December Planning updates.

Planning updates.

The following applications have been approved
• The Bothy, Port Road, Wenvoe. Remove existing porch and replace with single storey extension to the rear of the house to create a new garden room. Materials to match that of the existing house.

  • 1, Burdonshill Cottage, Burdonshill Lane, Rear dormer extension to existing garage and raised decking
  • Brooklands Retail Park, Culverhouse Cross, Tree works described as desirable & essential in the attached tree report
  • St. Lythans Service Reservoir, St. Lythans. Erection of security fencing
  • 1 & 2, Stone House, Dyffryn. Conversion of two semi-detached properties into a single detached property and erection of a sustainable (energy positive) rural exceptions bungalow, new access and associated works


The park play equipment at the Grange playing field and Twyn yr Odyn are to be replaced next year. There will be a display of the Grange Park upgrade on Thursday 24th January at the Community Centre when the Vale will be interested to hear your comments. The Twyn yr Odyn scheme will be displayed when details are finalised.

The rules pertaining to the cemetery ground have been updated. A copy will be displayed in the cemetery and a copy can be obtained by contacting the Clerk to the Council.

The allotment wardens are seeking the views of the allotment holders and any other members of the community for their views on permitting green houses and/or sheds to be erected on allotments in the future. Comments on the proposal can be e-mailed to the Council (see page 2).

A complaint concerning damage to the pavement surface due to cars parking was passed to the Vale.

An updated copy of highway issues were reviewed. Flooding on the corner of Old Port Road near St Lythans Park is to be added to the list.

A request from the school for a donation towards their proposed Timber Trail was received. The Council suggested an approach to a probable source of funding before they considered the request.

Work on the 5 Mile Lane project will result in the north bound lane of the road being closed for 6 to 8 week from January while the widening work near

Weycock Cross is completed. From April the Peterstone super Ely Road from Sycamore Cross will be closed for around 6 weeks for the road to be widened.

The notice and plate at the top of Tarrws Lane is due to a cracked service cover. The quarantine notices around a field off Old Port Road referred to a suspected case of strangles. This is a very contagious respiratory disease among horses but extremely rare to be passed to dogs or humans.

The Community Carol service is to be held at 7.00pm on Wednesday 19th December in St Mary’s Church followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Community Centre.



The Lake at Cosmeston

Bright sunshine and Autumn colours greeted the strollers in October. The lake at Cosmeston was a wonderful sight as the swans and ducks made their way to the bread being distributed by generous visitors.

No hills this time as the walk went through the trees around the two lakes. New research suggests that just 10 minutes a day in the outdoors experiencing nature contributes to a more positive outlook and an improvement in a person’s well-being. We walked and talked for nearly 60 minutes and stocked up on positivity for a few days!

If you would like to join us and reap the benefits of a gentle stroll in lovely surroundings, meet us at Cosmeston information centre on the first Thursday of November at 10:30am.

The Sugar Loaf

Sugar Loaf (the hill north of Abergavenny)

Many people who climb Sugar Loaf park halfway up, not us, in order to have a decent walk we parked at Glangrwyney. The day was sunny and warm but not too hot, ideal walking weather.

Sugar Loaf was originally called Mynnydd Pen-y-fal – ‘mountain of the head/top of the peak/summit’. Pen-y-fal is still shown on maps to the northwest of Sugar Loaf. The name Sugar Loaf was applied because it has a resemblance to a sugarloaf. Until the late 19th century refined sugar was produced and sold in the form of a sugarloaf. A tall cone with a rounded top was the end-product of a process in which dark molasses rich raw sugar was refined into white sugar.

We set off in a northerly direction to Hall farm and then climbed through Cwm Gwenffrwd along a wide track. Harebells in the verge gave an unexpected splash of late summer colour. Sheep and hens grazed and pecked in a field full of thistles and a sheepdog barked at us.

Heading east the path skirts around a rise to take us towards Llanwenarth where the NT car park is situated. We passed Y Graig on the southern slopes of Sugar Loaf. Here in the 1990s a prehistoric site was discovered containing flint tools from the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages.

Now the gradient increased as did our views of the countryside around us – always gorgeous in this part of the country. The top of Sugar Loaf came within sight and strangely on the ground at our feet we spotted beetles rolling dung many times their size. Just as you see the dung beetle of Africa doing but on a smaller scale.

Now we started to stretch into a longer line as some people kept up their pace and the rest of us stopped regularly to take in the view (nothing to do with needing a rest).

As we approached the final climb the path divided; it was apparent that the path to the right led to a craggy outcrop whereas a slight detour left gave an easier if slightly longer route. The first to the top stood near the path signalling directions to the rest of us.

At the top the breeze, that had kept us refreshed on the way up, suddenly became a wind which cut into us – cooling after our exertions. First impressions were of the number of families at the top; quite small children attempting to fly kites, while parents sat and looked at the 360o views of the plains to the east and the Black mountains and Brecon Beacons to the north and west. Others were enjoying picnics.

