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I just want to show you part of what we are going to have for dessert,

This are some of what I made for Christmas, fruits Ladybug are Marzipan,

done with pure almond paste the only tool was a kitchen knife for the crease

my favorites are always the bananas and peach, I don't spray my fruit I like

the natural, white and dark chocolate truffles to die for:-) and the other two with the

leaf is chocolate covered cake, this are all bite size,

No need for comment but Please view this in large

Best Christmas Gifts to Make, Great Cheap Christmas Gifts, Best Christmas Gift Ever, Christmas Reindeer, Christmas Cards, Christmas Tree, Christmas Music, Christmas Gift Ideas, Best Christmas Gifts Idea, Best Xmas Gift Ever, Christmas Pictures, Best Christmas Gifts Ideas, Christmas Holiday

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I've taken this low resolution video today.

 

In Italy, on Christmas day we usually eat this butter made cake called "panettone". It has candied fruit and raisins in it. The one you see in the video is a small version without candied fruit and raisins. It's many calories and birds love it.

 

My daughter is at it again! She has been interested in making cupcakes recently and received a lot of tools for Christmas.

 

These are birthday cupcakes for her Grandma - devils chocolate cake with blackberry buttercream icing, garnished with a plump, juicy blackberry on top. Mmmmmmmm....

 

For Macro Monday: Fruit

 

Come join me on :: Facebook ! ::

 

Our first cake for 2010. We made this to celebrate our parent's 45th wedding anniversary. Each bear represents a member of the family with a few absent members represented in the details.

 

Top and bottom teirs are dummie cakes and middle teir is moist boiled fruit cake, that has been lovingly doused in Brandy every two weeks over the last 8 or so weeks.

 

Congrats Mom and Dad!!!

Best viewed Large and on black

Dot and Grace

 

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Just me and the elf on the shelf having some coffee and sweets that came all the way from Germany. Thank you so much dear Heike for this wonderful Christmas surprise!. We love the cookies, chocolate, OMG the fruit cake! and the beautiful amulet you made me of my little Keenan! I will cherish it forever! <3

 

My girls want to say Thank you to you, Zoe, Bluebelle, Dylan, and Poppy!:D xoxoxo

 

P.S. I just hid the fruit cake from everyone. It's so good I don't want to share it! LOL

 

MADE EXPLORE 10/11/08

 

Close-up of detail

 

Thinking about Christmas Cakes & Designs I made this, which is totally inspired by Lindy smith's 3 tiered Snowflake Cake!

This cake isn't fruit cake but sponge, But we will be having a very boozy, Brandy soaked fruit cake for the Christmas period.....YUM!!!!

 

I used patchwork cutters for the snowflakes and have got to say they are really tricky to use, I have tried several ways and had broken more snowflakes than I actually made, so there was some bad language flying around :o)

For the small beads of snow I used royal icing.

Mini Victorian Sponge Cakes

 

I am very sorry for a long (yes very long) absent from Flickr.

We had a sad chaos in our house but now it is getting better / settled now…

I hope I will be able to come back here as regular as before.

 

I wish you all the joys of Christmas and over this festive season.

Eat and drink - be merry! xx

Reiko's home-made xmas cake.

Preserved cherries - different names (candied, crystallized, glace) but all made the same by soaking them for weeks in a colourful sugary syrup. I just buy mine at the local bulk store and use them to decorate Christmas baking.

 

These fruits actually have an interesting history. First made in the Middle East in the early 1300s they followed the trade route through Venice and Milan. By the 1500s bakers in Milan were including these red and green fruits in their Christmas panettone. From Italy, candied cherries (and other fruit) moved westward ... including into Britain for their every-famous (or infamous) "Christmas cake" ... and then across the Atlantic to become part of Canadian and American festive baking, too.

These are mini fruit cakes I made a few months back. They've been soaking gently with a drizzle of brandy put in them each month. Today I iced them. I don't profess to being that handy with the ol' icing, but they'll make nice pressies for my neighbours, some who are on their own. A perfect one person cake!

Sam says I spoil him too much, that it's not his birthday until January and Christmas is only just round the corner. But I just can't help it, I love that little robot and if he wants his own iPad he can have one.

Made by my brother Trevor, for Easter.

 

Simnel cake is a light fruit cake, similar to a Christmas cake, covered in marzipan, and eaten at Easter in England and Ireland. A layer of marzipan or almond paste is also baked into the middle of the cake. On the top of the cake, around the edge, are eleven marzipan balls to represent the true apostles of Jesus; Judas is omitted. In some variations Christ is also represented, by a ball placed at the centre.

 

The cake is made from these ingredients: white flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fragrant spices, dried fruits, zest and candied peel.

 

Explore, March 30, 2013.

As you can see I have become rather fond of my snowflake cutter and my little snowmen.

This wee fellow is the top "cupcake" for my Christmas cupcake tree.

Amazingly we're not big cake eaters and our normal Christmas cake seemed to hang on for ever, so last year our daughter suggested I did cupcakes for Christmas and made a "Christmas Tree" out of my Wilton stand.

 

The cupcakes are in fact little boiled fruit cakes made in cupcake liners with Karen's (cakebaker_cakemaker) excellent recipe.

www.flickr.com/photos/28032559@N00/2112096080/in/set-7215...

 

This was last year's "tree"

www.flickr.com/photos/abbietabbie/2125954609/in/set-72157...

 

This year's theme will be ..... surprise, surprise ..... snowflakes topped with a snowman !!!!!

 

Cakes covered in marzipan and fondant and "twinkled" to within an inch of their lives! ;o)))

Made Explore 21.12.2008

A 9 inch fruit cake made for a charity auction for The Burnet Institute. I went a little overboard and spent way too much time on it, but I just loved making it. The design is based on a buttercream cake by Sharon Zambito, who it a cake goddess. This was entered into a Flickr Bake off throwdown with the lovely cake4you.dk, thanks Yuliya :)

..... this is yet another of my 4'' rich fruit Christmas cakes!

With marzipan and fondant icing ...... snowmen made of fondant as well ..... and the whole cake brushed with edible pearl lustre.

I very rarely leave the edge of the board without a ribbon trim, but I felt on this occasion the silver edge was just right!

 

(The little chap standing has a snowflake in his hands which doesn't show very well I'm afraid)

Made Explore20.12.2008

Today's lunch.

Salad from our garden, plus avocado.

Curry puffs made by me, with my great grandmother's anglo indian recipe, and sweet chilli sauce.

Orange juice.

 

My greatgrandmother, who was commonly known as "Granny" in the neighbourhood, used to make 100s of curry puffs for people when they had parties. It was a sort of small time catering business that she had. Apparently, she would line up her 7 grandchildren in an assembly line to cut and fold pastry around the minced meat. She also made fruit cakes for weddings and Christmas ... I used the same recipe for my own wedding cake.

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

What a productive day I had! In the morning, my cousin and his wife came over to visit and we chatted and ate some delicious fruit cake. Later I took down all my Christmas decorations. My house looks rather dull at the moment; always takes a couple days to get used to it.

And after that I attempted to take a nap but ended up watching the sunset from my front lawn and going to the local grocery store where I bought a box of sugar cookies for $1. Then I came home to some delicious chicken marsala that my mother had made.

 

Good day I say. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

 

This photo is also from a good day. The edit on this was sort of rushed, but I love this shot.

 

this!

_________

This is traditional German Stollen fruit cake made with dried fruit and marzipan and covered with powdered sugar. It is usually eaten during the Christmas season.

The Back Parlor in the Fall River Historical Society

December 5th, 2014

 

Here, the Victorian method of applying cotton batting to the branches of a tree is used, although amplified to great dramatic effect, creating an avalanche that cascades toward the ground. Nearly 6,000 lights glow through the 'snow,' and are reflected in the silver and the 'ice' below.

 

More information:

 

Each year, beginning the week before Thanksgiving, the Historical Society's mansion is lavishly decorated in the Victorian manner. Holiday spirit abounds from room to room, with the focal point being a magnificent 14-foot Christmas tree in the Music Room. Aglow with thousands of lights, it is a tree guaranteed to instill holiday spirit in both young and old.

 

Traditional decorations are creatively used, working with a variety of holiday themes, to create a display unlike anything to be seen in the Fall River area. Last year's theme, "Victorian Christmas Traditions," was very well received by the public and was photographed by VICTORIAN HOMES magazine for its Christmas 2003 issue. The Music Room's tree was illuminated by the glow of 4100 white lights, was laden with silver tinsel and decorated with hundreds of mouth-blown glass ornaments typical of the Victorian period. The concept of Christmas as we know it originated in Germany and was introduced to England by Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, consort of Queen Victoria. Americans, who strove to emulate the British traditions, quickly adopted the holiday and made it their own. Bavarian glassblowers created untold thousands of ornaments, many of which carry holiday lore. Replicas of many of these ornaments can be found on the Society's tree. Among the most popular are: the glass pickle, which was traditionally hidden on the tree, to be discovered on Christmas morning by the most perceptive child, who was rewarded with a special gift; "Crampus," a small devil-like figure with black horns made of coal, who followed Father Christmas rewarding naughty children with coal; the carrot, an ornament traditionally given to new brides to bring luck in the kitchen.

