Category Archives: north devon


This much-loved North Devon Open Studios event is entering its fifteenth year and going from strength to strength. With many local artists and makers new to the event this year (14-30 September), they join others who have taken part many times, helping keep Art Trek the fresh, vibrant and enticing event visitors have come to expect.

There’s an array of art forms being showcased in 2018, including wood and stone carving, ceramics, painting, original printmaking, wood engraving, photography, textiles and weaving, cartoons and illustration, artisan market stalls, basketmaking, rope making and knotted sculpture, etc.

This year Art Trek has international guest artist and ceramicist, Sandy Brown, opening in her amazing studio at The Sandy Brown Museum, housed in The Old Glove Factory, Appledore, where she will also be collaborating on ‘The Glorious Modern Banquet’ with award-winning chef, Lyndsay Platt of The Glorious Oyster fame. This special evening event will take place on Friday 21 September. Details of ‘The Glorious Modern Banquet’ and other Art Trek Special Events, along with all the artists taking part, can be found on

The Art Trek brochure is available at White Moose, Trinity Street, Barnstaple and at various galleries, TICs, libraries, shops and businesses or for enquiries please email or call; 01271 379872.

PHOTO: Artwork by Sandy Brown.


This is a press release from North Devon Council.

An event has been held by Barnstaple Ability Football Club to celebrate the Tour of Britain’s visit to North Devon recently, thanks to a grant from North Devon Council.

In the approach to the Tour of Britain travelling through North Devon, £3,000 of funds were made available by North Devon Council for any local community group or schools who wanted to get involved and celebrate the Tour. Barnstaple Ability FC used their grant of £200 to hold two events for their squad, including a Tour of Britain-themed football session and social, and a cycle along the Tarka Trail with players and their families. The club is made up of players over 16 with any additional needs, including sensory impairment, physical disability, learning difficulties and mental health issues.

At their football session on Thursday 30 August, the squad were encouraged to cycle to training, and afterwards spent time together enjoying a burger and the company of their family and friends. 45-50 people participated in the event, with people cycling to training from Abbotsham, Bideford, South Molton and Barnstaple to the club’s Tews Lane training ground at Bickington. At the club’s next event on Saturday 1 September, 20 cyclists from the football club set off from Barnstaple train station along the Tarka Trail to celebrate cycling and the Tour of Britain coming to North Devon, with refreshments along the way. Participants, who have a variety of additional needs including Down Syndrome, autism, learning difficulties, dyspraxia and mental health issues, used a variety of bikes to cycle along the trail to Bideford with stops at Fremington and Instow.

Melanie Regan, a volunteer coach and the chairperson for Barnstaple Ability Football Club, says: “We would like to thank North Devon Council, whose Tour of Britain grant made this event possible and meant that everyone, regardless of ability, was able to participate and enjoy cycling and celebrating the Tour coming to town. We are also grateful to Shelley’s Snacks, who provided the delicious food at our football social. Our events demonstrated that cycling is for everyone, with participants varying in age from five to sixty years old.”

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We are so pleased that we were able to help our local communities get involved in the run-up to the Tour of Britain’s visit to North Devon. The events held by the Barnstaple Ability Football Club clearly brought joy to a lot of individuals, and encouraged people to get on their bikes and get fit, whatever their age and ability. We are very proud of how the people of North Devon welcomed the Tour to our beautiful district and hope our residents thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of the build-up and the big day.”

For more information about joining the Barnstaple Ability Football Club please contact Melanie Regan on 07764 767955 or by email to Training takes place every Thursday at 5.45pm at various locations.


This is a press release issued by North Devon Council

Representatives from the Chivenor Military Wives Choir are making a special journey to sing at the Menin Gate War Memorial in Belgium on Friday 7 September.

