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Corwen Leisure Centre to be renamed in tribute to popular councillor

An extensively refurbished Corwen Leisure Centre will reopen after lockdown with a brand new name in honour of much-loved Councillor, Huw ‘Chick’ Jones.

Denbighshire Leisure Ltd and the Council are proud to announce the renaming of Corwen Leisure Centre to Canolfan Hamdden Huw Jones, in tribute for the popular local and County Councillor who sadly passed away in February 2020.

The exciting refurbishment of Corwen Leisure Centre, delivered in partnership with the Council, is now complete and includes a new pool hall, changing areas, viewing area and new state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Councillor Jones was a very well respected, hard-working Councillor, who was involved in many, community groups and projects in his home town of Corwen. He also acted as the Council’s Lead Member for Leisure from 2013 until 2017 and had a strong belief in the importance of leisure and its effect on improving health and wellbeing.

During Councillor Jones’ time as Lead Member, the focus on leisure within Denbighshire was rapidly growing, and he played an important role in the development of Denbighshire Leisure Services, from a small County Council Service into a busy, thriving Company.

Huw’s personal passions and interests centred around sport, particularly football. He will be perhaps be most remembered in Corwen for his work with Corwen Football Club and was committed to developing girls and women’s football in the area.

Jamie Groves, Managing Direct of Denbighshire Leisure said “Huw was a popular, kind and trusted man, who wanted the best for everyone in his community and his county. When he was appointed as Lead Member for Leisure, we were beginning a journey with many challenges ahead of us. Without Huw’s commitment and loyalty, many of the achievements we realised would have otherwise been impossible. From my personal point of view, his enthusiasm and his unwavering support will never be forgotten. We feel this is a very fitting tribute for the many years Huw devoted to his local community and his County.”

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Well-being and Independence at the Council, said: “When Huw sadly passed away, his fellow Councillors lost a loyal friend and colleague and his community lost a trusted councillor, who served his residents with integrity and to the absolute best of his ability. Huw had a wide variety of interests and was passionate about many local projects, but sport and leisure was something very close to his heart. We feel renaming Corwen Leisure Centre in his memory, is a very fitting tribute for the many years Huw devoted to his local community.”

The first floor fitness space in Canolfan Hamdden Huw Jones has also been refurbished with a range of new first-class functional equipment installed. This refurbishment will ensure that Corwen residents have the same exceptional standard of equipment that Denbighshire Leisure provides to all its members across the county at all 7 leisure centres.

This project follows on from other recent installations and refurbishments in the Dee valley, including a 3G pitch and new state of art fitness facilities in both Corwen and Llangollen.

Canolfan Hamdden Huw Jones will reopen for members and the public once the current Welsh Government guidelines allow.

If you would like to know more about Leisure Services and what they offer, please visit their website.

Care home visiting booth allows friends to reunite

A visiting booth has been installed at a Denbighshire care home.

The booth, installed at Dolwen in Denbigh which is managed by the Council, was designed and built by staff member Erfyl Jones, who is a support worker at the home.

The booth has allowed residents at the care home, who have been unable to mix since December, to reunite.

Once restrictions around visiting care homes have been changed, the booth can be used by families and friends visiting loved ones.

Dolwen residents Olwen Lloyd and Janet Kenyon Thompson were the first to use the booth after it was installed last month.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, the Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “I would like to thank Erfyl for his work designing and building the visiting booth which has been a great boost for residents. 

“It has helped residents interact with friends from different sections of the home, which for safety reasons have been kept separate.  I’m pleased to see how much joy this has brought to our residents.

“Once the regulations around visiting care homes change, this booth will provide friends and family the chance to visit their loved ones in a safe way.”

Queen’s Buildings redevelopment – Rhyl

A Rhyl Town Centre masterplan was developed by the Council, Rhyl Town Council and the business, community and voluntary sectors, to develop a vision for Rhyl. The masterplan will provide the town with a sustainable future by the delivery of realistic and achievable actions.

Following this, in March 2019, the Council acquired a number of adjacent buildings in the town centre fronting onto the seafront promenade, known collectively as Queen’s Buildings. The buildings were in a dilapidated state, with no active uses on upper floors and significant void levels on the ground floor.

As part of the wider regeneration strategy for Rhyl, the Queen’s Buildings were acquired with specific aims of:

  • Addressing the eyesore nature of the partially derelict and dilapidated site to improve the physical appearance of this key area of the town centre, providing a much more positive image of the town for shoppers and visitors;
  • To provide a new mix of uses on the site to help reinvigorate the town centre, with a clear focus on returning the site to a productive economic use and providing new business and employment opportunities;
  • To improve confidence in the town centre, increasing footfall and helping to stimulate further private sector investment in the town.

