RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch


Many readers will already know about the Big Garden Birdwatch and many will have taken part previously. It is free and easy to take part. Here are the basic things you need to know. If you require more information or need a guide to garden birds go to It’s a great activity whether you live alone or within a family and you can even do the birdwatch if you are house-bound.

Pick a time;- You can choose any hour between 29 and 31 January.

Tell RSPB what you see:- Count the birds that land in your garden or park, or on your balcony. Ignore any birds that are still in flight. To avoid double-counting just record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not a running total. e.g. if you see one starling back and forwards that counts as one. If you see 2 together then that counts as two etc.

Submit your results:- Online: You can submit your results online at from 29 January until 19 February. By post: If you’d rather send your results by post, you can download a submission form. Please post your results to RSPB before 15 February. Every count is important so, if you don’t see anything, please submit your result. Finding out which birds don’t visit your garden or park is as important as understanding those which do.

Have fun!











My Mother’s House by Lily Tobias


My Mother’s House by Lily Tobias was written around 1930, so the style of writing is different, in so far as it is lyrical, explanatory and very vivid.

The story concerns an intelligent boy who wants to break away from Judaism. The beliefs and actions of Judaism are well explained during that time.

The story is fascinating and examines the meaning of having a faith and feeling a foreigner in your own country. The book was well received by the Book Club with a score of 8/10 and we can recommend that you read this book. Ann Gill



Gardeners World Tips for January.


Gardeners World tips for January.

  1. Establish new colonies of snowdrops by purchasing the plants in flower.
  2. Remove diseased leaves from helebores.
  3. Press mistletoe berries into apple tree bark to, hopefully, have your own supply in future.
  4. Check the alpines don’t become smothered by leaves.
  5. Continue to prune climbing roses while dormant.

Environment team to do list.

  1. Check on begonia corms and dahlia tubers, remove any that show signs of rot.
  2. Make a list of jobs in your new diary.
  3. Order some peculiar seeds for a change.
  4. Dead head the pansies to keep them flowering.
  5. Feed the birds and make sure to keep breaking the ice on the water.

Here we go again, full of enthusiasm for the forthcoming year. A good start would be to get the mower serviced and sharpen all the pruning tools. Cleaning all those pots, which you have been promising yourself you will do, will help in controlling any disease. Open the greenhouse once a day to allow fresh air to circulate.

It can be the coldest time of the year right now but with days getting longer you will notice some things in the garden will start to move. The first thing to address are the worm casts on the lawn. Left alone these manage to catch any weed seed in the vicinity then proceed to germinate it. Just brush over the lawn to flatten them. Branches taken off the now defunct real Christmas tree can be placed around plants to help warm up the soil. Apparently, this method is used quite a bit on the continent. Be careful not to tread on any bulbs you may have planted in the lawn. If allowed, windowsills are great for bringing on early plants but don’t panic as those grown later cause less work and they do have a habit of catching up. Sowing lobelia seeds is a tedious job but the end result is spectacular if you can plant them thin enough. If ever you are not sure how well you should be doing just sneak a peek at Mr Crumps garden in Rectory close, if you can’t see over the fence go to Ieuans a couple of doors down as these two never get it wrong. I Have to mention Mr Frank Millar of Grange Close. Those of you that have met him will know what an incredible man he is. When the body stopped him gardening at ground level, veg trugs were the answer. Last year Frank grew some lovely stuff, mostly veg. Mr Millars past is an incredible story, which I hope he puts into print if he’s not too busy.

Christmas usually means that some of your gifts will be plants, Amaryllis are quite popular but along with pots of daffs are sometimes neglected. Just follow the advice on the label, it’s well worth it.

Just a note to say that British Soil will be closed until Jan 8th.

Take care and happy gardening.



The Last Stroll Of 2020!


A robust, resolute, determined and committed group of walkers didn’t allow a bit of rain, a lot of puddles and a large amount of mud to get in the way of their last stroll of 2020! The strollers were surprised when they assembled at Cosmeston to find a man in a red suit with a large white beard and a horse trying to join the walk….he was allowed in the photo but not on the walk, as he should have been busy delivering presents!! Dodging mud and skipping over puddles seemed to be the main activity on the walk, though in a dry interlude mince pies were shared.

If you want to walk off the excesses of the Christmas season, meet us at Cosmeston for a relaxing walk in good company on the first Thursday of every month at 10 30am.


The Living with Cancer Strollers would normally enjoy a Christmas lunch together, but 2020 has not been a normal year, as everyone knows. So a Christmas stroll was planned to an eerily quiet Cardiff bay, where social distancing was easily achieved. We enjoyed the walk, but enjoyed the coffee and stollen, provided by Jill, overlooking the still waters of the Bay, even more!



Private Gardens In The UK

Nature Notes

Private Gardens In The UK

Private gardens in the UK cover an area bigger than all the Nature Reserves combined, estimated at over 10 million acres. Just as our countryside and woodland is shrinking, so is the amount of garden space which wildlife can use as more gardens become wholly or partially paved over or covered with decking, replaced with artificial grass or sheds and offices. This is the season for New Year resolutions so please take some time to think about how you and the family impact on your environment. Anyone can feed the birds or leave a little patch of lawn or flower-bed to go a bit wild. Will hedgehogs become an animal that our children only read about in books? In the last 20 years numbers have declined by 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural ones and this on top of massive declines in the 20th century. But there are several things you can do to help, such as by creating small gaps in your fence to allow them to move from garden to garden. Try planting pollinator-friendly plants, shrubs and trees – for more on this visit the Bee Loud Glade near the Goldsland Orchard. And what about a pond?