Whilst there, the choir will be laying wreaths as a mark of respect to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of the First World War and whose graves are unknown.  The wreaths will include one on behalf of North Devon Council, as a way of thanking Councillors who provided the choir with a Community Grant of £1,250 last year.  Councillors Barker, Biederman, Brailey, Croft, Davis, Fowler, Haywood, Jones, Luggar, Mathews, Meadlarkin, Moores and Roome all contributed towards the grant.

The choir will also perform at a full concert on Saturday 8 September in the Het Peron Theatre in the town, alongside Emma Brown, Fiona-Jane Weston and Ensemble Cordon Bois. They were invited to Ypres by the director of the Tourist Information Board, who watched their performance at Laon Cathedral (Picardy, France) in June last year.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Des Brailey, says: “Our councillors were very happy to donate some of their grants to the Military Wives Choir. We were honoured when they got in touch to offer to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate on our behalf. We wish them a safe journey to Belgium to sing and to pay their respects to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in support of freedom.”

Treasurer of the choir, Jane Batchelor, says: “It is a huge privilege to be invited to sing at the iconic Menin Gate.  Many of us sang at the Thiepval Memorial (to the missing of the Somme) last year, and we are aware of the importance of keeping alive the memory of those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today.  The performance will be tremendously poignant and probably one of our most significant yet.  We are honoured to be representing the people of North Devon on this solemn occasion.”

Between October 1914 and September 1918 hundreds of thousands of servicemen of the British Empire marched through the town of Ypres’s Menin Gate on their way to the battlefields. The memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 soldiers who died before 16 August 1917 and have no known grave and now stands as a reminder of those who died and is perhaps one of the most well-known war memorials in the world.

For further details about community grants and support available from the council or to make an application visit The council can also be contacted on 01271 388253 or by email:

For more information about the Military Wives Choirs, please contact Jane Batchelor on 07899 964580 (Chivenor Military Wives Choir has no connection or affiliation with the Military Wives Choirs Foundation).

Photo shows (from left to right): Lisa Arnold, Ann Horstead, Cllr Sue Croft, Cllr John Mathews, Jane Scott, Cllr Ian Meadlarkin, Jane Batchelor, Sarah Farrelly, Cllr David Brailey & Katie McSweeney


Winter Ridge, the multi-award-winning psychological thriller filmed around the Exmoor coastal towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, will have its first showing in North Devon on Wednesday 5 September at Scott Cinema Barnstaple as the start of a 30 Cinema run in London and the South West, including the Southampton Film Festival.

You can view the trailer here:

The story of Winter Ridge, filmed in April 2017, centres around a young detective played by Matt Hookings, who arrives home on his anniversary to find his wife has been in a devastating car accident. Seven months later she is still in a coma and the detective, unable to accept her condition, throws himself into a new case that soon develops into a murder investigation and manhunt for a serial killer targeting the elderly.

The film stars Matt Hookings (Maleficent), Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones), Alan Ford (Snatch), Olwen Kelly (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), Justin McDonald and Michael McKell (Allied). Several local inhabitants from Lynton and Lynmouth appear in the film as extras.

Lynton resident Diana Mitchell helped the production team by acting as its voluntary location manager. “The Director Dom Lenoir chose Lynton and Lynmouth and the surrounding Exmoor area because of our remote Victorian towns that are full of character and set in a rugged landscape with a dramatic coastline,” said Diana. “The Valley of Rocks with cliffs plunging down to the sea, densely wooded hills and the wild expanses of the moors are a stunning backdrop helping to create the visual and emotional impact they wanted for the film.”

Scenes were filmed in Lynton’s Grade II listed Gothic and Tudor style town hall and in a number of other properties that were lent by locals. Residents also helped out with sourcing cars and even an ambulance for some of the scenes.

Suzette Hibbert, who was Mayor at the time, said: “Locals were happy to have the film production team here and to help out however we could. The film will enable many thousands of people to see what we have to offer in and around Lynton and Lynmouth and that should help to bring in visitors to Exmoor. Not only that, as a thank you for our cooperation, the production team offered to make a cinema standard promotional film of the area.”