Due to the extremely poor state of the site, a significant number of the buildings will need to be demolished, before any development commences. Contractors Wye Valley Demolition started demolition on site in January and are scheduled to finish this summer.

There are plans in place to preserve as many items throughout the refurbishment of the site as possible. One exception to the demolition is the red brick building which fronts onto Sussex Street, an attractive red brick façade which is within Rhyl Town Centre Conservation Area, which will be retained and restored, forming one of the entrance to a new event space and market hall.

The site will be developed in phases, the first of which is due to start later this summer. Phase One will involve: 

  • The development of an indoor market hall to accommodate hot food kiosks, permanent market stalls, temporary market stalls and seating for up to 200 people dining. The focus of this will be good quality local/Welsh produce;
  • The development of a flexible indoor space which could accommodate a range of events including speciality markets, exhibitions, music, theatrical and film performances;
  • Toilets and a bar area which will serve both the above spaces; and
  • External market / event space and high quality public realm/landscaping.

Future phases for the sites development include potential commercial units and seafront residential.

A planning application has been submitted and is currently in the process of being determined. This can be viewed on the Planning Portal, application reference 45/2021/0040.

Photo credit: B.C. Photography

Foster carers ...... we need you

The Council are looking to recruit Foster Carers throughout the Denbighshire area to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

Fostering involves looking after children from birth to 18 years old, however foster carers in conjunction with their social worker can decide on the age of a child/children which would best suit their family. We are looking for people who can provide a safe, secure, loving and nurturing environment for children and young people who for many reasons are not able to live at home. Foster carers can provide short term care, long term care, respite or emergency care, or short breaks for children with additional needs.

Are you over 21, with the time and skills to care for children or young people, do you have a spare bedroom, but most of all do you have room in your life to make a difference to a child’s life?

Denbighshire Fostering Service have a very close and supportive relationship with their carers, training, support and a financial allowance are all part of being a foster carer.

Should you wish to have an informal discussion with either a Fostering Social worker or a foster carer, please contact Julie Fisher, Fostering Service Manager 01824 712821 or Penny Moran 01824 712287 Placement and Commissioning Officer.

How should health and social care be provided in Denbigh in future?

The Council and Betsi Caldwaladr University Health Board will be drawing up options for investing in the future of health, social care, housing and community services in Denbigh and the surrounding area in the coming months.

First, they want to know how citizens experience current provision, and understand what their future preferences or needs might be. This includes the whole range of support, for example, from community based support, sheltered and extra care housing, voluntary transport, group activities, GP services, through to full time care and support.

How has the pandemic changed the way we view and access these services, how has this affected people’s wellbeing, and what can learn from this moving forward?

Cllr Bobby Feeley, the Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “There may be opportunities in Denbigh to invest in buildings, to bring additional services into the locality, to re-organise the way we deliver services in the community, and to make effective use of technology. But we need to build this vision out of a clear understanding of what the people of Denbigh and the surrounding areas want and need.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in this consultation so the Council and Betsi Caldwaladr University Health Board can get residents’ views.”

How can you join the conversation?

The council and health board have asked Practice Solutions – an independent community engagement specialist – to gather people’s views on these topics during February and March. Given social distancing, they will be doing this through several different methods.

Practice Solutions have made contact with a range of professionals, elected members, representatives of community and faith groups in the local area, many of whom have agreed to put us in touch with citizens.

If you would like to be involved, or could help us reach others, please contact Rhian (in English or Welsh) at rhian@practicesolutions-ltd.co.uk or on 07468 484003.

Census 2021

Census 2021 will provide a snapshot of modern society.

Households across Denbighshire will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed. This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That's why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Wales, households will also be asked a specific question about their Welsh language skills. And those who wish to complete the census in Welsh can do so both online and in paper form. There are "Cymraeg" and "English" buttons to switch between languages at any time online, and on paper you can use Welsh and English on the same form.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information, please visit the Census 2021 website.

Climate Change

Denbighshire climate change strategy approved by Full Council

A plan to tackle climate and ecological change has been approved by Full Council.

In 2019 the Council declared a climate change and ecological emergency which included a commitment to make the authority net carbon zero by 2030, enhance biodiversity across the county and produce a clear plan to guide the work.

