MCC and adventa have launched an online toolkit for countryside volunteers and walking groups – it’s at www.monmouthshirewalking.com. The toolkit is comprehensive guidance including everything volunteers need to know about rights of way and walking plus a calendar of local events.
How the treasured landscapes of the Brecon Beacons came to be has been revealed in ‘The Land of the Beacons Way’, a new book by geology writer Dilys Harlow, published by the South Wales Geologists’ Association . Starting along the well-known and loved 100 mile trail of the Beacons Way, the book opens a window on the deep history of the National Park, unearthing its secrets to help visitors and residents understand how this unique place developed into what it is today. The book costs £7.95 and is available from the National Park Visitor Centre near Libanus, Brecon and from other Tourist Information Centres at Abergavenny, Llandovery, Talgarth, Brynaman, Pontneddfechan and Crickhowell. It can also be purchased from the Geologists’ Association South Wales Group, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff CF10 3NP. Cheques should be made payable to the Geologists’ Association South Wales Group.
The County Council has prepared draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to provide further details on certain policies and proposals contained within the LDP – http://www.planningpolicy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/?page_id=32. Three of these update SPG documents previously adopted under the Monmouthshire UDP, that on Green Infrastructure is new:
- Policy H4 (g) Conversion/Rehabilitation of Buildings in the Open Countryside to Residential Use: Assessment of Re-use for Business Purposes
- Conversion of Agricultural Buildings
- Policies H5 and H6 Replacement Dwellings and Extensions to Dwellings in the Countryside
- Green Infrastructure
All responses must be received by 5pm on Thursday, 22 January 2015.
An outline planning application for the redevelopment of the Mabey site at Chepstow has now been been submitted. There is a 21 day deadline from 12 November to make representations about the application – http://idox.monmouthshire.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=86DFC4F893C5DB95693BFB980AC0D11A?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=DC/2014/01290. Campaigners for cycle paths in the lower Wye Valley area point out that the Mabey site is at outline planning stage at the moment so this is the ideal time to press for links between an upgraded Coastal Path and the proposed Tintern Path.
CPRW has presented Bee Friendly Monmouthshire with its Rural Wales Award for the promotion of bee-friendly wild flower displays. Working closely with MCC, the group has helped to create displays on verges, roundabouts and open spaces that will attract bees and other pollinators, and public praise and interest. The group plans to tackle insecticide issues, hedge cutting regimes and guidance for the public.
Welsh Government have launched a new resource called Resource Efficient Wales http://resourceefficient.wales.gov.uk/?lang=en It is a Welsh Government service providing people (domestic, business, community, voluntary and the public sector) with a single point of contact for support on using resources (energy, materials and water) more efficiently.
The proceedings of the Wales Biodiversity Partnership conference at Cardiff in September are now available at: http://www.biodiversitywales.org.uk/97/en-GB/Wales-Biodiversity-Partnership-Conference. Consultation on the Welsh Government’s Nature Recovery Plan – http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/environmentandcountryside/nature-recovery-plan/?lang=en – ends on 3 December.
The Woodland Trust is launching volunteer work parties at its Cefn Ila site near Usk, uncovering original features of the grounds and other management tasks to benefit wildlife and public enjoyment. Starting 21 January: 10.00am-3.00pm on first and third Wednesdays of each month and the last Sunday – tools provided, training available. They are also looking for volunteers to help at events, take photos, record the wildlife, capture oral history, etc. Contact: Amelia Lake, Community Development Officer – Cefn Ila at AmeliaLake@woodlandtrust.org.uk, 08437705566 or 07774786514. Visit the Cefn Ila web pages: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/5611/cefn-ila/ or http://cefnilawoods.wordpress.com/
The annual Joint Gwent-Glamorgan Recorders’ Forum will be at the USW Campus, Caerleon on 17 January – open to anyone interested in recording wildlife. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 029 20 641110 for programme or to book a place.
Blaenavon’s Forgotten Landscapes organisation has been awarded £280k from the Welsh Government’s Nature Fund for biodiversity projects that deliver community benefits, in this case in the Eastern Valleys uplands where crime and fire risks are among the problems to be tackled. Torfaen CBC will also receive a similar sum to lead a project across the Valleys to improve conditions for pollinating species, and the Brecon Beacons National Park has won over £200k for heathland restoration.