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DOWN to EARTH DAY : A CPRW Public Symposium on the Well-being of Our Soil

DOWN to EARTH DAY : A CPRW Public Symposium on the Well-being of Our Soil

The Soil Beneath our Feet

Yes, the answer does lie in the soil and if you’ve ever wondered what those answers are the Brecon & Radnor Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales are hosting an inspiring day of talks and discussions on Saturday 3rd November at The Town Hall in Talgarth near Brecon from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

A panel of expert scientists, farmers and conservationists will explore this important and complex subject chaired by Dr. John Scullion from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberyswyth University. His fellow speakers will be
Dr. William Stiles also from Aberystwyth University and Farming Connect;
Dr. Alan Feest – expert on biodiversity and fungi from Bristol University;
Ian Rappel – Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust;
James Cooke – Welsh Government Agricultural Land Use Policy Manager;
Rory Francis – Campaigns Manager for the Woodland Trust Cymru;
Richard Tudor and Geraint Powell, both Nuffield Farm Scholars and well-known practising farmers.

Fundamental to life on Earth, our soil is a non-renewable resource, and home to a quarter of all living species on Earth. But life within the soil is so often ‘out of sight, out of mind’. What organisms make up our soil and how important are they to life above ground? How are our activities affecting soil ecology and biodiversity? Charles Darwin spent over forty years studying the earthworm and its effect on our soils, yet today only about twenty five percent of worm species, six percent of fungi and less than two percent of soil bacteria have been studied and categorized.

‘Down to Earth’ Soil Symposium Day offers a fascinating and unique opportunity to share questions and answers in the company of a pre-eminent panel of speakers, and to discover more about our soils and how we can look after them, as we face the future challenges of the 21st century.

Refreshments are included.

To book please email: or Tel: 01497 821668
CPRW Members £10 / Non-members £12 / Free to under 26

For your satnavs the postcode for Talgarth Town Hall is LD3 0BW. Location map here. There is a large free car park just a couple of minutes walk away, shown on the map. A colour poster promoting the symposium is available for download here.

We look forward to seeing you there in Talgarth on Saturday 3rd November at the Symposium!

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch Annual General Meeting 5th July 2018

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch Annual General Meeting 5th July 2018

Brecon and Radnor Branch
2018 Annual General Meeting
3pm Thursday 5th July 2018
Old Stable, Penyrheol Chapel, nr Llanigon


    1. Chairman’s welcome and statement
    2. Apologies for absence
    3. Minutes of 2017 Annual General Meeting
    4. Matters arising from the minutes
    5. Chairman’s report
    6. Financial report and adoption of accounts. Treasurer
    7. Election of officers and committee members:
      1. Membership Secretary and Treasurer, Ann Payne would like to retire from the Committee at the next AGM but would like to hand over Treasurer duties at the end of December 2018 as this is the end of our financial year. We are looking for a new Treasurer to start at the beginning of 2019.
      2. We welcome new committee members to help us in our interesting and important work.
    8. Any other business
  1. BRB-CPRW Secretary: tel. 01544 260 839

There will be tea, coffee and cake!

Directions for Penyrheol Chapel (map)

From Brecon: Approaching Talgarth from Bronllys, turn left opposite the Castle pub on to the A4078 in the direction of Three Cocks,  past the new school.   After ¼ mile turn right signed Felindre.  Keep village hall on your left, through village and stay on narrow road in the direction of Tregoyd until you see the sign to turn right to Penyrheol.   Over cattle grid, past cottage and farm on left and keep on going – the chapel is on the righthand side.  Postcode:  LD3 0SR. Map.

From Glasbury: Follow the A438 in direction of Brecon.   Take 1st left immediately after the de-restriction sign onto the A4078 towards Talgarth.   Take 2nd turning on the left signed Felindre and follow instructions as above. Map.

Garden Party – CPRW at 90

Garden Party – CPRW at 90

Brecon & Radnor Branch of Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales are celebrating

CPRW at 90
A Garden Party at Broadheath House Garden
Presteigne LD8 2HG
Courtesy of Steve and Andrea Jude

Broadheath House Garden

Sunday May 13th 2018
An Italianate Walled Garden
Designed by Clough Williams-Ellis
Celebration to be opened by Sir Roy Strong

Entry £5 – to include tea
Registered Charity No. 2398899

Our CPRW at 90 Garden Party is open to non-members too!

2 miles east of Presteigne, 4 miles west of Shobdon on the B4362. From the west turn right into the drive opposite the middle of Broadheath common. From the east, 30 seconds after the sign for Wales turn left into the drive. Map.