A couple of us sat down and started eating lunch immediately but most of us went to the trig point at 596 metres and then found a niche just under the summit, out of the wind to eat whilst enjoying the warmth of the sun. The Sugar Loaf is under National Trust ownership and is grazed by Welsh mountain sheep – two of these decided they would like to share our lunch but after a few minutes moved away.

We went back to the trig point for photos and to pick up our return path which was a fairly steep descent in a westerly direction.

The temperature rose as we dropped and we relished the warmth of the sun. At this lower altitude the countryside was lush and we saw trees heavy with fruit and fungi at the side of the path. We passed ‘The Old Vicarage’ which was indeed an old house; it had an upper storey with an interesting overhang at the entrance to the drive.

Soon we arrived at Llangenny where houses sit above the river Grwyne Fawr. We crossed the river and then followed it back towards Glangrwyney.

As we stepped over a stile onto a road we were impressed by the majesty of a huge sweet chestnut tree. There was enough room for all of us to stand in front of it and it had a limb which reached down to the ground – looking a little like an elephant’s trunk. Its leaves and fruit sparkled in the sunshine with the river glistening behind it.

As usual we went for refreshment to a local inn and sat in the garden under a crab apple tree laden with fruit. We were very pleasantly surprised when two plates of delicious chocolate brownies accompanied our drinks, a gift from the landlord. What a lovely gesture and much appreciated. This was a great end to an excellent walk (8.25miles with a 1900ft climb) on a beautiful late summer’s day.




Watch out for these fake TV Licensing emails

We’ve seen a sharp increase in reports about fake TV Licensing emails claiming to offer refunds. The emails state that the refund cannot be processed due to “invalid account details”. The links provided in the emails lead to phishing websites designed to steal personal and financial details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

Watch out for these fake Netflix emails

We’ve seen an increase in reports about fake Netflix emails claiming that there’s an issue with your account, or that your account has been suspended. The email states that you need to “update” your account details in order to resolve the problem. The link in the emails leads to genuine-looking Netflix phishing websites designed to steal your username and password, as well as payment details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit

Telephone scams

There have been a string of scams taking place locally asking people to make payments over the phone for a number of things including utility bills, the list is endless. The scams are committed using many methods, one of which is using a gift card.

A number of concerns have been reported recently whereby vulnerable members of our communities have attended at local stores to purchase iTune gift cards in large denominations.

Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest store. After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

If someone attends at your store to purchase gift cards in large denominations and you feel they maybe scammed please call 999. We need your help in protecting our vulnerable members residing in our communities.



November tips from the RHS

November tips from the RHS

1. Clear up fallen leaves, especially from the lawn and pond.

2. Raise containers off the floor to prevent water-logging.

3. Plant up Tulip bulbs for Spring displays.

4. Prune Roses to prevent wind rock.

5. Plant out Winter bedding.

6. Cover Brassicas with netting, if pigeons are a problem.

7. Insulate outdoor containers to protect from frost.

8. Stop winter moth damage on fruit trees with grease bands.

9. Most people like a bonfire, so gather up any debris that can't be composted, especially anything that's diseased and burn it – if allowed.

10. Make sure the mower is cleaned before putting away.

People who know my wife will know of her love of all things Christmas. So this time of year garden centres are some of her favourite haunts. The earliest Christmas shop to open, which we visited this year was The Old Railway Line, Brecon which opened at the end of September. At the time of writing the one with the best choice is Caerphilly Garden centre, according to Mrs Christmas. Wenvoe's local Garden Centre Christmas shop has yet to open. I'm sure that some centres would not survive without the footfall that these displays bring.

Everyone loves to see birds in the garden and we tend to put extra out as the weather gets colder. It can be a double edged sword as more food usually means more waste, which attracts vermin. Probably the best way to avoid rats and mice, other than not feeding the birds, is to have the feeders hanging over a hard surface which can be cleared easily and often. The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) have some good tips on ways to feed and look after our wild birds.

After the first frosts cut all the growth off Dahlias, dig up and store in a cool dry place untill the spring. In some parts of the country they will survive in the ground where the soil is sandy and has good drainage but not in Wenvoe, which has clay in most places.

There is still time to take root cuttings of Perennial Poppies and Phlox. Start by digging up the plant and cut some roots off near to base of the plant. Do not take more than half of the root system, then replace the plant back into the ground as soon as possible with the roots cut into 3'' lengths and plant the right way up in compost and cover with grit. Put in a cold frame, then be patient .

Weeds do not follow the seasons and seem to grow at all times of the year so if you can get into the garden to keep the borders and veg patches clear it will save a lot of time in the spring. If bind weed is still growing, now would be a good time to spray


November 18th will see the return of a certain Mr Gwyndaf Breese to the marquee at the Wenvoe Christmas Craft fair, along with myself. After you have met this man your life will be far richer for it. If you time it right, and Mr Noel Williams is with him, then believe me we will all learn something.