 

The parlor was banked with paper poinsettias. This plant was named as a tribute to Mr. Joel R. Poinsett, the American Ambassador to Mexico and amateur botanist, who so admired the Mexican wildflower that he brought it to North America and cultivated it in his own greenhouses. In this manner did it become a major part of our Christmas tradition today. The delicate hothouse plant was a great rarity in cold New England winters and so was often copied by nineteenth-century paper flower makers.

 

The dining room was ornamented with della robbia of sparkling crystal-beaded fruit, with the table set with a magnificent nineteenth-century Davenport china dessert service. The centerpiece of the table was a three-tiered cake traditionally decorated with candies, nuts and sugared fruit, surmounted by a pink peppermint pig. As the pig was a symbol of good luck in the Victorian era, candy-makers in Saratoga Springs, New York, began to manufacture small peppermint pigs. In observance of the tradition, those who purchased the pigs would, following the holiday meal, shatter the pig so that each family member could taste of the candy as a wish for good luck in the coming year.

 

In the bedroom stood a tree decorated entirely in nineteenth-century photographs and greeting cards, very typical of trees in Fall River homes during the nineteenth-century, documented by photographs in the Society's collection.

 

The first floor hallway was simply decorated using evergreens and holly, incorporating roses in tribute to the legend of the Christmas rose. As the story goes, a little girl happened upon the stable in Bethlehem where the Christ child lay. Upset because she had no gift to bring, she began to cry and, incredibly, her tears turned into beautiful roses.

 

While touring the museum, guests might also want to browse in the museum shop, which is filled with a vast number of unique gifts. Here you can find the right present for that someone special on your list. This year, many new mouth-blown glass ornaments will also be featured. Among our museum shop bestsellers are delectable sugar plums, the traditional Victorian candy meant to bring sweet dreams to any child that slept with one beneath its pillow.

 

The Fall River Historical Society hopes you will take advantage of this opportunity to visit. The museum will be "decked out" for the occasion in the grand manner of an elegant Victorian mansion and will be a sight to behold!

 

These are some of the highlights of the holiday exhibit last year at the Historical Society.

 

Museum hours are: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum will close at 12:00 noon on Christmas Eve and will be closed Christmas Day. For further information, please call (508) 679-1071.

 

For more info: www.lizzieborden.org/VictorianChristmas.html

 

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

When I grew up in the southern hemisphere, we always used to make little red balls and green leaves from icing sugar for Christmas cake decoration. But holly isn't abundant there and certainly with Christmas being in the middle of summer I didn't quite understand the whole symbolic of it until I moved to England. Seeing this beautiful display of colour in the drab winter months really make your heart beat just a little faster.

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

Close-up

 

This is our families very Rich & Boozy Christmas Fruit Cake.

I left this very late to make

(as always)

but was advised by a flickr/facebook friend

(Abbietabbie)

to feed it with a very generous amount of brandy

while it is hot and just out of the oven......

and boy was this cake moist,

I would advise anyone to do the same

if time wasn't on their side.

I then fed the cake with brandy every morning

until it was time to marzipan it.

This deep 7" cake is covered with sugar paste

and decorated with hand cut sugar reindeer's

which are covered with edible silver glitter

and some various sized silver sugar ball scattered here and there!

The ribbons are sheer blue and green

in different widths.

"Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!"

www.smallthingsiced.co.uk

Made as a "thank you" gift for a Lebanese couple we know, hence the "Merry Christmas" in Arabic.

 

A very quick (and small !) picture as I completely forgot to take a proper one ! :o((

 

A rich fruit cake well infused with brandy (!) and covered with marzipan and fondant. Decorated with a fondant wreath of holly, variegated ivy, gold tipped pine cones and Christmas roses, with a red ribbon and a little gold bell.

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

LEGO Adventure Book on Amazon

 

Prepare to tldr

 

Early this year I intended to become more active within the community, it was great getting back into the hobby I loved. I had a new project and an offer to participate in a book by Megz.

 

And then we got pregnant. I say we because if I said "my wife got pregnant" that would infer that it was her fault or a bad thing, which it totally isn't, it's absolutely wonderful. Except my LEGO room turned into a freakin nursery over night. One moment I was happily constructing the biggest single project I had ever attempted and preparing to spend an obscene amount of money to make it even bigger, the next I'm contemplating where the hell I am going to put my huge collection of plastic toys to make room for "the fruit of my loins" (I can't beleive that was ever a thing people said).

 

Forget the incredible pain of pregnancy, the physical sacrifice that is carrying a child, the indignanty of being compared to a small water craft (I swear I didn't ... I just thought it ... about another lady who was pregnant), no, THIS is sacrifice. THIS is love. THIS is pain. Goodbye, sweet man-cave.

 

So yeah. I got over that (mostly). And, wow! Another kid. Which of course meant repainting the entire house. $650 worth of paint later and I was going to work to wind down. I even mistakenly refered to work as "home" in some kind of perverse Fraudian slip while talking to my boss. Hilarious, except it wasn't. But on the plus side, painting, like any other skill, is a matter of practice and experience. And I was getting plently of experience.

 

One thing I learned - besides paint comes out of your hair alot easier than it comes out of clothes - is that when you continually abuse your hands by working with them every day (!) you loose a great deal of fine motor control. As a legendary rock guitarist (in my mind), a LEGO Technician (yes that is a thing, really) and an elite E-Sports professional (ok , now I'm just being stupid) one kind of relies on fine motor control. And the life lesson here kids is "real work is not fun."

 

So, with my LEGO room gone I took my copy of Sun Tzu's Art of war and did what any second century Chinese general would do and turned defeat into success. I turned the whole freakin house into a LEGO room. Well, to be honest, there was really nowhere else for it to go. We have an open plan house with a combined living / dining / kitchen / study area, so yeah, LEGO house. Take that Ed Sheeran!

 

Somewhere amongst all this I managed to complete pics for Megs book and when it finally arrived (because when you live in Australia stuff takes a LONG time to get here) my zombie-tradsman, paint-caked hands could barely flip through the pages. But when I did, needless to say that I was pretty freaking impressed. Best fan publication to date. If you haven't got a copy you should click on the Amazon link at the top of this post and buy it now while it's on special. Crap, buy two. Give one to your mum, she'll love you the more for it. I should note that none of the proceeds go to the Buy Aaron An Extension So He Can Have A New Man Cave Foundation. Donations to that particular charity are welcome through Pay Pal, details provided on request and complely non-tax deductable - just in case any of you are that gullable.

 

So to make a long story even longer, my son is due Christmas Day, so it could be a rush to the hospital at any minute. It doesn't make any sense when you see it in print, but in spite of all this I'm going to have more time on my hands, which means more time for me to inflict my special brand plastic banality upon you flickrites.

 

Fairly warned be thee says I

Traditional rich fruit cakes, as cupcakes! These are my regular fruitcake recipe, but baked as cupcakes, then iced with marzipan and sugarpaste. Made for a fayre I did this past weekend.

Crust

 

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

 

Filling

 

1 cup white vanilla baking chips (6 oz)

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

 

Topping

 

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup water

10 to 12 drops red food color, if desired

 

Directions:

 

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 15x10x1- or 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms. Press evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

 

2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds or until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in melted chips until blended. Spread mixture over crust. Refrigerate while making topping.

 

3. In small bowl, crush 1 cup of the strawberries. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in crushed strawberries and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in food color. Cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in remaining 3 cups strawberries. Spoon topping over filling. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set; serve within 4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.

 

www.bettycrocker.com/cookies

Children decorated the cake this year again.

クリスマスケーキ。子どもたちがデコレーションしました。

 

PENTAX *ist DS2 / PENTAX FA35mm

Father Christams is full of magic. So I thought I would make him wizard-like. Marzipan covered fruit cake with extremely large glugs of brandy, scotch and ginger wine.

Ich wish everybody a Happy Halloween, may you enjoy your day and parties....... ------------

Halloween (or Hallowe'en), a contraction of All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)", derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning "summer's end".[1] Samhain was the first and by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar[2][3] and, falling on the last day of Autumn, it was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead.[1] There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen.[2][3] To ward off these spirits, the Irish built huge, symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.[1]

     

Snap-Apple Night (1832) by Daniel Maclise.

Depicts apple bobbing and divination games at a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland.

Halloween is also thought to have been heavily influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints' Day (also known as Hallowmas, All Hallows, Hallowtide) and All Souls' Day.[4] Falling on November 1st and 2nd respectively, collectively they were a time for honoring the Saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach heaven. By the end of the 12th century they had become days of holy obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory and "souling", the custom of baking bread or soul cakes for "all crysten [christened] souls".[5]

 

In Britain the rituals of Hallowtide and Halloween came under attack during the Reformation as protestants denounced purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination.[4] In addition the increasing popularity of Guy Fawkes Night from 1605 on saw Halloween become eclipsed in Britain with the notable exception of Scotland.[6] Here, and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since the early Middle Ages,[7] and it is believed the Kirk took a more pragmatic approach towards Halloween, viewing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of local communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country.[6]

 

North American almanacs of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century give no indication that Halloween was recognized as a holiday.[8] The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to the holiday[8] and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that the holiday was introduced to the continent in earnest.[8] Initially confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-nineteenth century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the twentieth century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.[9]

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.

