Monday, 29 November 2010

Devon Wildlife Trust "Doves on Dartmoor" Charity Christmas Cards now on sale

Charity's favourite Christmas doves return for another year Following the huge success of its Christmas cards last year, a local charity is preparing for a bumper season in 2010 with a new range of wildlife designs along with the return of a well-loved favourite. Devon Wildlife Trust's best seller which ran out last year was an image of Doves on Dartmoor taken by one of its volunteers. The charity has re-ordered the card so that people who missed out last year are not disappointed this time around. There are twelve designs in the new range which are available to order online, over the phone or by post. The designs include fox, squirrel, robin, horse, stag, and a number of beautiful wintery landscape shots. Phoebe Grubb, DWT's Fundraising Support Officer enthused: 'With Christmas looming fast we're hoping for another great year. Our card sales over the past five years have raised more than £10,000 for local conservation work. We would like to thank all the volunteers that have helped to sell and distribute cards throughout the county along with everyone who has bought the cards. Their help has made a significant difference to our work for wildlife.'  
People who wish to purchase cards should visit or call Devon Wildlife Trust on 01392 279244. The cards are also available through the Cards for Good Causes outlets across the county.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Talent of North Devon’s local photographers is now on show at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon

Photo exhibition shows off local talent and the spectacular biodiversity in the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A stunning exhibition displaying the talents of North Devon’s local photographers is now on show at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon. ‘North Devon in Photographs’ highlights the unique character of the region and its artists, showcasing the very best entries from this year’s annual Heritage Photographic Competition. Well-known Bideford-based photographer, Graham Hobbs, selected the winners from over 500 entries. Gerry Davidson was declared the over all winner of the competition for his superb Town & Villages entry ‘Pasternoster Snow’. Graham Hobbs presented him with the perpetual cup and an engraved tankard. A separate competition was held for Under 16’s, which was won by 10 year old Robin Tanner who’s Character photograph ‘ The Old Chimney Sweep’ caught the judge’s eye. He was also presented with a special trophy. Once again the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership sponsored a special class, this time celebrating the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. Naturalist and AONB Champion Trevor Beer, MBE, had the hard task of selecting the winners for this Wildlife category. Martha Mills image of a Common Lizard taken at Braunton Burrows gained 1st Place. Rose Day, Chairman of North Devon Coast AONB, was invited to attend the presentation and gave out the awards for this section. She says: “The standard of the entries was excellent, and highlights the depth of photographic talent that exists in North Devon. Graham and Trevor must have had a really difficult time in deciding who the eventual winners were to be.”

Gerry Davidson ‘Pasternoster Snow’
Winners of the open categories were:
Towns & Villages – Gerry Davidson
The Coast & The Sea – Keith Lowther
Characters – Mike Southon
Landscapes – Robin Mellor
Wildlife – Keith Trueman
Anything Goes! – Robin Mellor

Robin Tanner  ‘ The Old Chimney Sweep’
Under 16’s category winners were:
Towns & Villages – Robin Tanner
The Coast and The Sea – Robin Tanner
Characters – Robin Tanner
Wildlife – Robin Tanner
Anything Goes! – Robin Tanner
AONB special Wildlife category winner – Martha Mills

Alison Mills, Museum Development Manager says: “We are delighted with the response we received this year and I'd like to thank everyone for entering.” A full listing of awards can be found on  
The exhibition runs until Saturday, 8th January 2011. The Museum’s winter opening times are 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and admission is free

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A poetic reminder about the importance of planning before you drive this season!

A Winter's Tale
Twas a night before Christmas, and all through the land
Not a creature was stirring – their journey was planned
They’d made time for winter, their car was prepared
For the family journey: no need to be scared
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Christmas Day danced in their heads,
We would be visiting Grandpa and Ma
Presents all wrapped, in the boot of the car
Time for a rest, we’re leaving early next morn
I sat down by the fire – and stifled a yawn
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my doze to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
The blizzard was awful, his reindeer can’t fly
(a severe weather warning had closed down the sky!)
He must use the motorway, he’d heard they get busy
Poor Santa Claus was all of a tizzy.
So I sat the old fellow down in a fireside chair
And explained to him what I’d done to prepare.
As well as the presents, the car had inside
A shovel and ice scraper, for a less worrisome ride.
An emergency kit and stuff to keep ourselves warm,
Just in case we get stuck (though it’s out of the norm)
We’d topped up the anti-freeze, got de-icer as well
The battery was healthy for a cold winter spell
We’d checked over the tyres, the wipers and lights …
For a clear view ahead through dark, snowy nights
Santa said he’d prepared – no need to panic
Rudolph was rather a good sleigh mechanic!
He’d got plenty of warm clothing and a cosy white beard
But really the state of the traffic he feared!
Travelling hither and thither, in the dark and the snow
With so many people, would the going be slow?
So I switched on the website to show him the view
From motorway cameras – and traffic flow too
His eyes — how they twinkled! He could now see his way
To visit all children before Christmas Day
His journey was planned. His sleigh full of toys
Plenty of time to visit all girls and boys
He whistled to Rudolph and flew off in the night
and I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight
A Happy Christmas to all, where e’er you should roam
Make time for winter – and a safe journey home

For more handy tips when driving this winter, visit

Friday, 12 November 2010

Charity opens new chapter with reserves book

A new book featuring some of Devon's top beauty spots has been released this month. Devon Wildlife Trust - Nature Reserves is the result of nearly 50 year's work by the charity caring for the county's environment. The new book offers portraits of 20 of Devon Wildlife Trust's most stunning nature reserves in every corner of the county. It uses beautiful landscape and wildlife photography - many of its pictures have never been seen before. The book's author and DWT's Communications Co-ordinator Stephen Hussey said: "Devon contains some of the most spectacular wildlife and wild places in the UK, Devon Wildlife Trust has the responsibility of caring for these. This book shows just what a special place our county is and the work that we do as a charity in looking after it." The book has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from South West Water. The company's Chief Executive, Chris Loughlin, said: "South West Water has supported the work of the Devon Wildlife Trust for many years, and it is a pleasure to sponsor this beautiful book celebrating some of our region's best-loved nature reserves."By working in partnership with organisations such as the Devon Wildlife Trust, we hope to play our part inpreserving and protecting the environment forfuture generations to enjoy." The book means there has never been a better time to become a member of Devon Wildlife Trust since every new member will receive the 100 page guide as part of their joining package. Membership of Devon Wildlife Trust costs from as little as £2 per month. People can join by visiting or calling DWT on 01392 279244.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Charity awards volunteers at AGM

Volunteers from around Devon have received awards this month as part of Devon Wildlife Trust's Annual General Meeting. The awards were set up to celebrate local people who give their time to help wildlife. The event was held at The Watermark, Ivybridge on Saturday 30 October. Appropriately, this was national Make a Difference Day an annual celebration which is held each year and aims to promote the idea of volunteering to more people. Eight volunteers were given awards including Dan Best from Torbryan, Graham Curtis from Exmouth, David Fitter from Dolton, Paul Madgett from Braunton, Libby Ross from Whimple, Peter Smith from Exeter, Terry Ackland from Kingsteignton and Sandy Backus from Lustleigh. Dawn Lenn, DWT's Volunteers Officer said: "These volunteers have been singled out as shining examples of people that give their time freely and cheerfully to help with conservation work throughout the county. They give time regularly to help DWT in many ways from helping with DWT's website, fundraising, Local Groups, nature reserves and Wildlife Watch groups for children. The volunteers selected this year are just a handful of the hundreds of volunteers without whom the charity would not achieve so much as we do for Devon's wildlife." For more information about volunteering and how to get involved, visit