About the production
Winter Ridge has won 11 awards already, including ‘Best Feature’, in the London Independent Film Festival and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

Directing Winter Ridge, Dom Lenoir has an expansive cinematic approach, having directed two features, Nightscape and Aleister Crowley: Legend of the Beast, the latter making an official selection at the London Independent Film Festival. Dom creates stories that challenge his viewer and leave an emotional impression by the end of the film through thought-provoking subject matters. Dom also has a keen interest in location shooting, which will be reflected in Winter Ridge with the film set in the remote British landscapes of Exmoor.

Producing and overlooking the visual effects (VFX) of the film is Chris Hardman who has worked in the visual effects industry and developed his skills through films such as Avatar, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Marvel’s Ant-Man, the Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, and Spectre. Also on board to produce was Nancy Bressolles, from the production company Nice One Film, which specialises largely in feature film production.



This is a press release issue by North Devon Council

North Devon Council has successfully prosecuted a man for ‘tombstoning’ from Ilfracombe Harbour.

 On 31 July magistrates at Barnstaple heard that Luke Harris, aged 24 of Oliver Road, Barnstaple, had been seen naked and in full view of families and children on South Quay on Sunday 8 July. He ignored requests by the Deputy Harbourmaster to get dressed, and instead jumped into the water five metres below. Two other young men were also swimming in the harbour, and all were shouting and swearing.

As a result of his actions, which were in contravention of the swimming byelaw that exists at the harbour, Mr Harris was fined £250 and ordered to pay the victim’s surcharge of £30 and £60 costs.

Ilfracombe Harbourmaster, Georgina Carlo-Paat, says: “Not only is tombstoning in the harbour extremely dangerous, it is also against the law. Jumping from the harbour walls may seem like good fun, but people who do this are risking their own lives. The harbour structures themselves can be dangerous, with chains and protrusions that can cause injury before someone has even hit the water. The water depth alters with the tide and water may be shallower than it seems, with submerged objects like rocks beneath the water. Boats and ships come in and out of the harbour all the time, and currents can be strong, even when the water appears calm.

“The risk is even higher when the participants have been drinking heavily. I hope that this prosecution sends out a clear message to the public that tombstoning will not be tolerated at the harbour; together with the police and CCTV evidence, we will continue to monitor this behaviour and tackle it before somebody gets seriously hurt, or worse.”

The penalty for jumping off the harbour can be up to a £1,000 fine upon prosecution.


To celebrate the new Long Bridge Extension and complement the museum’s current project ‘North Devon in 100 objects’, the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is setting a challenge to find 100 local people to contribute their stories of life in North Devon to be preserved in 100 one-minute documentary films.

The extension, which is currently being built, will house a new social history gallery.  An exciting feature of the gallery will be the installation of a campervan cinema.  This micro cinema will be created from a vintage VW campervan and will house an interactive screen and comfortable seating where visitors can select and view short films mirroring the themes of the social history gallery.

The 100 mini documentaries will be created by staff and volunteers at the Museum but first they need… YOU!

Amanda McCormack from North Devon Moving Image, the project partner, says “People often think that their stories are insignificant.  They think they would not be interesting to others, but think of all the stories you might have heard your grandparents and parents tell you about their earlier lives.  Those gems of stories could be lost in the passage of time but these short snapshot films will create a valuable and entertaining archive.”

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says:  “Creating a social history of North Devon and its residents is a wonderful way to preserve memories.  This project is similar to a visual time capsule which can be enjoyed for many years to come.  Please do get in touch with the museum if you would like to share your stories and pass them down to future generations to help them understand what living in North Devon was like in the earl-twenty-first century.”

