Category Archives: Coast

HILLSBOROUGH NATURE RESERVE ACTION DAY: CAN YOU HELP?

Do you have some time to spare to help out at an action day at Hillsborough Local Nature Reserve?

Following on from a successful task day in December last year, North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and North Devon Council will be carrying out another day of hands-on conservation work at Hillsborough’s Iron-Age hillfort in Ilfracombe. The team needs help to cut back overgrown shrubs on Wednesday 13 February, with the aim of revealing the Iron-Age earthworks currently hidden beneath vegetation.

Once the earthworks have been revealed, further funding has been provided by Historic England which it is hoped will shed new light on the archaeology of the hillfort through an innovative aerial survey. High-resolution images of the monument will be captured by a professional drone pilot at a later date, which will be shared through the AONB website and digital platforms.

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the local community to get involved in the care of the historic Hillsborough hillfort, which will enhance the historic, as well as the natural environment of an already beautiful area.”

Heritage Officer at North Devon Coast AONB, Joe Penfold, says: “The Iron-Age hillfort on Hillsborough is at least 2000 years old. As one of best examples of an Iron-Age ‘promontory hillfort’ in the area it has stood the test of time, but still needs active management to help preserve it. So hands-on help from local people is very welcome.”

Volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are invited to get involved. The events start at 10.30am and finishes at 3pm. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. All tools and light refreshments will be provided.

A limited number of places are available to assist with the aerial survey too.

For further information about the Coastal Heritage Project and to book your place on either the conservation task day or survey project, please contact Joe Penfold on 01271 388644, or email: joe.penfold@devon.gov.uk, visit their website – www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk/ – or follow them on Twitter @explorethecoast

PHOTO: The last Hillsborough Volunteer Task Day on 12 December 2018.

RNLI IN SEARCH OF NEW RECRUITS

It may be deepest January, but the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is in search of new recruits to spend the summer working as fundraisers on some of the South West’s most popular beaches, as applications open for 2019.

An essential role in inspiring support for the RNLI’s lifesaving work, each year around 150 fundraisers spend the summer on the beach and at some of the UK’s top summer events, encouraging visitors to become supporters of the charity while also providing essential local safety advice to thousands of holidaymakers.

Annabelle Hobson, Senior Face-to-Face Fundraising Manager, said: “Our fundraisers are vital to the charity over the summer, working with lifeguards to provide beach visitors to the South West with important safety advice as well as encouraging them to support our lifesaving work. We’re looking for outgoing and passionate people to join the team and support our cause.

“A summer job fundraising with the RNLI will help develop valuable skills for a host of future careers, and those who have joined us in the past say the experience is life-changing. So, along with good rates of pay, being part of a lifesaving team working on the beach and at some of the country’s most popular events for a national charity, it really has to be one of Britain’s best summer jobs!”

Full training is provided to all successful candidates, to ensure they feel confident and capable in the role. Applications are now open and will remain so until Sunday 20 January 2019.

Find out more about how you can make a difference and apply to be part of the RNLI’s amazing lifesaving teams at rnli.org/bestsummerjob or search for #BestSummerJob on Facebook and Twitter.

 

HELP OUT AT ILFRACOMBE’S HILLSBOROUGH HILLFORT ACTION DAYS

We have just received this press release from North Devon Council about two action days at Hillsborough Hillfort. The first one is tomorrow (sorry for the late notice!) – and there are some spaces left!

North Devon Council is calling for volunteers to help at two action days at Hillsborough Local Nature Reserve.

A new project led by the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, invites volunteers to ‘adopt a monument’ and look after our precious local heritage.

On Wednesday 12 December, AONB staff, along with North Devon Council parks team, will be carrying out hands-on conservation work on Hillsborough Hillfort, one of the many Iron-Age monuments along the AONB coastline. Volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are invited to help reveal the ancient ramparts, currently hidden beneath the vegetation cover.

A further event is also planned for the new year, on Wednesday 13 February, for finishing up on winter tasks.

