UPDATE! Nant Llesg Victory – Objections urgently needed against new proposal to fence off the area!!!

This gallery contains 14 photos.

After the second hearing in August, Anti-opencast campaigners were delighted that the local counsellors upheld their unanimous decision to vote against the Nant llesg surface mine proposal. Miller Argent (Nant Llesg Ltd.) put in an appeal just prior to Christmas. But this is where things get strange. It has been confirmed that Miller Argent have […]

The TARAGGAN Tale – Bargoed

Doris and her six hoglets

***  Doris and her six baby hoglets  ***

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The TARAGGAN Tale

A concrete jungle atop a mountain,

You made it beautiful, you made it bountiful.

 

Red and yellow and pink and blue,

A rainbow of colours and an Eco-loo.

A green-fingered glory with quite a story,

About those who have tended it and those who inhabit it.

 

A haven for the hedgehogs, who help keep slugs away.

After dark those spiky balls will all come out to play.

There’s Brychan and Gwladys and Doris and her brood,

Tummy’s grumbling they’ll wake up and search the grounds for food.

 

In the daytime welcome feathered friends, like Cheeky and his mates,

Who fly around and feast on fat-balls, nuts and juicy gnats.

And don’t forget Mice Manor, where voles are welcome too,

And the great Buggingham Palace, with creepy crawlies running through.

 

Buzzing bees and pollinators visit for the wildflowers,

And the sensory garden full of herbs with healing powers.

 

The bottle greenhouse is impressive, it’s the biggest of its kind,

Aluminium tool-sheds are packed with tools for you to find,

To till and sow and work the land

And grow great things by your own hand.

 

New potatoes, old potatoes,

Red and orange Tiger tomatoes,

Russian Kale and cabbage green,

Big orange pumpkins for Halloween.

Artichoke heads blowing in the breeze,

Fragrant flowers on tasty sweet peas,

Carrots that help you see in the dark,

Radishes that give your taste-buds a spark,

Onions for frying, so good you’ll be crying,

Beetroot for boiling and juicing and pickling,

A wonderful variety of lettuce hearts,

Succulent strawberries for jamming and tarts,

Fruit bushes laden, ripe for the picking,

Gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants for tasting.

 

Aesthetically pleasing and teaming with life,

Once wasteland, now fertile and blooming with growth.

A station for sitting, a scarecrow for scaring,

A spade man, planted, at the entrance, for guarding.   

 

As you stroll along the log lined ash path,

A feeling of peace comes to pass.

Touch the standing stones before you go,

And salute this project that continues to grow.

 

The TARAGGAN Tenants And Residents Association

Green Gym And Nursery, you are an inspiration.

Victory to Anti – Opencast Campaigners – NO to Nant Llesg

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After years of campaigning against a new opencast mine in the Rhymney, Fochriw, Bedlinog, Pontlottyn. Deri, Abertwsswg, Valley campaigners were delighted with the decision by the local council planning committee to recommend against the development unanimously. 

Passionate speeches from members of UVAG, GVA, FOE, RSPB and local community representatives covered the following issues in relation to the detrimental effects of opencast mining:

  • Health and well being
  • Loss of clean jobs and future inward investment
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Biodiversity
  • Water pollution
  • Visual impact
  • Light pollution
  • Noise
  • Dust
  • Climate change
  • Tourism

  Those who spoke up against the mine covered all issues through thorough factual research: 

United Valleys Action Group (UVAG). Some of their members having experienced first hand the detrimental effect of a mine close to their community in Merthyr. The existing mine at Ffos Y Fran has caused nothing but hardship since it opened in 2006. Dust and  noise prevail despite Miller Argent’s promise that the mine would have no impact. The desecration and visual impact on the area has to be seen to be believed. 

Green Valleys Alliance (GVA). Local business man Mitchell Field has supported the campaign all along. He has put his money where his mouth is and paid for studies undertaken by Cardiff University to look into the lack of inward investments to areas that have opencast mines. After thirty years in the area his business, Richards & Appleby, which makes cosmetics for outlets that include Harrods, was under threat.

If the mine went ahead job losses for locals would have devastated the communities. He can now plan to bring back an investment which went to Italy which could create another 50 jobs. 

Friends of the Earth (FOE) have worked closely with campaigners from the time that the existing mine in Ffos Y Fran was put forward in 2006.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released facts about the detriment of unseen airborne particles and diesel fumes from the monstrous Komatsu trucks used on site.

Climate Change Cymru have documented the adverse effects of carbon emissions from digging and burning coal.

RSPB are concerned for the loss of natural habitat for birds which nest, wade and use the area as a migratory path. These include: Lapwing, Ring Plovers, Great Crested Grebes, Dunlin, Curlews, Snipe, Skylarks, Meadow Pipit, Reed buntin, Moorhen. Also the Long Billed Dowatcher has been spotted by the many ornithologists which frequent the area around Rhas Las pond.

 On the small ponds there are many species of Dragon Fly and  Damsel Fly. Great Crested Newts, a protected species, have also been spotted in Rhas Las. Rhas Las pond is the largest remaining feature of the Dowlais Free Drainage system. it was built around 1818 and was used to feed water to the various local iron works as well as Fochriw and Rhymney pit engines. In later years it was also used by the Ebbw Vale steel works. Since being de-industrialised Rhas Las has become an integral part of the moorland eco-environment. The unique, marshland and moorland habitat to the South, West and East has been untouched since time began.

