Friday, 30 March 2012

New Soul from Mayer Hawthorne. ‘THE WALK’ ft. Rizzle Kicks watch video

Mayer Hawthorne, one of the most exciting artists in the new soul movement, played an amazing SOLD OUT headline show at The Scala earlier this month. Mayer releases a new version of ‘The Walk’ featuring chart-topping duo Rizzle Kicks, on May 7th.  Watch here:

    Check out the original video, watched by over 1 million people, here: Do you recognize any of these fans? Loved by Justin Timberlake, John Mayer and Snoop Dogg, who features on the album, has declared him as his “favourite new artist”.
    Mayer’s debut album ‘How Do You Do’ is released on May 14th.Get ready to meet Mayer Hawthorne and say “How Do You Do”

    Thursday, 29 March 2012

    Gospel Chords from Florence and the Machine. Never Let Me Go release date April 2

    Florence + the Machine are set to release ‘Never Let Me Go’ as the follow up to ‘No Light, No Light’ on April 2. This emotionally charged huge song is suffused with an elegantly weary grandiloquence, gospel chords shine the way for a multi-tracked flock of Florences to soar in free flight. “The gospel thing comes from my obsession with hymns. I’m drawn to anything that has a hymnal quality, be it Spiritualized or dusty old albums by Georgian choirs.” In the two months since the release of ‘Ceremonials’, love for Florence’s second album continues apace, a mainstay of the UK and US chart top10s with worldwide sales now in excess of 1.5 million. Fresh from a non-stop globe-spanning jaunt of live shows (the US, Brazil and a first visit to Japan), Florence has just returned to the UK where she performed at the Brit Awards & The NME Awards before embarking on her biggest UK tour to date in March. All 120,000 tickets for the spring tour were snapped up by her ever expanding army of fans up and down the country.

    Never Let Me Go Island Records April 2 -
    + Sold Out (120,000 tickets) UK Tour
    + 1.5 million albums sold worldwide
    + Performances at The Brit Awards & NME Awards

    Wednesday, 28 March 2012

    Wildlife Festival marks a golden year for charity

    Devon Wildlife Trust is making the final plans for its Wildlife Festival which takes place in April. One of the county's premier green events the festival is being staged in the centre of Exeter and forms the focus of the charity's 50th anniversary celebrations. The Wildlife Festival is a free event to be held on Saturday 28 April between 10am and 4pm on Cathedral Green. This year the charity has attracted a record number of exhibitors including Pennywell Farm, Exmoor Zoo, Devon Bee Keepers Society, RAMM, South West Lakes Trust and Wild Aid. The event is being sponsored by South West Water and Tozers who will both be there on the day. This year the event will be a chance for the charity to showcase its work in the city through the Exeter Wild City project along with a time for people to get involve in the charity's 50th celebrations. It all starts with a colourful parade with giant bugs, fish and animals through the city centre followed by the official opening on the Green. Throughout day there will be opportunities for visitors to make their own nest box, meet birds of prey, pet small animals and spy on some creepy crawlies! Jo Pullin DWT's event organiser said: "This is a special Wildlife Festival to mark our 50th anniversary and it is set to be bigger and better than ever. There will be so much for families to get involved with and in previous years many have stayed all day. Face painting, puppet making, badge making and quizzes, the chance to try out the latest binoculars and scopes and even see a caveman! If you love wildlife and programmes such as the BBC's Springwatch then this is the event for you!" For more information about the event visit Anyone wanting to volunteer on the day please contact Jo Pullin on 01392 279244.