Hendy Appeal Inquiry, Fundraising Events and Llandegley Starlings

Hendy Appeal Inquiry, Fundraising Events and Llandegley Starlings

Hendy Appeal Inquiry
The CPRW Brecon and Radnor evidence for the Hendy Appeal Inquiry was submitted on Tuesday 13th February to meet the midnight deadline. The branch evidence consists of a Proof of Evidence on impacts on landscape and heritage, prepared by Michelle Bolger, Landscape Consultant, and our evidence submissions on other matters. These include concerns regarding the developer’s case under the headings of ecology, ornithology (including the Llandegley starlings), hydrology, socio-economic issues and tourism, including outdoor tourism, local amenity, and impacts on Llandegley Rhos Common and the adjacent inclosed Common Land.

You can view all CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch submissions via this link.

The Appeal website is found on this link. All evidence documents submitted by the developers, Powys and ourselves will be uploaded to this site.

Details of the Inquiry Hearing itself are as follows:

Tuesday 13th to Friday 17th and Tuesday 20th March, with a possible extra day on Wednesday 21st.
Venue: Pavillion, Spa Rd, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5EY. (Map)
The Inspector is Hywel Wyn Jones.

We know there is a great deal of public interest in this appeal and very much hope that members of the public will attend the inquiry to demonstrate the degree of local concern. If you are attending you may find it useful to download any key documents and plans from the planning website which are likely to be referred to during proceedings. The Inspector has indicated that the programme for the Inquiry is likely to be topic based, with Powys’s reasons for refusal, i.e. impacts on landscape, heritage and rights of way, coming before other matters raised by the branch, but the final programme will be agreed at the opening of the Inquiry.

If you are intending to speak at the Inquiry, bear in mind that the Inspector has already received all the objections submitted to Powys before determination as well as all objections submitted last autumn. There is no need to reiterate objections already made, or repeat what another speaker has said, and as time is tight the Inspector will really appreciate speakers being brief, to the point and bringing up new issues only. From advice on fighting appeals produced by Friends of the Peak District:

Speaking at an inquiry – Most people appearing at an inquiry will do so as members of the public, rather than having rule 6 party status. There are some key things to remember.

  • Think carefully about what you want to say, pick out the key elements of your objection to the development. It is best to read out a written statement.
  • If you are part of group, decide who would be best presenting the evidence and answering questions during cross-examination. The inspector will appreciate the time this saves.
  • If you are working with other groups, it is a good idea to form a partnership or coalition, and split the evidence according to the issue, expertise and knowledge. Don’t all give the same evidence – although you should make clear you support everything each other says. This will look organised and professional.
  • It is vital that you are there at the beginning of the inquiry as the inspector will run through the schedule and ask who would like to speak. If you miss this, you may not be able to speak at the inquiry. Tell the inspector if you can’t attend the whole inquiry, so that they can try to re-arrange the schedule to include you.

Two more things:

Fundraising events at Bledffa: 11th March

  • 2-4pm Appalachian Step Dancing Workshop (limited places) with tuition and live music from my Old Time Band “Little Hoedown”
  • 7.30pm concert with choice local musicians – Black Mountain Boy, Little Hoedown, Rose Westrip Band plus a few more, and maybe a poet.

Tickets £10 for the workshop bookable from Louise on 01982 551116, and £5 for the evening concert from 01544 350407, 01982 551116, or 01547 528315.

Llandegley Starlings
Excellent footage of a Starling Murmuration at Llandegley has been uploaded to YouTube, see here . The roost is now listed on the Starlings in the UK Roost Map and we’ve also heard that a film crew were on site last weekend to gather footage for use in a TV wildlife documentary.

Stay warm, and have a Happy St David’s Day!

Best wishes

Margaret Tregear
CPRW Brecon & Radnor Committee

Powys LDP Update & Fundraiser Concert for Hendy Appeal

Powys LDP Update & Fundraiser Concert for Hendy Appeal

Happy New Year 2018!

Liven up bleak January with two very important dates for the diary.

1. Powys Local Development Plan – Renewable Energy Hearing Session 19:

Please put next Wednesday 10th January in the diary and come along if you possibly can to what is likely to be the final Hearing Session of the LDP. The Inspector has decided that the Council’s renewable energy policy is not yet fit for purpose and has called this very important Hearing Session to discuss potential changes to draft policy.

