Category Archives: north devon

ILFRACOMBE YOUNGSTERS BECOME JUNIOR PARK RANGERS

More than 100 primary school children from Ilfracombe have made the grade as junior park rangers.

On Tuesday 26 June the 120 children were presented with their certificates after successfully completing the four-week course, which covered topics such as orienteering, tree identification, mini beasts and pond dipping.

The course, organised by North Devon Council’s Parks team, raises awareness about the importance of parks and how we can help look after them. As well as learning practical skills, the children were taught about wildlife, biodiversity and the natural environment. The scheme has been so successful that it is now in its 13th year.

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “The idea behind this scheme is to raise young people’s awareness of the importance of parks and why we need to protect them for future generations. It is also just as important to the Parks team that the children have lots of fun while they were learning. I’m told the children showed an enormous amount of enthusiasm and knowledge in all the activities they took part in. They are a credit to both their school and their community.”

Joe Alcock from Ilfracombe Junior School, says: “The Park Rangers course is a fun and exciting way of getting the children to learn about the park and understanding the importance of looking after and using our local park properly. The different activities each week have given children a real insight into just how much the park has to offer and we hope they will use and respect the park more so than ever now they’ve completed the course!”

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer at Bicclescombe Park, there is a very active group on Facebook – contact the council’s Parks team on 01271 388308 for more information.

£3,000 UP FOR GRABS TO CELEBRATE TOUR OF BRITAIN

Would you like to host an event in your community to celebrate the Tour of Britain travelling through North Devon?

North Devon sets the scene for a large part of the Stage 2 route and Stage 2 Finish of the 2018 Tour of Britain cycling race and North Devon Council is offering schools, clubs and community groups grants of up to £200 to support celebratory events in the district.

Stage 2 of the Tour is hosted by Devon County Council and supported by North Devon Council. It arrives in North Devon on 3 September and the route takes in much of the breath-taking scenery of North Devon, travelling through a number of villages, towns and communities in the district. North Devon Council is making £3,000 available to support local events, with grants of up to £200 per organisation, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Events could include street parties or mini race competitions, reminiscence activities to gather peoples histories and links to the communities they live in. Or you could engage your school in an arts competition – the choice is yours! Events can take place at any time in the run-up to the Tour of Britain, they don’t need to be on the day the Tour arrives in North Devon. Complete an application form online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/eventgrants by Friday 17 August 2018.

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We’re so excited that North Devon will be hosting a large part of Stage 2 of this iconic race and we would like our local communities to feel inspired and get involved. You don’t have to live on the route to apply for a grant to hold an event. Go online today to see if you are eligible.”North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “The economic benefits of the Tour of Britain coming to North Devon are obvious, so we’re really pleased to be hosting the event again this year. The route passes through many of our towns and villages, including Barnstaple, Croyde, Woolacombe, Ilfracombe and South Molton; it’s going to be fantastic. We want to encourage the local community to get involved and celebrate the Tour, so we’re making some funds available to support community groups and schools to hold their own events in the run-up to the main event. Take a look at our website for more information on how to apply.”

More information is on the council’s website www.northdevon.gov.uk/eventgrants. If you need help with your application or want to check if you are eligible to apply, contact Vanessa Harrison on 01271 388216 or email vanessa.harrison@northdevon.gov.uk.
Photo courtesy of Sweetspot

MUSEUM’S BIG BUILD HAS FINALLY BEGUN!

The big day has finally arrived and the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is beginning its transformation.

Devon Contractors start work today – Monday 25 June – on the museum’s eagerly anticipated £2m Long Bridge Wing extension, which will increase the building’s footprint by 70%, making space for a new social history gallery, larger shop, café and improved education space. The project, supported by nearly £870,000 of National Lottery funding, is expected to take 12 months to complete, with the museum reopening fully in summer 2019.

The current museum was provided to the town by William Frederick Rock in 1888 as the home of the North Devon Athenaeum. Originally there was another building between it and the Long Bridge, but this was demolished in 1963 when the bridge was widened. The extension will be built on the site of the old building using brick and slate as the main building materials, in keeping with the existing museum building. Terracotta details, reflecting the work of Brannams and copper (which was used extensively by Shapland and Petter in their furniture) will be blended to create interest and soften the impact of the brick.

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “This project has been three years in the making, so it will be really exciting to see the scaffolding go up and the builders on site. The museum has remained unchanged for many years, so this is a momentous occasion in the history of this iconic building. The improvements we are making will give the museum the space it needs and deserves to showcase the history of North Devon to the many visitors we welcome through its doors each year.”

Museum Manager, Alison Mills, says: “We’ve already started work behind the scenes, moving collections into storage and clearing parts of the museum that will be affected by the building work. This has revealed features that haven’t been seen in years and hidden treasures we didn’t know were there, including a locked safe behind the underwater world display – we’re still looking for a key that fits! We are all really excited to be part of the museum’s transformation and can’t wait for the building work to get started!”

