GREAT SUPPORT FOR PERAMBULATION; NEXT UP – THE EXMOOR EXPLORER!

Over 100 walkers set out on an epic 31-mile hike around the original boundary of the Royal Forest of Exmoor last month, as part of an iconic event organised by local adventure company, Channel Events, in aid of CareMoor for Exmoor, which raises money for the upkeep of the National Park.

Of the 122 participants who departed early on Saturday 16 June, spurred on by complimentary cups of Miles Tea along with spectacular scenery, just over half (65) completed the full course.

The event is one of three non-competitive challenges organised by Channel Events, for which £1 from each entry goes towards CareMoor for Exmoor to help fund vital conservation and access projects. An annual donation is also made to Exmoor Search and Rescue Team, a highly skilled group of volunteers who attend all events.

One of this year’s participants commented: “After completing a half perambulation over 20 years ago it has been my long-held ambition to complete the whole walk… Walking with my daughter, her fiancée and their dog, George, we managed to complete the whole perambulation in around ten and a quarter hours… The moor was beautiful and it was a real privilege to see and walk on parts of it not generally accessible to the public. Thank you to everyone involved. An amazing event.”

Event organiser Dan Brice, Director of Channel Events, said: “We’re proud to be celebrating this wonderful event’s long history, while also helping raise vital funds towards the upkeep of the National Park. One great aspect of all these events is that much of the route is only accessible with permission of the landowners concerned – so you get to access parts of the National Park not normally open to the public.”

Dave Gurnett, Learning and Outreach Officer at Exmoor National Park, who has both supported and participated in the Perambulation many times over the years, said: “This historic event dates back 725 years when it was routinely walked as a means of establishing the legal boundary of the King’s hunting grounds. It’s the knowledge that you’re treading in the footsteps of the Saxons and the Normans that I think keeps many people coming back year after year and I hope it will continue for decades to come.”

£1 from every entry goes to CareMoor for Exmoor for each of the Perambulation. The next event, in case you would like to take part, is a mountain-biking challange, the Exmoor Explorer, on 5th August 2018.

The Exmoor Explorer is a non-competitive mountain biking event of 20 or 40 miles. Open moorland, woodland trails, natural single track and secluded Combes, the Explorer doesn’t disappoint. This iconic Exmoor cycling event was started 19 years ago and you can find out more here.

CAPTURING DEVON’S COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE

Schoolchildren from two rural primary schools, which together form the Exmoor Link Federation, have excelled in a county-wide painting competition held by the Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Bishops Nympton Primary School near South Molton, on the edge of Exmoor National Park, was named Best Overall School in CPRE Devon’s ‘My Outdoors’ competition, winning £200 towards outdoor learning. Partner school East Anstey Primary was highly commended in the same category and won £50 towards outdoor learning.

The competition is a fun way to encourage outdoor learning and help young children engage with and enjoy the countryside.

Penny Mills, Director of CPRE Devon, said, “We received entries from right across the county from girls and boys who had captured their favourite Devon landscape on paper. Pencils, paints and sticking paste were all put to use to create art works which showed the children’s appreciation of Devon’s rich variety of natural landscapes.

“The judges had a hard task choosing between the entries. We would like to thank everyone who supported CPRE Devon by entering and say congratulations to all the winners!”

The individual prizes were won by Amelie Willis Smith (Key Stage 1) from Holbeton Primary School for her delightful collage The Beach, and Ava Perkins (Key Stage 2) from Clyst Heath Nursery and Community Primary School in Exeter for her painting entitled Dartmoor.

Each child who entered won a badge featuring CPRE Devon’s new Countryside Ambassador Barney the Bull, becoming part of Barney’s team helping to promote the Devon countryside to primary school children in KS1 and KS2.

For more information on the competition and the winners, visit www.cpredevon.org.uk

PHOTOS: Highly commended entries from Bishops Nympton (top) and East Anstey (here).

MINEHEAD & EXMOOR MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Regal Theatre is proud once again to welcome the Minehead and Exmoor Music Festival for a week of rehearsals and performance. This is the 55th season of the Minehead & Exmoor Music Festival, which presents a week of concerts across West Somerset. 