 

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain,[5] although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.[19] Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas."[20]

 

In Scotland and Ireland, Guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.[13] The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.[21]

 

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of the holiday in the U.S; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America";

  

The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.[22]

     

Halloween in Yonkers, New York, US

In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Hallowe'en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries".[23]

 

While the first reference to "guising" in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.[24]

 

The earliest known use in print of the term "trick or treat" appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:

  

Hallowe'en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.[25]

 

The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating.[26] The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes, "There are cards which mention the custom [of trick-or-treating] or show children in costumes at the doors, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them".[27] Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934,[28] and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.[29]

 

Costumes

 

Main article: Halloween costume

     

People dressing in Halloween Costumes in Dublin.

Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.

 

Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century.[13] Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.

 

Halloween costume parties generally fall on, or around, 31 October, often falling on the Friday or Saturday prior to Halloween

 

GERMAN:

  

Halloween [hæloʊˈiːn] (eingedeutscht [ˈhɛloviːn]) von All Hallows' Eve (Allerheiligenabend) benennt ursprünglich Volksbräuche am Vorabend von Allerheiligen in der Nacht vom 31. Oktober zum 1. November, die zunächst vor allem in Irland gefeiert wurden. Die zugehörigen Bräuche wurden von irischen Einwanderern ab 1830 in den USA als Erinnerung an die europäische Heimat aufgegriffen und ausgebaut.

 

Im Laufe der Zeit entwickelte sich Halloween neben Weihnachten und dem Thanksgiving-Fest zu einer der wichtigsten Feiern in den Vereinigten Staaten.

 

Im Zuge der Irischen Renaissance nach 1830 wurden in der frühen volkskundlichen Literatur eine Kontinuität der Halloweenbräuche seit der Keltenzeit und Bezüge auf heidnische und keltische Traditionen wie das Samhainfest angenommen. Bekannt und bis heute zitiert werden entsprechende Mutmaßungen des Religionsethnologen James Frazer.

 

Seit den 1990er Jahren verbreiten sich Halloween-Bräuche, angefangen in Frankreich[1] auch im kontinentalen Europa, wobei es deutliche regionale Unterschiede gibt. Dabei wurden Bräuche wie das Rübengeistern in das auch kommerziell sehr erfolgreiche Halloweenumfeld adaptiert, genauso wie traditionelle Kürbisanbaugebiete wie die Steiermark Halloween aufnahmen.[1]

Das Wort Halloween, in älterer Schreibweise Hallowe’en, ist eine Kontraktion des Wortes All Hallows' Eve (Allerheiligenabend). Wie auch bei Heiligabend ist der Vorabend des Festtages gemeint, da aus liturgischer Sicht der Tag mit Sonnenuntergang endet und der Abend bereits Beginn des Folgetages ist. Der Bezug von Halloween zum Totenreich ergibt sich demnach aus den christlichen Feiertagen Allerheiligen und Allerseelen, die in Europa im 7. bis 8. Jahrhundert eingeführt wurden.

 

Die Genese des Festtags Allerheiligen selbst geht auf die bereits 609 erfolgte Weihung des römischen Pantheons, einem ehemals "allen Göttern" gewidmeter bedeutender heidnischer Tempel, durch die römische Kirche zurück.[2] Als Sancta Maria ad Martyres wurde dieser zum Gedenken aller Märtyrer gewidmet und neu interpretiert. Im Fränkischen Reich führte Ludwig der Fromme das Fest Allerheiligen im Jahr 835 ein. So wird an Allerheiligen traditionell der Gemeinschaft der Heiligen gedacht, die nach christlichem Glauben das ewige Leben erlangt haben. Am 2. November an Allerseelen sollte durch Gebete und Fürbitten sowie durch gute Taten (zum Beispiel Geschenke an bettelnde Kinder) das Leiden der Toten im Fegefeuer gelindert werden.

 

Das Allerheiligenfest, das sich von Rom aus verbreitete, wurde ursprünglich allerdings am 13. Mai gefeiert, das Datum wurde erst von Papst Gregor III. und endgültig von Gregor IV. auf den 1. November verlegt. Wesentliche, auch im heutigen Brauchtum noch erkennbare Aspekte von Allerheiligen und Allerseelen und damit auch Halloween beziehen sich auf die Vorstellung des Fegefeuers und in dem Zusammenhang dem Bedürfnis, der Seelen Verstorbener in diesem Zwischenstadium zu gedenken oder ihre baldige Erlösung zu erbitten.

 

Bereits im Zuge der Hochmittelalterlichen wie später im Zuge der Irische Renaissance wurden einige der christlichen Aspekte bereits wieder auf tatsächliche oder angenommene heidnische Traditionen projiziert. Die entsprechende Wechselwirkung und zugehörige Widersprüche sind bis in die Gegenwart verbreitet. Zudem sind der Charakter als Unruhenacht wie die Erneuerung und Weiterverbreitung in mehreren Wanderungsbewegungen Gegenstand volkskundlicher Forschung und machen mit den besonderen Charme und Reiz von Halloween aus.

 

Herleitung aus keltischen oder vorchristlichen Traditionen [Bearbeiten]

 

Der Religionsethnologe Sir James Frazer beschrieb in seinem Standardwerk The Golden Bough (in der Ausgabe von 1922) Halloween als „altes heidnisches Totenfest mit einer dünnen christlichen Hülle“, neben dem Frühjahrsfest Beltane am 1. Mai (Walpurgisnacht) habe es sich um das zweite wichtige Fest der Kelten gehandelt. Nachgewiesen sei es seit dem 8. Jahrhundert, als christliche Synoden versuchten, solche „heidnischen Riten“ abzuschaffen.

 

Die Encyclopedia Britannica leitet das Fest aus alten keltischen Bräuchen her. Gefeiert wurde an Halloween demnach das Sommerende, der Einzug des Viehs in die Ställe. In dieser Zeit, so glaubte man, seien auch „die Seelen der Toten zu ihren Heimen zurückgekehrt“. Begangen wurde das Fest laut der Encyclopedia Britannica mit Freudenfeuern auf Hügeln (eng. "bonefires", wörtlich etwa Knochenfeuer; ursprünglich mit Bezugnahme auf das Verbrennen von Knochen des Schlachtviehs) und manchmal Verkleidungen, die der Vertreibung böser Geister dienten. Auch Wahrsagerei sei zu diesem Datum üblich gewesen.[3]

 

Das 1927 bis 1942 erschienene Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens schreibt über den November: Die Kelten, welche das Jahr vom November an rechneten, feierten zu Beginn dieses Monats ein großes Totenfest, für das die Kirche die Feste Allerheiligen und Allerseelen setzte, und über Allerheiligen: Auf keltischem Gebiete war das Anzünden großer Feuer üblich. [...] Man kann am A.tage erfahren, was für ein Winter werden und wie sich die Zukunft – namentlich in Liebesangelegenheiten – gestalten wird. [...] Die an A. (wie die am Christtag und in den Zwölften) Geborenen können Geister sehen.

 

Meyers Konversations-Lexikon schreibt zur angeblichen keltischen Herkunft des Festes: „Legendenhaft und historisch nicht exakt zu beweisen ist eine direkte Verbindungslinie zu dem keltisch-angelsächsischen Fest des Totengottes ‚Samhain‘. Aus der Verbindung mit diesem Totengott sollen sich die Gebräuche zu Halloween ableiten, vor allem der Bezug auf das Totenreich und Geister.[4]“

 

Der älteste, wenn auch unsichere Hinweis auf das Samhain-Fest entstammt dem Kalender von Coligny aus dem 1. Jahrhundert n. Chr. Dabei wird mit Samhain auf ein Fest des Sommerendes hingewiesen (keltisch samos, gälisch samhuinn für „Sommer“), oder auf das irogälische Wort für Versammlung, samain.[5] Ein angeblicher Totengott Samhain ist historisch dabei nicht nachweisbar. Erst in deutlich späteren, mittelalterlichen Schriften über die Gebräuche der Kelten wird auf einen Bezug zum Totenreich hingewiesen. Diese sind bereits intensiv christlich beeinflusst.

Halloween wurde ursprünglich nur in katholisch gebliebenen Gebieten der britischen Inseln gefeiert, vor allem in Irland, während die anglikanische Kirche am Tag vor Allerheiligen die Reformation feierte. Von dort kam es mit den zahlreichen irischen Auswanderern im 19. Jahrhundert in die Vereinigten Staaten und gehörte zum Brauchtum dieser Volksgruppe. Aufgrund seiner Attraktivität wurde es bald von den anderen übernommen und entwickelte sich zu einem wichtigen Volksfest in den Vereinigten Staaten und Kanada.

 

Der Brauch, Kürbisse zum Halloween-Fest aufzustellen, stammt aus Irland. Dort lebte einer Sage nach der Bösewicht Jack Oldfield. Dieser fing durch eine List den Teufel ein und wollte ihn nur freilassen, wenn er Jack O fortan nicht mehr in die Quere kommen würde. Nach Jacks Tod kam er aufgrund seiner Taten nicht in den Himmel, aber auch in die Hölle durfte Jack natürlich nicht, da er ja den Teufel betrogen hatte. Doch der Teufel erbarmte sich und schenkte ihm eine Rübe und eine glühende Kohle, damit Jack durch das Dunkel wandern könne. Der Ursprung des beleuchteten Kürbisses war demnach eigentlich eine beleuchtete Rübe, doch da in den USA Kürbisse in großen Mengen zur Verfügung standen, höhlte man stattdessen einen Kürbis aus. Dieser Kürbis war seither als Jack O’Lantern bekannt. Um böse Geister abzuschrecken, schnitt man Fratzen in Kürbisse, die vor dem Haus den Hof beleuchteten.