The Council’s Climate and Ecological Change Strategy which covers the years 2021/22 – 2029/30 sets out how the Council aims to become Net Carbon Zero and Ecologically Positive by 2030.

The strategy includes targets to reduce the Council’s carbon emissions from a range of sources, including a 50 per cent reduction from the energy and water used in Council owned buildings, as well as targets to increase the amount of carbon absorbed by the land the Council owns at the same time as creating more diverse habitats for plants and wildlife.

The work has been guided by the Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Working Group, set up as part of the emergency declaration, and is made up of two representatives from each political party represented in the Council and the two Lead Members for climate and ecological change.

Cllr Graham Timms, the Council’s Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Working Group Chair, said: “I’m delighted the strategy has been approved by Full Council. The strategy sets out what we mean by the goals net carbon zero and ecologically positive Council, how the Council is currently performing on both, what we hope 2030 will look like for the Council having achieved our goals and the changes and actions we hope to deliver over the next nine years.”

Cllr Brian Jones, the Council’s Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “This is another positive step for the Council in its work to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.

“We have already achieved a lot, we have reduced carbon emissions from our buildings and fleet by 15 per cent since 2017, the Council now only uses renewable electricity for its own buildings after switching to a renewable only energy provider for its schools, leisure centres, libraries, council offices and depots and we are over halfway to reaching our target of planting 18,000 trees by 2022.”

You can read the strategy online at www.denbighshire.gov.uk/climate-change.

Have your say on climate change

There is a new way to get involved with the climate and ecological change agenda here at the Council. We have launched ‘Discussions’ where you can share your views and ideas and get involved in a variety of climate and ecological change topics.

You can sign up to take part by registering for the Y Panel Climate and Ecological Change sub-group on the County Conversation web site. This will enable you to post a comment, reply to existing comments and also receive notifications when a new topic is ‘live’.

Discussions are message boards - like an online chat forum. We’ll pin up a message about a topic and you can post your replies, and reply to other people. There will be a new topic to get involved in every 4 weeks and each topic will remain open for discussion for 2 weeks.  

The first one was entitled ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and focussed on discussions around nature’s recovery - as it coincided with the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which took place at the end of January. Did you take part? The Climate Change team submitted our results and our sightings included blackbirds, robins, house sparrows, starlings, coal tits, blue tits and woodpigeon. Quite an impressive list. The photo shows a blackbird captured by the wildlife camera in the garden of one of the team. Over 12 and a half million people have submitted their results to the RSPB so far. We hope you took part too!

This month’s discussion topic is on ‘Getting to your destination in a low carbon way’. It will be concentrating on travel and how you are doing that in a low carbon way. Perhaps you're not travelling as much as you used to? Many of us are working from home and staying more local now but many still have a need to travel. We'd love to know if you are conscious about your carbon footprint when it comes to travelling and what this means to you.

This is your chance to share your knowledge, have your say and engage with other like-minded people. Why not sign up to Y Panel at countyconversation.denbighshire.gov.uk and get involved? We can’t wait to hear from you!

Council secures over £560,000 for waste reduction

The Council has secured more than £560,000 for waste reduction and re-use projects in the county!

The Welsh Government funding is for four projects under its Green Recovery Circular Economy fund which aims to help keep materials in circulation for as long as possible to avoid waste.

The funding will support work to increase the reuse of a range of unwanted items brought to Denbighshire’s three household waste recycling centres, to deliver a project to increase the kerbside collections of textiles for re-use by preparing clothing and other items for re-sale, to support the role of charities in providing places for the donating and selling of goods otherwise disposed of as waste, and to help deliver a social supermarket project based at Market Hall, Ruthin, to sell and distribute local food produce and reduce food waste.

Councillor Brian Jones, the Council’s Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “The Council welcomes this funding which will provide a boost for our town centres as well as supporting the environment by keeping keep materials in circulation for as long as possible. Keeping materials in use for longer reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps to sustain our environment for future generations. The Council looks forward to working with our third sector partners on these projects which will benefit the whole county.”

The Council has made protecting the environment a priority and this funding will help contribute to the wider work ongoing in the county which includes the Council’s declaration of a climate change and ecological emergency which states a commitment to make the authority net carbon zero by 2030.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse

Tackling domestic abuse has been identified as a key priority in the Council’s Corporate Plan.

Here is a statement from Councillor Mark Young, who is the Cabinet Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection, Safer Communities and Domestic Abuse.