The Regal provides a home where the orchestra rehearses and also hosts 3 major concerts.  (The Young Artists’ Concert on Sunday 22 July (at 7pm) and the Chamber Concert on Thursday 27 July (at 4pm) take place at the Methodist Church opposite the theatre.)

The orchestra, which plays a pivotal role in the Minehead Music Festival, was originally founded by Tim Reynish in 1963. It has been running in its present form for 30 years under Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Dickins.  Once again he has produced a fine programme of music which everyone is sure to enjoy. Every year he manages to persuade eminent international soloists as well as up-and-coming stars to come and perform with the orchestra.

The players are drawn from all over the country but most come from the London area where many of them perform with well-established orchestras and chamber groups. They produce high standards of performance which audiences eagerly anticipate.

Here is the festival line-up…

FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA CONCERTS AT THE REGAL THEATRE
CONDUCTED BY RICHARD DICKINS          

TICKETS: Adults £18.00, Students £3.00

Monday 23 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Mozart:  Symphony No 35 (Haffner)
Paul Patterson: Double Bass Concerto
A world premiere performance
Soloist Leon Bosch
Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3 (Scottish)

Wednesday 25 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Rossini:  Overture to The Barber of Seville
Bruch: Violin Concerto No 1
Soloist Maya Magub
Brahms: Symphony No 3

Saturday 28 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
END OF FESTIVAL CONCERT
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Dvorak: Cello Concerto No 1
Soloist Laura van der Heijden  
Shostakovich: Symphony No 5

Tickets are now on sale at the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday, 10am – 1pm Saturday.

‘COAST’ EXHIBITION AT WHITE MOOSE

If you love the sea and you are an art fan, don’t miss ‘Coast’ – an exhibition at White Moose Gallery in Barnstaple, that takes place between 20th July and 7th September, showing the work of four well-established North Devon artists all responding to the area’s coastline:

Ilfracombe ‘Plein Air’ painter Mark Rochester captures dramatic viewpoints looking from dizzying heights into the isolated bays along the North Devon coastline. Walking to his chosen sites, carrying all his painting equipment, sometimes presents quite a challenge, especially in all weathers!

Barnstaple-based Mike Woollacott beautifully and skilfully captures the area’s estuaries and seascapes. Painting in acrylics, his work is highly collectable and can be found in private collections across the UK.

Duncan Hopkins, based in Bideford, is fascinated by the waves, movement and reflective light of the sea in his fabulous drawings, pastels and paintings.

Complimenting these three painters, Chittlehampton ceramicist Roger Cockram will be showing his porcelain-ware, inspired by the rock pools along the North Devon coast. Roger’s work is collected world-wide and he’s often asked to exhibit and give lecture tours abroad, most recently to India.

For information on the ‘Coast’ exhibition and the artists, please see; www.whitemoose.co.uk or contact info@whitemoose.co.uk

TOP: Duncan Hopkins’The Hour Glass Shore’

SOUTH WEST CHEF OF THE YEAR OPEN FOR ENTRIES FOR 15TH YEAR

The 2018 prestigious South West Chef of the Year competition is open for applications to showcase the excellence in the South West’s hospitality industry. Now in its 15th year, the highly anticipated culinary contest aims to find the very best regional talent for five different categories.

Lead judge and co-founder Michael Caines MBE of Lympstone Manor champions the cooking competition which offers aspiring chefs, those already working in the industry and home cooks the opportunity to gain recognition for their culinary skill and creativity. Past competitors have used the experience gained during the competition to further develop their skills or launch their careers.

The five categories for the competition are: Professional, Young Professional, Student/Apprentice Chef, Junior (under 16) and Home Cook. From these, one winner will also be selected to receive the overall award of South West Chef of the Year 2018. Competitors are invited to submit their application online via the website www.southwestchef.co.uk/how-to-enter/ by the closing date, Tuesday 31st July. Entries for the Junior Chef competition have now closed.

Michael Caines MBE says, “Marking its 15th anniversary this year, South West Chef of the Year provides a platform for the region’s emerging chefs and aspiring home cooks of all ages. We invite anyone with a passion for cooking and creating wonderful dishes using quality produce from the region, to enter this competition offering an amazing opportunity to learn from highly acclaimed chefs, improve on culinary skills and be challenged at cooking to a high level.”