Executive Member responsible for Parks and Leisure, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the local community to get involved in the care of Ilfracombe’s historic landscape. If you haven’t been to Hillsborough Hill Fort before, this would be the ideal time to discover this amazing ancient monument right on our doorstep.”

Executive Member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “This is a wonderful project that will enhance the historic, as well as natural environment of an already beautiful area. It should be an enjoyable and active day out, no experience is needed as training and support are provided.”

Heritage Officer at North Devon Coast AONB, Joe Penfold, says: “The Iron-Age hillfort on Hillsborough is at least 2,000 years old. As one of best examples of an Iron-Age ‘promontory hillfort’ in the area, it has stood the test of time, but still needs active management to help preserve it. As with many ancient monuments, erosion and scrub growth can take their toll, so hands-on help from local people is very much welcome. With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund our new project, ‘Coastal Heritage,’ is for people of all ages and backgrounds who want to learn about, and to help look after heritage, both at Hillsborough and other special places along the North Devon coast.”

The events start at 10.30am and finish at 3pm. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. All tools and refreshments will be provided.

To book your place on the conservation task day, please contact Joe Penfold on 01271 388644, or email: joe.penfold@devon.gov.uk. For further information about other Coastal Heritage volunteering and training opportunities throughout the AONB visit www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk/events or follow us @explorethecoast

INDUSTRY AWARD FOR ILFRACOMBE’S HARBOURMASTER

Ilfracombe’s harbourmaster has picked up an internationally recognised award for services to the port and dredging industry.

Captain Georgina Carlo-Paat received the DPC (Dredging and Port Construction) Magazine Commendation for Services to the Industry Award at a ceremony last month, an achievement which highlights an outstanding individual who has made a positive impact and contribution to the industry.

The 2018 Dredging and Port Construction Awards promote innovation, efficiency and sustainability in the dredging industry. The industry is constantly evolving to keep pace with the wider maritime sector, introducing new, more environmentally friendly means of operations, incorporating new technology such as sensors and digitalisation, and also taking on more ambitious projects.

Georgina Carlo-Paat says: “It was an honour to receive this award and it was a privilege to be able to represent Ilfracombe Harbour at the award ceremony in the company of such internationally acclaimed people.”

Chief Executive of North Devon Council, Mike Mansell, says: “George is no stranger to achievement, which is why we were so pleased to appoint her as our harbourmaster. This award is well deserved, so many congratulations.”

Georgina has been in position as Ilfracombe’s harbourmaster for six months and is one of very few women who hold that role in the UK. She was one of the first of a new wave of women in the UK to become a Class 1 Master Mariner, which means she can sail any ship, of any size, anywhere in the world.

PHOTO: Georgina Carlo-Paat (centre) receiving her award (courtesy DPC Awards).

READY, SET, HERITAGE!

Do you want to find out more about the hidden heritage in North Devon? A new Coastal Heritage project is currently underway led by the new North Devon Coast AONB Heritage Officer, Joe Penfold. Joe has spent the last five years working for the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership where he helped to conserve, enhance and celebrate the local historical features.

Within North Devon Joe plans to use his previous knowledge and skills to develop opportunities for volunteers to train in the use of practical archaeological skills as well as to conserve and assess the condition of the heritage sites with a particular-focus on coastal hillforts, the history of Hartland and World War II features.

Joe Penfold, AONB Heritage Officer said, “The North Devon coast is a treasure trove of landmarks, stories and events from a bygone age. Getting involved in the Coastal Heritage project is a great way to meet new people, to learn something new about the landscape and to take action to conserve it. I will also be offering work experience placements to any budding archaeologists in the area.”

In addition to the practical aspects of this project Joe will produce new interpretation materials and organise heritage related talks and walks for those living in the area to better understand and enjoy the history that matters to them. A key element of the project is also to support community-led activities and celebrations such as next year’s 75th D-Day Commemorations.