    Monday, 26 March 2012

    Spring Breaks at Hartland Abbey

    At Last, the sky above is blue! Spring breaks, the mists have cleared, the sun is out  just in time for Daffodil Day at Hartland Abbey. We arrived about 11.15am, no parked cars at the front as yet, blue sky and perfect light on the house so a great photo opportunity. Spotted a robin, a wren and two rather shabby painted ladies (the butterfly variety) as we made our way down the lush meadow. It’s so much warmer in this sheltered valley and the wildflowers are coming out sooner here than Peppercombe, my local patch just up the coast, the first Primroses, Bluebells, Dog Violet and even a Ransom and Greater Stitchwart are already in flower. Mission accomplished we pick up a Bacon Bap from the Exmoor Kitchens stall then have our picnic in the sun by the Summer House. On cold days you can sit inside and read all about the restoration of the Summer House and the Gazaebo by the log fire. A note on the table asks that visitors please “keep the fires going”. From here I noticed a new “High Road” a trail which runs all the way to the Gazaebo. Photographers and happy snappers will love this route when the woodland glades are covered in Bluebells in the next few weeks. Today we took the “Low Road” to Blackpool and felt a slight chill from the incoming tide after quite a balmy walk down, the sea, the deepest blue against the ochre hues of the cliffs. Dry under foot today as we ambled back up the meadow by the river. One of my favourite early Spring wild flowers is the Lesser Celandine. The star-shaped yellow flower twinkles in the sun lighting up coastal meadows, path and road-side verges. We took time for tea and Lemon Curd Cake back at the Abbey kitchens before taking some final shots as the daffodils turned their heads to the late afternoon sun. Their happy smiling faces reflected the convivial atmosphere created by Lord and Lady Stucely and their team making Mothering Sunday a real family occasion. Article Pat Adams 18/3/2012

    Missed it then make a date for Hartland Abbey Bluebell Week - Sunday 22 to Sunday 29 April 2012 from 11am to 5pm For further information please ring 01237 441234 or visit
    Explore Hartland with the North Devon Focus Picture Tour

    Friday, 23 March 2012

    James Morrison releases his new single ‘One Life’ on March 26

    James Morrison releases his new single ‘One Life’ on March 26. The song, a charming and heartfelt meditation on his life, was written just prior to his father’s tragic death. The track is the third to be taken from his platinum selling album ‘The Awakening’. James was nominated for Best British Male at the 2012 BRIT awards, an accolade he has been nominated for twice before, and won in 2007. James said: . ‘The Awakening’ is such an intensely personal album to me, I’m just pleased people are sharing that and enjoying it so much, and the fans are giving me such incredible feedback and support.”  The Awakening was number one for two weeks when it was released last year. It also contains the singles ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ and the stunning duet with Jessie J ‘Up’ – which have sold over 300k copies.

    Acclaim for The Awakening: 

    James is currently on a world tour and had a run of sold out UK dates in February before moving onto a sold out European tour in March. He will then play shows in South East Asia, Japan and Australia in Spring, moving onto the USA in early Summer. myspace/jamesmorrisonmusic

    Thursday, 22 March 2012

    Working Wetlands project provides advice pack for local landowners

    Working Wetlands project provides advice pack for local landowners The Working Wetlands project led by Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has this month produced a Practical Advice Pack to help support farmers in northern Devon who manage wildlife rich habitats. The pack has been designed so it is easy to keep and refer to and use out in the field. It will also be available to download from the charity's website. The pack contains 10 advice sheets which cover a range of topics from how to manage scrub and soft rush, to wet grassland restoration and swaling. Each advice sheet is illustrated and draws on the experience of the local farming community combined with the knowledge and skills of DWT's Working Wetlands project team. Mark Elliott, Working Wetlands Project Manager said: "We hope this pack will prove a very useful source of practical advice for farmers wishing to manage their grassland habitats, and protect their watercourses. Although we are currently working with over 300 individual farmers, we recognise that we can't reach everyone - and we hope this series of factsheets will help answer some of the more common queries. That said, we are still at the end of the phone and have a team of farm and wildlife advisors able to provide face to face advice.' Anyone interested in receiving a pack should call Working Wetlands on 01409 221823 or email Working Wetlands has been supported by the South West Water, Tubney Charitable Trust, The Environment Agency, Devon County Council, Devon Waste Management, GrantScape and Natural England.
    Working Wetlands Practical Advice Pack

