed in an attempt to impale fish on the hooks.

All but three of the 139 cases resulted in successful prosecutions and combined fines of £18,468, as well as the confiscation of equipment.

Natural Resources Wales warns illegal fishing is damaging to the angling industry, which is worth more than £150 million to the Welsh economy.

A spokesperson said: "Angling helps protect the environment, is a big draw for tourism and plays a major role in the local economy.

"It's important that we continue to crack down on illegal fishing activity so that it remains sustainable for licensed fisherman."

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'Be prepared' weather warning for South Wales

Porthcawl in January. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Met Office says severe gales are on their way for South Wales.

It says winds will strengthen tonight and peak on Saturday with gusts of up to 80 mph possible.

'The public should be prepared for disruption to transport and locally to power supplies, particularly when combined with the impacts of heavy rainfall.' - Met Office

There are two flood warnings and 10 flood alerts in force.

No let up in heavy rain

The warning's valid until 11pm Saturday. Credit: HOCH ZWEI/DPA/Press Association Images

The Met Office has issued a 'be aware' warning of heavy rain for parts of Wales until late on Saturday.

The areas affected are :

Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhonnda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan and Ceredigion.

There are 19 flood alerts in force.

Cardiff Council: Barrage closed due to severe weather

Weather brings travel problems

The severe weather's brought problems with trees down and flooding in places:

  • At Newgale the A487 is closed in both directions because of debris on the road and flooding near Welsh Road.
  • In Penarth the Esplanade is closed because of flooding and strong winds from Beach Road / Bridgeman Road to Cliff Hill. It's also affecting Beach Road between Rectory Road and the Esplanade and Rectory Road between Stanwell Road and Windsor Terrace.
  • Strong winds on the A55 Britannia Bridge mean there's a 30 mph speed limit.
  • Strong winds on the M48 Severn Bridge mean a 40 mph speed limit.
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