What the Museum is looking for are anecdotes about life in North Devon and because these will be told on film they need a visual element to the story.  So, do you know a local ‘character’ who might like to be interviewed, who represents life in North Devon?  Do you have memories you would like to share or stories passed down through generations?  Have you kept your old school reports and maybe your school uniform?  Do you have a collection of artefacts you can show to the camera and talk about – maybe locally made toys, clothing, machinery or household objects?

If you or someone you know would be ideal for the 100 mini documentaries please get in touch with the museum team on 01271 346747 or email

PHOTO: Daisy Tucker of Combrew Farm, Bickington, delivering milk in Draceana Avenue, Sticklepath, to Mrs Teape and her daughter Sandra in 1946. This image was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Exmoor Magazine, in an article about memories of milk rounds in and around Barnstaple, written by Avril Stone.


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has a long-standing reputation with its flower shows such as RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court, Chatsworth and Tatton Park. Now the altogether different and more relaxing experience of the Garden Flower Show comes back to Rosemoor in Devon.

For three days, 17-19 August, RHS Garden Rosemoor in Torrington, Devon will host its second Garden Flower Show, sponsored by Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management. Following visitor feedback, this year the Rosemoor team have worked hard to bring you an even bigger and better show featuring increased flower power. Key changes include a new floral display trail, The British Flower Bus, flower arranging demonstrations, more stalls, more specialist talks and all within 65 acres of stunning grounds.

Rosemoor is located in a sheltered valley in Devon and, unlike traditional temporary flower shows, it has permanent show and model gardens with amazing planting displays like its iconic Hot Garden and Long Borders, water features, and wonderful Fruit and Vegetable Gardens to provide inspiration for everyone no matter how large or small their garden is.

Brand New for 2018

  • Floral Display Trail. Some of North Devon’s finest flower clubs have designed flower displays in five of the garden shelters that all have a ‘Tales of Beatrix Potter’ theme.
  • Jonathan Moseley’s British Flower Bus will be at the show promoting British Flowers.
  • Flower Arranging Demonstrations. The five flower clubs as well as Jonathan Moseley will be giving up to four Flower Arranging Demonstrations each day of the show.
  • Food and drink to tempt you including a new banquet style food hall.

Other Show Highlights

  • Increased number of nurseries and trade stands.
  • More talks from specialist nurseries as well as a ‘Question Time’ with Rosemoor’s garden team.
  • The Flower Show Breakfast, hosted by the Garden Curator and his team of gardeners. This very popular event is open to anyone, includes a delicious hot breakfast hosted by the Rosemoor Garden Team, gives guaranteed on-site parking, and exclusive early access to the show on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August. Breakfast tickets need to be booked online in advance.
  • A number of other stands including RHS Advisory with Plant Finder, Devon Plant Heritage, Bicton College, The Animal & Plant Health agency and WFGA (providing information on working and retraining as a gardener) will also be at this year’s show.
  • Why not relax by the lake whilst listening to delightful music and sipping on a Pimms’ or Rosemoor’s very own Gin. There will be acoustic minstrels ambling through the showground as well.
  • The Rosemoor Plant Centre & Gift Shop will also be fully stocked with wonderful plants, gifts, toys, gardening tools and accessories or mementos of your visit.
  • Family friendly activities such as circus skills in one of the children’s play areas or you can follow the Jurassic Discovery Garden Trail… which may have a few (large) surprises along the way!
  • Free park and ride shuttle from two locations in Great Torrington: Torrington Rugby Club, EX38 7BT and South Street Car Park, EX38 8AE.

Rosemoor’s second Garden Flower Show promises to be a grand day out for everyone.

Normal garden admission applies, which is free for RHS Members. Please visit or call 01805 626810 for more details.



Press release issued by North Devon Council: a consultation has begun to review parish boundaries in North Devon.

At North Devon Council’s full council meeting on Wednesday 25 July, councillors agreed to start a Community Governance Review (CGR), looking at electoral boundaries for some parishes across the North Devon district. This would bring the parish boundaries in line with the district boundaries following a district boundary review, which started last year.

