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Sea defence work begins on Gwynedd coast

Credit: Google Maps

Work begins this week on strengthening the sea defences at Fairbourne on the Gwynedd coast.

Natural Resources Wales says local contractors will move around one thousand tonnes of beach shingle on Fairbourne beach to fill in the eroded area next to the concrete defence at Friog corner.

The work will take between five and 10 days, depending on the weather.

An excavator and dumper truck will collect and move the shingle, working along a 500 metre length of the beach. NRW says the work will be done in a way that minimises the impact on the beach which will re-profile naturally.

Some of the Second World War tank traps on the beach will be moved during the work, under CADW’s approval, and will be put back afterwards.

We are committed to maintaining and monitoring the flood defence in the short and medium term to help reduce the risk of flooding for the people of Fairbourne. Replenishing the shingle at Friog corner is part of this ongoing commitment.

– Sian Williams, Head of Operations in North Wales

Twelve flood alerts in force from north to south

Twelve flood alerts are in force around the Welsh coast from the north to the south after high winds and tides:

Credit: David Jones / PA
  • Anglesey: West Anglesey Coastline
  • Carmarthenshire: Carmarthenshire coast
  • Ceredigion: Ceredigion coast
  • Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Anglesey, Gwynedd: North Wales Coast
  • Gwynedd: Dysynni Catchment
  • Gwynedd: Lleyn Peninsula and Cardigan Bay Coastline
  • Gwynedd: Mawddach and Wnion Catchment
  • Gwynedd, Powys, Ceredigion: Dyfi Catchment
  • Pembrokeshire: Pembrokeshire coast
  • Powys: Vyrnwy Catchment
  • Swansea: Tidal Area at Crofty
  • Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan: Swansea Bay and the Gower coast


Warning of more flooding for most of Wales

Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Natural Resources Wales is urging people to prepare for the risk of further flooding across much of Wales.

It says a band of heavy rain will last into Thursday evening bringing the risk of localised flooding to all parts.

There are currently six flood warnings and thirteen flood alerts in force.

There's a 'be aware' warning of rain with 40 to 60 mm likely quite widely over high ground with over 80 mm across prone areas like Snowdonia.

To add to that there's a yellow warning of rain and high winds posted for Saturday and Sunday.

There are already stretches of road throughout the force area that are either under water, or are very wet, making driving conditions dangerous.

We are appealing to all motorists to heed road signs indicating a road is closed or flooded, as there have been examples this week where emergency services have been heavily committed, dealing with incidents where people have ignored these signs and got into difficulty in deep water

– Chief Superintendent Aled Davies, Dyfed Powys Police

Risk of more flooding 'across much of Wales'

The last few days have seen prolonged rainfall.

Credit: Ian Lang ITV News

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is urging people to prepare for the risk of more flooding across much of Wales over the next 48 hours.

A band of heavy rain is expected to spread from the west across much of Wales from midday today and overnight into Thursday, with the worst affected areas expected to be parts of north, west and mid Wales.

It says after prolonged periods of heavy rainfall over the last few days, the ground remains saturated, meaning that further rainfall will quickly find its way into rivers and streams resulting in NRW issuing further flood warnings and alerts.

Credit: Ian Lang ITV News

There are 6 flood warnings and 13 flood alerts in force across Wales.

NRW says officers will be monitoring forecasts closely over the coming days.

It says teams are continuing to check that flood defences are in good working order and that rivers are clear of debris which could restrict river flows.

New powers to tackle waste crime

Credit: Welsh Government

New powers to tackle waste crime and persistent poor performers in the waste industry come into force today.

The Welsh Government says untrustworthy operators are often responsible for polluting the environment, endangering human health and causing odour and nuisance problems for the neighbouring community.

It says legitimate businesses are also being affected, who are often being undercut by such operators.

Around 94% of waste management operators in Wales are good, honest performers so there is only a small fraction of these poor performers and waste criminals that needs to be dealt with.

We have made it a priority to sort out these unscrupulous operators to ensure that waste crime doesn’t pay. The Welsh Government, together with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Defra and the Environment Agency has worked together to identify ways to strengthen our existing enforcement powers.