 

US-amerikanische Halloweenbräuche verbreiteten sich von Frankreich ausgehend im Verlauf der 1990er Jahre nach Europa, wo sie einen fröhlichen und weniger schaurigen Charakter als in Nordamerika haben. Während in den Vereinigten Staaten öffentliche Klassenzimmer mit Hexenmotiven oder Rathausvorplätze mit Jack O’Lanterns geschmückt werden, ist Halloween-Schmuck in Europa auf einzelne Geschäftslokale oder Privaträume beschränkt. Speziell der Ausfall des Karnevals wegen des Golfkriegs 1991 förderte das Ausweichen auf den anschließenden Herbsttermin.[12][13] Heute erfreuen sich die abgewandelten Bräuche zunehmender Beliebtheit auch im deutschsprachigen Raum - besonders das Wochenende vor dem 31. Oktober, falls dieser auf einen Werktag fällt, wird von einer wachsenden Anzahl genutzt, um Kürbisse zu schnitzen.[14] Das Umherziehen von Tür zu Tür, das klassische "Trick or Treat", wird aber fast ausschließlich am Abend des 31. Oktober selbst praktiziert.

 

More info and lots of other languages available at:

 

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

...... flickr is a wonderful place to be!

Although it is a "virtual" place , sometimes virtuality becomes reality and

that is what has happened to me this Christmas!

Two of my flickr pals have sent me the most lovely and thoughtful gifts ..... I won't embarrass you both by "outing" you, but I was so thrilled to receive these lovely presents and I will think of you as I use and enjoy them!

I don't think a cake like this would travel too well overseas, so I'm afraid you'll have to share it as a little "virtual" Christmas cake (although it is real .... honestly!) as a BIG Thank You and I hope you both have a wonderful Christmas! *Hugs* xx

 

As this is a little 4" fruit cake it's possibly better to view it LARGE ! ;o))

Made Explore 18.12. 2008

いちごサンタのクリスマスケーキ

via HottyToddy.com ift.tt/1czthGc,

 

Squash and more rock to the beet.

 

By Laurie Triplette

 

ldtriplette@aol.com

 

SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK

 

Go around your elbow to get to your thumb: An expression referring to not thinking something through — doing it piecemeal, and as a result making the process of reaching a conclusion time consuming and difficult. As in, “Jake finally realized he needed his team to assemble and present all the data for the Board to review, rather than going around his elbow to reach his thumb by hiring outside consultants to study each component separately.” The term is synonymous with around the world and back.

 

A FEAST FROM ROASTED VEGETABLES

 

Some folks look at the changing leaves to gauge the advancement of Autumn and the approach of the American holiday season. Others monitor the weather thermometer or which game we’ve reached in the football calendar. Not me.

 

I check out Mother Nature and our beloved old-timey Southern ladies. For example, the other day I glimpsed a little old lady wandering across a yard with a bag, bending over from time to time. A stranger might judge her as loopy. I knew what she was doing. Like my own mother and mother-in-law, and like my grandmother, she was picking up nuts from underneath her canopy of pecan trees.

 

This check-it-out attitude has been engrained in me and my fellow Southern Belles. This time of year we can’t prevent ourselves from searching the ground, and the trees and shrubs around us for Nature’s agricultural gifts to humankind. I confess that I found myself scanning the quince trees at Cedar Oaks Mansion this past week to see if any mature quinces had survived the fruit-killing Spring. (We Southern cooks-in-the-know do love to make quince jelly.) And after the hard killing frost the other night, I don’t even have to call to know that my friend with an old-fashioned persimmon tree has been working hard to gather frost-ripened persimmons.

 

These signs are how I know it’s time to turn our culinary attention to Fall veggies. The Old Bride considers Autumn’s fruits and vegetables to be as wonderful as our summer produce. Perhaps they are a bit less glamorous than those flashy hot weather tomatoes and elegant peaches. But these Fall crops and native food-bearing plants have nourished and sustained Southerners since the earliest of times.

 

Such fare gave rise to some of our most beloved holiday foods in the South. We all know what they are: Sugared pecans. Candied sweet potatoes. Squash casserole or stuffed squash. Wild rice dressing. Persimmon pudding. A mess of greens cooked down with ham hock, chicken schmaltz, or salami. Fresh apple cake and apple crisp.

 

One MIGHT observe that most of us are stuck in these long-standing food traditions every Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas. But savvy Southerners have embraced the growing national farm-to-table movement and the new twists on cooking up old-timey foods. I’m proud to say that Lafayette County is at the forefront of this movement in our region.

 

This week’s column features fall squash, once-lowly tubers and root vegetables, coupled with common leafy greens. The trick for the veggies is roasting them with olive oil and light seasoning, such as honey or balsamic vinegar. Once roasted, the veggies can be added to baby kale salads, or converted into soups.

 

ROASTED BEETS AND/OR SWEET POTATOES

 

This recipe calls for either beets OR sweet potatoes. I make both, but do not roast them in the same pan because beets stain everything red.

 

1 bunch of large fresh beets (usually 3 beets per bunch)

 

OR

 

2 to 3 good-sized sweet potatoes

 

1/4 c extra light olive oil (1/3 c for 3 potatoes)

 

1 tsp Kosher salt

 

8 peppermill turns of fresh ground black pepper

 

1/4 c honey

 

Line a pyrex baking pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Peel the beets or potatoes and slice about 1/2-inch thick. Cube the slices and toss in a bowl with the olive oil and seasonings. Place evenly in the lined pan and roast about 40 to 50 minutes until fork tender, tossing and turning the veggies after 25 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove from oven and gently toss with the honey.

 

Serve immediately while hot as a side dish, or allow to cool, and add the cubed beets and sweet potatoes to salads.

 

VARIATION: Puree the baked veggie cubes while still hot. Add hot chicken broth and crème fraiche or sour cream to convert into a cream soup. Serve the potato soup hot with garlic-buttered croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve the beet soup chilled with chopped chives.

 

BABY KALE SALAD WITH HONEY-BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

 

This is a Southern twist on a traditional spinach salad. Kale has become a food star, and packges of baby kale are now available in the grocery stores under the organic farm labels.

 

1 T Dijon mustard

 

1 T honey

 

1/4 c balsamic vinegar

 

1 c extra light or extra virgin olive oil

 

1/2 tsp sea salt

 

8 twists of fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

5-oz package of organic baby kale, rinsed and spun dry

 

5 oz fresh beet greens, rinsed and loosely chopped

 

1/4 c roasted cubed beets

 

1/4 c roasted cubed sweet potatoes

 

8 -10 sugared OR salted pecan halves

 

1 Clementine orange, peeled and segmented

 

4 T crumbled feta cheese

 

Sea salt to taste

 

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

Combine first 6 ingredients together in a small non-reactive bowl. Whisk together until an emulsion has formed honey-balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Place about 2 cups of the greens on a salad plate. Evenly sprinkle the beets, potatoes, pecans, orange segments, and feta over the greens, spreading evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with the honey-balsamic vinaigrette.

 

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

 

Butternut squash is very tough when raw, so get out your heavy-duty cutting board and sharpest big knife. Once roasted, the squash has a delightful sweet-savory flavor.

 

4 lb whole butternut squash (about 2 medium squash)

 

4 T butter, room temperature

 

1 medium Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apple

 

1 medium yellow onion

 

3 cloves garlic, minced

 

1/8 tsp ground thyme

 

4 c chicken broth (or 2 cans of low-sodium, MSG-free broth)

 

1 to 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste

 

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

1/2 to 1 c plain Greek yogurt

 

1 T lemon juice

 

Dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Rinse and cut the squash in half. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut-side up, in a baking dish and use fingers to coat entire top surface with 1 to 2 T of the room temperature butter. Lightly season the squash with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast about 1 hour, until squash is fork tender.

 

While squash is baking, peel, core, and dice the apple. Dice the onion. Melt remaining butter in large skillet or large saucepan on medium heat. Add the apple, onion, garlic, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper; stirring regularly for about 7 minutes until softened. Remove from heat and set pan aside until squash is baked.

 

Remove fork-tender squash from oven and cool long enough to be able to handle it. Scoop softened squash flesh from the skins and combine with apples and onions in pan on stovetop. Add the broth and additional salt and pepper, as needed, along with cayenne or hot sauce, bringing it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up squash chunks. Remove pan from heat and use blender, or immersion blender, or hand mixer, to puree the soup until smooth. When blending, covering top of container with a towel to prevent splatter. Stir in the yogurt and lemon juice until blended. Serve the soup garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds or buttered garlic croutons.

 

Laurie Triplette is a writer, historian, and accredited appraiser of fine arts, dedicated to preserving Southern culture and foodways. Author of the award-winning community family cookbook GIMME SOME SUGAR, DARLIN’, and editor of ZEBRA TALES (Tailgating Recipes from the Ladies of the NFLRA), Triplette is a member of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ),Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SOFAB). Check out the GIMME SOME SUGAR, DARLIN’ web site: http://ift.tt/1b0dAug and follow Laurie’s food adventures on Facebook and Twitter (@LaurieTriplette).

 

, November 16, 2013 at 08:18AM

A rich fruit cake made as a Christmas present for our daughter's in-laws.

However, I was very behind with everything this year, so although the actual cake was made in October, they didn't receive it until after Christmas, hence a slightly un-Christmassy design !

