daleevans, Author at Monlife - Page 3 of 3

Ash Dieback At Old Station Tintern

Old Station Tintern is currently undertaking some important work to help ensure we protect our special environment for our future generations to enjoy

What’s going on?

Much of our mixed woodland is made up of what is known as Fraxinus excelsio, or as we more commonly call them…..ash trees.

Recently we have noticed that a lot of our trees have succumbed to what is known as ash die back, an aggressive tree disease that is spreading quickly throughout Europe and the UK.

So what does ash die back look like and what is the problem with it?

Trees with ash die back are quite easy to spot. Some of the tell tale signs are a thinning out or dying-back of the branches at the top of the tree.

Once ash trees have reached this stage, unfortunately they cannot be saved, and as they deteriorate, there is a high likelihood that the tree will collapse.

This would be a huge risk to us as members of the public so we need to make sure we can keep our lovely site open by keeping it safe and enjoyable for all.

What are we doing about controlling ash die-back?

We are currently in the process of a removal and replanting programme. All the affected trees are in the process of being replaced by replanting two trees for every one that has died.

The new trees we are planting are of a mixed variety native to the UK which will positively benefit our local environment, help towards countering climate change and contribute to biodiversity in our local habitats.

By managing this problem we are not only preventing the spread of the disease to other areas, but we are also countering climate change and making our Old Station safe for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.

Ash dieback, also known as Chalara dieback of ash, is a fungal disease that affects all species of ash trees (Fraxinus). The disease has spread west across the country and is now affecting almost all parts of Wales.

The fungus (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) attaches itself to the leaves of ash trees and spreads through to the branches. Ash dieback is a Europe-wide problem and 90% of ash trees are expected to die from it.

Some rural councils in England think as many as 500,000 ash trees on their land have been affected by ash dieback. In Monnmouthshire, to manage the risk from trees infected by Ash Die Back we are starting a programme of ash tree inspection and felling to achieve this that will take a number of years to complete. But by acting now we’ll be able to protect people and property from a disease that can’t be ignored.

How are ash trees affected by the disease?

The disease affects ash trees by blocking the water transport systems, causing leaf loss, lesions in the wood and on the bark. This leads to the dieback of the crown of the tree.

Trees affected become brittle over time and branches can break away from the main body of the tree. Trees affected can also be prone to secondary infection increasing the likelihood of them falling. If they are not dealt with, trees are at risk of collapsing, presenting an immediate danger to the surrounding area.

How we are tackling ash dieback

There is no known cure or practical way to prevent the disease from spreading. It is estimated that around 90% of ash trees in the UK will be killed by ash dieback.

There are thousands of ash trees on public land and many more on private land throughout the country.

We will only be dealing with trees on Authority owned public land – parks, housing estates, schools, on roadsides etc.

Surveys are ongoing to identify ash trees that require urgent felling. The surveys will take many months to complete and then we will be regular re- until the disease has run its course.

Over the next few years, ash trees on public land will be assessed to establish how the disease has affected them to help us improve our response to the disease

Ash trees are very important for their ecological value. Ash trees that show good levels of resistance to the disease should not be considered for removal as they as they may help repopulate the species in the future.

What happens if you don’t do this?

There will be several thousand large dangerous trees standing and potentially falling close to roads, schools, properties and public spaces.

How quickly does it spread from tree to tree?

The disease is caused by airborne fungal spores and can easily spread more than 20km per year. The spread from tree to tree depends more on the natural resistance of the particular tree as the spores are released in the billions and are literally everywhere.

How long will it take to deal with affected trees?

We don’t yet know how many trees will be badly affected or when they will become affected and how long it will take for trees that become affected to become a danger and require work. Evidence shows that trees decline by 10 to 20 percent each year depending on several environmental factors. Our monitoring programme will help us get a better understanding of the problem .

Is the council using this an excuse to get rid of more trees?

No, the council have committed to increasing the number of trees on public land as part of the response to climate change. This disease is highly regrettable and a disaster for the natural environment. The loss of so many trees and the ecosystems they support cannot be underestimated.

Are you going to cut down other species of trees?

Not due to ash dieback. The County Council will only remove trees if they have been assessed as unsafe to leave standing, are damaging built infrastructure or causing a hazard to the highway and there are no other practical solutions. Trees may also be removed certain special circumstances for example, to manage succession in planned landscapes.

Are you cutting down ash trees that don’t need cutting down?