The water from the Nant Llesg stream was used to make beer by the Rhymney Brewery because of its high quality and purity. This would be spoiled or completely destroyed.

There are also many historical stories attached to the area that is under threat:

The Bargoed History Society produced a book last year telling the story of King Arthur’s time in the area, The Coming of Caliburn. This was supported and funded by Caerphilly Council.

Today International Financiers are disinvesting from coal. Last month the G7 under the chair of Angela Merkel stated their intention to stop burning coal in the next decade. Global warming caused by burning fossil fuels is causing untold world suffering among the poor in the third world.

It was suggested that Caerphilly County Borough Council live up to their slogan, A Greener Place to Live, Work and Visit, and turn Nant Llesg into a nature reserve extending from the Brecon Beacons National Park to the North and Parc Cwm Darran, itself a former colliery, to the South. This would attract much needed tourism to the area. 

Visit Caerphilly.com       

SPRING

SPRING
Hosts of golden daffodils.
Trees adorned and ripened hills.
Royal purple, petals bright.
Red tips, brown spots, cabbage white.
Snuffling hedgehogs mating dance.
New lambs frolic, ponies prance.
Bluebells carpet, mossy bed.
Thorny roses, crimson red.
Fine fern fingers, curly tips.
Queen bee buzzing, nectar sips.
Majestic kites cavort sky high,
Dandylion floating by.
Catkins wave, wind blows softly.
Copper beech, gleaming brightly.
Cuckoo, murmur, starlings flight.
Blue tits cheep in evenings light.
Swathes of green, primrose yellow.
Heather sprung, spring says hello.

May 2015

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January Book Awards Winner – How Black Were Our Valleys

HBWOV Image                     PrintJanuary15

Press Release: 2nd February 2015           Immediate Release

 Local Authors Win International Award

Local authors Deborah Price (Deri, Bargoed) and Natalie Butts Thompson (Penrhiwceiber) are the winners of the (January) 2015 Printed Book Awards. How Black Were Our Valleys(Book Title) competed against hundreds of titles over the month and attracted more than 154 votes.

The Book Awards have been run by ‘not for profit’ publisher Acclaimed Books Limited, since 2008 and in that time, tens of thousands of voters around the world have shown their appreciation by supporting and nominating books in the competition.

“It has been a delight to take part in this truly democratic competition and experience first hand the loyalty of our readers. To win against such strong competition is the icing on the cake.”  Say Deborah and Natalie.

And the competition is strong, with several international best sellers, in addition to talented emerging authors making up the field. In a single month, the voting can run into thousands and the awards site contains numerous reviews and comments.

Managing Director, Peter Lihou offered a personal message of congratulations to Deborah and Natalie.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a great many popular titles gain the tangible applause of their fans by their votes and comments, but How Black Were Our Valleys enjoys particularly warm support. It really is quite an accomplishment for an author to inspire their customers so much that they get online and vote in such numbers and leave extremely flattering comments. How Black Were Our Valleys is a very worthy winner!”

The Book Awards are the only international awards that are open to all titles distributed in Kindle or Printed formats by *Amazon.com sites around the world. Any one can nominate or vote for a title, provided it is available on Amazon, without charge or registration. Dubbed The ‘People’s Book Awards, this openness attracts large numbers of visitors to the awards site http://www.thebookawards.com.

How Black Were Our Valleys – All profits from the sale of this book go to ‘The South Wales Area – Miners’ Beneficiary Fund,’ which helps ex-miners and their families both socially and medically. To commemorate 30 years since the 1984/85 miners strike, we have collected a variety of memories, stories, poems and events that happened during that time. A law professor who helped the miners with free legal advice, and also set up the Rhymney Valley Miners’ Support Group. An inspirational speech that led to the making of this publication. Stories of hardship, solidarity, overcoming prejudices and adversity add to the diversity of this collection. Women who changed their outlook on life completely. The government tactics used against the striking miners. Those who were just children at the time and the impact it had on them when they were growing up. The generosity of all those that came out in support of the striking miners. What happened after the strike? Why did all those mines have to close? The memories and accounts are personal, these are the stories that didn’t get to the mainstream media, but are extremely important regardless, not just to the South Wales Mining Community, but also to all those communities that were involved .

*Kindle, Amazon, and the Amazon logo, are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

—————————– ENDS ————————–

For more information contact :                 Author/Publisher

Name : Deborah Price                                   baarbaarathesheep@hotmail.co.uk

Name: Natalie Butts Thompson                                natalie.666@live.co.uk

Or Contact The Book Awards

Acclaimed Books Limited

Trefursdon

Launceston

Cornwall PL15 7ND

England

Tel.:  +44(0)1566 786755

Email:  pete@thebookawards.com

Website: http://www.thebookawards.com

Autumn Leaves

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Autumn Leaves

 

As autumn approaches, the evergreens stay the same,

But the cherry trees they turn to flame,

A festival of colours, as far as the eye can see,

Yellow, red and gold, adorn the maples and oak trees,

Sycamore and Poplar, Horse-chestnut and Ash,

Their shades change dramatically, as if painted in a flash,

Before the winter takes their leaves,

Before the swallows nest in eaves,

See their glory shining bright,

Against the backdrop of the light,

Even when the skies are grey,

Magical their beauty stays,

An ever changing colour scheme,

Is nature’s gift to us, as lucid as a dream.