Better late than never, and the cake should taste divine now, being so well matured !!! ;o))

Having now got replacement glass for my oven,(day 306/365) I made two Christmas cakes this afternoon. The dried fruit, peel, nuts & cherries had been sprinkled with a very generous amount of cognac & left to absorb it for a week, then flour, spices, ground almonds, butter, black treacle, dark sugar & eggs were mixed together . Once they are cooked, I will sprinkle the cakes with more cognac to ensure they are full of flavour & very moist......K

Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I couldn't resist photographing these tiny cake decorations. I don't like fruit cake so I guess I will have to make a Christmas carrot cake... :-)

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/index.as...

  

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area.

 

Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Severn estuary all year round.

 

Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.

  

Opening times

 

Open every day (closed Christmas Day), 9 am to 5 pm (Coffee Shop open 10 am to 4 pm). On Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm and the coffee shop will be open 10 am to 3.30 pm. Please note that the carpark also closes at 5:30pm.

  

Entrance charges

 

None

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

 

Autumn/winter is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay.

  

Information for families

 

Newport Wetlands visitor centre is ideal for children and families. Guided walks and children's activities are available on the reserve, drinks and a bite to eat can be enjoyed in the coffee shop afterwards, followed by a browse in the retail area. Children will find the outdoor children's activity area with its 4 m high simulation of the East Usk Lighthouse very entertaining. We can offer a variety of fun environmental activity and exploration days for a wide range of local interest groups.

  

Information for dog owners

 

Some access for dogs - marked footpaths on perimeter of reserve. For more information, please contact the NRW enquiry line.

  

Star species

 

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Bearded tit

 

You will often hear bearded tits before you see them. Listen for their bell-like 'pinging' calls, then watch them whizzing across the tops of the reeds. They perch up on the stems in calm weather and feed on fallen seeds on the mud at the base of the reeds.

  

Dunlin

 

Dunlins can be seen at Newport Wetlands at almost any time. They breed further north, including in the Arctic, but migrating birds pass through in spring and autumn and some also spend winter here. Watch for them probing their beaks into the mud as they feed.

  

Little egret

 

These dainty little white herons can be seen throughout the year at Newport. You can see them fishing, stirring up fish fry from the muddy bottom with their feet.

  

Little grebe

 

Listen for little grebes 'whinnying' in spring as part of their courtship displays. They are small, round birds, and remarkably buoyant despite their fluffy feathers.

  

Shoveler

 

Shovelers are commonest here in winter, but are also a regular breeding bird. Watch them using their beaks like sieves to sift out microscopic aquatic life from the water.

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

 

Spring is the start of the breeding season and is an active and exciting time of year at Newport Wetlands, as birds set about finding their mates and building nests. Breeding waders at the reserve include lapwings and oystercatchers. Bearded tits begin to nest in the reedbeds. During late April and early May, swallows and swifts begin arriving from Africa, and can be seen flying overhead. This is a great time of year to listen out for the distinctive call of the cuckoo and many plants, including orchids, will begin to burst into colourful flower.

  

Summer

 

Grass snakes can sometimes be seen soaking up the sun or skimming expertly through the water among the reeds. Around sixteen species of dragonflies, twenty-three species of butterfly and two hundred species of moth are found at Newport Wetlands. After dark is the best time for moth spotting, but visitors are likely to see species like cinnabar moths and scarlet tiger moths during the daytime. The reserve is also home to badgers, moles and wood mice. Otters live here too, but are notoriously shy of humans and can be difficult to spot. Their droppings, or ‘spraint’, are the most commonly spotted clue to their presence.

  

Autumn

 

In autumn, the reeds turn from a vibrant lush green to yellowing brown. Groups of goldfinches can be seen flitting around the reserve and are particularly visible along Perry Lane, using their long beaks to extract seeds from the teasels. Autumn is another extremely active season at Newport Wetlands, as migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive ready for their winter stay. Curlews, redshanks, dunlins and oystercatchers feed on the estuary at low tide using their long, pointy beaks to sift through the nutritious mud for worms and grubs.

  

Winter

 

The starling roost at the reserve is a not-to-be-missed wildlife experience. From October onwards, large groups of starlings gather at dusk in great black clouds. At its peak, around 50,000 birds swoop and soar overhead, chattering noisily. After a breathtaking display, the birds drop dramatically into the reedbeds where they settle for the night. Another winter treat at Newport Wetlands is a single bittern, which has been seen here most winters since 2001. Bitterns are rare and extremely secretive, moving silently through the reeds looking for fish. Parts of the reserve provide a winter home for nationally important numbers of black-tailed godwits, shovelers and dunlins.

  

Facilities

  

Information centre

 

Car park

 

Toilets

 

Disabled toilets

 

Baby-changing facilities

 

Group bookings accepted

 

Guided walks available

 

Good for walking

 

Pushchair friendly

 

Viewing points

 

Viewing screens are available.

  

Nature trails

 

There are a number of nature trails around the reserve of various lengths with easy accessibility for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

  

Tearoom

 

Coffee shop serving triple-certified organic Fairtrade coffee, fairtrade tea, Fairtrade hot chocolate, and a selection of organic cold drinks, sandwiches, baguettes, locally-produced cakes and cookies.

 

Refreshments available

 

Hot drinks

 

Cold drinks

 

Snacks

 

Confectionery

  

Shop

 

A retail outlet for all your bird food and bird care accessories with a wide selection of binoculars and telescopes. There is also a fantastic selection of gifts and children's items.

  

The shop stocks:

 

Binoculars and telescopes

 

Bird food

 

Bird feeders

 

Gifts

  

Cafe

 

Our cafe in the visitor centre has large, panoramic windows overlooking the reserve and surrounding countryside. There is a large outdoor decking area providing additional seating with the same relaxing views. We provide organic Fairtrade tea and hot chocolate, and locally-produced cakes and ice cream.

 

We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!

 

We are proud to hold a Level 5 Food Hygiene rating enabling our customers to have full confidence in the food and service that we provide.

  

Opening hours

 

10 am to 4 pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

  

Highlights from our menu

 

Triple-certified coffee including cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, all freshly-made

We are known for our Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and hot toasted teacakes

From autumn through to spring we sell steaming tasty soups which are gluten-free

We provide a variety of sandwiches and rolls made with bread from a family baker

Pole-and-line-caught skipjack tuna is used to fill delicious sandwiches or rolls

Good variety of sandwiches and cakes. Coffee excellent

  

Access to the cafe

 

The coffee shop is in the visitor centre which has wheelchair-friendly ramps into the centre and out onto the reserve.

  

Children welcome

 

There are highchairs for babies and toddlers. We provide children's lunchboxes containing a sandwich, two-finger Kitkat, apple or orange juice and a choice of wildlife face mask.

  

We use local ingredients

 

We use Welsh meats, cheeses and free-range organic eggs.

  

Dietary requirements

 

We sell vegetarian and vegan food, some wheat-free snacks and soup, and some organic food.

  

Accessibility

 

8 August 2013

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

 

Before you visit

 

Clear print site leaflet available from reception

 

Visitor Centre open 9 am to 5 pm daily, except Christmas Day. coffee shop open 10 am to 4 pm

 

Entry to the reserve is free of charge

 

Car park open 8.30 am to 5.30 pm daily

 

Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs available to hire out free of charge. Telephone for details

 

Registered assistance dogs welcome (please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of registration)

 

A dog walking route map is available from the visitor centre. Tethering rings and drinking bowl at the visitor centre entrance

 

Check events and activities for accessibility,

  

How to get here

 

Newport Railway Station (5 miles/8 km). Taxis usually available

 

Bus stop in the reserve car park, Number 63

  

Car parking

 

Free parking, 180 m/197 yds from the visitor centre

10 blue badge spaces

85 parking spaces

Drop-off at visitor centre arranged by telephone 01633 636363

Tarmac surface, path to visitor centre compacted limestone chippings and dust

  

Visitor centre and shop

 

Entrance by wooden walkway with a maximum gradient of 1:40. Manually operated doors. Non-slip tiled surface. Low section on service counter. Hearing loop system is installed at the service counter and in the education rooms. Good natural and artificial lighting. Staff can give assistance and read out any literature if required. Binoculars are available for hire (£3.50 for the day).

  

Nature trails

 

Four main trails. All level on compacted with one incline using a zig-zag. Floating walkways have been used by wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs but caution should be taken due to buoyancy.

  

Viewing facilities

 

Natural viewing opportunities throughout the reserve. A wheelchair accessible viewing screens overlooking the reedbeds.

  

Toilets

 

Unisex accessible toilet along with separate ladies and gents available on ground floor of Visitor Centre. Level step free access. Baby changing table and a second baby facility in ladies toilets.

  

Catering

 

Step-free level access. Outside deck viewing area. Tables are well spaced apart. Good natural and overhead lighting. Non slip tiles. Accessible WC in the visitor centre.

  

Shop

 

Shop is located in the visitor centre. Level entry step free with no doors. There is step free, level access throughout. Non-slip tiled surface. Ample room. Well lit with daylight and fluorescent lighting. Promotional video usually playing with subtitles. Staff can provide assistance.

  

Classrooms

 

Two classrooms available as one room if required. Step-free, level access throughout. Non-slip flooring. Artificial even lighting. Portable hearing loop system available. Two raised ponds nearby.