    Wednesday, 21 March 2012

    PAUL WELLER new album Sonik Kicks out 26th March

    Enjoying a constant critical high and a never ending creative peak, Paul Weller continues to push the boundaries with his new album SONIK KICKS, due for release on March 26th 2012. This is the follow up to the Mercury Music Award nominated WAKE UP THE NATION and Paul’s eleventh solo album. Once again, it's his best yet. If you’d like a taste of what’s to come, head to now where you can check out the album track ‘Around The Lake’. The track is set to an excellent sequence from a short film called '24hrs, Pavey Ark' directed by Mike Moloney & John Hooper which Paul is massively in to. SONIK KICKS features appearances from the likes of Noel Gallagher and Graham Coxon. The 14 tracks you can look forward to are: Green / The Attic / Kling I Klang / Sleep of the Serene / By the Waters / That Dangerous Age/ Study in Blue / Dragonfly / When Your Garden’s Overgrown / Around The Lake / Twilight / Drifters / Paperchase / Be Happy Children. With SONIK KICKS Paul Weller once again shakes up his palate and stirs his influences anew. He mixes pop art punch with soulful communication; jazzy explorations into psychedelia and dub with razor-sharp melodies and abstract soundscapes with clear-eyed forest-folk.
    PAUL WELLER New Album SONIK KICKS out March 26th 2012 myspace/paulweller 

    Monday, 19 March 2012

    Charity asks local wildlife lovers to get on their bike for nature

    Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has this month launched its latest fundraising challenge to help raise money for its work protecting wildlife in the county. The Heart of Dartmoor cycle challenge is a new route, similar to one being developed by cycling organisation Sustrans. The 50 mile circular route starts in Ivybridge and will follow minor roads and trackways around the southern heart of Dartmoor taking in stunning views along the way. The challenge is open to anyone over 16 with a reasonable level of fitness who is able to raise a minimum sponsorship of £50. The money raised will go to Devon Wildlife Trust which is this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. Devon Wildlife Trust's Dan Smith said: "After the success of last year's Coast to Coast ride we are hoping local people will want to take up this year's cycle challenge. As we are celebrating our 50th we have set the minimum sponsorship at £50 but we are hoping people will be able to raise more. The route is suitable for both road and mountain bikes so all Devon's keen cyclists have chance to take part." Graham Wilson one of the volunteers who is helping to run the event said: "I believe the most valuable assets for our lifestyles are to have a healthy environment with access to wild places. When I go out on my bike, I enjoy these wild places and frequently see wildlife so a cycle challenge to Dartmoor is a wonderful reason to have fun and experience wildlife all at the same time. " The event is being held on Sat 12 May and people wishing to cycle should register by contacting DWT on 01392 279244 or by visiting
    Princetown track on route of DWT cycle challenge

    Friday, 16 March 2012

    Brigadoon or Northam Burrows

    Clear sunny morning to start but as we travelled down the Atlantic Highway the sea mist was rolling in, swirling over the countryside like a wave. It has been like this for more than a week. Northam Burrows Country  Park and Westward Ho! were completely shrouded.  A learner rider chose possibly the worse day to try out his  motorbike on the Burrows road. As we walked towards Grey Sands Hill we could hear a helicopter hovering close to shore by the estuary but it was nowhere to be seen nor was Chivenor, the Biosphere or Appledore. We walked to the end of the Spit and a dead porpoise lay prone on the pebbles adding to the eerie scene. The lack of visibility did not deter the golfers who emerged silently from the mist as we made our way back down beside the Dunes and across the links where sheep and horses grazed. Creepily silent, only two gulls and what I think were a pair of busy skylarks. Back at a bustling Westward Ho!, the Carousel Amusements and Slipway Takeaway were open. We didn’t see the sea but heard it and the resident Bingo caller singing "two fat ducks, quackity, quack". The good news is Spring is on the way Hockings Ice Cream Vans are back and I’ve seen my first ladybird.  (Article P Adams 11 March 2012)
    The Skern
    Beyond Grey Sands Hill
    Mists of Time on the Burrows
    Journey's End
    Where Fore Art Thou!
    I still like to be beside the seaside
    Explore Westward Ho! with the North Devon Focus Picture Tour
    "Brigadoon, a miraculously blessed village that rises out of the mists every hundred years for only a day" (Brigadoon (film) Wikipedia Stub 