Michael is joined by an impressive panel of the South West’s finest chefs to judge the competition at its various stages including Mark Dodson (Mason Arms), Emily Scott (St Trudy Inn), Liam Finnegan (Castle at Taunton) and Michael Wignall. South West Chef of the Year provides entrants with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate skills and creativity in cooking and knowledge of produce from the South West of England.

The Professional class is aimed at those working within the industry at the level of pastry chef, junior sous or above. Last year’s South West Professional Chef of the Year, best menu and overall winner was awarded to Robert Cox, Head Chef at Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant in Gloucestershire. Robert was also awarded Best Dish for his starter of Cured Brill, scallop tartare, smoked bacon hollandaise, pickled shallots and puffed spelt.

The Young Professional class gives chefs aged 19 to 25 years the chance to compete against their peers of a similar ability. Last year’s winner in this category was Joshua Murphy, Demi Chef de Partie at Lucknam Park in Bath.

The rise and success of Home Cooks will be recognised within the class to highlight the growing skills and passion of those who have learned their craft at home. Entrants to the Home Cooks category must be aged 16 or above are asked to create a main course and dessert for two people. Successful entrants will go through to the finals Saturday 6th October at Ashburton Cookery School, sponsor of the class, where they will be asked to cook their menu for the judges. Sue Stoneman from Exmouth successfully retained the Home Cook title for the second consecutive year in 2017.

With its commitment to the next generation, the Student/Apprentice Chef class is open to those aged 16 to 19 who are studying at college or in an apprenticeship. Last year’s winner Eleanor Thuell works at Rodean Restaurant in Kenton near Exeter whilst studying at Exeter College. Entrants of the professional and student categories are asked to create and submit a two-course menu for three people comprising a starter and main course with an emphasis on seasonal produce from the South West and incorporating a few ingredients selected by the judges.

The South West Junior Chef of the Year class is now closed for entries, and will see finalists compete on Saturday 6th October with semi-finals for this category held in each county of the South West during June and July. The 2017 competition was jointly won by Amber Clay from Alderman Knight School in Gloucestershire and Anna West from Penair School in Cornwall.

An awards presentation dinner will be held after the final of the Professional, Young Professional and Student Chef classes on Wednesday 24th October, at Exeter Golf and Country Club.

HELEN SEAR PROSPECT REFUGE HAZARD 2: EXHIBITION AT HESTERCOMBE

Internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear presents a large collection of new and recent work at Hestercombe Gallery this summer. Consisting of works made since 2015, this will be her most ambitious exhibition in the UK to date. Sear’s technique is characterised by exploring the crossover between photography and fine art, and focusing on the co-existence of the human, animal and natural worlds.

The exhibition runs from 14 July until 28 October 2018.

Helen Sear has exhibited around the world and was the first female artist selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice with a solo exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Producing high-quality, conceptually rigorous work, her current work incorporates photography, sound and video within a sculptural context, exploring the potential for her artwork to activate and elicit feeling.

“The photographic/moving image in art practice,” Sear says, “has never been so diverse or contested and, with the acceleration of new digital technologies, the function and presence of the image as both material and permeable is an ongoing challenge in the meaning, making and reception of my work.”

Her practice has evolved from a fine art education in performance, film and installation work in the 1980s and is rooted in an interest in Magic Realism, Surrealism and Conceptual Art. With photography a central subject in her work, she often challenges the dominance of the eye and the fixed-point perspective associated with the camera lens, placing the viewer in intriguing new relationships with the image.

The title of the exhibition comes from the 1975 book by Jay Appleton The Experience of Landscape where he developed the prospect-refuge theory of human aesthetics.

Helen Sear studied Fine Art at Reading University and University College London, Slade School, with her work rising to prominence in the late 1980s, when she worked primarily through installation, performance and film. Her photographic works became widely known in the 1991 British Council exhibition, De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured Latin America and Eastern Europe. Since then she has exhibited widely including About Face at the Hayward Gallery, London, 2004; La Mirada Reflexiva at the Espai D’Art Contemporani in Castellon Spain, 2005; Inside The View, shown at Gallery Harmonia in Finland in 2006; Klompching Gallery New York and Bildkultur, Stuttgart, 2010-12. This year she produced a new video and sound work commissioned during a year-long residency at The Forestry Commission England, Dalby Forest, in partnership with Crescent Arts and as part of Forest Art Works.

