The Tintern News

 

Produced by the Friends of Tintern – May 2008

 

 

Tintern Recreation Centre Management Committee

The Annual General Meeting of the Committee will be held on Monday 19th May at 7.30 pm in the centre and all villagers are welcome to attend.

Under the constitution, the Committee consists of elected members (5 in all) and representatives of organisations, societies and clubs who use the centre on a regular basis (there are at present 9 of these). The Committee can also co-opt up to 4 additional persons to assist in their work.

If you would like to support, and contribute your experience to the recreation centre as a possible elected member please let the present chairperson ( Mr. Adam Parker 01291 689552) or present Hon. Secretary ( Mr. Ken Haynes 01291 689588) know, preferably in advance of the meeting.

The committee are anxious that it should as as far as possible be a fair representation of the village, in order that the centre can make the maximum contribution to village life. (AP)

 

Tintern Parish Church & Churchyard Open Day

Bank Holiday Saturday 24/05/08 to Monday 26/05/08 - 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm each day

Do you enjoy seeing a church full of flowers?
Would you like to know about Gwent Wildlife's management plan for the graveyard?  
Are you interested in knowing what wild plants we have growing around us?
Perhaps check your family burial records?
Maybe buy a plant, a book, a pot?
Relax with a tea/coffee/cake?
  
If this sounds like a good way to spend your bank holiday then we look forward to seeing you because you are all very welcome here. (Rev. Nora Hill)

 

A response to the CARE  article in the April edition of the Tintern News

 

I was interested to read the article from ‘Concerned Angiddy Residents for the Environment (CARE) and I put the points made to one of the TAP directors.  

The article drew attention to some very real concerns.  The first point referred to the fact that no attempt has been made to assess the impact of reduced water flows.  At present water levels are being monitored twice a week and this will continue to be done.  If the project goes ahead, the Environment Agency itself will determine the amount of water that is removed from the brook, not TAP.   

 

The environmental surveys of the area are not yet complete – for the reason that CARE cites, i.e. the timing of the studies already carried out.  Surveys of bats, dormice, crayfish, water voles and invertebrates will be carried out in the coming months, when it is possible to do such surveys.

 

The second point criticised the design of the proposed scheme and its visual impact.  The officers of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty organisation and listed buildings organisations will scrutinise ALL proposed developments and are unlikely to permit anything that destroys the current visual or structural situation.  They, like most residents of this beautiful area, are concerned for the environment.

 

This brings me to the final point in CARE’s article –the benefits that may accrue from the proposed project.  The environment and the sustainability of resources are major concerns for everyone in the 21st Century.  We are constantly bombarded with information about climate change, the disappearance of fossil fuels, alternative forms of energy and so on.  This small scale and innovative project is an attempt to prove the feasibility of providing an alternative and sustainable source of energy.  Research and innovation have always cost money, and historically the return on these investments may initially have been small, but without the foresight of our forebears and their willingness to invest, we would never have developed as a nation.  TAP hopes that if the Angiddy project does come to fruition, it can and will inspire other similar sustainable developments across the UK.

 

TAP members do not want to ruin a beautiful valley; they too are concerned for, and about the environment.  However, they are also concerned about the future of the country as a whole, as I’m sure CARE members are.

 

Finally, I was somewhat alarmed at the confrontational tone of the CARE article.  I am surprised that in a small village such as Tintern, residents do not contact TAP members directly and voice their concerns.  If these two groups cannot meet to discuss issues what hope can anyone have for national or international relations?   

 

Frances Williams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAP – The Ecological Report

 

Responding to the letter from CARE in the April issue of The Tintern News, perhaps it would be helpful to update readers with the ecological issues.

 

It is quite correct that some of the survey work was done outside of the ideal season, and further work has and will be done at the request of The Environment Agency, and to meet the concerns of CARE and others.

A survey of streamside bryophytes, (mosses and liverworts), was commissioned from Sam Bosanquet of CCW; results should now be with EA and Mons CC.  This survey found very few species of significant interest and Sam’s report offered suggestions as to why the Angiddy supported rather an impoverished flora. He considered the TAP proposals were unlikely to cause further problems to these bryophytes.

At the same time we listed all higher plant species growing within c 1m of the stream, at the request of EA.

 

Future survey work that we are arranging, or will carry out, will cover a search for white clawed crayfish and the full range of aquatic invertebrates of the Angiddy. Both will await warmer water conditions of June to August, as requested.

 

On the question of “the impact on the brook of the prolonged severely reduced flows that would result from the scheme”, this statement is not based on facts. In the first instance we are not in a position to accurately predict patterns of water flows, and secondly, EA are still in the process of considering their recommendation for a minimum flow that is ecologically acceptable. This will, in part, depend on the further ecological data to be collected at their request. Thus it would be advisable to await this information and conclusions that may be drawn from it.

