Dyfi Virtual Observatory

13 March 2012

The Dyfi Virtual Observatory, managed by Aberystwyth University, is hosting and sponsoring a “Night on the Dyfi” at the Tabernacle, Machynlleth on Thursday 29th March from 7 to 10pm to celebrate the Dyfi River and its surrounding environment.

This free event’s diverse line up of speakers and stimulating ‘Question Time’ will be the perfect opportunity to enjoy a lively community evening.

The first half of the evening will feature three fascinating talks: Jean Napier, a local photographer will narrate a photographic story, sharing highlights and mythological stories from the Dyfi River’s source down to the sea; Dr Paul Brewer, Aberystwyth University, will talk about the Dyfi River’s dynamic behaviour; and Mike Bailey, Countryside Council for Wales, will give a presentation on the natural treasures of the Dyfi-Cors Fochno wetlands.

Following a Welsh cheese and drinks interval, a lively ‘Question Time’ session will take place with a panel of experts and will be chaired by the young local farmer and ‘rock star’, Aeron Pughe.

Panelists include: Professor Mark Macklin (Aberystwyth University/Dyfi Virtual Observatory), Shelagh Hourahane (Creu-ad), Mike Bailey (Countryside Council for Wales), Jean Napier (photographer), Allan Wynne Jones (Dyfi Biosphere) and Professor Deborah Dixon (Aberystwyth University).

Allan Wynne Jones from the Dyfi Biosphere Partnership, who will introduce the evening and sit on the evening’s expert panel, shares: “This is a fabulous opportunity for the local community to raise their questions and solutions.” Allan continued “We want to discuss a wide range of issues, from biodiversity, our culture to the local economy.”

Professor Mark Macklin, the Principal Investigator at the Dyfi Virtual Observatory who is hosting the event says “This is a rare opportunity where scientists, community representatives and local people can get together and enjoy a good debate.” Mark added “We really want to encourage the local community to come along and enjoy an evening celebrating the Dyfi’s past, present and future.”

A key aim of the evening is to raise awareness of the Dyfi Biosphere and its geographical connection to the river’s catchment area. Dr Paul Brewer, a geomorphologist giving a talk at the event stated “We’re not sure how many people realise they live in an UNESCO-recognised Biosphere – it’s a first for Wales!” Dr Brewer continued “The core part of the Biosphere shares its boundary with the Dyfi River’s catchment. We’d love people from all around the region to come and enjoy the evening.”

Aeron Pughe, who will be chairing the Question Time also added “I’m really looking forward to chairing what should be a very lively debate. I hope to see all ages attend the event, particularly younger folk who may not have attended these types of community events in the past.”

Everyone is being encouraged to submit a question to the panel, either online at www.dyfivo.org.uk/submit or at the event door. Ideas can cover any issue relevant to the Dyfi Biosphere’s past, present or future. While only a small portion of questions will get aired on the actual evening, the Dyfi Virtual Observatory will be sharing the community’s concerns with the Dyfi Biosphere Partnership to ensure all views are aired and heard.

While the evening event is FREE, booking is essential. Please book your FREE tickets now at http://dyfinight.eventbrite.co.uk/ or call 01970 628545 to reserve your tickets. This bilingual evening will have a simultaneous translation service available.

Dyfi Virtual Observatory
The Dyfi Virtual Observatory was chosen as a local exemplar by the Natural Environment Research Council funded Environmental Virtual Observatory (EVO), which is a UK-wide pilot initiative. Local residents, councils, scientists and environmental organisations across the Dyfi region will potentially be able to use the observatory to stud local, regional and national issues. The Dyfi Virtual Observatory is run by the Centre for Catchment & Coastal Research.

Centre for Catchment & Coastal Research
The £2.7M Centre for Catchment & Coastal Research (CCCR) is one of the four Research Centres of the Aberystwyth University and Bangor University Research & Enterprise Partnership. CCCR brings together a multi-disciplinary consortium of leading environmental academics from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, the Centre for Research into Environment and Health, and the Department of Computer Sciences and the newly formed Institute Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University; and the School of Ocean Sciences, the School of Biological Sciences and the School of the Environment and Natural Resources at Bangor University. There are also strong links with the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (co-located with Bangor University in the Environment Centre Wales).
CCCR’s mission is to integrate the study of rivers, estuaries and coastal waters within a single functional and linked system and thus establish a framework to provide substantial benefits for the long-term sustainable management of water, of rivers and of the land-ocean interface in Wales and internationally.

For more information, please contact Mark Macklin – mvm@aber.ac.uk

To learn about the Dyfi Virtual Observatory, please visit website at www.dyfivo.org.uk
About the Dyfi Biosphere Partnership
UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are sites of excellence that seek to foster harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development.

The Dyfi Biosphere is internationally recognised for its outstanding wildlife, heritage and culture, and for its communities’ efforts to show the possibilities of a more sustainable world. It is the only one in Wales, covering Aberystwyth and the river catchments of the Dyfi and Leri.

The Dyfi Biosphere Partnership connects with a number of thematic groups that encourage collaboration between businesses, public bodies and the community in subjects such as education, tourism, research and culture.

01654 703965