She is represented by: Klompching in New York, Martin Asbaek In Copenhagen and Galerie Pennings in Eindhoven.

Top: Forest Operations, 2018.

MORE PLASTICS CAN NOW BE RECYCLED IN WEST SOMERSET

GOOD NEWS! Here is the latest information issued by Somerset Waste Partnership on plastics (see end of info for a suggestion):

PLASTIC BOTTLES: Put out only plastic bottles at the kerbside if you have an individual collection – no other plastics, but discard tops, rinse, squash and recycle all household plastic bottles, including those for milk, juice, shampoo, bleach and more, including trigger cleaning sprays and liquid soap dispensers.
No thanks: those from the garage (oil etc) or garden (pesticides etc) should be discarded.

Bottle tops: There are two main reasons why we ask you to discard bottle tops: first, they may be of a different plastic to the bottles or contain other materials, such as – in some trigger sprays – metal springs, thus adding contamination to the materials we want; and second, the bottle tops can both get into the sorting machinery and prevent bottles from being squashed as the machinery bales thousands of bottles together for transport elsewhere. Under great pressure, the bottles can then explode, blowing apart the bale and forcing the staff to start again, wasting both time and money.

PLASTIC POTS, TUBS, TRAYS:  Drop off rigid plastic food and household pots, tubs and trays in the plastic bottle skips at any of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites when passing. Pots, tubs and trays include pots for yoghurt, soup, face cream, hair gel; tubs for margarine, ice cream, laundry tablets; trays (including black plastic) for meat, fish, ready meals, and plastic punnets for fruit or mushrooms. Please rinse, discard/recycle as appropriate all foil, film covers, absorbent pads or card packaging, squash, then add to plastic bottle skip.

Ensure you exclude: plastic paint and plant pots, seed trays; toys, garden furniture, car parts, CD-DVD-VHS cases or contents; thin film , such as clingfilm, bubble wrap, carrier bags, film covers, bread bags, multipack wraps (though some thin films, with the “film” packaging label, may be able to be added to carrier bag collections at some supermarkets).

TETRA PAKS: Drop off Tetra Paks, other beverage cartons, and single-use drink cups when passing any of 12 recycling sites (all except Castle Cary, Cheddar, Dulverton or Somerton), please rinse and squash. NB: Many liquids available in beverage cartons are also available in containers – plastic, glass, cans – that we collect in kerbside collections. And we have been told by a number of those who prefer or can only drink nut milks, such as oat, soya and almond milks, that it is easy to make exactly the amount, consistency and flavour/sweetness required using any good food processor, thus saving money, reducing waste and eliminating the existing costly and complex-to-recycle packaging.

FUTURE PLANS: The situation for plastics in Somerset will be transformed once we have a new multi-million pound collections contract in place, for which negotiations are now underway, and have designed and had built a new recycling truck fleet for those new collections. Given the required public procurement rules under which these high-value contracts must be placed, this will take time to ensure practical, sustainable and best value outcomes.

We then plan to roll out the “Recycle More” weekly kerbside collection of all existing materials plus plastic pots, tubs, trays, Tetra Paks and other beverage cartons, single-use coffee cups and perhaps other materials, from 2020. Because of the extra light but very bulky materials being collected every week, we will then also change the frequency of rubbish collections to once every three weeks. Our trials of this with hundreds of Somerset families of all sizes in all sorts of accommodation over several months showed not only a large jump in recycling and a matching drop in rubbish levels, but an 84% approval for three-weekly rubbish collections with extra weekly plastics and other materials.

For more information on plastics, see: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/act-on-plastics/

For more information on beverage cartons and single-use drink cups, see: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/dozen-recycling-sites-take-single-use-coffee-cups/

For more information on Recycle More future collections: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycle-more/

And for more on the other items we do and do not take in kerbside recycling: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling-collections/

IDEA: If there are any garden centres out there which recycle plant pots and seed trays please get in touch with Exmoor Magazine and we will spread the word!

WEST BUCKLAND SCHOOL RAISE THOUSANDS FOR LOCAL CHARITY

West Buckland School’s Charities Committee, run by Sixth Form students, have raised £8,318.81 for their nominated local charity ‘Everything Ellie’ – the highest amount ever achieved.