“Ending domestic abuse is so important to us as a Council, that we have made it one of our priorities in our Corporate Plan.

“Violence against men and women affects all of us and it is more important than ever to tackle it and as such, the Council is developing a county-wide approach to reducing domestic abuse against women and men as part of its Corporate Plan as well as supporting the North Wales strategy to tackle all aspects of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“Work is now under way to raise awareness of domestic abuse with staff and service users; providing training and development for staff to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and support for children affected by domestic abuse.

“This project is expected to continue as we aim to contribute to the reduction of domestic abuse across the county. So look out for our messages on social media. We also have lots of useful advice on our website along with links to other organisations who are there to help you.

“In Denbighshire, we know that during the current pandemic that the figures have risen sharply.

“Can I just end by saying to anyone out there, you may not even be aware that you’re the victim of domestic abuse – it doesn’t always manifest itself in a bruise. Please don’t suffer in silence – there are people out there who can help you. If you need help, please ring the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 8010 800 7 days a week, for free advice and support or to talk through your options, or of course, if you are in immediate danger, you can ring North Wales Police on 999.”

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

#MakeThePromise #NoExcuseForAbuse

There is more information on our website.

Alcohol Abuse and Domestic Abuse

When you look at alcohol abuse and domestic abuse, it is easy to see that there are connections between the two behaviours. Often the violence in the home is accompanied by excessive drinking of alcohol over a long period. While the drinking is not usually the cause of the violence, it can make the situation more volatile, increasing the severity and frequency of the abusive episodes.

While drinking can make the violence worse, it may also become an escape for the abused person, which in turn escalates the cycle of domestic abuse even further. This violence can affect any children exposed to the situation in many negative ways.

Alcohol abuse combined with domestic abuse often results in increased injury to the battered spouse, and everyday drinking is one of the leading risk factors for domestic abuse.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can go ring the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 8010 800

Anyone in immediate danger should call 999.

#LiveFearFree #Youarenotalone

You can also visit the Alcoholics Anonymous website for help and also find your nearest group.

        

Tourism

BLOG: Our Community Miles

Here is a blog that is written by our Tourism Officers.  In this edition they highlight some shorter walking routes within North East Wales and hopefully there is one near where you live, as current restrictions only allow walking from home right now. We hope you will find it of interest.

https://www.northeastwales.wales/our-community-miles/

Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador Scheme

Why not become part of the Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador Scheme.

There are 11 modules namely:

  • Welcome to Denbighshire
  • Denbighshire Towns & City
  • Walking in Denbighshire
  • Cycling in Denbighshire
  • History & Heritage in Denbighshire
  • Welsh Language and Culture
  • Arts in Denbighshire
  • Pontycysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site
  • Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Coastal Denbighshire
  • Food Tourism

This free scheme is designed to improve the visitor and local experience for people who work in tourism, work with visitors, live or study in the area. A series of interactive online training modules with quizzes have been produced. There are 3 levels of awards – bronze, silver and gold, depending on the amount of modules completed. Each person will receive a certificate, pin badge and window stickers on completion of the awards.

Become a Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador today!

The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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Would you like to hear about the latest tourism news in Denbighshire & North East Wales?

Click here, so sign up.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Landscape Solutions Grazing Project

Due to current COVID 19 restrictions our Landscape Solutions Grazing Project has been pushed back in many aspects with things being postponed and rescheduled. However, our grazing animals are still working hard to maintain our sites, they are often considered the most effective and sustainable way of maintaining habitats ensuring a rich variety of wildlife and promoting biodiversity.

We have had a small herd of soay sheep grazing on the butterfly glades at Loggerheads Country Park, some Belted Galloway cattle at Aberduna Nature Reserve, our conservation Carneddau ponies have also been busy at Aberduna Nature Reserve, before recently moving on to Moel Findeg. The project uses traditional native breeds of livestock which are bread for their hardiness, the prefer to eat the more dominant plant species, this leaves space for a variety of other species to become established. The cattle and ponies also create ground disturbance which provides new habitats for reptiles and invertebrates, they also create safe spots for new seedlings to flourish.

Over the recent snow, although these animals are very hardy and used to living out in all weather conditions, we like to provide some hay to keep them going until the snow has melted.

Sutainable Development Fund

Established in 2001, the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) supports innovative, sustainable projects in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The fund supports projects that work to enhance and conserve natural beauty, wildlife, culture, landscape, land use and community within the context of the goals and sustainable development principles in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and the priorities set out in Valued and Resilient: the Welsh Government’s Priorities for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.

