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Issue No. 85 [Back Issues]
28th February 2006

This Week - [Three Peaks Challenge - The New Look Y-Zone - Star Lab at School - Herefordshire Pond & Newt project]
[Video Experiment Continued - Topical Photography - Old People's Voice - Tina]
[Hydrotherapy for your Dog - Microsoft Help Please? - X-entricity Monmouth Production]
[Nature Watch - Elephant Day - Rugby]
[Home Page] [Classified] [What's On?] [A to Z Site Map] [Property]

Andy Rises to the Three Peaks Challenge

The Meningitis Trust Three Peaks Challenge is set to take place from 12th to 14th May this year and Andy Ward of Ross-on-Wye, along with six of his colleagues from Wincanton Logistics in Gloucester are rising to this arduous challenge. Andy has been hill walking for two years now and also took part in last year's challenge.

The itinerary begins with a 6 am pick up from Bristol on Friday 12th May, taking the participants to their first peak, Snowdon. After their descent, the team will be taken to Scafell in the Lake District, the climb of which will take place on the same day. On Saturday 13th May the climbers will be taken to Fort William, where they will complete their climb of Ben Nevis. After a well deserved, good night's rest the group will be returned to Bristol at approximately 9 pm.

We wish Andy well in his endeavour and hope that he manages to raise a good sum for the Meningitis Trust.

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A Look inside the New Y-Zone

The Ross-on-Wye Youth Centre, Y-Zone was closed last September for refurbishment amid a storm of protest by members but today, Monday, 27th February I joined a few invited guests to look around the new centre, which will be reopening its doors next month.

A cheque for £10,536 was presented by Ross Rotary Club to the centre at this morning's viewing, making a total of around £15,000 given. £10,000 of the money came from the Rotary Millennium Project. More came from an 'Awards for All' grant and the balance from the Rotary Foundation. The cheque presented this morning was the final instalment. £4,500 worth of musical instruments have already been purchased for the new look Youth Centre.

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Primary School Pupils See Stars

Mr. Steve Watson of Star Labs visited Lea Primary School on Friday, 24th February with a portable planetarium. Children from both Lea and Weston-under-Penyard primary schools were given an hour long tour of the Northern Hemisphere Heavens and were able to ask questions of Steve, who tours schools regularly with the American made Star Lab.

The top photograph shows Lea School pupils inside the lab. They may look a little shocked because inside, they were in total darkness and my flash was very bright and sudden. (I did wait until after the star show to take the photo so that they could adjust to the darkness properly for astronomy.) The bottom photograph shows Weston Primary about to go inside for their stargazing lesson with Class Teaching Assistant, Pauline Jordon, Teacher, Mrs. Jill Flach, Head Teacher, Mr. Brian Bird and Steve Watson of Hereford Star Labs.

If you would like to book 'Star Lab' for your school, Steve Watson of Hereford Star Labs can be contacted on 01544 388000. I may be a little biased as astronomy is my own interest but it is very well worth it!

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The Herefordshire Ponds & Newts Project

Free Pond Training Offered and Surveying of your Ponds

The Herefordshire Ponds & Newts Project (see below for the projects aims) has been running for a year now, and we have already trained over 50 people in pond and amphibian surveying techniques, provided free surveys of 100 ponds in the LEADER+ area, and given free management advice to over 30 farmers and landowners.

Pond Training Courses in 2006 take place on Saturday, 1st April at Little Dewchurch and Monday, 10th April at Broadfield Court, Bodenham.

The training courses are free, beginning with some indoor work followed by a visit to a local pond to practice survey techniques. After an evening meal (at your own expense I'm afraid!) there is a pond visit to search for amphibians by torch light.

For further information and course bookings, please contact Angela Charlton, the Survey Team Co-ordinator on 07917 785247 or email:

We would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to take part in the project or own a pond within the LEADER+ area (all parishes bordering the main Herefordshire rivers). The aims of The Herefordshire Pond and Newts Project, which is part-financed by the European Union (EAGGF) and DEFRA through the Herefordshire Rivers LEADER+ Programme, is:

  • to produce an atlas of amphibians for the county
  • to provide base data for the Herefordshire Biological Records Office about ponds and their wildlife
  • to raise public awareness of the wildlife and heritage value of ponds.

Richard King Chairman, HART 01432 84042


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