Definitely not. We want to retain ash trees to see if any recover from the disease as these will provide an important seed resource for re planting Ash trees. All trees felled will be assessed prior to any work and retained for as long as safety permits.

Are some ash trees going to be resistant to the disease and how will we protect them?

There are some ash trees that appear to be resistant or highly resistant to the disease. These trees are incredibly important for the ecological value they retain in the landscape. We will continue to monitor the decline or resistance of all the retained trees over a number of years. All trees showing good resistance will be noted and departmental owners of those trees will be notified.

Are you going to replace what is lost?

We will replant trees where possible and the Council has a commitment to a new tree planting target as part of its Climate Emergency Strategy

What happens to all the wood?

Wood from tree work usually goes to contractors for processing into firewood. Some of the chipped wood goes for biomass where it is economical to do so.


Coronavirus – Update

Following on from the recent announcement from Welsh Government on the easing of covid restrictions, we’d like to update you on how this applies when you visit our MonLife venues.

From the Monday 28th February 2022:

  • Adults and children aged 11 and over will no longer be required to wear face coverings in our MonLife venues.
  • If you have covid symptoms do not enter our facilities – get tested and follow current self-isolation advice.
  • We will continue to take reasonable measures to keep staff and visitors safe during their time in our venues including ventilating areas; completing bespoke risk assessments; maintaining good hygiene at the premises.
  • Please respect those who continue to wear face coverings – everyone’s safety is important to us.

Once again, we thank you for your continued support. For further important updates, offers and news why not download the MonLife App.



Flooding Updates

New Update: 16:40 09/03/20

Monmouth Leisure Centre Update

Gym: Open
Spin Studio: Open
Toning Suite: Open
Aerobics Studio: Open
Play Centre: Open
Spa: Open
Cafe: Open
Pool: Our pool specialists are back on site and refitting the pool circulation pumps. This will now enable us to fill the final part of the pool up a little quicker, start chemical treatment of the water and heating it. We anticipate the pool being back open on Monday 16th March. If this changes at all we will keep you all posted.
Squash: We’ve had confirmation that the new floor to the squash courts will be laid, week commencing 16th March and will take roughly 4 days to complete.


It’s nearly time to welcome you all back. The team are excited and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone.

We are hoping to reopen the Spa on Monday evening and will confirmed this on Monday morning.

The play centre should be back open for Saturday 7th March. Further updates to follow during next week.

We are slightly behind on the pool as the pumps are still not back. Therefore, refilling is taking longer than expected. Further updates to follow next week.

Have a great weekend and thank you once again for you continued support


Update Monmouth Leisure Centre 27/02/2020

Staff are excited to be reopening the first floor of the centre and reception on Friday 28th February as planned. Cleaning has continued throughout the building with a number of areas signed off and locked ready for reopening when required.

The filling of the pool continues, this takes a little longer than your paddling pool in the garden – around 3-4 days!

Carpet on the ground floor has been re-laid and staff are eagerly setting up the reception area ready to serve.

Our squash court specialists have inspected the courts and confirmed that other than the floor there is no further damaged. We are awaiting confirmation for the new floor to be laid.

Who’s coming to see us tomorrow night?


Monmouth Leisure Centre Update 26/02/2020

As stated in the previous update we will be opening the first floor this Friday at 5pm.  This includes access to the gym, toning suite, spin studio and aerobics studio with all classes being back to normal.

We are working with contractors on the play area and swimming pool and will update you as soon as we have more information.  The Spa will be open next week and will update you on this over the next few days.  The Beauty room will be back open from Wednesday next week for treatments.

Thank you for your support


Staff and contractors have continued to work hard over the past few days to ensure that the centre reopens as soon as possible.

We are pleased to announce that the first floor which includes the gym, toning suite, class studio and spin studio will reopen on Friday 28th February from 5pm with classes running as normal.

The sports hall remains open as normal in the evenings.

The play centre, squash courts spa and swimming pool will remain closed. We have a number of contractors due out over the next few days and following these visits we hope to have some further updates.

Thank you once again for your patience.


Staff have been working tirelessly over the weekend to get Monmouth Leisure Centre open as soon as possible, we have contractors on site this week and will hopefully get a more detailed update tomorrow on timescales for the first floor area being accessed.  The swimming pool, squash courts and soft play area will take longer and we will endeavour to update you on this progress as soon as we have more information.  Again thank you for your support and patience at this time.


The water levels have now dropped and we have been able to assess the full building which has resulted in damage to the fixtures and fittings.