Do you have a project worthy of support? Does your project;

  1. Explore innovative ways of contributing to the opportunities and challenges set out in Valued and Resilient.
  2. Build capacity in local communities, and develop and support community-based projects promoting sustainable development objectives.
  3. Generate greater awareness and understanding of sustainability amongst residents and visitors, and facilitate positive behaviour change.
  4. Deliver and promote the purposes of the AONB and the objectives as set out in the AONB Management Plan.

If so, we would like to hear from you.

Eligibility 

Local Authorities, voluntary, community, and partnership groups are eligible to apply for funds as long as the proposed project meets the scheme’s priorities. Projects should be located within or should directly benefit the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

Private businesses or individuals may also apply on the same basis provided they are able to demonstrate a clear benefit to the wider community and AONB.

Sudd

SDF was used to support the setup costs of an innovative community apple juice project aimed at utilising unused apples sourced from the AONB and Vale of Clwyd. Sudd Afal Cwmni Buddiant Cymunedol (community interest company) was set up with Companies House and registered as a food distribution company with Denbighshire CC. An open meeting was held in the Gold Lion, Llangynhafal in June 2019 to launch the project and gauge local interest. Posters were distributed to local shops/pubs and community noticeboards asking for any unwanted apples. Social media was also used to publicise the project and source unwanted apples.

Graigfechan Eco-Connectivity Project

SDF support was used to increase community involvement in management of the local natural environment primarily around Graigfechan in the western part of the AONB. The aim was to help drive forward the longer-term goals of improving eco-connectivity and habitat permeability between 3 nature reserves. Two community groups – Grŵp Gwyllt and Llanfair Fyw – were involved in managing the local Reserves and sites of biodiversity interest during 2019. Regular volunteer events helped deliver important conservation action, including construction of an otter holt on the Dwr Ial, invasive plant removal at Pant Ruth, and planting wild daffodils in Pwllglas. A particularly beneficial outcome for the scheme was a negotiated extension to the Graig Wyllt Nature Reserve to include the special features of mature woodland and limestone grassland. The extension to the Reserve helps secure enhanced protection for significant biodiversity interest within the AONB.

Taste North East Wales

Blasu/Taste was a 3-year collaboration project testing new approaches to developing the economic value of the food and drink sector. In particular, the project developed collaboration between food producers, the hospitality trade and consumers through shortening the supply chain, it explored new ways to promote local food by allowing customers into producer’s kitchens and online hosting of events, as well as providing capacity building for producers/hospitality through focused workshops and training.

Ysgol y Foel Decarbonisation Project

Through decarbonisation Ysgol y Foel embraced the opportunities of the green economy, reducing its running cost and generating new funding lines through energy generation, thus enhancing its long term economic viability, a common challenge across primary schools within the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.

For more information about the fund please contact Ceri Lloyd ceri.lloyd@denbighshire.gov.uk.

Please note funding is limited and applications will be assessed by an independent panel.

Increase in off-road activity during lockdown

We have seen an increase in reports of off-road activity in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) since lockdown began, with people travelling to use routes where there are legal rights of way for off-road vehicles. However, there has also been an increase in incidents on areas where vehicle access is prohibited. This can cause irreparable damage to some of our most sensitive habitats and wildlife.

At present, while Wales remains in a Tier 4 lockdown, off-road travel for enjoyment of routes with legal rights for vehicles is classed as non-essential travel.

North Wales Police are stopping and fining people.

If you see any off-road activity you think is illegal, please report to North Wales Police via 101 or online using the live chat or reporting forms.

Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB Volunteer Award

Its congratulations to the Llanferres Art Group, also known as the Country Park Painters, who have won the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB Volunteer Award for 2020. The group made Loggerheads Country Park its permanent home in 2005 and have since made a significant contribution to the social activities at the park and in the AONB more generally.

They have promoted art in the park, have held exhibitions and been tireless fund raisers for local causes. Each year the group managed to sell many paintings and visitors to the park are invited to vote for their favourite painting, the artist with the most votes then gets to choose the charity for that year. Some of the charities that the group have supported over the years include Cancer Research, Diabetes Research, Llanferres Church, Help the Heroes, African Water Aid, Support Dogs and Hope House Hospice.

Group leader, Pat Armstrong said that the group were delighted with the nomination and took great pride in being an integral part of the park,   and felt so fortunate to be able to meet there, and the Team at Loggerheads always made the them so welcome.