  

Picnic area

 

Four picnic tables with wheelchair access outside visitor centre. Visitors free to bring their own refreshments for picnics.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

For more information

 

Newport Wetlands

 

E-mail: newport-wetlands@rspb.org.uk

 

Telephone:01633 636363

  

How to get here

 

By bicycle (Sustrans cycle route)

 

Sustrans National Cycle Network route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using existing roads. The car park has a covered cycle stand. Please note that cycling on the reserve is restricted to a designated route.

  

By train

 

The nearest railway station is Newport - which is five miles from the reserve. There is a taxi rank at the station and Newport bus station is just a few minutes walk away. For train times to and from Newport visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or telephone 08457 484950.

  

By bus

 

From the Kingsway Bus Station in Newport, the Number 63 bus leaves at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm, 4.50 pm and 6 pm and stops at the bus stop in the reserve car park. Alternatively, contact Newport Bus 01633 670563.

  

By road

 

Join the A48 at either junction 24 or 28 of the M4. Follow the A48 until you come to the Spytty Retail Park roundabout. Exit onto the A4810 Queensway Meadows. At the first roundabout take the third exit onto Meadows Road and follow the brown tourist signs to the reserve.

  

Our partners

 

The Newport Wetlands project is funded by the European Union's Objective Two programme supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and secured via the Newport European Partnership, Newport City Council's allocation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Local Regeneration Fund, Newport City Council's Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, the Environment Agency Wales and Visit Wales – the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks.

 

Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB would like to thank the communities of Newport and the volunteers who have supported Newport Wetlands.

  

Newport Wetlands Conference and Meeting Rooms

  

Set in the tranquil surroundings of a peaceful nature reserve, our excellent conference facilities offer a superb location for a great getaway from the office and provide a wonderful setting for a variety of corporate events. You will receive a warm welcome from the staff at the Visitor Centre, providing a professional and efficient service.

 

We can provide facilities for the following

 

Conferences

 

Board Meetings

 

Seminars

 

Training Courses

 

Presentations

  

Away days

 

Rooms can be arranged in boardroom, theatre style or in any other format to suit your event. We also have a range of equipment for hire including a digital projector and smart board facilities.

 

Your booking fee includes free car parking, access to the Reserve as well as the Visitor Centre, Shop and Café. The Reserve comprises of a series of lagoons and reed beds from reclaimed industrial land, which is now home to a wealth of wildlife.

 

A tour of the Reserve can be arranged as an unusual and revitalising break during a meeting or away day.

  

Catering

 

Fairtrade coffee and tea, biscuits or homemade cakes can be served throughout the day, and we can provide a freshly prepared buffet to suit your dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Buffets include a selection of classic sandwiches, a selection of savoury items, fresh fruit and a selection of freshly baked homemade cakes.

 

Alternatively, delegates can stroll across to the café themselves and appreciate inspirational views of the reserve from the veranda.

  

The Lakeside Suite

 

A purpose built meeting room, which caters for 12 people boardroom style or 25 people theatre style.

  

The Education Facilities

 

Set in a tranquil environment, overlooking the waters edge the Education Rooms offers the perfect environment for larger events and conferences. The room can be organised in various styles and caters for up to 80 people theatre style.

 

For more information or to make a provisional booking, please contact Adrianne Jones using the details below.

 

For more information

 

Adrianne Jones

Centre Co-ordinator

E-mail: adrianne.jones@rspb.org.uk

Telephone:01633 636355

The Dining Room of the Fall River Historical Society

December 5th, 2014

 

This nine-foot tabletop tree is decorated in the traditional manner, with figural blown glass ornaments. The overwhelming number of ornaments provide a spectrum of the color that dazzles visitors.

 

More info:

 

Each year, beginning the week before Thanksgiving, the Historical Society's mansion is lavishly decorated in the Victorian manner. Holiday spirit abounds from room to room, with the focal point being a magnificent 14-foot Christmas tree in the Music Room. Aglow with thousands of lights, it is a tree guaranteed to instill holiday spirit in both young and old.

 

Traditional decorations are creatively used, working with a variety of holiday themes, to create a display unlike anything to be seen in the Fall River area. Last year's theme, "Victorian Christmas Traditions," was very well received by the public and was photographed by VICTORIAN HOMES magazine for its Christmas 2003 issue. The Music Room's tree was illuminated by the glow of 4100 white lights, was laden with silver tinsel and decorated with hundreds of mouth-blown glass ornaments typical of the Victorian period. The concept of Christmas as we know it originated in Germany and was introduced to England by Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, consort of Queen Victoria. Americans, who strove to emulate the British traditions, quickly adopted the holiday and made it their own. Bavarian glassblowers created untold thousands of ornaments, many of which carry holiday lore. Replicas of many of these ornaments can be found on the Society's tree. Among the most popular are: the glass pickle, which was traditionally hidden on the tree, to be discovered on Christmas morning by the most perceptive child, who was rewarded with a special gift; "Crampus," a small devil-like figure with black horns made of coal, who followed Father Christmas rewarding naughty children with coal; the carrot, an ornament traditionally given to new brides to bring luck in the kitchen.

 

The parlor was banked with paper poinsettias. This plant was named as a tribute to Mr. Joel R. Poinsett, the American Ambassador to Mexico and amateur botanist, who so admired the Mexican wildflower that he brought it to North America and cultivated it in his own greenhouses. In this manner did it become a major part of our Christmas tradition today. The delicate hothouse plant was a great rarity in cold New England winters and so was often copied by nineteenth-century paper flower makers.

 

The dining room was ornamented with della robbia of sparkling crystal-beaded fruit, with the table set with a magnificent nineteenth-century Davenport china dessert service. The centerpiece of the table was a three-tiered cake traditionally decorated with candies, nuts and sugared fruit, surmounted by a pink peppermint pig. As the pig was a symbol of good luck in the Victorian era, candy-makers in Saratoga Springs, New York, began to manufacture small peppermint pigs. In observance of the tradition, those who purchased the pigs would, following the holiday meal, shatter the pig so that each family member could taste of the candy as a wish for good luck in the coming year.

 

In the bedroom stood a tree decorated entirely in nineteenth-century photographs and greeting cards, very typical of trees in Fall River homes during the nineteenth-century, documented by photographs in the Society's collection.

 

The first floor hallway was simply decorated using evergreens and holly, incorporating roses in tribute to the legend of the Christmas rose. As the story goes, a little girl happened upon the stable in Bethlehem where the Christ child lay. Upset because she had no gift to bring, she began to cry and, incredibly, her tears turned into beautiful roses.

 

While touring the museum, guests might also want to browse in the museum shop, which is filled with a vast number of unique gifts. Here you can find the right present for that someone special on your list. This year, many new mouth-blown glass ornaments will also be featured. Among our museum shop bestsellers are delectable sugar plums, the traditional Victorian candy meant to bring sweet dreams to any child that slept with one beneath its pillow.

 

The Fall River Historical Society hopes you will take advantage of this opportunity to visit. The museum will be "decked out" for the occasion in the grand manner of an elegant Victorian mansion and will be a sight to behold!

 

These are some of the highlights of the holiday exhibit last year at the Historical Society.

 

Museum hours are: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum will close at 12:00 noon on Christmas Eve and will be closed Christmas Day. For further information, please call (508) 679-1071.

 

For more info: www.lizzieborden.org/VictorianChristmas.html

wishing you and yours a beautiful and relaxing holiday season!

 

making a cake for christmas this year...

  

 

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/about.aspx

  

Situated on the banks of the Conwy estuary, with magnificent views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle, this reserve is delightful at any time of year.

 

Conwy's a great place to get close to wildlife, to spend time with family and friends, or just take time out in fantastic scenery that embraces 4,000 years of human history. There’s a network of pushchair-friendly trails with viewpoints and hides to make the most of your visit and plenty if information to explain what you're watching. Perhaps you’ll meet one of our friendly volunteer wildlife guides who can help you discover just a little bit more?

 

In our Visitor Centre, our warm welcome will ensure you have exactly what you need for your visit. We have events to suit everyone from keen birdwatchers to beginners or young families, whether your interest is wildlife, history, art or any number of other subjects.

 

We love our food at Conwy so why not visit our monthly Farmers' Market or call in at the Waterside Coffee Shop, overlooking the lagoon, and enjoy a drink, a snack or light lunch using delicious local produce. We have a well-stocked shop, too, with good advice on everything from feeding birds to new binoculars.

 

We welcome group visits, but please book these with us in advance so that we can give you the best possible service. Entry rates are listed below, but we can also organise guided walks for a flat-fee of £30 for a group of up to 15 people, £50 for a group of 15 to 30 people. Please ring the reserve at least six weeks before your proposed visit to arrange a group visit.

  

Opening times

  

The shop and visitor centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30 am-5 pm. The coffee shop is open from 10 am-4.30 pm (to 4 pm from November to March).

  

Entrance charges

  

Members free. Non-members: adults £3, concessions £2, children £1.50. Family ticket £6.50.

  

If you are new to birdwatching...

  

Why not join a guided walk with our volunteers every Saturday at 11 am? They will help you spot and identify the birds. You can hire a pair of binoculars from us (£3 a visit). Just ask at reception.

  

Information for families

  

From our Visitor Centre, you can collect one of our Bingo cards, encouraging you all to take a closer look at the reserve. Bingo cards change according to season and are available in Welsh or English. There's a self-guided Discovery Trail, and all the tracks are pushchair-friendly. The Waterside Coffee Shop has a popular toybox to occupy little hands while you're enjoying a cuppa.