This is probably our last opportunity to influence the final LDP and our last opportunity to demonstrate the public concern about the Council’s Renewable Energy policy to the Inspector. Please be there if at all possible – it is critically important that the Inspector understands how important this area of policy is to local residents.

The hearing is on 10th January 2018, next Wednesday, and will begin at 10.00 a.m. The venue is the Media Resource Centre (MRC Wales Ltd.), Oxford Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 6AH. (Media Centre location map)

The Inspector’s Agenda and participants’ Hearing Session statements are found on the LDP Examination website.

Both Powys branches of CPRW are participants in the hearing session, supported by planning barrister Tina Douglass. Njord Wind Developments (the company behind the Bryn Blaen and Hendy Wind Farms), RES (Renewable Energy Systems) and RenewableUK Cymru are also participants. A substantial public presence is essential.

If possible, please let the Programme Officer, Tracey Smith, know if you intend to attend: Email:; Tel: 07919396609

2. Fundraiser concert for Hendy Appeal – 26th January 8pm at Knighton Community Centre Bar – Please see attached poster for full details

This concert is held in support of our fight against the Hendy Wind Farm on Llandegley Rhos near Penybont. This should be a very enjoyable evening and at the same time you will be helping to see off this serious threat to an iconic Radnorshire landscape.

‘It’s unusual to find someone who’s as good a songwriter as an instrumentalist. Vera van Heeringen is that person. A consummate guitarist, highly acclaimed by her contemporaries, she brings the instrument to life in way that is entirely her own. Vera also writes tunes and songs which deliver straight to – and from – the heart. Firmly rooted in Transatlantic traditions, her original contemporary Americana showcases both these skills: firebrand instrumental virtuosity and poignant, emotionally astute songwriting.

An early starter, raised in the bluegrass scene in her native Holland, Vera has long been recognised for her elegant yet gutsy guitar style – a skill which transposes to pretty much anything with strings! A musician with integrity and style in equal measure. In 2015, Vera released her second album, Proper Brew, which features a roll call of top-drawer musicians who share her musical aesthetic, and hold her in high esteem – amongst them Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, Rayna Gellert and Kris Drever. Vera’s third album is imminent.

Her live performances are intimate, understated affairs, allowing the music to speak for itself. Stripped back, potent, and full of groove. Outstanding flatpicking, fulsome fiddle playing, heartbreaking lyrics, and assured natural vocal tone and driving tunes are all integral to the show.

Currently Vera tours with a watertight acoustic trio featuring harmony king Dave Luke on guitar, vocals and mandolin and double-bass stalwart Andy Seward.’

We are very much hoping for a substantial turnout at both these events. Please copy this link and forward to anyone who might be interested in the Hearing and/or the Concert.

Thank you.


The Future of our Hills – Powys Uplands, Policy and Brexit

The Future of our Hills – Powys Uplands, Policy and Brexit

The Future of our Hills – Powys Uplands, Policy and Brexit

An open meeting to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our upland areas.

Saturday 21st October 2017 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Knighton Hotel, Broad Street, Knighton, LD7 1BL

Speakers include:
Professor David Austin, Professor of Archaeology, Lampeter
Justin Hanson, Natural Resources Wales
Julian Jones, Director of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Sorcha Lewis, High Nature Value farmer
Liz Lewis-Reddy, Head of Living Landscapes, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Professor Michael Woods, Professor of Human Geography, Aberystwyth
Nick Myhill, farmer and wildlife consultant

Event organised by Brecon & Radnor Branch of the
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

£5 per person for CPRW members, £10 for non-members.
Cost includes refreshment and buffet lunch.

For further information and to book telephone 01497 821668.
Registered charity number 239899.

Two Upcoming Events!

Two Upcoming Events!

Two Events For Us!

We will shortly be sending an update on the progress of the LDP to date, but in the meantime wished to draw your attention, firstly, to this event below, taking place on the weekend of the 15th and 16th of July at Strata Florida Abbey, Pontrhydfendigaid.

Celebrating Strata Florida
Secondly, Professor David Austin, chair of the Strata Florida Trust, has agreed to chair the CPRW Brecon & Radnor 2017 Autumn Seminar which will bring together speakers to discuss aspects of our Powys uplands: how they have evolved, why we should value them, what state they are in, what threats they may face and how future land use/policy could protect them. This seminar will take place on the 21st October at Evenjobb Village Hall. Please note the date in your diary. More details will be circulated nearer the time.

