Fourth Meeting in Cardigan 9-March-2023

At Mwldan Studio M4  - 6.30 to 9.00pm

This meeting was to decide what to do next after having responses from a variety of organisations. To ensure as many voices were heard as possible we broke the meeting up into smaller discussion groups which focused on particular topics that the meeting identified . The agenda for the meeting was:-

  • 18:30-18:35 - Welcome
  • 18:35-18:45 - Summary feedback on Online meeting with Natural Resources Wales
  • 18:45-19:00 - Meeting to propose topics for discussion groups (3-4 topics)
  • 19:00-19:30 - Discussion 1 - Topic discussions take place in Mwldan 4 and 6
  • 19:30-20:00 - Discussion 2 - Topic discussions take place in Mwldan 4 and 6
  • 20:00-20:10 - Break
  • 20:10-21:00 - Feedback from discussion groups including actions to be taken forward and by whom.

Reports of the two discussion groups are shown below:

Discussion 1 - Report from the CITIZEN SCIENCE group - “Our River Our Science” 

Theory of Change

Many of us are experiencing and witnessing pollution incidents on the river from numerous sources – sewage, plastic, agriculture. All of us are also concerned about the potential pollution of the river that we don’t see or can’t get a definite assessment of. We feel there is insufficient collection of the pollution status by statutory authorities and also inaction of the known pollution causes. We don’t feel there is sufficient action by authorities to address this evidence gap. We therefore want to collect our own evidence of the pollution of the river to:

  • assess
  • educate
  • own
  • empower

This will help us to hold authorities to account who are failing us and the river.

We know there are lots of different sources of pollution which impact on the health of the river but we need to focus to make our project manageable. We are very concerned by the sewage dumping in the river from large ineffective sewage works and also CSOs. There is insufficient data collected on the CSOs by Dwr Cymru – only the opening times not on the flow. Currently permits only cover solid matter and ammonia and there are rarely any consequences for exceeding the levels set. Many of us are concerned about the health impacts of swimming or using the river for activities because of this sewage pollution. We want to collect data on this type of pollution and make assessments on the potential impacts on people’s health.

We agreed two ways of doing this:

  1. Citizen science - Take samples of the river in areas which are used a lot and we also know CSOs which are dumping. This may take 6 months to a year to get underway as we need to: raise funds for kits; organise and train testers; Collect results and analysis; Present in ways that can be used.
  2. Collection of human health impacts. In the short term we should be collectively recording an ill health experience from using the river or sea. We can argue negligence of statutory authorities with evidence of public health impacts.


The combination of 1) and 2) will help provide us with evidence we need to assess extent and the impact of pollution on our river and wellbeing. This evidence can be used to hold the authorities to account and get change needed. We know they do not currently value collection of evidence by citizens. But we felt its our science and evidence -  our experience and this is of value to us. Evidence we collect will make it increasingly difficult for authorities to ignore. It can be used as part of our wider campaign.


Next Steps

  1. List of swimming spots and CSOs that we want to test. Suggestions of swim spots (To be checked):
    1. Tair Pwl Sir - See: Three Counties Pool Swimming Spot on the Teifi
    2. Poppit Sands - see: Poppit Sands | Pembrokeshire | UK Beach Guide (
    3. Newcastle Emlyn - see: Newcastle Emlyn & the Teifi Valley - Discover Carmarthenshire
    4. Llandysul, Alltcatan - see: Llandysul - Wikipedia
    5. Maesycrugiau - see: Pictures of Maesycrugiau, Carmarthenshire - See Around Britain
    6. Cillgerran - see: Cilgerran Wild Swimming
    7. Cwm Du - see: Cwm-Du [Note: We have been advised by West Wales Rivers Trust that it is not advisable to use this site for swimming given its proximity to the Nature Conservation Site]
    8. Cenarth - see: Cenarth Falls - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) (
    9. Teifi Pools - see: Teifi Pools, Ceredigion, Wales (
    10. Henllan - see: Henllan, Ceredigion - Wikipedia
  2. Health impacts experienced - Everyone to log these on Save River Teifi website forum (Human Health Impacts – Teifi-Forum)
  3. Possible pollution incidents - Everyone to log all possible pollution incidents spotted on Save River Teifi website Forum. Include Photos, location and time. (Possible pollution incidents – Teifi-Forum)
  4. Invite other community groups who have tested to speak at our meetings. e.g.s:
    1. Support citizen scientists to save the River Wye - a Community crowdfunding project in Hereford by Friends of The Upper Wye (
    2. Citizen science project aims to improve water quality monitoring across the Wye catchment - News - Cardiff University
  5. Funding for kits options