It should also be pointed out that we do not feel that it is our role to second guess future water flows and thence assess hypothetical impacts; our report is primarily to collect factual data and raise possible issues that might need to be addressed by those empowered to take advice and make decisions.

 

Although not reported at the time, we did find numerous signs possibly of homing squirrels, during our survey work!  We have not been able to confirm their presence, but a search of the relevant records and documents does not appear to suggest that they have any legal protection or are on any list of rare species.  Or are all individuals domesticated?

 

 Adrian & Elsa Wood; Wye Valley Surveys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Project Update – May 2008

 

The Planning Application and Environment Agency licence applications are proceeding through their consultation phases. It is likely to be July or August before the Environment Agency investigations are completed. All necessary data has been submitted by TAP.

 

TAP has now received conditional permission to install the scheme from all 3 landowners affected by the scheme. The major conditions being, the granting of planning permission and the issuing of Environment Agency licences.

 

As a result of the recent dry weather, the water flow rate in the Angiddy has fallen to its lowest level since mid November. During this 5 month period the scheme would have run continually at maximum output. At the current level the scheme would be operating at 75% of its maximum output. This fits well with the prediction that the scheme could achieve full extraction/power for 45% of the year, a depleted extraction/power for 42% of the year and no extraction/power for 13% of the year, whilst leaving an adequate residual flow in the Angiddy.

 

 An assessment of how many trees in the Angiddy Valley are vulnerable to damage, or will need to be removed when the project is implemented, has been carried out at the end of April. A report will be issued in mid May.

 

During the summer months, further environmental surveys will be carried out. These will concentrate on seasonal elements. E.G. Aquatic invertebrates, crayfish, etc

 

Further details about the project can be seen on the web page www.tapenergy.org

 

If you would like to become a member of TAP, the web page includes an application form which can be printed and posted. Membership only costs £1. Alternatively please contact Morris Jones on 01291 689550.

 

Please help

Letters in support of the Project could be helpful to the success of the Planning Application. This can be done on line by visiting the TAP web page www.tapenergy.org  Click on the Planning Application heading and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you may write to Monmouthshire County Council, Planning Department at County Hall, Cwmbran NP44 2XH. Quoting the reference number 2007 / 01452

 

                                                                                                                                                Norman Williams

Marketing & Publicity Director      

Tintern Angiddy Project Ltd

                                                 Telephone 01291 680016

E Mail info@tapenergy.org

 

 

 

Homing Squirrels

 

Having read with interest Andy Furbelow’s extremely helpful news on homing squirrels, I would like, at the risk of sounding churlish, to sound a note of caution.  Whereas his Russian squirrels do sound like a bunch of reasonably well-trained professionals, my own experience with homing squirrels has been less than satisfactory.

 

Whilst in no way wishing to belittle the undoubted achievement of the Russian rodents, I have had, sad to say, nothing but trouble with their UK, and in particular, their Welsh relatives.  These latter are almost invariably charming, fine choral singers, passionate rugby fans and, of course, bilingual.  But ask them to deliver a message, whether verbal or written, and you could be on shaky ground.

 

“He’ll be with you now, sir!” I was told some years ago at Squirrel Control, Carmarthen, as I enquired after their speediest courier.  Two weeks later I ended up sending my message by overland seagull.  On another occasion, a letter I had sent by squirrel was discovered in a neighbour’s bird feeder under a pile of nuts.  Worst of all was being told that an airmail letter of mine had been eaten by the courier, who had been suspended as a result.

 

Signed – A. Nutter

Llandogo Over 60s Coach Trips

28th May – Weston-super-Mare and Cadbury Garden Centre

26th June – Swindon

23rd July – Weston-super-Mare

27th August – Sidmouth

24th September – Torquay or Paignton

22nd October – Merryhill

26th November – Worcester

 

For further details and pick-up points please contact Iris (01600 713201)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Basics of Footpath Law

 

The Wye Valley has a tremendous appeal for walkers.  Two long distance paths start at Chepstow, and there are hundreds of miles of field and woodland walks.  Walkers bring a lot of revenue into Monmouthshire, especially in spring and autumn and many businesses and bed & breakfasts felt the pinch when paths were closed during the Foot and Mouth crisis.  Unfortunately, many routes are in danger of being spoilt because of inappropriate (and illegal) use.  Sometimes this may be because of ignorance, and it may be worth clarifying matters.

 

FOOTPATHS are open ONLY to walkers.  They are not open to cyclists, pedal or motorised, or to horse riders.  The use of any right of way by cyclists (as with horse-riding) can be controlled by traffic regulation orders and byelaws, and infringement of byelaws or orders is a criminal offence.  Interestingly, it is still an offence to ride a bicycle on the pavement at the side of a road, although it seems a long time since we had the posters outside Police Stations, Pavements are for Pedestrians. 