A temporary front of house is available at the ‘Pop-up museum’, across the road in Bridge Chambers, which is also the base for collecting stories and objects for the new Social History Gallery, so pop in and see how you can get involved.

For behind-the-scenes updates and progress of the build, follow the Museum Manager’s blog at barnstaplemuseumblog.wordpress.com. You can still contact the museum on 01271 346747, museum@northdevon.gov.uk or get in touch on the museum Facebook page.

The Long Bridge Wing Extension project is funded by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Coastal Communities Fund and North Devon Council, with additional contributions from the Arts Council Ready to Borrow scheme, Devon County Council and the Barnstaple and North Devon Museum Development Trust (MBND), which has secured significant contributions from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Fullabrook Windfarm CIC, Foyle Foundation and a host of local businesses, charitable trusts and individuals.  A full list of the MBND funders is available on their website mbndtrust.org.

PHOTO: Museum manager Alison Mills and Cllr Dick Jones with the chosen bricks for the museum extension.

TOWN AND COUNTRY MEMORIES WANTED BY POP-UP MUSEUM

A temporary museum has popped up at Bridge Chambers on The Strand in Barnstaple, as the main museum building is closed while works are carried out for the £1.8m Long Bridge Wing extension project.

The museum is calling for locals to share their stories and memories with them, centred around five main themes:

– ‘Hatched, Matched, Dispatched’

– ‘World of Work’

– ‘Town and Country’

– ‘High days and Holidays’

– ‘House and Home’

The museum is interested in collecting stories and memories around the current theme of “Town and Country”, to help gather information for the new social history gallery display and to get information about some of the objects in their collection. These include maps and driving guides, bicycles, an Elliott’s Ralli car, Pannier market basket, Bromleys café photographs, signs and signposts.

The Town and Country theme is all about the relationship between Barnstaple and North Devon’s surrounding communities, including cafés, shops and markets like Bromleys and the Swiss Café – as well as the Pannier Market, cattle market and Butcher’s Row. Museum staff are also looking for stories about newspapers, printing and other media.

The theme includes public transport, roads, getting about, buses and trains, and in particular life before and after the Link Road and how communities have changed. They would also love to hear from people working in the police force, emergency services, local government and the utilities – gas, water and electricity.

Sadie Green, Activity plan co-ordinator, says, “We are having a fascinating time listening to locals coming in and sharing their stories with us. We would love to hear from anyone who can tell us about life before and after the Link Road and how things have changed. We also have a special Bromley’s café memories day on June 26th at the pop-up museum between 10am and 12pm and would love to hear stories about working, eating and attending functions there! If there are any ex-bus or train drivers out there who remember the old passenger and goods stations on the Strand and farmers, butchers and locals who recall the buzz of the cattle and Pannier Market and old shops, please come in and see us!”

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Brian Moores, says: “The Pop-Up is always looking for community experts – everyone is welcome to visit, especially if you have lots of knowledge about any of the topics or if you used to work for one of the companies mentioned and are happy to spend time with them so that your stories and memories can be recorded for posterity.”

The “Pop-Up” museum is now open at Bridge Chambers on The Strand, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more information follow and like the Pop up FB page @Popupbarnstaple to follow their progress, see events, photos and stories.

PHOTO: Bromleys, The Strand

BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR 2018 NORTH DEVON FOODFEST

North Devon’s biggest celebration of local food and drink is back and exhibitors are being urged to get in quick to secure their place at the event.

Online bookings are now being accepted for FOODfest 2018, which takes place on Sunday 21 October at Barnstaple Pannier Market and will feature many local food and drink exhibitors.

Now in its eleventh year, event organisers Barnstaple Town Centre Management and North Devon Council have seen the event increase in popularity and success since it first launched in 2008. With over 10,000 visitors, 100 exhibitors and top chefs from some of North Devon’s best local restaurants at FOODfest last year, the annual event is now a firm favourite in the foodie calendar.

Hannah Harrington, from Barnstaple Town Centre Management, says: “FOODfest 2018 will be as busy and popular as ever, showcasing and celebrating the best of our local food and drink. We are also delighted to be working with The Taw restaurant at Petroc this year for an exciting launch event.  As always, FOODfest will help to promote our area and support our suppliers, growers and traders.”

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “FOODfest is always hugely successful and is a unique opportunity for local food and drink businesses to showcase what they have to offer to the thousands of visitors who flock to the Pannier Market each year. The booking lines are already open so get in quick if you want to be part of the hottest food event of 2018.”

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1 August. Apply online at www.barnstaple.co.uk/north-devon-foodfest, email foodfest@barnstaple.co.uk or call 01271 321049 for more information.