They do not have to be large. The one in the picture cost 97p with a black bucket popped into a hole. It includes two plants, Purple Loosestrife and Marsh Marigold (Kingcups). In the summer it was full of Rat-tailed Maggots which may sound awful but are the larvae of the attractive Hoverfly, the Drone Fly. So, why not make a difference yourself.



Repair And Reuse Initiative For Wenvoe


The Community Council has spent some time researching an inspirational project called Repair Café Wales.

We would like to share the philosophy of this project with you all and ask for your help in working towards something similar in Wenvoe

This is an extract from a document describing Repair Café Wales

“Repair cafes are events run by volunteers who fix peoples household items for free and teach the owner of the item how to repair their item as the fix is being undertaken. Over the last 30 months Repair Café Wales has

  • Helped open and support 30 repair cafes across Wales, several of which include other environmental sharing events. Since March we have had 21 requests for new repair cafes in communities across Wales
  • Welcomed 12,363 visitors to our repair cafes
  • Recruited 455 active volunteers across Wales
  • Saved local councils £50,904 in fixed items diverted from landfill over the last 18 months
  • Built a recognised digital presence with over 6,000 social media followers
  • Created a starter kit with 40+ documents to help a community start and successfully run a repair café


Over the last 18 months we have diverted approximately 16.5 tonnes of waste from landfill. Whilst we reduce waste, we also upskill people through repair to help build community resilience, we create a safe space to help people with loneliness, isolation and mental health issues and we help change people’s relationship with the items they own to better understand them, bring longevity to the item’s life and tackle our throw away society”

This is indeed a project for our current times.

To progress this we need a CHAMPION. An individual (or Individuals) who could set this on the road so that we can have such a facility in Wenvoe. We need someone with imagination, drive and initiative who could develop and lead a team of residents to support this initiative

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP? Plenty of support will be available.

Please contact any of the editors if you are interested.



Wenvoe Community Council Casual Vacancy

Council Casual Vacancy Notice

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a vacancy has arisen in the office of Councillor. There has been no request for an election, so the Council intends to co-opt to fill that vacancy.

Expressions of interest are being sought from members of the public who are interested in representing their community on the Community Council.

The Co-optee will be a local resident who is able to attend monthly evening meetings (3rd Thursday of each month) and occasional sub-committee/working party meetings. He or she will need to be able to work as part of a team but also feel able to express opinions freely. A range of training modules for new Community Councillors is run by One Voice Wales. (Note that some IT competence is important, since we hold meetings, at least for the time being, using video conferencing tools)

You must be a British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen and be 18 years of age or over; and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • be (and remain) registered as a local government elector for the community named above; • during the whole of the last 12 months have occupied, as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the community named above; • your principal or only place of work during the last 12 months has been in the community named above; or • you have during the whole of the last 12 months resided in the community or within 3 miles of it.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are qualified to stand. If you wish to be considered for co-option for the vacant seat or would like more information regarding the role of a Community Councillor, please contact the Clerk to the Council before Wednesday January 20th, 2021:

Claire Harlow,

Wenvoe Community Centre

Old Port Road, Wenvoe, CF5 6AL




Wenvoe Advent Windows


At the time of writing we are just over half way to lighting up all of the Wenvoe Advent Windows. There have been so many different subjects and ways of decorating windows that have all been a surprise to those of us viewing each lighting up. We have seen Santa Clauses, Snowmen, Kings, Nativities, Stars, Festive Fireplaces, Christmas Trees, Planets, Skating Penguins, a view of Wenvoe, tributes to a loved pet and even a visit from the Grinch, fortunately he didn’t steal our Christmas!

A huge Thank You to all the amazing efforts of those who used their time, imagination and skills to provide us with so much fun and a purpose to get out and have a walk whatever the weather.

We have had comments about what people want to do next year with further ideas and ways of improving what has already been achieved. While we have not made any plans for next year it would be good to have any comments from those who have decorated a window or those who have enjoyed viewing.

We now look forward to seeing the remaining windows unfold especially the last one the children from Wenvoe School are providing in the Church yard on Christmas Eve.

Jude Billingham – for your comments



January Planning Updates

Planning Updates

  • The following applications have been granted planning permission.
  • 11, Larchwood. Proposed rear single storey extension
  • Moselkern, St. Andrews Road. Proposed two storey side extension
  • The Croft, Burdonshill. Revision to previously approved plan to create a first floor extension with raised roof, side Dormers and rooflights.
  • Brackendene, Burdonshill. Wenvoe Proposed replacement outbuildings on existing equestrian manege structure
  • Wrinstone Farm, Station Road East. Proposed 5 new stables, tack room and menage
  • Whitehall Farm, St. Lythans Road, St. Lythans Reinstatement of openings on side elevation and rear gable end changed to flat roof with two new windows at first floor level
  • Land west of television transmitter/south of Grants Field. Variation of condition 2 for detached L shaped stable block


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