Best wishes, Margaret
CPRW Brecon & Radnor Committee

CPRW Brecon and Radnor Branch AGM 6th July 2017

CPRW Brecon and Radnor Branch AGM 6th July 2017

CPRW Brecon and Radnor Branch

2017 Annual General Meeting

2pm Thursday 6thJuly 2017

The Village Hall, Howey


Please do join us for the Branch AGM. The agenda is set out below and linked here. Minutes of the 2016 AGM are linked here.


1. Chairman’s welcome and statement

2. Apologies for absence

3. Minutes of 2016 Annual General Meeting

4. Matters arising from the minutes

5. Chairman’s report.

6. Financial report and adoption of accounts. Treasurer

7. Election of officers and committee members

a) Retirement of Chairman. Peter Seaman has given notice of his retirement. Jonathan Colchester has expressed a willingness to stand for Chair. Other candidates for this position are very welcome.

b) We welcome new committee members to help us in our interesting and important work.

8. Any other business


From our Chairman: Awards, AGM and a Party

From our Chairman: Awards, AGM and a Party

Architecture Award. Every year we make an award for good design of a building which complements its setting. Last year we gave our Award to the Wye Valley Canoes development in the old chapel at Glasbury. Please let us know of your suggestions.

Rural Wales Award. We are delighted to announce that this year, the recipient of the Rural Wales Award will be Chris Bruce who lives near Hay on Wye. Chris is a wizard with mapping and GIS – turning complex data into visual form overlaying maps. He has been a godsend to us in visually representing the potential damage to our natural environment, its biodiversity, and its communities inherent in the proposals contained in the Renewable Energy parts of the LDP. This is complex and highly skilled work that has enabled us to get ‘one-up’ on the poor case put forward by the Council. The Award will take place at the branch drinks & nibbles party in June (see the last item below).

Annual General Meeting. This will take place at 2pm on Thursday 6th July at Howey Village Hall. (Howey is a village between Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells, about 2 miles from Llandrindod. Turn off the main road at the signpost to Howey and the hall is on your left. Map and more detailed directions.)

Chairman to retire. I shall be retiring from the Chairman’s role at the AGM and your help is sought once again please? Will you be willing to stand as Chairman? The branch has a brilliant committee who are very good at getting on with things. They support the Chairman very well and it is therefore a role that will appeal to someone who wants to guide our branch work, allow the team to get on with the detail, keep them motivated and be prepared to criticise authorities where necessary and praise where required. We have over 180 members now – by far the largest branch in Wales – someone out there must come forward and volunteer please? We also need one or two new committee members, especially someone who would like to lead on our social events.  We are a friendly and productive bunch – do come and join us.

Invitation to a summer fund-raising drinks and nibbles garden party. All members and their partners are invited to an informal drinks and nibbles garden party at the home of the branch Chairman, Peter Seaman. This will take place from 3pm on Sunday 11th June at Brynhyfryd, Scethrog, LD3 7EQ near Brecon. (Scethrog is on the A40, 9 miles from Crickhowell and 4 from Brecon. Turn off A40 at signpost to SCETHROG. Up hill for 50 yards, and then turn right at red phone box. Brynhyfryd is a cream coloured cottage in front of you. Parking around the village. Map.) We need to restore some money to our branch funds and to help in our planning ‘battles’ so please support the event. If you are unable to come, donations are very welcome and cheques should be made payable to ‘Brecon & Radnor CPRW’ and sent to our branch treasurer, Ann Payne at Glanffrwd, Llanfihangel Talyllyn, Brecon, LD3 7TL.  The event will give you an opportunity to meet members of the committee who are working so hard on the LDP, and to acclaim Chris Bruce, whose expertise in mapping and website technology has been a game-changer in our work to save the Powys countryside, when he is presented with our Rural Wales Award. Please confirm your attendance by phoning Peter on 01874 676225.

Peter Seaman MBE
Chair, Brecon & Radnor Branch,
Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales
Registered charity number 239899

Ponds, Rivers and Poultry Seminar

Ponds, Rivers and Poultry Seminar

CPRW Brecon & Radnor Branch seminar ‘Ponds, Rivers and Poultry’, Saturday 29 October 2016, Llanigon near Hay on Wye

The Brecon & Radnor CPRW branch committee were delighted to welcome 100 or so delegates to this important event, including representatives of CPRE in Herefordshire, the Woodland Trust, Cargill Meats Europe, and Herefordshire Council, Powys Ramblers and other local organisations, as well as concerned members of the public.

We had a very successful day, with excellent speakers and presentations, and came away with good understanding of the key issues involved.

A report of our Ponds, Rivers and Poultry seminar can be found here.