The project is being delivered and funded by local partners working with the AONB team including Devon County Council’s Heritage Team, the National Trust, North Devon Archaeological Society, North Devon Council’s Museum Development Officer, Torridge District Council and Hartland Parish Council.

Jenny Carey-Wood, AONB Manager, said, “We have some fantastic hidden heritage across North Devon and we welcome Joe’s skills and experience to engage local people and visitors in discovering more about our coastal history.”

This winter there will be opportunities to get involved in the project across North Devon. If you have a passion for heritage and would like to know more please visit the website www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk or email us aonb@devon.gov.uk.

Photo: Digging at Clovelly Dykes

FUNDING BOOST FOR COAST EXPLORERS EXHIBITION

There’s something fishy going on at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

The popular undersea world at the museum is being redeveloped and will make a welcome return to the museum when it reopens, thanks to a funding boost from the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The museum has been awarded a £4,000 grant from the AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund, which is funded by DEFRA, to help people understand the fantastic wildlife along the coast. The funding will be used to transform the undersea display into a more interactive exhibition, making use of the museum’s  precious specimens and introducing digital elements to engage visitors.

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Brian Moores, says: “The old undersea room was a big hit with young visitors and the museum team wanted to keep its immersive feel, but make it more interactive and up to date. Following consultation with Coastwise, a local volunteer group which both monitors and educates people about our coastal environment, the new Coast Explorers idea was born. The new exhibition will include portholes into the undersea section to enable good views of existing specimens, as if you are in a submarine. It will include many more interactive opportunities to learn about our coastal creatures.”

Coast Explorers will include a section about the important coastal environment of Braunton Burrows and also provide an introduction to North Devon’s internationally designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  The new gallery will encourage people to explore, learn about and care for our important natural and historic assets, including discussion of topical issues such as plastics in our seas.

AONB Manager, Jenny Carey-Wood, says: “We are delighted to support this new exhibition at the museum covering the wildlife, sea creatures and birds found along the outstanding coast of North Devon. The display will help children and adults to make the connection between what they do and the nature all around them, so they can enjoy its beauty and look after it for future generations.”

Follow the progress of the museum’s new extension project, including behind the scenes photos and information about the new displays at www.barnstaplemuseumblog.wordpress.com.

Top: Design for the new Coast Explorers exhibit.

 

SALAD DAYS HUT RECOGNISED IN ‘LOVE YOUR HUT’ AWARDS

Following on from previous tourism award, Salad Days Beach Hut at Dunster Beach has now been recognised in the Love your Hut of the Year competition, coming 3rd in the converted national contest, with beach huts at Mudeford in Dorset and Dovercourt in Essex taking 1st and 2nd place.

Run by the Yorkshire-based specialist hut insurance company, ‘Love your Hut’, the competition is open to entries from all kinds of huts including chalets, beach huts and shepherds huts from all over the UK.

“To be ranked so highly in a major national competition is such an honour, but it does also recognise how far the humble beach hut has come since its lowly beginnings as a Victorian bathing machine,’’ said Brett Bates, co-owner of Salad Days (above).

Salad Days has received numerous accolades since launching in 2016 and has been incredibly successful, having being fully booked for the last two years with many guests returning. Previous awards won include: 2017/18 Visit England Dog Friendly Business of the Year, 2017/18 South West Dog Friendly & Self Catering Business of the Year, 2017/18 Bristol, Bath & Somerset Self Catering & Dog Friendly Business of the Year and 2016/17 Bristol, Bath & Somerset Dog Friendly Business of the Year.

The beach hut has also been ranked by Visit England as 5 stars for the last 2 years, the only beach hut to receive this ranking in the UK. It is 1 of around 260 beach huts at Dunster Beach, a large proportion of which are still holiday lets. Traditionally Dunster Beach has welcomed holidaymakers since the 1930s, and Brett Bates and Susan Juggins are continuing this tradition with Salad Days by offering a high standard of accommodation in a quintessential British beach hut. Brett said, “Our new hut ‘Holi Moli’ – due to be available to rent in March –  is intended to follow in the footsteps of Salad Days, but has some big shoes to fit into, we owe it to Dunster Beach to make sure the huts just get better and better, so watch this space.”

