Monday, 22 August 2011

Ben Howard: Westcountry singer-songwriter New Single, Video & UK Tour Dates

Ben Howard releases his new single, ‘Keep Your Head Up’ on the 26th September. It is taken from his forthcoming debut album, ‘Every Kingdom’ released on the 3rd October 2011, released through Island Records. 
Every Kingdom (Deluxe Edition) - Ben Howard - Every Kingdom (Deluxe Edition) - Ben Howard
Keep Your Head Up - Every Kingdom (Deluxe Edition)

Check out the video here 
Click here to read about Ben Howard's Single and UK Tour Dates on the Focus Music Blogspot

Devon Wildlife Trust: Wetlands project starts to sow the seeds

This month, Devon Wildlife Trust's Working Wetlands Project team has been busy with several projects to spread 'green-hay' on sites in north and west Devon to create more wildflower-rich meadows. 'Green-hay' refers to the process of cutting flower-rich grassland areas on existing wildlife sites and quickly baling them un-dried. The bales are then transported to nearby local sites where they are spread onto prepared ground to introduce the seed onto sites which are currently of lower wildlife value. The process is a cost-effective way of enhancing or creating meadows and pastures as part of existing Natural England Environmental Stewardship agreements or to expand areas of wildlife habitat so landowners have more chance of securing a Stewardship agreement. The Working Wetlands team has gained considerable experience planning and managing these projects with many hectares of ground now blooming with the plants which have been spread since the Devon Wildlife Trust's landscape-scale project began in 2008. Stuart Coleman from the Working Wetlands Team said: "The team have always worked closely with landowners and local contractors to make these projects a success, but this year Working Wetlands has expanded its own machinery-ring to include a new 90 hp tractor and fodder chopper/spreader so we can spread the flower-rich bales ourselves. This has made a real difference speeding up operations and reducing costs for landowners enabling even more fields to be enhanced in this way." One of the projects completed this month has been 5.5 ha of fields at Simon Kerslake's "Higher Grinacombe" holding in Broadwoodwidger. Simon said: "This has been a really good project and something I had never heard of before so when DWT got in touch I thought it was quite inspirational and I was keen to go along with it. I'm now really excited to see the results and interested to do more in the future. I think the extra wildlife that will hopefully result from the work will be really beneficial to the farm." The charity is now looking for other landowners in the northern and western areas of Devon who might be interested in helping wildlife by using green-hay to create flower-rich meadows. To express an interest call the Working Wetlands team on 01409 221823.
Working Wetlands is a seven year landscape scale project and this is just one of many initiatives being undertaken by the scheme across 65,000 hectares of the Culm Natural Area. It has been supported by South West Water, Tubney Charitable Trust, The Environment Agency, Devon County Council, Devon Waste Management, GrantScape and Natural England 

Monday, 15 August 2011

Petition launched to press for better protected seas

Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) officially launched its Petition Fish campaign on Friday 29 July to push for effective marine reserves around Devon as part of a network of marine protected areas throughout the UK. The launch was held at Wembury Marine Centre. The petition has already gained significant support over the past few months with many specially-produced foil fish scales already signed by people visiting the Centre. A similar petition was organised in 2007 to push for an effective Marine and Coastal Access Act and now the charity, in conjunction with Wildlife Trusts across the country, plans to collect thousands of signatures from people who would like to see areas of sea and coastline protected for the benefit of both people and wildlife. Peter Burgess, DWT's Conservation Advocacy Manager said: "It is essential that the proposed network of Marine Conservation Zones which has been promised as part of the Marine Act is put into place by the end of next year. It has taken a great deal of public support and effort to get to this stage and we now urge people to help us make sure we don't lose momentum. These zones need to be in the right place, well managed and support recovery from past decline if we are to achieve our aim for Living Seas." Some of the sites around Devon's coast which are proposed as areas to receive greater protection include the north Devon coast between Bideford and Foreland Point, and areas in Torbay. Peter added: "At present our seas are a shadow of their former selves. For centuries, we have taken our sea's riches for granted, taking too much with too little care. At present, only 2% of the UK's sea area has even a minimal level of protection for wildlife and less than 0.001% is fully protected from all damaging activities. We need a healthy, well protected sea so it can survive the many demands humans put on it." The organisation will be promoting the petition through its range of events at Wembury Marine Centre and at other locations over the summer starting this weekend with National Marine Weeks. The plan is to present all the signed Petition Fish from across the region to Government next year to make sure its acts decisively so that the network of reserves is in place by the end of 2012. For more information about the campaign and to sign a virtual scale online visit Ref: DWT 27 July 2011

Adopt a species scheme expands to help the hog

This summer Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) is expanding its range of online gifts with the addition of the option to adopt a hedgehog as part of the charity's Help the Hog campaign. The 'Adopt a species' scheme, launched in 2009 through the DWT website,  allows people to support the Trust's conservation work in Devon, protecting habitats and species for future generations to enjoy. People can choose to 'adopt' from a list of five wonderful species: dormouse, otter, dolphin, bat and now hedgehog. With each £20 donation, purchasers will receive a soft toy of their chosen species along with a welcome letter, fact sheet and certificate, a postcard of the species, a fun activity book and a pack of six colouring pencils. Phoebe Grubb, from DWT said: 'This is a great way for people to support our new campaign - adopt a species makes the perfect alternative gift for friends and family! The Help the hog campaign has really taken off this year, we have received more than 2,500 records of hedgehogs from around the county and early signs do seem to confirm our fears that these amazing mammals are in decline in Devon.' The money raised through the initiative will go towards the costs of carrying out conservation work throughout the county benefiting these species and the habitats that they need to thrive. To adopt a hedgehog today, visit or call Devon Wildlife Trust on 01392 279244. Ref: DWT 20 July 2011
Photo copyright Hugh Clark