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Newsround

February 2014
The Open Spaces Society, the leading pressure-group for the protection of green spaces, has responded robustly to the Welsh Government’s draft Planning Bill in which it proposes to prohibit the registration of land as a town or village green where it has been identified for development.

The government also plans to enable landowners to deposit statements with the registration (unitary) authority, challenging people’s use of the land for recreation.

At present, local people can apply to register land as a green if they have enjoyed it for 20 years for informal recreation, without being stopped or given permission. Once registered, the land is protected from development.

Says Nicola Hodgson, case officer for the Open Spaces Society: ‘These proposals strike at the heart of local communities, preventing them from securing the land they have long enjoyed.  Many people won’t even be aware that land is threatened with development until it is too late to save it.

‘We are dismayed that the Welsh Government wants to copy the Westminster Government’s egregious Growth and Infrastructure Act and to introduce the same damaging changes to the law.

‘We have suggested instead that, before allocating land for development, planning authorities must be satisfied that the land is not capable of being registered as a green. If the land is eligible for registration, the authority must allow local people sufficient time to gather evidence and submit an application.

Read more: Open Spaces Society Condemns Welsh Government's Threat To Village Greens

February 2014
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has organised an exciting day of free events to coincide with the screening of the critically acclaimed film Project Wild Thing, which aims to encourage children and their families to reconnect with nature.

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Project Wild Thing aims to encourage children and their families to reconnect with nature.

The feature length documentary will be shown at Broad Haven Youth Hostel Study Centre on Sunday, March 2nd, in the middle of a day of wild activities in the surrounding National Park.

National Park Authority Discovery Team Leader Graham Peake said: “We hope this day of family fun, together with the screening of Project Wild Thing will inspire children and their parents to strengthen their links with nature and the National Park.

“The National Park offers endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with its diverse landscape and varied wildlife. The Authority also has an action-packed calendar of activities and events led by Rangers and guides who can help you become a wild thing!”

Read more: Pembrokeshire National Park Hosts Project Wild Thing

February 2014
Opening Times:  11:30 – 3:30

Saturday 22nd February

Welsh Cake Trail
All day
Help cook find the ingredients needed to make welsh cakes and you’ll be rewarded you with some freshly baked ones.

Butter Making at the Dairy
All day
Come and see how butter is made and get a chance to taste fresh butter on your welsh cakes.

Sunday 23rd February

Welsh Cake Trail
All day
Help cook find the ingredients needed to make welsh cakes and you’ll be rewarded you with some freshly baked ones.

Monday 24th February

Sensory Walk (1 hour)
11:30 & 2pm
A family walk using our senses in the wood. Start from the visitor building.

Paper Pots & Sweet Peas at the Frame Yard
12 & 2pm
Join our gardener and sow your own sweet peas that you can then take home to plant in your own garden.

Read more: National Trust Llanerchaeron Half Term Events

February 2014
A fitness drive by the joint managing director of a Shropshire and Mid Wales company has produced a £1,120 dividend for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Dylan Roberts from Salop Leisure, which has sales centres in Machynlleth, Shrewsbury and Stourport-on-Severn, raised the money for the charity in memory of his late father, Dr Ieuan Roberts, by completing the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon last September.

Dr Roberts died from MS in 1983 at the age 43. He was a founder lecturer at the Welsh Agricultural College, Aberystwyth.

“As I was approaching the age 50, I decided that I should do something to improve my fitness and took up running in November 2012,” said Dylan, who lives in Bow Street, Aberystwyth.

"I decided that I would have a go at running the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon and raise money for the MS Society, which is a charity close to my heart," he explained. "I receive a regular newsletter from the charity which charts the progress being made with research in recent years.

“They are pushing for money to complete the research, which will hopefully lead to an amazing breakthrough. What better cause to support.”

Dylan, who says he has never felt fitter since he began running, plans to run the Shrewsbury Half Marathon in June and repeat the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon in September.

Read more: MD’s Fitness Drive Gives MS Society A £1,120 Boost

February 2014
The Open Spaces Society, the leading pressure-group for common land, is delighted that the Welsh Minister for Natural Resources, Alun Davies, has pledged to introduce electronic registers for all common land in Wales.

He made the announcement on 12 February, undertaking to invest £5 million in the project which will be completed by the end of 2017.

There are 175,000 hectares of common land in Wales, 8.5 per cent of the land area, and commons are important for their contribution to the landscape and biodiversity of Wales, as well as to the hill-farming economy and for public access.  The electronic registers will replace the 50-year-old paper registers and will be accurate and accessible.

Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘This is a great step forward for common land in Wales.  It will help to raise the profile of commons with the public, as well as ensuring that the information held in the registers is readily accessible and consistent throughout the country.

‘The power to convert the registers is contained in section 25 of the Commons Act 2006 and it’s a pity that the Westminster government has shown no inclination to introduce it in England.’

www.oss.org.uk
campaignerkate.wordpress.com

Read more: Open Spaces Society Welcomes Electronic Registers For Welsh Commons

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