  

Information for dog owners

  

Sorry, we don't allow dogs, except registered assistance dogs, because there are breeding birds and, in winter, roosting birds on the reserve. There’s a popular dog walk along the estuary, running north from the reserve.

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/star_species.aspx

  

Star species

  

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.

  

Black-tailed godwit

  

These elegant, long-billed waders can be seen on the estuary and lagoons here in autumn. Look out for their striking black and white wingbars as they take flight.

  

Lapwing

 

Look - and listen - for the acrobatic aerial displays of lapwings over the grassland in spring as they stake a claim to territories and try to attract a mate. These wonderful birds can be seen throughout the year.

  

Sedge warbler

  

Another warbler that returns from Africa in spring, the sedge warbler is easy to see because it 'pirouettes' up into the air from the tops of the bushes, singing its scratchy song as it goes.

  

Shelduck

  

Colourful shelducks are present in large numbers most of the year, with smaller numbers in summer. You can see them in flocks on the estuary and the lagoons.

  

Water rail

  

Water rails can be seen from the hides in winter. A bit of patience should reward you with a sighting of one of these skulking birds weaving in and out of the reeds.

   

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/seasonal_highlight...

  

Seasonal highlights

  

Each season brings a different experience at our nature reserves. In spring, the air is filled with birdsong as they compete to establish territories and attract a mate. In summer, look out for young birds making their first venture into the outside world. Autumn brings large movements of migrating birds - some heading south to a warmer climate, others seeking refuge in the UK from the cold Arctic winter. In winter, look out for large flocks of birds gathering to feed, or flying at dusk to form large roosts to keep warm.

  

Spring

  

Lapwings perform their tumbling display flights. Grey herons build their nests. Birdsong increases from April as migrants arrive from Africa. Cowslips burst into flower around the coffee shop. Orange-tip and peacock butterflies take nectar from early flowers.

  

Summer

  

Warblers sing from the reedbeds and scrub. Common blue butterflies and six-spotted burnet moths feed on the bright yellow bird's foot trefoil. Young ducks and waders hatch. A profusion of wild flowers, including delicate bee orchids. Stoats hunt on the estuary track. Little egret numbers build up following the breeding season.

  

Autumn

  

Waders pass through on migration. Ducks arrive for the winter. Grassland is rich in fungi. Dragonflies lay eggs on warm afternoons. Sea buckthorn and brambles are festooned with berries. Buzzards soar over the nearby woods.

  

Winter

  

Huge flocks of starlings settle down to roost at dusk. Water rails may be seen from the Coffee Shop. Close-up views of buntings and finches at the feeding station. Gorse bursts into flower from January. Look for tracks of birds and mammals in the snow.

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/facilities.aspx

  

Facilities

  

Facilities

 

•Visitor centre

•Car park : Ample parking with cycle racks.

•Toilets

•Disabled toilets

•Baby-changing facilities

•Picnic area

•Binocular hire

•Group bookings accepted

•Guided walks available

•Good for walking

•Pushchair friendly

  

Viewing points

  

Along the trails there are three hides and three viewing screens from which you get great views of wildlife and the scenery.

  

Nature trails

  

There are three nature trails that together create a circular loop of just under two miles. The Blue Tit and Redshank Trails are entirely accessible by wheelchairs and pushchairs; the Grey Heron trail is unpaved and can be bumpy.

  

Tearoom

  

Hot and cold drinks, lunches, cakes and snacks are available from the Waterside Coffee Shop, which stocks a range of Fairtrade and local produce.

 

Refreshments available

 

•Hot drinks

•Cold drinks

•Sandwiches

•Snacks

•Confectionery

  

Shop

  

Our friendly and knowledgeable team can help with advice on everything from a new pair of binoculars, the right book to go birdwatching or bird food and feeders that will suit your garden.

  

The shop stocks:

 

•Binoculars and telescopes

•Books

•Bird food

•Bird feeders

•Nestboxes

•Outdoor clothing

•Gifts

  

Educational facilities

  

Our friendly field teachers run a variety of activities and educational programmes for children. These fun and inspirational sessions are available for schools, youth groups and clubs. For more information contact Charlie Stretton on 01492 584091 or email conwy@rspb.org.uk. Educational facilities include an indoor activity room which is available for children's parties and community events. Please call for more information.

  

Group visits

 

We welcome group visits, but please book these with us in advance so that we can give you the best possible service. Entry rates are listed above, but we can also organise guided walks for a flat-fee of £30 for a group of up to 15 people, or £50 for a group of 15 to 30 people. Please ring the reserve at least six weeks before your proposed visit to arrange a group visit.

  

For more information

 

Contact us

 

Tel: 01492 584091

E-mail: conwy@rspb.org.uk

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/conwyconnections.aspx

  

Enhancing RSPB Conwy nature reserve for people and nature

  

Over the next few months, RSPB Conwy will be transformed with a fresh look and exciting new facilities. We've been dreaming of this for years! Find out more about Conwy Connections and what you can look forward to.

  

What we've got planned

  

In autumn 2012 we started a programme of work that we're calling Conwy Connections.

 

The brownfield land that connects the visitor centre and coffee shop will be transformed into what we're calling 'Y Maes' - the 'village square' of the reserve. It'll be a place for families and friends to meet, relax and explore.

 

Hillocks and hummocks will provide elevated views of the reserve and the Conwy valley. It includes a play area, tunnel, picnic area, wildlife meadow, events area and much more.

 

Landforms and natural features will introduce more children to nature, stimulating learning through play and their own imaginations. It's going to be a wonderful place for everyone, throughout the year.

 

We're also constructing a new building which we're calling the 'observatory.' It will be a fantastic indoor space, built into the bank with the lagoon right in front of it. It's going to be a great place to watch wildlife, and we'll use it for events throughout the year.

 

It's by no means a run-of-the mill design. This very special, green construction will be built out of straw bales, rendered with clay on the inside and lime on the outside.

 

Other elements of the project that are yet to happen include new artwork for Talyfan Hide, a new viewpoint to be built on Y Ganol footpath and a big art installation. Watch this space!

  

It's all thanks to our supporters

  

The Communities and Nature project is supporting the Conwy Connections with £179,000. The Crown Estate pledged a generous £55,000 to build the new observatory. Tesco plc decided to donate the money it collected in its stores in Wales from the Welsh Government's 5p single-use bag levy to RSPB Cymru and a portion of this goes towards our project.

 

The fantastic volunteers of the RSPB Conwy Support Group also raised an impressive £30,000 towards the match-funding in less than two years. This shows huge support for what was proposed, for which we're very grateful.

 

We've also been able to install solar panels in the coffee shop and improve the car park, thanks to Conwy Connections.

 

Roll on August!

 

The Conwy Connections launch will take place on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 August 2013. It'll be a fun-filled day for you and all the family to enjoy the new facilities first-hand.

 

Why not sign up to our mailing list to receive our regular bulletin? Email us, follow us on Twitter or read the latest news on our blog.

 

Conwy Connections is an initiative part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and is a component element of the Countryside Council for Wales' Communities and Nature strategic project.

 

RSPB Cymru would also like to thank those whose donations support RSPB Conwy nature reserve and visitor facilities, including The Crown Estate, Cemlyn Jones Trust, Environment Wales, Tesco Plc, Conwy Town Council and the RSPB Conwy Support Group.

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/accessibility.aspx

  

Accessibility

 

9 July 2012

 

This is a Summary Access Statement. A full access statement is available to download from this page.

  

Before you visit

 

•Clear print site leaflet available from our reserve reception

•Free entry to members, Entrance fee for non members. Carer or essential companion admitted free with disabled visitor

•No dogs, except Registered Assistance Dogs. A water bowl is at the visitor centre

•Pushed wheelchairs for hire, free of charge, bookable in advance

•Visitor Centre open 9.30 am to 5 pm. Cafe open 10 am to 4 pm (4.30 pm in summer). Closed Christmas Day. Trails open outside visitor centre opening hours

•Check accessibility for events and activities

•RSPB Conwy is featured in A Rough Guide to Accessible Britain.

  

How to get here

 

•Llandudno Junction Railway Station less than a mile away

•Bus stop at Tesco or Llandudno Junction.

  

Car parking

 

•Eight Blue Badge spaces at visitor centre

•Large car park

•Gates locked at 5 pm

•Drop off outside the visitor centre

•Rolled stone surface

•No lighting

•No height restrictions

•Estuary viewed from parking outside entry gate.

  

Visitor centre and shop

  

Entry by three steps or a ramp with handrails on both sides. Heavy manual doors open outward. All one level with step-free entry and non-slip vinyl surface. Lowered counter. Two seats in reception. Good lighting. Clear print materials. Most text in English and Welsh. Binoculars hire. Some goods may be difficult to reach. Staff available to assist.

  

Nature trails

  

Three signposted trails, mainly flat; a mixture of surfaces including rolled slate and boardwalk. Benches provided. Information boards in large print.

  

Viewing facilities

  

Three viewing hides with adjacent viewing screens. Three stand-alone viewing screens with variable height viewing slots. Occasional weekend staffing at hides.

  

Toilets and baby changing facilities

 

A unisex accessible toilet with baby changing facility is in the coffee shop. Visitor toilets are behind the coffee shop.