– Carl Sergeant AM, Minister for Natural Resources

Flood warnings and alerts ahead of high tides

The River Wye at Brockwier near Tintern. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

There are five flood warnings and nine flood alerts in force for coastal areas around Wales.

They stretch from Gwynedd to Monmouthshire.

A high spring tide is expected tonight.

Flood Warnings:

  • Monmouthshire: Wye Estuary at Tintern
  • Monmouthshire: Wye Estuary at Chepstow
  • Carmarthenshire: Carmarthen Bay Holiday Park Tidal
  • Swansea: Crofty Tidal

Flood alerts:

  • Carmarthenshire: Carmarthenshire coast
  • Ceredigion: Ceredigion coast
  • Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Anglesey, Gwynedd: North Wales Coast
  • Monmouthshire: Wye Estuary in Monmouthshire
  • Monmouthshire, Newport: Usk Estuary
  • Pembrokeshire: Pembrokeshire coast
  • Swansea: Tidal Area at Crofty
  • Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan: Swansea Bay and the Gower coast
  • Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff, Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen: Coast from Aberthaw to Severn Bridge


'Sewage' reports on Welsh beaches

A natural form of algae is being mistaken for sewage by concerned holidaymakers, a conservation body reports.

Not sewage: this algae is oily in appearance but harmless Credit: NRW

Natural Resources Wales says it has received reports from people concerned about sewage or slurry on the beach or in the water in places like Aberystwyth, West Angle and Pendine.

These have been investigated and found to be caused by nothing more than tiny, naturally occurring algae, called phytoplankton, that thrive in warm summer weather.

Holidaymakers and locals have been reporting Credit: NRW

Around this time of year we do get some reports of what appears to be sewage slicks on the coast.

We treat each one seriously and whenever possible carry out tests to find out what it is.

But almost always, despite its unpleasant appearance, the 'sewage' turns out to be this common algae which isn’t harmful.

– Steve Morgans, Natural Resources Wales

To find out more about the water quality in any of Wales’s beaches visit the Natural Resources Wales website.

Crayfish released to replace those hit by pesticide spill

White-clawed crayfish released into the River Ennig, near Brecon Credit: NRW

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) says nearly 600 juvenile crayfish have been released into a Powys river to replace the original population which fell victim to a pollution incident in 2012.

It says the white-clawed crayfish have been raised in the Cynrig Hatchery to replace the fish which were killed when a pesticide release affected a 2km stretch of the River Ennig at Talgarth, near Brecon.

Other species such as bullheads were also found dead in the river but it was the crayfish deaths which caused particular concern.

The white claw, Britain’s only native crayfish, was already under threat from disease, climate change, habitat degradation and competition from the more aggressive American crayfish which were introduced for food in the late 1970s and 1980s.

We’ve released 570 juvenile crayfish into a tributary of the Ennig and a further 1,000 juveniles will be released next year to replace those killed in 2012.

The fish were reared at the Cynrig Fish Culture Unit, where a crayfish conservation strategy has been in place since 2009 which aims to protect existing crayfish populations and establish safe havens for the species.

– Oliver Brown, NRW Fish Culture Officer

Work underway to restore dunes

Credit: Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) says work has begun to restore one of Wales' finest sand dune systems.

It says, over the last 60 years, Newborough Warren on Anglesey has lost 94% of open, mobile sand dunes as they became over-grown with grass and trees.

This destroyed the unique pioneer dune slacks necessary for the specialist and rare wildlife of the dunes to flourish.

NRW has already removed dead or stunted trees from two small areas behind the dunes.

Now it will begin the second phase of the project by removing vegetation from some dunes and cutting notches in the frontal dunes so that the sand can move about naturally in the wind. It says this will help rare plants and insects such as petalwort, sand wasps, mining bees and rare beetles that have been driven to the brink of extinction in the area.

The site needs help because the stabilised dunes are not providing the right habitat for the species that live there.

This work will allow the rare insects and plants to re-colonise the dunes and return them to naturally diverse and balanced habitats over the next couple of years.

Naturally mobile sand dunes aren’t just good for nature, they provide a more dynamic coastal defence system which can adapt to storms and sea level change. They are also fantastic natural landscapes and great places for everyone to enjoy.

– Graham Williams, Senior Reserve Manager at Natural Resources Wales
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