 

CHANCE TO HELP MAKE BARNSTAPLE MUSEUM’S NEW EXTENSION AN INSPIRATION FOR THE TOWN

Can you help local artist Taz Pollard create inspiring ceramic work to decorate the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon’s new Long Bridge Wing extension?

The museum is calling for former workers from Brannams Pottery and Shapland & Petter to help with the design of a panel of terracotta tiles, which will adorn the outside of the new building.  A creative workshop is being held at the Pop-Up museum on Friday 1 June with Taz Pollard, who has been chosen to create the work.

The museum has been awarded £14,800 from the Arts Council towards the £25k project, which will include a frieze of tiles around the top of the building inspired by the significant work of the town’s potters and furniture makers, particularly during the Arts and Crafts period.

Taz Pollard runs a studio in South Molton and has carried out extensive research in North Devon potteries. Taz says: “I’m really excited about this project as I will be able to revisit my research into Barnstaple pottery and delve deeper into the designs of Shapland and Petter furniture and C.H. Brannam pottery by working closely with former workers on the designs. It will be a challenge to create something contemporary but which reflects the designs and rich heritage of Barnstaple’s past.”

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “Part of the planning conditions for the new building call for the extension to reflect the artisan trades of Barnstaple and Taz Pollard seems the perfect artist to help achieve this. Taz is a talented and experienced artist who is used to working with children and local communities and I look forward to seeing her weave the traditions of the past into the future of the building.”

Later in the year Taz will also be running practical workshops for children from local schools, other local artists and pottery students to help develop the designs of more terracotta tiles, which will flank the outside walls of the new gift shop.

If you worked for Brannams or Shapland & Petter and would like to help inspire Taz’s designs please contact the museum on 01271 346747. The workshop will be held from 11am to 1pm on Friday 1 June.

PHOTO: C.H. Brannam, Litchdon pottery.

LINK ROAD IMPROVEMENTS WILL UNLOCK NORTH DEVON’S ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

Last week’s announcement that £83 million has been awarded to improve the A361 has been met with delight by North Devon Councillors.

The first phase of a multi-million pound upgrade to improve the North Devon Link Road will widen the stretch of road between Barnstaple and South Molton and will significantly improve safety along the route. Improving transport links between the M5 and North Devon will also unlock the district’s potential for growth and enhance the economic prosperity of the area.

Leader of North Devon Council, Des Brailey, says: “This is a great result for Devon County Council and for North Devon as a whole. Improvements to the Link Road are long overdue and will be essential if we are to meet our economic development potential. We need this kind of investment in our infrastructure to allow us to grow and flourish as a district. Huge thanks to our MP Peter-Heaton Jones and our county councillor, Andrea Davis, for all the hard work they have put in to make this happen.”

Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “This is wonderful news for North Devon and as well as the obvious improvements this will make to safety, the economic impact will be immeasurable. This investment is a massive boost for us – it will make North Devon more attractive to businesses, open up more outside investment in the area and improve job prospects and prosperity. If it’s good for business, then it’s good for North Devon.

“Our economic development team has been supporting this project throughout and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Devon County Council as the scheme develops. I would like to thank our MP Peter Heaton-Jones for his constant lobbying, without which I feel sure we wouldn’t have had such a good result.”

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Councillor Andrea Davis, says: “The North Devon Link Road is a vital route for the county as a whole, and this announcement confirms that the government has recognised the issues of getting in and out of North Devon.

“The uplift to our economy in North Devon of the improvements to our main route will give a huge boost to our economy, the benefits will be felt by local residents, businesses and our visitors.

“Devon County Council and its partners including the Local Enterprise Partnership have been tireless in their support for this regionally important route, today the result of all this activity has paid off for our beautiful area of Devon.  We at Devon County Council look forward to the continued partnership working to now deliver the scheme and will be looking for opportunities to seek funding for the North Devon Link Road strategy adopted by the DCC cabinet last year.”

PHOTO: Left to right: Cllr Jane Whittaker (Leader, Torridge District Council); Peter Heaton-Jones MP (North Devon); Cllr Andrea Davis (Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Devon County Council); Chris Grayling MP (Secretary of State for Transport); Geoffrey Cox MP (Torridge & West Devon); Cllr Pat Barker (Deputy Leader, North Devon Council).

BARNSTAPLE’S ANNUAL BLAST OF SMALL-SCALE THEATRE FUN IS BACK AND BIGGER THAN EVER

The countdown has begun and very soon Fringe TheatreFest will be back in Barnstaple animating venues across the town in a riot of theatre, dance and live performance. Featuring over 60 shows from across the UK, from Thursday 30 June until Sunday 1 July, TheatreFest has been boosted this year by a very welcome grant from North Devon TAP Funding. The grant of £2,605.73 will be helping to kit out some exciting new venues including The Castle Centre and The Southgate who are coming on board for the first time in 2018.