During the pandemic most of the group were still managing to paint, but it was not the same as painting in the Park and they were all looking optimistically to a time when they could safely continue with their weekly get togethers, and produce their next exhibition. The Loggerheads Team said that they had also missed their regular visits to the park and were looking forward to a welcoming them back when it was safe to do so.

Congratulations to these popular and deserved winners.

All images were taken pre-covid

Llantysilio Mountain restoration gets off the ground!

Works to restore the fire damaged Llantysilio Mountain will shortly be getting under way. Staff of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty undertook a number of trials in 2020 to test ways to get moorland plants re-established on the mountain. Following the success of the trials, a larger scale approach will literally be getting off the ground in March.

The Council's Moorland Field Officer Graham Berry has been helping to organise the works which are being funded by the Welsh Government and lead by Natural Resources Wales. “Heather will be cut on Mynnydd Llantysilio as part of annual moorland management with one difference, the cuttings will be bagged and airlifted by helicopter to some of the worst fire damaged areas of the mountain on Moel y Gamelin and Moel y Faen.”

Just over 1ha of heather brash will be spread as a mulch, stabilising the soil and creating conditions for moorland plants like heather and bilberry to recolonise. A further 68ha of the mountain will also be sown with an upland grass seed mix to create a nursery crop for moorland plants to recolonise.

This year’s restoration works will only cover half of the most damaged part of the mountain and further work is planned in the future. This approach has been successful on fire damaged moorlands in England and it is hoped that over time the vegetation will re-establish to benefit wildlife, farming and local communities alike.

For health and safety reasons, members of the public are kindly requested not to venture out on to the Llantysilio mountain when the helicopter is airlifting the bags of heather.

Photo Credit:  Airbourne Solutions

Mad March - controlled burning season comes to an end

It’s that time of year when we are coming to the end of the controlled burning season (1st October – 31st March) when land managers can burn heather, gorse and grassland as part of their management. As we move in to March, the ground conditions can improve, making it suitable for a burn, however this often gets pushed to the end of March when there is a flurry of burning activity across the County’s moorland.

Because of the extraordinary year brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the emergency services are under immense strain with fewer staff due to sickness or isolation, not to forget the increased pressures faced by our NHS. For this reason, we ask that landowners and farmers please reconsider any planned heather or gorse burning this March and postpone to next season.

If you are planning a controlled burn, you must adhere to the Welsh Government’s Heather and Grass Burning Regulations (2008). Here is a quick check list of what you need to know:

  • Are you permitted to burn?
    • Check management agreements on land and subsidy cross compliance (GAEC).
  • You must have a Burning Management Plan or Licence to burn.
    • NW Fire & Rescue Service can assist with this for FREE call 01931 522006.
  • Inform NW Fire & Rescue Service Control Room on 01931 522006
    • notify in advance of the location, date, time and extent of proposed burn.
    • notify them at the end of the day when all fires have been extinguished.
    • Inform neighbours and community 24hrs before planned burn.
      • inform DCC officers if burning in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • No burning between sunset and sunrise.
  • Burn no more than 10 ha (24 acres) in any single burn.
  • Do not burn up hill on steep slopes.
    • Burn no more than 0.5 ha (1 acre) on slopes of more than 45o in any single burn.
  • Have 3 or more people present and suitable equipment to control the fire.
    • 1 person per 5-10m of fire front and control the flanks to desired width.
    • Wind speed should be no more than 15mph (force 4)
      • Check wind direction and ensure there is no risk to people, property, and wildlife.
  • A fire must not be started which is likely to injure, interrupt or endanger road users.
  • If a fire gets out of control contact the fire and rescue service immediately on 999.
    • Fire must be completely out before you leave it.
      • check next day to ensure fire has not reignited.
  • It is illegal to leave a fire unattended or to have too few people to control it.

Any person who contravenes any provision of the Burning Regulations commits an offence under section 20(2) of the Hill Farming Act 1946 and may be liable to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Features

A big step forward in a new housing scheme in Denbigh

The residents of Denbigh and the surrounding area will have noticed a major step in the development of Grŵp Cynefin's extra care scheme in the town, the disappearance of the tall crane from the skyline as the construction moves to the next stage. It’s an indication that things are moving ahead at Awel y Dyffryn, one of the most exciting developments in the history of Grŵp Cynefin housing association, which has similar successful extra care schemes in Porthmadog, Holyhead, Bala and Ruthin.

