Monday, 31 January 2011

Join the National Trust online today

The National Trust is a charity and is completely independent of Government. The Trust relies for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from commercial operations. It has over 3.6 million members and 55,000 volunteers. More than 14 million people visit its pay for entry properties, while an estimated 50 million visit its open air properties.The National Trust protects and opens to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments and also looks after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, villages - for ever, for everyone. Join online today
Why join the National Trust: Join today from only £39.75 for your first year, and help look after the places you love, whilst enjoying:
  • Free entry to over 300 historic houses and gardens
  • Free car parking at most Trust properties
  • Free entry to the National Trust for Scotland and other partner organisation offers 
 Join today and help protect some of our most beautiful places.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Nick Baker confirmed to open summer Wildlife Festival in Barnstaple

TV wildlife presenter Nick Baker has confirmed he will open this year's Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) Wildlife Festival in June. The event is just one in a series taking place to celebrate the 13th North Devon Festival. The date for the Wildlife Festival has just been announced and plans are well on the way for making this year's event the best ever. This year will be the charity's fifth annual Wildlife Festival. Following a successful spectacle in Plymouth last year the event comes to Barnstaple Town Centre for 2011. The festival will be held on Saturday 4 June between 10am and 4pm. Jo Pullin DWT's event organiser said: "It's great to have Nick Baker on board again. He had a great time last year making nest boxes and talking to families about his wildlife experiences, so he was quick to agree to come up to north Devon. This will be the second time the festival has visited Barnstaple and it will be lovely to see old faces returning along with new people. We have a winning formula which people seem to love!" The charity is currently writing to local wildlife related organisations in the area to see if they would like to attend the event which will be held at The Square, close to the town centre. This year there are plans for a wildlife parade, along with bird watching on the river, and the ever popular attractions of nest box making, face painting and live animals. For more information about the event visit Anyone wanting to volunteer or have a stall at the event should contact Jo Pullin on 01392 279244.
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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Trainee sought to help north Devon conservation project

The Grazing Advice Partnership is offering one person the chance to gain a year's training and learn about conservation grazing through Devon Wildlife Trust's (DWT) Working Wetlands project. The twelve month placement will be involved in the day to day management of the charity's herd of rare breed cattle. This will include stock checking, transportation and liaison with landowners. As well as gaining the chance to carry out tractor driving tasks such as soil aeration, topping and flailing there will be the opportunity to learn other skills such as green hay spreading. The placement is part of the Grazing Links initiative of Working Wetlands, a project that supports landowners to undertake conservation grazing within three target areas of north Devon's Culm Natural Area. It is particularly focused on restoring wildlife rich habitats such as Culm grassland. Mark Elliot DWT's Working Wetlands Project Manager said: "This is a great opportunity for a local person who is perhaps looking to get into the conservation sector to gain hands-on experience through this landscape scale conservation project. They will get to work across the whole 65,000 hectare project area and help make a noticeable difference to local wildlife rich sites." Trainees will receive a tax exempt bursary of £14,000, mentoring support and access to GAP training courses. To apply applicants should visit the Grazing Advice Partnership website: - Closing date for entries is 21 January.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The RSPB’s biggest event of the year "Big Garden Birdwatch"

The RSPB’s biggest event of the year "Big Garden Birdwatch" will take place on January 29th and 30th. In recent years, around half a million people have taken part but this year the RSPB hope to encourage even more people to count the birds in their garden over the weekend. Go to the Big Garden Birdwatch website: where you can pre-register and receive a free information pack (if you register by 19th Jan) and 10% off bird food. Big Garden Birdwatch encourages many people to get involved and enjoy the wildlife in their garden and from 11th January, they are offering new adult members a choice of free gift that includes the popular RSPB classic apex nest box if they join by 31st March. Or, you can still choose the RSPB Handbook of British Birds or bird feeder with seed – all perfect gifts to help people enjoy the birds in their garden.
New Membership prices for 2011:
Single child £16
Two or more children £26.50
Single Adult Membership £38
Joint Adult Membership £48
Family Membership £53

More Big Garden Bird Watch Posts

Friday, 7 January 2011

Walking for Health scheme receives new support for the New Year

Taw Torridge Volunteer Services (TTVS) and Transform Ilfracombe have come together with the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Service to coordinate Walking for Health groups in North Devon and Torridge. Walking for Health is a national scheme that uses the national environment to help people confront and prevent health problems such as obesity, stress and mental health conditions, and aid recovery from illness. Led by Natural England, it provides support for local, volunteer-led walking groups to offer a range of walks for people of varying abilities. As Jenny Fish from TTVS explains, "Health and exercise are at the forefront of our thoughts immediately after the excesses of Christmas and New Year, so what better time to encourage people to get involved with Walking for Health." Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services, Cllr Roger Croad, agrees; "Research shows that access to the natural environment is good for us. We are lucky in north Devon to have a Biosphere Reserve with a high quality environment that is internationally recognised, so a scheme like this that uses our natural environment to confront health problems and other diseases is to be welcomed. Devon County Council is pleased to have provided the resources for the Biosphere Reserve team to bring in the voluntary sector to support provision in northern Devon." "Using the voluntary sector's community links and experience will make sure that walking for health opportunities reach those that really need them. This is what big society is all about!" There are Walking for Health Groups currently operating in Bideford and Holsworthy in Torridge, and South Molton, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin in North Devon and all can benefit from this support. Transform and TTVS have received 18 month's grant funding from the North Devon AONB and Biosphere Service to enable the Groups to grow and reach more new walkers, and to set up new groups where there is demand.
To learn more about Walking for Health in North Devon and Torridge contact Transform (01271 867131) and TTVS (01805 625614) respectively. All the Group's walks programmes can be found at