We are currently in the process of meeting with suppliers, drying the building, disposing of items lost, arranging replacements and initiating deep cleaning throughout.

Our first priority is to get safe access to the first floor (Gym, toning, spin and studio) so that our members can access these unaffected areas. To ensure the safety of our customers and staff we will be replacing the flooring in the corridor and reception area and carrying out a thorough deep clean.

The swimming pool, spa, squash courts, beauty rooms and play centre will remain closed and we will provide a further update on this next week.

The sports hall will be open as normal from Monday night and staff will be on hand to deal with those bookings at the sports hall.

During this difficult time we would like to thank our staff who have not only assisted with the Emergency Rest Centre at Shire Hall but many have also been sent across the county to other facilities to work from at short notice.

We also would like to thank all our users for their kind comments of support and patience during this challenging time.


Please be advised that due to flood water still covering the ground floor Monmouth Leisure Centre remains closed. 

We will endeavour to re-open your Leisure Centre as soon as it is safe to do so but at the moment until the water has cleared we are unable to assess the damage and therefore unable to give a specific date.

We would also like to remind you that you can access the other 3 MonLife Leisure Centres at Chepstow, Caldicot and Abergavenny.  For further information on these facilities visit www.monlife.co.uk

Please follow our Monmouth Leisure Centre facebook pages for regular updates.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience and support at this time.


Update: 21:45 pm 18/02/20

Please note, Monmouth Leisure Centre will remain closed until further notice. The water levels have increased around the site throughout the day and the Centre will not open tomorrow. A site assessment will be carried out in the morning. Please follow our Facebook pages for regular updates.

Update: 08:30 am 18/02/20

Please note, the leisure centre in Monmouth will remain closed until further notice. Please advise customers not to attempt to drive down to the centre due to the large volumes of water. 

Update: 13:30 pm 17/02/20

The centre will be closing at 2:30 pm following advice from National Resource Wales regarding a tidal surge coming down the Wye later today.

We are cancelling fitness classes for Tuesday morning and the Monmouthshire Games. An update on the rest of the centre will be posted through our social media channels tomorrow at 8:00 am.

Update: 13:13 pm 17/02/20

Please note, we have opened the gym and toning suite. The play centre and pool currently remain closed with a decision made at approx. 2:00 pm. Whilst the building is fine the drains around the site continue to struggle. Therefore, we are trying to minimise any further pressure on them. 


MonLife celebrates launch with multi activity school festival

On Friday 17th January MonLife celebrated its official launch with a Multi Activity School Festival at Monmouth Leisure Centre.

The festival saw 85 children attend from Osbaston, Kymin View and Trellech Primary. The children had chance to take part in a number of sessions that included boccia, learning, football, team building plus much more. The sessions showcased the diversity of MonLife and the fantastic services that we have to offer.

The strategic focus of MonLife is on physical and mental health and wellbeing, providing opportunities in learning and experiencing, achieving a more physically active lifestyle for all. Health and wellbeing are embedded in every service area of MonLife and this means that we are ready to play a part and support schools in the launch of the new curriculum.

Richard John, Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure, said “I was delighted to attend the official launch of MonLife, which brings under one umbrella our leisure and community services for the first time.

Our MonLife services are really important for the mental and physical wellbeing of all local residents and that’s why we’re investing and upgrading facilities, including our leisure centres. We want to ensure that as many residents as possible can take part, evidenced by our insport Silver Award for improving access for disabled people.

This launch embodies our commitment to protect locally accessible services for residents, including helping people lead more active and independent lives through our array of diverse services and facilities.

The whole day was of celebration of our services and enhanced the vision to enrich people’s lives and create vibrant places. I hope as many residents as possible will take up the opportunity to experience our wonderful facilities and services and see for themselves how MonLife can impact on the mind, body and soul of our community.”


Monlife awarded top accolade for supporting disabled people accessing sport

Monlife is celebrating being given a top award for helping people with disabilities accessing sport.

The service group managed by Monmouthshire County Council was awarded the insport Silver Standard at Full Council by Michelle Daltry Partnership Manager, Disability Sport Wales on Thursday 16th of January.

The insport Development programme aims to support and deliver inclusivity for disabled people through a toolkit developed by Disability Sport Wales, supporting the inclusive thinking, planning, development and delivery.  This means that MonLife Active staff can deliver across the spectrum to disabled and non-disabled people at whatever level they wish to participate or compete.

