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Alpacas born near Welsh Hideaways!

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The University news reports: ‘A herd of alpaca at Aberystwyth University’s upland research centre welcomed two new arrivals during the Covid-19 lockdown.

One male and one female baby alpaca, known as cria, were born at the Pwllpeiran Upland Research Platform (close to Welsh Hideaways) and are settling down to life in the Cambrian Mountains.

They are the first cria to be born on the University’s land and to be registered under the centre’s new stud prefix ‘Peiran’.

Peiran Champagne and Peiran Cosmopolitan join a small herd of alpacas who arrived at Pwllpeiran in October 2019 as part of a new research project.

Scientists want to see whether the South American alpaca is suited to life in the Welsh hills and could provide new opportunities for uplands farming.

These long-necked animals, similar to the llama, are renowned for the quality of their fibre (wool) and are happy to feed on low quality grasses which are often snubbed by sheep. 

The research project is being led by Dr Mariecia Fraser at the Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre, which is part of the University’s Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).

“These are changing times for Welsh upland farming, with the next round of support payments expected to push for a shift away from primary agricultural production towards nature conservation and carbon reduction. In setting up a research herd of alpacas at Pwllpeiran, we want to test whether the alpaca could offer hill farmers a viable alternative to sheep.

“As well as producing high quality fibre, camelids like alpacas have evolved adaptations to enable them to live off poor quality tussock grasses in the Andes, and are happy to tuck into invasive grasses such as Molinia. These forages grow in abundance on the Welsh uplands but tend to be shunned by native sheep. We’ll be looking at the impact of their grazing and how well they could fit in to traditional patterns of farming here,” said Dr Fraser.

The establishment of the initial research herd is being funded by the Joy Welch Educational Charitable Trust, which was set up by the Aberystwyth alumna in 1988.

Visit Wales safely

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https://www.visitwales.com/promise This link enables you to sign up to these values: ~VisitWalesSafely

Care for each other Look after my health — by regularly washing and sanitising my hands.Keep a safe distance from other groups — by choosing open spaces and respecting local rules.Act immediately if I feel unwell — by following advice, sharing information and returning home if I need to.

Care for this epic land Protect this beautiful land — by leaving no trace behind. Care for our countryside — by sticking to paths, leaving gates as I find them, and keeping dogs on leads when needed. Embrace Wales’ open spaces — by avoiding crowded areas and preparing for each adventure, come rain or shine.  

Care for our communities Become a part of the place I’m visiting — by enjoying the culture and language when I’m there. Enjoy the best Wales has to offer by choosing local businesses and buying Welsh produce. Help each place prepare for my visit, by booking ahead wherever I can.

Welsh Wine Week.

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We’d love you to become better acquainted with Welsh Wine and our Winemakers. Our industry is growing and becoming renowned for boutique-style wines using grapes suited to cooler climates. We truly believe Welsh wine has something unique to offer the discerning wine drinker. The nearest vineyard to Welsh Hideaways is close to Aberaeron. See:http://llaethliw.co.uk/ You can buy beautiful wines for as little as £16. Welsh Wine Week is from July 27-August 2nd.

Welcoming back tourists to Ceredigion

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As BBC reported, Ceredigion was praised for its virus response, but will see visitors from areas with higher infection rates now the tourism sector has reopened. At Welsh Hideaways we want to strike a balance between restarting our welcome to ensure visitors have a wonderful break in one of the most stunning areas of UK alongside protecting people in the area.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has urged visitors to stay safe at beauty spots. We ask all guests to stay safe and respect local measures in place to protect everyone’s health and welfare. We ask everyone to protect this beautiful area, sticking to paths, embracing open spaces but avoiding crowded areas. Please be sensitive to the needs of local communities and show kindness that can make such a big difference.

Global award to redevelop Uni Old College

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Old university college on right; photo courtesy of the Uni.

Just so good that Aberystwyth University staff have won a prestigious global award for the first phase of their fundraising appeal to redevelop the Old College. The Development and Alumni Relations team at the University have succeeded in raising £12.3 million towards the costs of redeveloping the iconic seaside building in the town as a major cultural and creative centre for students, the community and visitors.  That fundraising helped to trigger a further £7 million from the Welsh Government and EU funding.  Louise Jagger, Director of the Development and Alumni Relations Office at Aberystwyth University says: “Winning this prestigious award is a wonderful boost to our fundraising as we launch the next phase of our appeal towards the total project costs of £27.6 million. This is all to achieve our vision of opening a transformed Old College for the benefit of students, community and visitors as a major highlight of our 150th anniversary celebrations in 2023. The award recognises the collective talent and ambition of our staff, our donors and supporters, including alumni around the world, our community and charitable trust and foundations.” When down in lovely Aberystwyth don’t forget to see this beautiful building, just by St Michael’s Church on the sea front.

21 April 2020 Coronavirus progress

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Ceredigion has the lowest number of recorded cases of Covid-19 in Wales, with no new people diagnosed positive in the last three days. Let’s all work to maintain this progress as we patiently wait to see one of the most beautiful counties in UK come to life again and able to welcome visitors from across the Globe. Meanwhile #staysafe.

Visit Mid Wales… later, but don’t forget!

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Please do not visit Mid Wales at this time, April 2020, and avoid all unnecessary travel within Wales.

Mid Wales has very limited NHS resources with only 2 main hospitals serving the counties of Powys, Ceredigion & Gwynedd.

We look forward to welcoming you back in future; but for now, let’s all #staysafe and look after each other.

Thank You

‘Winter is better in Mid-Wales’

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Good to read James Stewart’s article on Machynlleth under ‘Great British Breaks’ in the Sunday Times. He starts by saying this is a good time to visit Mid-Wales:

‘Because winter is better in mid-Wales. After a ripe autumn as the playground for hikers and beachgoers, the gorgeous hills and coast around Machynlleth are quieter. Come for morning mist in the valleys, interesting shopping, waterbirds arrowing across marshes and pints by the fire’.

He highlights the great places to visit including the local nature reserves along with where to eat and stay. Of course we would say that when staying at Welsh Hideaways, Machynlleth is a fun day out and can be combined with visiting the Centre for Alternative Technology.

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