The council is looking to tidy up parish boundaries to take into account large new planned development within the district, including Westacott and Mount Sandford Green. It is also looking at Gunn and Mill on the Mole.

Head of Corporate and Community Services at North Devon Council, Ken Miles, says: “A CGR can be used to review the size, boundaries and electoral arrangements of as many parishes within the district as needed. It helps to make sure the community representation is effective. As part of the review we will be taking into account the impact on the community, its size and population currently and how it would look in the future.”

Residents can find out more and have their say online at The consultation closes on 26 September 2018.

Draft proposals will be published in late October 2018, when there will a further consultation. The Final Order will be published before the May 2019 district, parish and general election. The Local Government Boundary Commission review of the district boundaries will also be completed in time for district elections.


North Devon’s Adam Tobin has qualified to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Glasgow next month.

The event is an exciting new multi-sport competition bringing together some of Europe’s leading athletes in gymnastics, rowing, triathlon, golf, cycling, aquatics and athletics. Adam is the only gymnast from the South West in the junior team of five.

Seventeen-year-old Adam is also waiting to hear if he has been selected to represent Great Britain at the Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires this autumn. If successful, he will be the only male gymnast to represent Great Britain at the event, which will be a massive springboard for his gymnastics career.

Falcons Gymnastics Academy was founded in 2004 and has firmly established itself as the leading gymnastics facility in the South West, with members travelling from as far away as Bristol to take advantage of the world-class coaching and equipment on offer.

In 2012, North Devon Council made land available next to the Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple and agreed a low-interest loan of £200,000 to enable Falcons to build a brand new state-of-the-art facility. The club was also lucky enough to receive the gymnastic equipment used at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Falcons now has 26 coaches teaching 1,000 children each week, which is the largest number of participating members of any sports club in North Devon.

Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “Adam can be rightly proud of this achievement and I’m looking forward to hearing if he has been selected for the Junior Olympics. Falcons has gone from strength to strength, which is credit to the commitment and vision of the coaching team and the hard work and determination of the club’s members. This puts North Devon firmly on the sporting map!”

Mike Beagley, Head Coach at Falcons, says: “We’re all so proud of Adam, he’s worked very hard to get to the European Championships and everyone at the club is really excited for him. Adam is one of the sport’s rising stars and the Europeans will be a great experience for him. He would never have got this far without this facility on his doorstep, so I’d like to thank the council for believing in our vision and supporting the development of gymnastics in North Devon.”

Having completed his studies at PETROC, gymnastics is now Adam’s full-time career, with funding from British Gymnastics allowing him to travel all around the world to compete. This year he’s already visited Texas, Germany, Portugal and Azerbaijan. If he makes it to the Youth Olympics he will be jetting off to Argentina in October.

Adam Tobin says: “I’m really proud to be part of the British Gymnastics team. I have to work hard, training 29 hours a week at Falcons and once a month I travel up to the National sports centre in Lilleshall with Mike. It’s really inspiring to train alongside Olympic athletes. Now I’ve finished studying, life is a bit easier as I can now dedicate all my time to training and nutrition. I’ve had an awesome start to 2018 and I hope to do myself, Falcons and Great Britain proud at the Europeans next month.”

Adam isn’t the only Falcons gymnast to make it to National Squad. Nineteen-year-old Joe Cemlyn-Jones is part of the GB senior squad, training and competing alongside double Olympic champion Max Whitlock MBE.

You can follow Adam’s progress at the European Championships at, tickets are available online and the event will be televised. Also, regular updates will be posted on the Falcons Gymnastics Academy Instagram page.

Falcons Gymnastics Academy offers a range of classes suitable for all ages and abilities. For more information follow Falcons on Facebook, Instagram or go to

PHOTO: Coach Mike Beagley with Adam Tobin at Falcons Gymnastics Academy, Barnstaple.


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.