Other Citizen Science and Evidence collection opportunities

  1. Adopt a CSO : Dwr Cymru seemed to say this is an option they can work with communities to do. This would include recording sewage outflow. Poppit Seagalls (bathing water quality campaign group) are looking into this and will feed back.
  2. Adopt a tributary: (e.g. Adopt the Plysgog) West Wales River Trust offer training programme for communities with a tributary into the Teifi
  3. NRW pollution reporting : always report an incident to NRW if you don’t report it doesn’t get recorded so as far as NRW are concerned it didn’t happen.
  4. Investigate your local sewage treatment facility, is it fit for purpose?
    1. (With permission from adjacent landowners) Find the outflow and look for signs of solid matter or sewage fungus (an indication of long term nutrient pollution). See this chart for help.
    2. (With permission from adjacent landowners) Look through the fence and see whether it appears to be functioning well and well maintained.
    3. Check against local planning records to see when it was last upgraded and compare with housing development in the area.
  5. Gather evidence (photographs, records, stories) on Save The Teifi Forum to submit to Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water, NRW, Senedd members.

Discussion 2 - Report from the COMMUNICATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT Group

Overarching elements:

  • Internal Communications:- how can we set up and maintain effective communications with Supporters? (Groups, individuals and organisations).
  • External Communications:- who are the key audiences and influential bodies and individuals we will need to communicate with in order to achieve our aims?
  • Community engagement & Membership:- How can we expand our supporter base in order to be more effective? Who could help us achieve our aims? How can we reach them? How can we engage them? How can we best inform and persuade each type of potentially interested group to get involved in some way?
  • Communication principles:- e.g. in both Welsh and English
  • Developing our core messages:- Which approach would be most effective, in what settings and with which audiences?


Discussion over the Pros and Cons of using:

  • ‘negative’ messages focussing on the pollution, damages and risks versus
  • ‘positive’ inspirational messages e.g. ‘hope’ for the future of the river or focussing on creating a healthier future for wildlife and children.


Internal Communications:-

How can we make sure we link up? All work together using the same messages rather than pulling in different directions or organising events which clash? Agree and then amplify the messages?

Mapping:- A first step will be to create a ‘map’ of all the key communities along the river Teifi, from its source in Llyn Teifi (Teifi Pools in the Cambrian mountains), down to the river mouth at Aberteifi, Ceredigion/ Poppit Sands in Pembrokeshire. This should include

Suggestions from the discussion:-

  • A dedicated Website but essential to have the capacity to keep this up to date and keep adding new useful information.
  • A Facebook Page or Group:- possibly separate Facebook Pages for more focussed localities from the Teifi source right down to the sea and tributaries so the message stays locally relevant or covers special interests?
  • WhatsApp groups including potentially using WhatsApp Communities to ‘send’ out news updates?
  • Develop an email database? MailChimp or similar tool?
  • Keep arranging Face to Face meetings where people can get together and share ideas and get inspired. Keep them practical. Try and get key agencies to attend.


Community engagement & Membership:-

How can we expand our supporter base?

It was suggested we see which of the following groups might be present in each community the whole length of the Teifi – from the Source to the Sea... and create a ‘map’.

The next step would be to see which are already represented and engaged with us. Then to work out how best to approach them, and who could talk to about helping us achieve our aims?

Suggestions included;