All of the entrants in this year’s ‘Love your Hut’ competition can be seen on the @LoveyourHutoftheYear Instagram page at www.instagram.com/loveyourhutoftheyear

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IN MINEHEAD

This is a press release issued by West Somerset Council.

A functional but far from glamorous green box on Minehead seafront is all set for a makeover – and the hunt is on for the talent to do it.

Wessex Water has agreed that its equipment box near the Jubilee Gardens Café can feature a new cover as part of the Eastern Esplanade enhancement.

As a result, Minehead Coastal Communities Team is launching a competition for a design on the theme of ‘Maritime Minehead by the Sea’.

Minehead’s prosperity was closely bound up with the sea and for more than 200 years the port was second in local importance only to Bristol. Minehead offers traditional seaside fun, with its promenade, a beautiful bay with sandy beach and a backdrop of Exmoor.

Budding artists from the community now have the chance to design their ideas or memories of how they portray Maritime Minehead in a graphic style than can be transferred to a cover for the equipment box.

The closing date for entries is noon on September 30 and they will be judged by at least three representatives from Minehead Town Council, the Coastal Communities Team and Swan Paul Architects.

“People often comment on the dilapidated state of the box. This is a great opportunity for local artists to transform it into something that shows more of Minehead’s seaside heritage, whilst retaining its functionality. I look forward to seeing the results,” said Katrina Midgley, who chairs the Coastal Communities Team in Minehead.

Enterprising Minehead is a partnership project involving West Somerset Council, Minehead Coastal Communities Team (MCCT) and partners including representatives from the business, voluntary and leisure sectors.

The project aims to make the most of Minehead’s traditional appeal as a seaside resort – but making sure it is fit for the twenty-first century.

The design will be transferred to flat vinyl, stickyback panels which will be fixed to the box. Full details of the competition rules and ‘Appendix A’ containing the design layout can be found at mineheadcct.co.uk.

Completed entries can be emailed to tender@westsomerset.gov.uk or alternatively sent by post to Minehead Esplanade Equipment Box Design Competition, West Somerset Council, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, TA4 4QA.

DON’T RISK YOUR LIFE IN HARBOUR

This is a press release issues by West Somerset Council.

Please don’t risk your life is the warning being issued by West Somerset Council after two young men got into serious difficulties in Watchet Harbour. The pair were rescued by a passing boat and were given emergency CPR by the boat owner and a member of Watchet Coastguard before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

The incident has prompted a warning from West Somerset Council’s assistant harbour master, Craig Butler, who said: “It’s so sad that this incident happened at the end of a fantastic summer in Watchet.

“The harbour is an extremely dangerous place to swim or to jump into from the harbour walls. The Bristol Channel has strong currents, extreme tidal ranges and there’s also danger from marine traffic.

“We work with HM Coastguard, Police and the Sea Scouts to spread the message in schools and to highlight the risks.

“I take health and safety extremely seriously for harbour users and the public that frequent the harbour all year round. As harbour master I wish both young men a full recovery and really hope they and others will learn from this very serious incident.”

Cllr Martin Dewdney, West Somerset Council’s Cabinet member for Resources, said: “It is extremely dangerous to jump into the water at any harbour as there are numerous hazards. There is sensible advice on our website: www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/Environment/Harbours/Beach-Safety so I would urge people to enjoy our coastal areas – but to do so safely.

“Water depth changes with the tide, the water may be shallower than it seems and submerged objects may not be visible, the shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.”

THREE RECENT NEWS RELEASES FROM ILFRACOMBE RNLI

Ilfracombe RNLI has been having a busy time of it recently. Here are three stories which they have released in the last week or so…

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat assists exhausted single-handed sailor

Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched at 3.35pm on Thursday 23 August to go to the assistance of an exhausted single-handed sailor.