By achieving this standard opportunities are widened, participation will increase, disabled people become more active and engaged and we have a nation who are hooked on sport for life.  This will deliver a cultural change in attitude, approach and provision of physical activity and wider opportunities for disabled people.

Throughout the four standards; Ribbon, Bronze, Silver and Gold, each partner is supported by Disability Sport Wales to grow their expertise and understanding of disability sport. With the aim of Partners becoming progressively more independent and able to demonstrate improved delivery and support to disabled people.

Councillor Richard John, Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure said: “Achieving the Silver award demonstrates the commitment to inclusion from MonLife and Monmouthshire Council to increase sporting opportunities for disabled people and our ongoing commitment in  playing a significant role in building sustainable and resilient communities, reducing inequalities and supporting vulnerable people.  Cabinet fully supports the journey to the Gold Accreditation”.

Michelle Daltry, Partnership Manager at Disability Sport Wales said “Disability Sport Wales wish to congratulate MonLife on their achievement of the insport silver standard.  It is a real testament to the calibre of work they are currently doing and have committed to do in the future, and will ensure the ongoing development of inclusive sports to disabled communities in the Monmouthshire area.  Congratulations to all involved.”

As MonLife continues on its insport Development journey receiving the Silver standard is a real testament to all staff involved.  MonLife are committed that all service areas will illustrate the inclusive cultural change by going through the insport accreditation with core aims to include its partnership working with Education, Health and Social Services.


Welcome to MonLife an exciting new venture

Monday 6th January 2020 marked the launch of MonLife, an exciting collaboration that has unified all services and facilities under one brand, strengthening awareness and enhancing opportunities for all.

MonLife is part of Monmouthshire County Council and delivers leisure, youth and outdoor education, green infrastructure and countryside access, play, learning, destination management, arts, museums and attractions.

Below are the Operational Areas of MonLife

MonLife offers some of the most impressive buildings with historical interests and activities to engage all ages and with all of these services under one umbrella it positions Monmouthshire as a great place to live, work, play and visit.

By aligning to Public Service Boards and Well-being plans, MonLife will play a significant role in building sustainable and resilient communities, reducing inequalities and supporting vulnerable people.

Ian Saunders, Chief Operating Officer – “I am thrilled to be leading MonLife and look forward to its first full year in operation helping MonLife grow and thrive with an amazing group of passionate and committed colleagues. MonLife has been designed by Monmouthshire to be a new, dynamic and fast moving organisation with a commercial focus but also ensuring that the valuable services within its portfolio combine to provide huge benefit to the communities, young people and customers they serve. The strategic focus of MonLife is on physical and

mental health and wellbeing, providing opportunities in learning and experiencing, achieving a more physically active lifestyle for all“

Richard John, Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure – “At a time when many councils are cutting back on discretionary services, I am really proud that in Monmouthshire we’re protecting and enhancing our leisure services and attractions through MonLife.

“This launch embodies our commitment to protect locally accessible services for residents, including helping people lead more active and independent lives through our array of diverse services and facilities. MonLife will develop a more commercial focus ensuring the best possible experiences and opportunities for the people of Monmouthshire and the surrounding areas.

“I hope as many residents as possible will take up the opportunity to experience our wonderful facilities and services and see for themselves how MonLife can impact on the mind, body and soul of our community.”

The launch was filled with events across all service areas including everything from mini tennis through to World War II Handling sessions, local food and drink sampling at Chepstow Tourism Information Centre and lighting up Caldicot Castle, the day was of celebration for all. Staff were on hand to talk to customers about MonLife and its vision to enrich people’s lives and create vibrant places.

MonLife Facts

  • MonLife have 217 active volunteers
  • Our oldest facility, Caldicot Castle, was built in 1100’s
  • 13 Facilities (4 Leisure Centres, 3 Museums, 2 Outdoor Sites, 4 Attractions)
  • State of the art fitness equipment
  • World Class Les Mills fitness classes
  • Abundance of history
  • Stunning countryside walks
  • Amazing tourism destinations

Our Mission – To promote healthier lives and inspirational experiences, and promote the vibrancy of Monmouthshire as a great place to be.

Our Vision – Enriching people’s lives and creating vibrant places.

Our Aims – Enrich people’s lives through participation and activity. Build strong and vibrant places and communities in Monmouthshire. For further information on all of our services and facilities please visit www.monlife.co.uk or follow us on social media.

MonLife is part of Monmouthshire County Council and delivers leisure, youth and outdoor education, green infrastructure and countryside access, play, learning, destination management, arts, museums and attractions.