  • Walking Groups & Ramblers (e.g. St Dogmaels Footpath Group, Cardigan Walking for Health led Group etc)
  • Canoe, Kayakers, Paddleboarders, Pleasure Cruisers, boating, Coracle etc (e.g.s. Llandysul Paddlers, Gwbert boat club, A Bay to Remember, )
  • Wild Swimmers and Swimming groups (g. The Poppit Seagals, Poppit Surf Life Club etc)
  • Naturalists, Biodiversity interest groups, Bird watchers/ ‘Noticers’
  • Welsh Wildlife Centres (e.g. The Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran, Cors Caron National Nature Reserve, etc)
  • Environmental Charities and Projects (e.g. RSPB, Woodland Trust etc)
  • Environmental charity and events (e.g. Small World Theatre etc)
  • Photographers and Artists (professional and amateur)
  • W I / Sefdliad y Merched groups, (e.g. Newcastle Emlyn, St Dogmaels, Cardigan, Llandysul, Llanybydder, Lampeter, Tregaron etc)
  • Fishing clubs/groups
  • Dog walkers and horse riders (who use footpaths near the river or the beaches)
  • Historical interest groups (e.g. Ceredigion Historical Society, Newcastle Emlyn History group,
  • Chapels, Holy Wells with an association with the river Teifi or sea at Poppit.
  • CFfI Cymru/ Wales Young Farmers Club and others links to land stewardship and protecting nature e.g. Rewilding projects.
  • Community & Town Councils
  • Schools in the vicinity of the river
  • Pre-school groups – who use the river, adjacent parks or beach at the river mouth for trips or activities ( e.g. Blue-Green Cymru)
  • Urdd
  • Individuals or organisations linked to local tourism who want to protect the natural assets e.g. nearby pottery and crafts
  • Castles who might make a stand – e.g. Cardigan Castle, Cilgerran Castle (Cadw & National Trust), Newcastle Emlyn Castle, St Stephen’s Motte, St Dogmaels Abbey (Cadw), Strata Florida Abbey (Cadw).
  • Museums and local heritage centres who might make a stand or help publicise – (e.g. Coracle Museum, Cenarth, Teifi Valley Railway Museum, Welsh Museum of Childhood, Lampeter Community Museum).
  • Elected members; Local councillors and politicians representing wards or constituencies which include the river, tributaries or the river mouth.
  • Other charities or NGO’s with a potential interest in protecting the river


NB This is not a definitive list – please email us with suggestions for other potential people or groups who might help?

External Communication

Who do we need to talk to/engage with in order to achieve action to restore the health of the river (and all the associated benefits) in a sustainable way?

Can we start to identify key people and audiences we will need to communicate with?

Can we work out which types of messages will have cut through and impact with different bodies, individuals or communities to help secure our goals?

Can we identify which communication routes or platforms would be most effective and are ‘doable’ for a campaign like ours?

Who do we need to engage?


Suggestions included;

  • Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Welsh Government
  • Local Councils: Ceredigion, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire,
  • Elected members; Local MPs, AS, representing wards or constituencies which include the river, tributaries or the river mouth
  • Local town councillors representing wards or constituencies which include the river, tributaries or the river mouth.
  • Local Community Council members
  • River Trust
  • RSPB
  • Welsh Wildlife Trust
  • World Wildlife Trust
  • Tourism agencies


NB This is not a definitive list – please email us with suggestions for other potential people or groups who might help?


How might we engage key influencers/ decision makers/gain popular support?

Suggestions include:


  • Develop a Media Strategy
  • Consider the value of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ messaging and anticipate any potential consequences
  • Identify relevant media contacts on influential channels and start to open a dialogue and develop briefings (e.g. newsprint / Radio / S4C / Social Media / Blogs etc)
  • Letters to the editor e.g. Tivyside, Cambrian News
  • Plan content for Press Releases
  • Local window or car posters for people to show their support
  • Advocacy & lobbying – mass letter writing campaigns to MPs or other influencers
  • Petitions?
  • Attend relevant demonstrations
  • Use the run up to the next election to engage support
  • Publicity stunts / attention or coverage generating events
  • Win (both) Hearts and Minds
  • Use the ARTS to attract and persuade people
  • Use Facts and Science, including local citizen science, to convince the sceptical ( NB Ensure this work on Communications is linked with the Discussion on Science and Monitoring). Add Fact Sheets to the Website?
  • Adopt a Tributary?



  • Music “Leave me a River” Project ( Welsh and English) in development with Small World Theatre, Arts organisations, local Song writer for potential engagement with schools along the river.
  • Link with Eisteddfod, cultural narrative, local Welsh traditional music, poetry and other written works in Welsh.
  • Paintings and sculpture featuring the river by local artists including opportunities to reach children and families
  • Explore other ways the arts could help our cause?


  • Organise Events e.g. Community walks near sections of the river but coordinate with other groups so no date clash.
  • Have a presence at Annual events e.g. Tregaron Springs Festival,



Consider what capacity we have to undertake any of the above, who might lead or help make this happen?


Fundraise for resources to generate publicity materials?


Work out what stage we are we at currently in reaching each key body/organisation/community outside of our campaign group?


  • Early stage Raising Awareness?
  • Gaining enough Interest?
  • Prompting the Desire to want to act or do something to help?
  • Taking Action?


This was very much an early stage ‘work in progress’ Discussion Group to begin to generate ideas around communications.

Please do email us your ideas and suggestions or ( even better – make an offer to pitch in)  to help take these ideas forward!

Diolch and Thanks to all who contributed!

Cilgerran Wild Swimming

Cwm Du


Tair Pwl Sir (Three Counties Pool) - Swimming spot on the Teifi