Awel y Dyffryn will offer comfortable apartments for up to 66 older people seeking independent living, but with the assurance that help is available if needed. If you would like to apply for a home or want more information about the scheme and the care and support available for yourself, a friend or family member please phone 0300 111 2122, e-mail post@grwpcynefin.org o visit the website http://www.grwpcynefin.org/.

Awel y Dyffryn is being provided in partnership with the Council and Grŵp Cynefin.

Picture taken from the top of the crane with the development shown below

North Wales Regional Partnership Board

Image result for north wales partnership board

Please find a link to the latest edition of their newsletter.

Libraries and One Stop Shops

Newspapers delivered direct to your device

During lockdown Denbighshire Libraries have been discovering innovative new ways to deliver services.

Traditionally many people enjoyed visiting the library to read the newspapers and while that is not possible, you can use PressReader. This fantastic service delivers your daily newspaper direct to your device, 24/7. Get access to more than 7,000 of the world’s top newspapers and magazines as soon as they’re available on shelves.

All you have to do is download the app and sign in with your library card. If you aren’t already a library member it is quick and easy to join online.

For more information visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/libraries

Memory Bags

Denbighshire Libraries are delighted to be able to offer a new collection of Memory Bags that are available to borrow from your local library.

They contain a collection of books, poems, artefacts and smells that are designed to stimulate the senses and promote reminiscence and discussion. They have been themed around the ‘Pictures to Share’ books, which are designed specifically for people living with dementia, and are part of the Reading Well for Dementia Scheme. They offer prompts that can help people living with dementia and their family or carers engage in meaningful activities. They are ideally suited for use in one to one situations, or small groups.

The bags also include a Creative Wellbeing Activity Toolkit that gives ideas for creative activities for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

The eight themes are:

  • At The Seaside;
  • Childhood Days;
  • In the Garden;
  • Memories of Music;
  • Shopping;
  • World of Work;
  • Travelling;
  • Leisure Time.

The Memory Bags have been created by Denbighshire Libraries in partnership with Life Story Network CIC and Denbighshire Leisure Ltd and funded by the Dementia Aware Community Led Grant Programme 2019/20.

Contact your local library to reserve a Memory Bag using our Order and Collect Service, or request one via our Library Catalogue.

Further information is available on our website.

Reading Well for children

If your children are dealing with BIG or difficult feelings, reading can be a useful tool to open up conversations about feelings with children.

You can find specially chosen books, endorsed by experts, through your local library with the brand new Reading Well for children booklist.

You can download the full bilingual booklist here and order the books you want from your local library over the phone or online via our website.

Here's a short film to explain more ……

 

Feedback cards

You might find a feedback card in your next Order and Collect bag – we would love to hear what you think about our service.

#LoveReading

Working Denbighshire

Do you want a job but don't know where to start?

Drop-in sessions

ADTRAC hold 'drop in' sessions every Tuesday from 2pm – 3pm on various topics.

If you’d like more information, then please e-mail the team at adtrac@denbighshire.gov.uk.

 

Tips on saving energy

Case Study: 'Miss A'

Miss A was referred to the Communities for Work project in October 2020. Communities for Work is an employability project that is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund. The aim of the project is to support citizens to regain their confidence to return to training, volunteering and/or employment.

Over the past couple of years, Miss A has had a troubling time which led to a decline in her mental health and a short period of time in prison. Since leaving prison Miss A has engaged well with a number of supportive services and has stuck to her probation requirements.

Miss A was referred to Communities for Work as she wanted to explore different volunteering options and possible employment in the future but was unsure of how to reach this goal. As part of the support plan, she was allocated a Mentor and has been receiving 1:1 bespoke support since. Due to the Covid19 restrictions in Wales all support has been taking place through phone calls and video calls. Within a couple of appointments, a Work Star was completed to identify areas that Miss A was confident in and where it was identified she needed the most support. Raising Miss A’s confidence and mental wellbeing was an important factor in aiding her progression and was the main focus in Miss A’s action plan.

Due to Covid19 restrictions, Miss A did not have access to a computer so the project looked into purchasing a laptop and Microsoft Office which would allow her to participate in video calls and online training.

Miss A’s mentor has been working with her on a weekly basis on a number of different tasks that helps her identify her skills and how to build on them further. Although Miss A has previous retail experience, the mentor has been working with her to explore different options for future volunteering and employment opportunities to ensure that when she does return to employment, it will be an area she will enjoy and is not limited to a particular sector. Recently, Miss A completed an online resilience course through ACT, an online training and bookings system used frequently by the project. Many of the courses have now been adapted to online, remote sessions to allow participants to continue to gain work ready skills and qualifications during the pandemic. The resilience course is tutor led and that covers self-esteem, confidence, coping mechanisms, mental health at work and achieving positivity. Miss A stated, that she found the course very useful and uses what she has learnt in her day to day activities. Other courses are now being considered to continue Miss A’s learning.