Fringe Theatrefest Artistic Directors, Bill Buffery and Gill Nathanson, are delighted with the way this year’s festival is taking shape. Gill says, “The tap funding couldn’t have come at a better time with these new Fringe venues. Both spaces need complete kitting out to make them perfect for Fringe audiences to enjoy the fantastic programme that we have on offer this year.”

The full line-up for inside shows on offer at Fringe TheatreFest 2018 can be viewed online at www.theatrefest.co.uk.

Tickets will be on sale online via the website from 1 June.

BEEKEEPING EXPERIENCE DAYS AT QUINCE HONEY FARM

The Beekeeping Experience Day is back – another chance to get hands on with a hive at one of the UK’s leading honey farms.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural sessions, Quince Honey Farm in South Molton is once again offering six Beekeeping Experience Days over the summer of 2018.

If you or someone you know has ever thought about keeping bees or would just like to know more about these fascinating creatures, then this one-day course provides the perfect opportunity to get an introduction into the craft. It offers an unrivalled chance to get close to the bees and learn everything there is to know about beekeeping, all in the glorious North Devon countryside.

Quince Honey Farm’s Master Beekeeper Paddy Wallace and his son and business partner Ian, lead the day. Ian said, “We are passionate about bees and beekeeping at Quince Honey Farm, and are delighted to offer this practical, one day course. Keeping bees can be so rewarding and we want to pass on our knowledge and hopefully inspire people to have a hive or two themselves.”

The day begins by sampling some different honey products such as mead, honey chutney and Quince’s own seasonal varieties of honey, including Dandelion (spring), Devon Flower (summer), Exmoor Heather (late summer) and Ivy (winter). Then it’s time to get suited up in full protective clothing to be shown, up close, the inner workings of a hive.

In the afternoon, after a freshly prepared lunch and a guided tour of Quince Honey Farm’s unique BeeWorld attraction, participants will do some real beekeeping, as they conduct a supervised ‘Beehive Inspection’. They will care for the hive in whatever fashion is needed, as dictated by the weather and condition of the colony, be it feeding, collecting honey or inspecting the brood nest for diseases.

Throughout the day Paddy and Ian will share their knowledge and offer up tips and advice on keeping bees, in a fun and engaging manner to ensure everyone comes away buzzing with excitement on a day well spent.

North Devon residents Martyn and Lorraine Babb, who are keen to keep bees in the future, took part last year, and said, “We really enjoyed it. It was very informative and built a confidence in handling bees and the hives. We would certainly recommend this, even if you are not thinking of keeping bees, but just interested in their welfare and contribution to the world we live in.”

With bees and beekeeping hitting the headlines now more than ever, it really is a fantastic time to get involved and help bees to thrive in the British countryside.

The Beekeeping Experience Day costs £135 per person, including lunch and refreshments, and runs on Thursday 24 May, Saturday 26 May, Thursday 14 June, Saturday 16 June, Thursday 5 July and Saturday 7 July. Ideal as a gift for a loved one or as an informative day out for yourself.

For more information or to book, contact Quince Honey Farm on 01769 572401, email admin@quincehoneyfarm.co.uk or visit the website at www.quincehoneyfarm.co.uk.

CRACKING DOWN ON FLY-TIPPERS IN NORTH DEVON

North Devon Council is continuing to crack down on fly-tippers across the district following a successful prosecution and fine.
Earlier this month, Mr Graham Kay from Peak View, Malvern pleaded guilty to the ‘Duty of Care’ offence under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This was for not making sure waste generated at his property in Ilfracombe which he was renovating was disposed of correctly.  Mr Kay was fined a sum of £750 for the offence with a victim’s surcharge of £75. Mr Kay was also ordered to pay a contribution of £1,160 towards the council’s costs from carrying out the investigation and legal processes, as well as the cost of cleaning up the waste.

As well as this, the council has issued a fixed penalty notice for £300 for failure to have a waste transfer note or trade waste agreement to another local resident for dumping garden waste and soil from their vehicle in North Molton.

Lead member for Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “The carriage and disposal of waste is subject to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and disposing of waste on any land is an offence of fly tipping and any vehicle used in the connection with fly-tipping can be seized. These cases show that we are prepared to take positive action against offenders through fines and prosecutions but our preferred option is it education and promoting awareness to the damage that these actions inflect on our area.

“Fly-tipping is a costly exercise for those affected by it, namely the landowner and taxpayer who can be left to foot the bill to clean it up and investigate to find out who the offender is. North Devon is a beautiful place to live, let’s keep it this way and dispose of our rubbish responsibly.”

To report littering, fly-tipping or other environmental offences please contact customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk. You can also report incidents on the council’s website northdevon.gov.uk/flytipping.