  

Catering

  

Coffee shop 30 m past the visitor centre along a tarmac path. Panoramic windows on a single level with vinyl flooring. Self-service with staff available. Colour-contrasted crockery. Large-handled cutlery.

  

Picnic area

 

10 tables with wheelchair spaces between the visitor centre and the coffee shop. Visitors are welcome to consume their own food and drink here.

  

Education facilities

  

Step-free, level access throughout. Flexible layout. Non-slip vinyl flooring. Good lighting.

 

Help us improve accessibility by sending feedback to the Site Manager.

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/optics.aspx

  

Thinking of buying binoculars or a telescope? Interested in using a digital camera with a telescope, but don't know where to start?

 

Book an appointment with an expert. Our one-hour field demonstrations will help you choose the best equipment for you – in the sort of conditions that you'll be using them, not just looking down the high street.

 

Telephone us on 01492 584091 to arrange your time with our advisers.

 

We also hold monthly demonstration weekends – check out our events page for details.

 

Chris Lusted, one of our optics team, says: 'Whether it's your first pair of binoculars, or you're thinking of upgrading your telescope, I love helping people to discover the world outside the window. I spend my spare time testing out new gear so that I can give customers the best advice.

 

'Everyone's different – your eyes, your hands, the places you go – so what's right for one person will be different from the next. I want people to appreciate birds well, so we can secure their future.'

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/directions.aspx

  

How to get here

  

By train

 

The nearest train station is Llandudno Junction, less than a mile from the reserve. The quickest route is to turn left out of the station and take the first left down Ferndale Road. Follow the footpath to the right and turn left over the road bridge (Ffordd 6G). The road goes past Tesco and a cinema complex to the large A55 roundabout. The reserve is on the south side of the roundabout and is signposted.

 

A more enjoyable, but slightly longer walk, is just over a mile. Turn left out of the station and take the first left down Ferndale Road. Go under the bridge and after 200 m, go under another bridge and immediately up steps to join Conwy Road. Walk towards Conwy and at the start of the gardens, drop to your right and loop beneath Conwy Road through an underpass. Then it’s over the footbridge and follow the estuary track for half a mile until you get to the reserve car park.

 

A map to the reserve is on posters at Llandudno Junction railway station. If you’re travelling here by train, take advantage of our offer of a free drink. Present a valid rail ticket for arrival at Llandudno Junction in the Waterside Coffee Shop on the day of travel, and we’ll give you a free cup of tea or filter coffee.

  

By bus

  

The nearest bus stop is the number 27 at Tesco, follow directions as above. Many other buses stop nearby in Llandudno Junction (number 5, 9, 14, 15, 19 and 84), directions are as from the train station.

  

By road

  

From the A55, take junction 18 (signposted Conwy and Deganwy) and follow the brown RSPB signs. The reserve is on the south side of the roundabout. From Conwy, Deganwy and Llandudno, take the A546/A547 to the Weekly News roundabout, drive south past Tesco and the Cinema complex (Ffordd 6G) and cross the roundabout over the A55. The entrance to the reserve is on the south side.

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/history/index.aspx

  

Conwy is an upside-down nature reserve. Until the late 1980s, it was a river. Twice a day the tide went out and revealed huge mudbanks. Waders fed on the mud, and at high tide roosted along the railway embankment.

 

And then their world changed. What happened could have been disastrous for wildlife, but thanks to some inspired thinking and hard work, new habitats and a popular reserve were created. We also highlight some of the historic features to look out for when you visit.

  

This is where we came from

  

We're an upside-down nature reserve because the earth you walk over sat at the bottom of the Conwy estuary for thousands of years. In the 1980s, the government decided to build a road tunnel through the estuary to relieve traffic congestion in the old walled town of Conwy.

 

The design was revolutionary - it was the first immersed tube tunnel in the world. But it came at a price: the final outside bend of the river would be 'reclaimed' and covered with the silt from the riverbed. After the tunnel was built, this land might have been grassed over and grazed, but for a moment of wisdom from a town planner from Aberconwy Borough Council, Dave Phillips.

 

Over a pint with countryside ranger John Davies, they wondered whether the lagoons could become the centre of a new wetland. A phone call to the RSPB, and several years of meetings and negotiations later, after the tunnel was opened by HM The Queen in October 1991, work began to create the neighbouring reserve.

  

www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/conwy/history/4000years....

  

Stand on the reserve and you can see 4,000 years of human history that stems from the Conwy valley's importance as a 'highway', first by boat, later by train and more recently by road.

 

Most of the west bank of the Conwy is in the Snowdonia National Park. The land here has been worked for more than 4,000 years: Stone Age quarries produced axes for export, early Celts lived in roundhouses and grew crops and livestock in field systems with terraced cultivation, burying their dead in cromlech chambers that remain in today's landscape.

 

After the Roman invasion of modern-day England, the Celtic tribes kept the Romans at bay for several years, using their knowledge of the hills to sabotage the Roman forces and undertake guerrilla warfare. The Romans' superior technology and organisation eventually won through and they took over the Celtic forts, such as Pen-y-gaer, which guard the Roman road through the hills to Anglesey.

 

After the Romans left, the land returned to the local tribes until after the Normans conquered England. Then this area became the Checkpoint Charlie of Wales – Celtic Wales on the west bank and lands ruled by English lords on the east. There were plenty of skirmishes, with castles built, occupied and knocked down, and battles fought on the shoreline that reputedly made the River Conwy run red with blood.

  

A tale of two castles

  

From the reserve, you can look north to two castles: on the east bank is the Vardre, fortified from Roman times until its abandonment and destruction by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, in 1263. On the west bank is the impressive Conwy Castle, one of eight huge fortresses built by English king, Edward I when he conquered Wales. Built between 1283 and 1289, the castle and the town were built with 6-foot thick town walls to keep the Welsh out. At £15,000 (about £9 million today), it was the most expensive of the 'iron ring' of castles built by Edward.

 

The village to the south, Glan Conwy, has been a settlement for at least 1500 years. Llansanffraid Glan Conwy means 'Church of St Ffraid on the bank of the River Conwy'. The parish was founded, according to legend, when St. Bridget (Ffraid in Welsh) sailed from Ireland on a green turf and landed here - a tale which probably stems from the arrival of Irish Christians in the 5th century.

 

Glan Conwy was a busy port in the Georgian era with ships commuting to Chester and Bristol, carrying flour from the mill, fruit from the farms, timber and slates from the upper Valley and iron from the furnace at Bodnant. Until the railway line was built, Glan Conwy was a shipbuilding village, with ships that went as far as Australia, and a row of warehouses along the wharf where the A470 now lies.

 

This part of the estuary was notoriously hazardous for ships, with fast tidal races and frequent winter storms. Several boats sank here, the remains of one being obvious in the muddy saltmarsh just off the reserve.

 

The fast-flowing tidal river below the castle kept out invaders and was dangerous for early ferries. Many people drowned trying to cross it, including passengers aboard the Irish mailcoach. Engineer Thomas Telford designed the causeway (known as The Cob) and suspension bridge as part of the first North Wales coast road, which with the Castle and estuary provides a scenic backdrop to the reserve.

 

The railway from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway, that runs alongside the reserve, was opened in 1863 to carry slate to a purpose built dock at Deganwy. Building the Cob altered the flow of the main channel in the estuary, reducing Glan Conwy's role as a port and the railway finished the boat traffic almost overnight, and with it a way of life, with its own language, was gone.

 

..... this is the other tiny 4" fruit cake I have made for a gift.

 

Covered in marzipan and fondant icing and decorated with a fondant ribbon Christmas tree with a snowflake star on top ...... and twinkled of course !

 

I got inspiration for this design from some lovely china ribbon Christmas trees I saw in Florida ...... and before you ask ....... no, I didn't buy any !! ;o))

 

This didn't photograph too well .... the light is appalling and I couldn't get the angle right. It looks much better in real life !

Bespoke traditional fruit cake, fondant over almond paste. Decorated with a sugarpaste flower and paste butterflies. Royal icing swiss dot trim around satin ribbon.

  

Made Explore December 23, 2009

This is our rather hastily decorated Christmas cake. I've had no time to either think up or make a cupcake tree this year, so we are having a rich fruit cake, well soaked in brandy and covered in marzipan and fondant icing.

 

Design is taken from the top of the cake stand that this is sitting on !

 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas !

 

Explore 23.12.2011

An overview of the 52 m2 Park Deluxe Room at the ultra luxury Park Hyatt Dubai, set within the most exclusive complex along the crystal clear Dubai Creek, which also houses the award winning Dubai Creek Golf Course and exclusive residential villa estates.

 

Everything about the Park Hyatt is of the highest quality, from goose-down duvet right down to the complimentary bottled of Artesian water by VOSS of Norway. I guess Evian and Perrier is the thing of the past.

 

Wall-mounted LCD TV is standard, but electronic gadgets have been kept minimal to cater more to the older generation that make up a large percentage of the hotel guests. But special touches include a bottle of red wine; an extra large fruit basket; and peanuts replenished every day. If you forget to eat the fruits, the housekeeping not only replenishes it the next day, but added the daily portion, so it is double portion for the next day!!. During Christmas, there's even a complimentary Christmas cake and an invitation to the hotel party by the GM.

 

Oh by the way, this is the view from the room.

 

The Park Hyatt Dubai could well be my #1 favourite hotel of all time, but on a close call, Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong still reigns supreme.

 

Architects & Designers: Wilson & Associates

 

This shot has hit the Explore

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