The school ran a Fashion Show, put together a special-edition calendar,  sold beautiful glass ‘Ellie’ beads and even busked in South Molton to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Ellie sadly lost her battle with leukaemia in 2015 and the charity, ‘Everything Ellie’, offers an amazing beach hut at Saunton Sands, North Devon, providing a simple day at the seaside and short breaks away. It is a welcome respite from hospital rooms for young people or parents and guardians with young families undergoing treatment for long-term, life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Justeen Easton, Ellie’s mum, said: “The charity trustees are so very proud of the students and staff at West Buckland School. The grand total is a testament to how they have got behind the charity’s aims and were touched by Ellie’s story. This amount will make an ever-lasting difference to families having the most difficult time and I hope that the students continue to keep in touch to see the joy of their efforts.”

Staff and students are so pleased to have been able to support ‘Everything Ellie’ this year and will follow the progress of the charity going forward.

EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK PARTNERSHIP FUND SMALL GRANTS SCHEME

Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund Small Grants scheme offers funds of up to £2,500, for projects that can make a difference for Exmoor.

Funding of up to 75% is available to cover both capital and revenue costs.

Projects need to deliver National Park purposes: to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, or promote opportunities to increase public understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area.

We are especially interested in projects that provide opportunities for volunteering on Exmoor, widen audiences, and provide conservation benefits for Exmoor.

Improve a habitat, complete a local wildlife survey, investigate some heritage, create a local guide, engage a new audience, arrange a nature day, explore Exmoor’s moorland, woodlands, rivers and streams, conserve a local landmark.

If you have an idea that you think might be eligible contact the Funding Officer on 01398 322237 or email partnershipfund@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk.

Full details, guidance notes and application forms are available on the Authority’s website www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/living-and-working/grants-and-funding/partnership-fund

TAKING THE RUFF WITH THE SMOOTH IN LEADING TAUNTON THESPIANS ROLE

The Taunton Thespians’ newest “leading” lady is preparing for her first pawformance in the touring production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona starting on Tuesday 10 July.  Mavis won the hearts of the Thespians’ audition panel although she is the youngest member of the cast and has never acted before. She is looking forward to lapping up the applause and smiling for the pupp-arazzi.  This is no shaggy dog story: Mavis is a 12-month-old Cockerpoo and will be playing the role of ‘Crab’.

Mavis lives in Puriton with Uncle Alan, her manager and canine companions.  Mavis is sure to pick up some acting tips from her puppy pal Flora, a golden retriever whose stage credits include Annie.

Mavis and the rest of the cast will be performing from Tuesday 10th to Saturday 21st July at ten stunning locations across Somerset including Blackmore Farm near Cannington, Cleeve Abbey in West Somerset, Brympton D’Evercy near Yeovil, Dillington House, Muchelney Abbey, the  Mount Somerset Hotel and Queen’s College in Taunton and Wellington School. Venues will open at 6pm for picnics before the show, which starts at 7.30pm  Tickets are valid for any performance and are available from the Taunton Visitor Centre, online at tauntonthespians.org.uk  or from any venue on the night.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare’s most charming comedies so bring friends, chairs and a picnic and prepare for Shakespeare as you have never seen it before.

PHOTO: Mavis and Flora

Tickets are priced at £12 and £5 (concessions for children, students and the unwaged) and the dates and venues are as follows:

Tuesday 10th July
Six Acres Resource Centre Roman Road, Taunton, TA1 2BD

Wednesday 11th July
Mount Somerset Hotel Lower Henlade, Taunton, TA3 5NB

Thursday 12th July
Brympton House Brympton d’Evercy, Odcombe, Yeovil BA22 8TD

Friday 13th July
Blackmore Farm Cannington, Bridgwater, TA5 2NE

Saturday 14th July
Cleeve Abbey Abbey Road, Washford, Watchet, TA23 0PS

Tuesday 17th July
Wellington School South Street, Wellington, TA21 8NT

Wednesday 18th July
Dillington House Ilminster, TA19 9DT

Thursday 19th July
Muchelney Abbey Muchelney, Langport, TA10 0DQ

Friday 20th July
Queen’s College Trull Road, Taunton, TA1 4QS

Saturday 21st July
Hartwood House Crowcombe Heathfield, TA4 4BS (SSAFA Benefit)