Society Social Evening, Christmas, 2018

Mrs. Margaret Owen led the Society members in community Christmas Carol singing this year.

 

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Society takes part in Friends of St. Thomas Christmas Tree Festival

The Society was invited to take part in the Friends of St. Thomas Church, Neath, Christmas Tree Festival.  We chose as our theme, in this the centenary of the ending of World War One,  the 86 men of Coedffranc and Jersey Marine who fell in World War One – a link to the unveiling of the new war memorial outside Carnegie Hall.

The design chosen was a poppy with each man’s name who fell written on it, attached to netting  which was spread over the tree.  St. Thomas then linked to the theme by providing a location for the tree beneath its Roll of Honour.  More poppies were scattered around the tree which was topped with a gold star.

The festival continues until 7th December.

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Update on the Buglife project at Maesmelin Wood

The Society has received an email update on the work of Buglife Cymru at Maesmelin Wood.  The links at the bottom of this post will provide more information.

We are very pleased to today announce the launch of the ‘Blue Ground Beetle Project’ in Wales. Funded by the National Lottery, the ‘Blue Ground Beetle Project’- led by Buglife Cymru and in partnership with The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) – will deliver habitat management work at Coed Maesmelin ancient woodland in Skewen, Neath Port Talbot, to improve habitat conditions for the extremely rare and globally threatened Blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus). We are also pleased to announce its discovery at a second woodland site in Skewen. Please find links below to our press release and the project page for more information.

Rare beetle discovered at second site in Wales

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The Blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus), a rare and globally threatened beetle, has been discovered at just its second known site in Wales, coinciding with the launch of a new project aimed to protect it and the ancient woodland habitat in which it is found.

Funded by the National Lottery, the ‘Blue Ground Beetle Project’, led by the invertebrate conservation charity Buglife Cymru, and in partnership with The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw), will deliver habitat management work at Coed Maesmelin ancient woodland in Skewen, Neath Port Talbot, to improve habitat conditions for this extremely rare beetle. Surveys for Blue ground beetle will also been conducted in other suitable woodlands within the vicinity, and it is hoped that these will uncover further populations of this threatened beetle. Growing to over an inch long, the Blue ground beetle is a large and distinctive beetle with metallic blue markings, long legs and sculptured wing-cases. It has always been considered a rarity in Britain, and was once even thought to be extinct – until it was rediscovered in Dartmoor in 1994.

Until recently, the Blue ground beetle was seemingly confined to just handful of UK sites in Devon and Cornwall. In 2012, however, the beetle was discovered in a woodpile of a garage by a member of the public in Skewen. After contacting Buglife, the specimen was confirmed to be the Blue ground beetle and subsequent surveys found it to be present in nearby Coed Maesmelin – an ancient oak woodland owned and managed by The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw). Until its discovery at Coed Maesmelin, it had never been recorded in Wales.

The discovery of a further site for Blue ground beetle has recently come to light through the keen observations of another Skewen resident who found a dead beetle in his garden. Commenting on this discovery and the new project, Clare Dinham from Buglife Cymru said “The discovery of the Blue ground beetle at just its second known site in Wales is very exciting and raises hopes of finding further populations of this rare beetle in the Neath Port Talbot and surrounding areas. The project also offers many opportunities for members of the public to get involved such as attending walks and talks, volunteer conservation task days and learning how to identify and survey for the Blue ground beetle”.

Chris Matts, The Woodland Trust said “It’s great to see this rare insect holding on in one of our woodlands in South Wales. When we purchased this site in 1998 we secured the site for local people to be able to enjoy one of the relatively ‘untouched’ ancient woodlands within Neath Port Talbot, with the Blue ground beetle now helping to tell the story of why our ancient woodlands are so important and irreplaceable and this project will help us to work with others to conserve other woodlands in the region”.

Richard Bellamy, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales says “Our natural heritage is a most precious resource and National Lottery money has helped to protect an amazing range of landscapes, habitats, and species of plants and animals. HLF is delighted to support the blue ground beetle project and hope that the improved habitat provided by dedicated volunteers will increase the numbers of this rare species within Neath Port Talbot.”

For further information about the project, please visit https://www.buglife.org.uk/blue-ground-beetle-project.

Press release: https://www.buglife.org.uk/news-and-events/news/rare-beetle-discovered-at-second-site-in-wales

BGB Project Page: https://www.buglife.org.uk/blue-ground-beetle-project

 

 

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Photograph gallery for 10th November and the new WW1 Memorial

The displays and refreshment areas:

Society members in Costume:

Guests and dignitaries arriving waiting for the start of the ceremony:

The Ceremony

Guest and Society members celebrate the centenary of the Armistice:

The Lord Lieutenant cuts the cake with his sword:

Entertainment provided by the Park Players and Mrs. Margaret Owen:

 

Chairman and Treasurer standing with the plaque:

 

 

 

The Society would like to thank the local businesses which helped with our refreshment requirements – Arbourne’s, One Stop and Jenkins Bakery. Thanks also to Tesco for its monetary donation.

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Marking the centenary of the death of Sir ST Evans

The centenary of the death of Sir ST Evans took place today, 13th September.  A small group from the Society and from the Bryncoch and Dyffryn Society, met at the graveside to mark the event.  President Brian Lodwick led the group in a prayer.  We were very pleased that the great, great nephew of Sir Samuel, Mr. Jeremy Stuehmeyer was able to join us.

 

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Photo Gallery if Visit to Fonmon Castle

Visit to Fonmon Castle 24th May, 2018.

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The Society At the Family History Event, Waterfront Museum 13th May, 2018

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Photo gallery of visit to Hanbury Hall, 16th April

 

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Photo gallery of visits to Llancaiach Fawr and Caerphilly Castle

October 2017 visit to Llancaiach Fawr

 

October 2017 visit to Caerphilly Castle

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Photo Gallery: Picton Castle Visit, 21st November 2017

 

 

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