Happy gardening.



Spiced Rum and Pumpkin Pie

Spiced Rum and Pumpkin Pie

375g ready- made shortcrust pastry

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 – 425g can pumpkin puree [Use Libbys Solid Pack Pumpkin]

200g golden caster sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

300ml double cream

4 tbsp. dark rum [Lambs is good]

Heat the oven to 200C fan. Roll out the pastry and line a prepared 23cm loose bottomed flan tin. Chill in the fridge for about 30 mins. Line with parchment and baking beans and blind bake for about 12 – 15 mins. Reduce oven to 160C fan. Whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, ground spices, cream and rum until well combined and smooth. Pour into the pastry case and bake for about 45 – 50 mins or until firm and set [or when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean] Allow to cool and remove from flan tin. Serve cut into wedges with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with icing sugar and a little ground cinnamon.



Marmalade & Whisky Bread and Butter Pudding

Marmalade & Whisky Bread and Butter Pudding

8 slices day old crusty white bread, crusts removed [thick cut]

50g very soft butter

4 tbsp. Seville orange marmalade, + 4 tsp.

300ml full fat milk

284ml pot double cream

3 large eggs

seeds from 1 vanilla pod

4 tbsp. golden caster sugar

1 good tbsp. whisky

icing sugar for dusting

Butter each piece of bread on both sides, then spread 4 with 1 tbsp. of marmalade each. Pop the remaining bread on the top to make 4 marmalade sandwiches. Cut into triangles and nestle in rows in a large baking dish. Heat oven to 160C fan. In a large bowl, beat the milk. cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar and whisky together, then pour over the bread. Leave to soak for about 30 mins. Dot the remaining marmalade over the top of the pudding and dust with icing sugar. Bake for about 45 mins – 1 hour or until fluffy and starting to caramelise where the bread breaks out of the custard. Serve hot, with extra double cream if desired.



Future Meetings Schedule


In future the Group will meet on the second Monday of the month at the Community Centre at 9.30am. If it is felt there is a need for an additional meeting during the month it will be decided at the meeting.

Bringing a fork and secateurs with you can prove useful. The Group does have a few additional tools in their store room.



The Ivy Bee


Spotted in early October on some ivy growing near the Village Shop was this bee, the Ivy Bee – our first record in the parish although it has probably been around for a while. Amazingly this bee was new to Science in 1993 and first recorded in Britain in 2001 in Dorset since when it has spread out steadily. New species are always of interest although some, unlike this one, bring their own problems such as the Harlequin Ladybird.


Whatever Brexit may bring or not bring the news on the wildlife front overall is not good. England (we have no comparable figures for Wales but it is improbable that they are any better) has the largest membership of wildlife-protection organisations in Europe but has amongst the smallest amount of land protected as nature reserves. France has 2,750,000 hectares protected; England has 94,400. Even Estonia manages 258,000. America has its National Parks where wilderness is sacrosanct – in all of our National Parks large areas are intensively grazed by sheep or in England and Scotland, managed as grouse moors. In an earlier issue of What’s On we noted how far behind their own targets for tree planting Wales and England were.

For whatever reasons, wildlife is very low on the political agenda at the practical level. Look at the minutes of Council meetings or coverage in the Gem to see how often wildlife features. Twenty years ago the Cuckoo could be heard in Wenvoe every Spring. It is now extinct in the parish. This may all seem quite dispiriting but there are things that we can all do. For instance, planting wildflowers helps pollinators. If you cut a tree down, replace it with another – still better, plant more. Make sure your garden is hedgehog-friendly with spaces for them to travel around – an adult hedgehog may roam 2 kilometres each night. There are many other small practical things that can be done but also consider letting your elected representatives know your views on these topics so that conservation is prioritised and some funding allocated. To end on a more positive note a future issue of What’s On will cover what is emerging as a real success story – the Knepp Estate.






The Oxfam Shop in Penarth continues to receive an amazing response to the vinyl records it has for sale in its shop. We now have a good number of regular customers who come in to the shop looking for records to add to their collection. The down side to this is that we regularly run out of stock to price up and put on display! Are you having a clear out before Christmas and have some vinyl records you no longer play or want? If so, we would love you to think of donating them to the Oxfam shop in Penarth. We are interested in records of any genre whether they be LP's EP's or singles. We guarantee to get the best possible prices for any records you donate. As I live in Wenvoe I can pick up any of your donations. We would also be delighted to accept CD's, cassettes/tapes, DVD's, sheet music, music books and old musical instruments whether working or not. You can either ring the shop to arrange a pick up or direct with myself. Thank you. Oxfam Shop Penarth: 02920 706358 or Nigel Billingham Oxfam Music Volunteer 02920 594708




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