Highways

A light in the darkness

Article courtesy of the Ruthin & District Civic Association

How many of us take for granted the comfort offered by our street lights?

They help us to carry on our lives as safely and securely as possible. And, during daylight, have we ever looked up to notice the various street light designs still just about ‘visible’ around town.

Now might be a good time to look. Denbighshire County Council is about to conclude its 10-year plan of replacing our street lights with new LED lanterns. Examples of older types are still evident. In Ruthin, LEDs emerged about eight years ago. The plan was to convert small pockets of each town at a time, rather than to complete one in one go. Denbighshire was off the blocks near the beginning of the LED lighting revolution, thanks to an ‘invest to save’ programme that allowed the LED energy saving to repay a loan used to purchase the hardware.

An old lantern comes off …..
….. and a new one goes on

The programme started with our main roads, all of which are now converted to various styles of LED lighting. Main and distributor roads have a noticeably higher LED classification than housing estates.

Parc Brynhyfryd was previously unique in carrying Ruthin’s only florescent tube lanterns, which were an emerging and early attempt at energy efficiency. They were ‘whiter’ than their counterparts elsewhere in town. They provided a reduction in wattage of about 60 per cent, to 36W each. The Council replaced these florescent tubes in October. The new LED heads bring the power rating to 9W and are the most efficient in Ruthin (previous LEDs for the same luminance run at 13W. In the last five years, LEDs, already efficient, have improved by 25 per cent). But the thing is that despite a four-fold reduction in energy, the luminosity is actually better. LED white light leaks less, is concentrated on the footway & carriageway and everything is more distinct under them.

The new LEDs make it that little bit more

uncomfortable for gulls to land

That isn’t always welcomed, though. The clarity under a ‘whiter’ light can make some people less comfortable when walking. And, LEDs tend not to wash into front doors in quite the way traditional lanterns used to—this may or may not be a blessing. But, the clarity improves and the carbon reduction is considerable.

It’s still possible in Ruthin to experience the once familiar rheumy, grenadine glow of sodium-vapour lamps. Soon to be replaced, these orangey 60W lanterns continue to illuminate Ty’n y Parc, Porth y Dre, Bryn Coch, Bryn Glas, Y Menllis, Bryn Rhydd, Maes Cantaba, The Werns off Greenfield Road, and Castle Park.

Haulfryn is also unique. Over the previous 15 years or so, its roads are lit by ceramic metal halide lamps by Philips, somewhat akin in shape to a domestic bulb and previously offering an energy saving now overtaken by LEDs.

Glasdir’s heritage-style column heads now incorporate LEDs. When installed, they were of a high pressure sodium type. About a year ago, when the Council adopted the estate’s roads, it included the pre-conversion to LEDs. But, the unadopted car parks remain lit by sodium lanterns and this is one area where you can easily spot the grades of illuminance between the two types.

And then there’s the town centre. In the early 1990s, the town’s lamp columns and heads became similar in design to the gas lamps of yore. Finding LEDs that will fit this design has been a challenge but it won’t be long till all these are modernised (anticipated January or February 2021). Currently, the sodium lanterns operate at 100-150W and up to 250W depending upon location and it is here were the scope for carbon reduction—and improvements in luminosity—is now the greatest.

While most are pleased with their new street lights, a few find them a hindrance. It’s possible to place a ‘shield’ on an LED to concentrate their light downwards still further, as seen on this lantern on Denbigh Road.

Illuminating LEDs

  • The drivers within LED lanterns are actually able to reduce brightness by 30 per cent during less busy periods, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This saves further energy and CO2. It’s unlikely that you will notice this reduction in light intensity.
  • LEDs have an estimated 25 year life. As they get older, the LEDs can dim but the drivers within the lanterns can compensate for this by increasing the wattage slightly. This, of course, is accounted for within the energy saving and carbon reduction calculations.
  • Denbighshire changes 1,500 lanterns to LEDs per annum. They started at 18-22W each and are now 9-13W each, such is the improvement in design even over a five year period.

Denbighshire’s street lighting engineers are a multi-award-winning team, having won UK performance standards almost every year for the last 12 years.

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