The lone yachtsman was struggling to make headway towards a safe harbour in the three-metre waves and near gale-force wind. As he was suffering the effects of fatigue, he asked for assistance when the deteriorating weather halted his progress in the area of Copperas Buoy near Combe Martin.

The ALB Stormrider, on relief at Ilfracombe, immediately launched and reached the scene within ten minutes. Crew member Andy Day was placed aboard the vessel to connect a tow line. The yacht was then towed back to the safety of Ilfracombe harbour.

Andrew Bengey, volunteer RNLI coxswain at Ilfracombe, said: “This was an unfortunate position for the casualty to find themselves in. The weather had been deteriorating throughout the day and he had simply become exhausted attempting to fight through it.

“The casualty was carrying a means of calling for help which meant he could contact the Coastguard as soon as he required assistance. The RNLI always advises that you carry a VHF radio and preferably a waterproof one. We also ask that you check the weather and tide conditions before you set off and get regular updates if you’re planning to be out for any length of time.”

PHOTO: The single-handed sailor being towed to safety (courtesy RNLI).

Busy night for Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboats

Just the next evening, on 24 August, the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and inshore lifeboat (ILB) were launched to two separate incidents.

The ALB Stormrider was launched at 10.15pm on Friday evening to a 41ft-motor cruiser which had become overwhelmed by the five-metre seas and very strong wind in the area of Foreland Point near Lynmouth.

The three people on board were exhausted and suffering the effects of seasickness, so volunteer crew member Matt Glubb was placed aboard the vessel to attach a tow line. The vessel was then towed the some 16 miles back to Ilfracombe harbour and secured to a mooring in the outer harbour.

Half an hour after the ALB was launched, the ILB Deborah Brown II was launched to a yacht that had run aground in the outer harbour. Due to the dropping tide, the yacht was beginning to list heavily so a tow line was attached to the vessel to attempt to pull it free from its position.

However, the yacht was too far aground to be towed clear so the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew stayed with the single-handed yachtsman over low water to ensure his safety and that his yacht refloated without damage. As soon as there was enough water, the yacht was then towed clear of the beach and safely anchored.

Chris Wallis, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Ilfracombe, said: “This was a busy night for our volunteer crew at Ilfracombe and they faced some very adverse conditions. The RNLI always advises that you check the tide times and weather conditions before setting off on any venture and always carry a means of calling for help.”

Meet the final #RNLITopDog Louie!

Louie, a collie cross, is reminding dog owners what to do if their dog does get into difficulty at the coast.

The RNLI, with Louie’s help, is asking dog owners to remember never to paddle after their dog if it swims out too far. Instead, move to a place the dog can reach safely and call them – most can and will get to safety on their own. If not, however, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Simon Hannaford, RNLI community safety officer, said: “Often when a dog does get into difficulty, the owners want to help them but, in doing so, put themselves into more danger. We ask that you never enter the water after your furry friend but instead call for help.”

In June, two visitors to Whistand Bay in Cornwall did just that after their dog Barney became cut off by the tide chasing seagulls. Barney’s owners immediately contacted the lifeguards on duty for assistance instead of attempting to reach him themselves.

Due to the weather conditions, the only way to reach Barney was by boat so RNLI lifeguards Charlie Gillett and Joe Saunders immediately launched the inshore rescue boat (IRB) to bring Barney back to safety ashore.

Charlie, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, says: “Barney’s owners here acted exactly as we advise and, instead of going in after Barney, called us for assistance. This incident was a lucky escape for Barney as the tide was coming in very quickly.”

Louie’s fellow #RNLITopDog Buddy advises dog owners to always check the tide times and weather conditions before setting off to save getting caught out. The first #RNLITopDog Dash reminded dog owners to take the lead; when walking near cliff edges always keep your dog on a lead.

Simon continues: “This is the last campaign picture featuring our three #RNLITopDogs so please share their posts across your social media channels to spread these important messages throughout the south west. Please remember that, here at the RNLI, we think you’re a top dog so don’t risk your life.”