 

Footpaths are signposted nowadays by a pictogram of a walker – the older signposts may give destinations and distances, but the mandatory imposition of bilingualism apparently made it inappropriate to continue to use these.  The routes may also be waymarked, and the colour of the arrow for a footpath is Yellow.

 

BRIDLEWAYS are open to walkers, horse riders and pedal cyclists (although cyclists should give way to other users).  These routes may be waymarked with Blue arrows and may have a pictogram of a horse and rider.

 

BYWAYS are legally open to all traffic, although they may not be suitable for ordinary motor vehicles.  They may be waymarked with RED arrows.  There are also RESTRICTED BYWAYS which are open to walkers, horse riders, and drivers/riders of non-mechanically propelled vehicles (such as horse-drawn carriages and pedal cycles). They may be marked with Purple arrows and are a category which should help to limit the use of unsuitable tracks by motorised vehicles, whether 4 x 4s or trail bikes.

 

Sadly, there are all too many people, out for a day’s walking in our wonderful countryside, whose enjoyment is ruined either by the noise of trail bikes, or by having to leap out of the way of pedal cyclists (whatever happened to bicycle bells?), or purely because it is so muddy underfoot where the footpath has been churned up by bikes that walking becomes a hazard and not a pleasure.

 

All this information, and more, can be found on the website of The Ramblers (www.ramblers.org.uk).  If we all respect the law, there is plenty of room for everybody, and we can all enjoy what the wonderful Wye Valley has to offer.  Don’t let the few spoil it for the many.                                                            Jenny Jones

 

Church Services – United Benefice of Tintern and Llandogo with Whitebrook

 

St. Michael’s Church, TinternCommunion Service 10.30am every Sunday

Rev. Nora Hill.

 
St. Oudoceus Church, Llandogo – Communion Service 9.00am every Sunday

Rev. John Dearnley

 

Everyone is warmly invited to all of these services.

 

Tintern Pentecostal Church - every Sunday at 11:00am and 6:00pm and every Wednesday at 7:30pm

 

St. Michael’s Church - Cleaning Rota - fortnight beginning:

5th May                        Carole Evans

19th May                      Jude Spooner

2nd June                       Trudy and Nine Phelps

16th June                      Ann and Barry Richardson    

30th June                      Elspeth and Karen

14th July                       Janet, Sue and Barbara

28th Julys                      Tintern WI

 

Diary - Tintern Events.

Tintern Youth Club every Wednesday from 6.30 – 8.00pm – Village Hall

Wednesday 14th May – Bingo at the Anchor from 7.30pm

Friday 18th April - Tintern VPA at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall

Monday 21ST April - Tintern WI at 1.00pm in Tintern Village Hall Car Park

Monday 9th June - – Friends of Tintern AGM – 7.30pm – Anchor (postponed from April)

 

 

If you wish to book the village hall please ring 07512 856024 or email: Tintern.hall@yahoo.co.uk. Please note the following: Bookings need to be made at least 7 days in advance. Payment will need to be made in advance except for regular users.

 

Catbrook Memorial Hall – Events

Friday 9th May at 7.30 p.m. -  Film Night "Attonement".  £4 per person.  Bring your own drink.
Saturday 21st June - Midsummer Dance with Wye Jazz.  £15 per person to include refreshments.
Friday 4th-Sunday 6th July - Art for Africa Exhibition.   
Saturday 27th September - John Prior's Old Time Music Hall "All Together Now".

Coffee Mornings held on the third Tuesday of each month at 10.30 a.m.  All welcome.

Yoga Classes with Ruth Routh on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings.   Details contact Ruth on 01600-860648.

For details of all other events or to hire the hall contact Rosemary Stephens on 01600-860451.
 
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Advertising in the Tintern News

The Tintern News is delivered to approximately 250 houses in Tintern.  If you would like to advertise something in the News the current rates is £5.00 for a small ad./half a page, and £10.00 for a full page (per month).  Please send items to the editor at the address below with full contact details.

 

Advertising Rate change

 

From August the cost of advertising in the Tintern News will rise to £12.50 for a full page and £6.25 for a half page or small ad.

 

Items for the Newsletter – dates for the June 2008 edition

Items for the Tintern Newsletter can be sent by email to andrew.elspeth@virgin.net delivered to Wye Barn, Tintern. Items for the June Newsletter should be received by Tuesday 27th May, 2008.

 

A note from the Editor

The Tintern News is a vehicle for the expression of opinion by all members of the Tintern community. While it does not necessarily endorse the views of any particular contributors, it does wholeheartedly support the promotion of lively debate on the development of the village and of freedom of speech in general. However, it will reserve the right to edit any contributions in order to preserve moderation and a spirit of good intent in the presentation of arguments. Thoughts from everyone in our community will continue to be very welcome. ER

 

Tintern News is sponsored by Monmouthshire County Council Welsh Church Act Fund.