Saturday, 31 July 2010

"Don’t just drive. Discover" says the Highways Agency

Are we nearly there yet?’ It is the dreaded question which will be heard in cars across the country as the summer holidays get into full swing, and which usually signals the tipping point for tempers. The journey to a holiday destination is often considered the final hurdle between holidaymakers and the break they’ve been looking forward to. But with 37 million people choosing to holiday at home last year, it seems the ‘staycation’ is here to stay. And that means those journeys, on holiday routes at peak times, are set to be even busier. Rather than driving you to distraction, the holiday journey could actually take you on a journey of discovery. England is crammed full of fun, fascinating and beautiful places to visit within easy reach of main roads, so it’s easy to break up your journey and turn it into an adventure. Stopping off en route is also a great way to avoid traffic congestion – and the ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ brigade. Using our simple travel tools you can plan a stop-off either before you set off or en route.
And to make sure your adventure is a safe one:
  • Ensure your vehicle is serviced and ready for the journey
  • Check screen wash and tyre pressures including caravans and trailers
  • Don’t overload a roof rack or bike rack. Ensure you firmly secure it
  • Sun glare can be hazardous for driving. Take a good pair of sunglasses
  • Travel prepared for delays by having an emergency kit including a map, warning triangle, fluorescent jackets, first-aid kit, relevant medication, food, water and warm/waterproof clothing
  • Take regular breaks on long journeys
The Highways Agency is responsible for England's motorways and trunk roads on behalf of the Department for Transport. For more summer driving tips please visit 

Mobile Website & iPhone App: You can view our website from your mobile at For more information on our iPhone app visit: REMEMBER never use your mobile whilst driving.

CLICK HERE to visit the Highways Agency web site 

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Culm Advisory Group witnesses progress at grassland demonstration farm

Devon Wildlife Trust this month invited the members of the Culm Advisory Group to see the progress of the restoration of wildflower rich meadows at its Dunsdon Demonstration Farm near Holsworthy. The group which is made up of staff from Natural England, The Environment Agency, Westcountry Rivers Trust, DWT and FWAG spent the morning at the charity's Working Wetlands Project office at Cookworthy discussing the issues that have arisen over the past six months relating to the management of Culm grassland in North Devon. In the afternoon the group was taken to the demonstration farm where they were able to witness the progress of the series of fields which have been restored from improved grassland back to species rich meadows. The process has been funded by Natural England through the Special Projects scheme within Higher Level Stewardship and has included all the new fencing, gates and hedgebanks that have also been re-created. Devon Wildlife Trust's Becky Aston, who has been overseeing the project, said: "It was great to be able to show off the Working Wetlands demonstration farm which has been coming on leaps as bounds since we did the initial soil testing and stripping back in 2008. This was the ideal time to bring members of the various agencies that have an interest in Culm grassland to show how the pioneering techniques have been employed at the site which is owned by a local landowner. The site was chosen as it lies between two sections of DWT's Dunsdon National Nature reserve and the work will help rare species moves through the area making it more robust. Following the soil stripping we sowed a range of wildflowers and grasses including oxeye daisy, birdsfoot trefoil and ragged robin and we have been pleased with the range of species that have flowered this year." One of the group which attended the day, Rob Dixon from Natural England said: "We were all very impressed with how the sown sward has taken - a great improvement on what was there before. This is a good example of what can be achieved through Higher Level Stewardship, with our two organisations working together and with a committed agreement holder who is keen to improve the environmental value of his holding in this very important area." Working Wetlands has been supported by the Tubney Charitable Trust, South West Water, The Environment Agency, Devon County Council, Devon Waste Management, Grantscape and Natural England. Photo: Dunsdon demonstration farm copyright DWT
Culm Advisory Group witnesses progress at grassland demonstration farm (Ref: DWT 13 July 2010)