    Friday, 9 March 2012


    The Third World’s first superstar and arguably the most recognizable human being on the planet, reggae giant BOB MARLEY is celebrated this year in a film by award-winning director Kevin MacDonald (‘One Day In September’, ‘State Of Play’, ‘The Last King Of Scotland’, ‘Touching The Void’ and ‘Life In A Day’). ‘MARLEY’, which received a rapturous reception at its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Feb 12th, will be released in the UK on 20th April ’12 through Universal Pictures and features stunning live performances, intimate interviews with friends and family, and rare documentary footage, which tells the definitive story of the superstar who rose from the ghetto to become one of the greats of popular music before dying tragically young at the height of his fame. BOB MARLEY was born February 6, 1945 in rural St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica, leaving home at 14 to pursue a music career in Kingston. A naturally gifted musician and singer he recorded his first track in 1962. In ’72 finding himself stranded in London with his band the Wailers he signed to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records and went on to enjoy global success and to put reggae on the music map. Many of his songs – which highlighted both Jamaica’s poverty and the spirituality of its people – have since become universal anthems. MARLEY died of cancer on May 11, 1981, aged 36.Says Kevin MacDonald: " MARLEY the film is an intimate, human portrait of the legendary singer . But as with any film about an artist - the main purpose has got to be to send the listener back to the music with a renewed appreciation for its beauty and significance. That's why I am so happy that Island are releasing this special collection of songs from and inspired by the movie." Says Chris Blackwell: “Kevin MacDonald has made a wonderful film about Marley. I think it will touch the hearts of many. It tells Bob’s story properly for the first time and you get a real sense of the man and his incredible talent. His spiritual message is as relevant now as it ever was and his music still resonates around the world.” The soundtrack to ‘MARLEY’ will be released on Island Records on 16th April ’12. It will be released in two formats: 2CD and a 3LP. It includes, for the first time on record, the 1978 One Love Peace concert performance of ‘Jammin’ during which Marley joined the hands of bitter political rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, a gesture which went some way towards restoring peace to a strife-torn Jamaica. The tracklisting of the soundtrack, which follows the chronology of the film, is as follows:
    • 1) Corner Stone
    • 2) Judge Not
    • 3) Simmer Down
    • 4) Put It On
    • 5) Small Axe
    • 6) Mellow Mood
    • 7) Stir It Up
    • 8) Concrete Jungle
    • 9) Crazy Bald Heads (Groucho mix)
    • 10) Natty Dread
    • 11) Trenchtown Rock (live at The Roxy Theatre)
    • 12) Get Up Stand Up
    • 13) Work
    • 14) Jammin (live at One Love Peace Concert)
    • 15) Exodus (Kindred Spirit Dub Mix)
    • 16) No Woman No Cry (Live at the Lyceum)
    • 17) War (Live at the Rainbow)
    • 18) I Shot the Sheriff (Live at the Lyceum)
    • 19) Roots Rock Reggae
    • 20) Three Little Birds
    • 21) Real Situation
    • 22) Could you Be Loved
    • 23) One Love / People Get Ready
    • 24) Redemption Song
    • 25) High Tide Or Low Tide
    Marley – The Original Soundtrack Release date: 16th April Formats: Double CD - 00602527985985 - Triple Vinyl - 00602527985992

    “Kevin MacDonald’s detailed portrait of Bob Marley grapples with the last king of reggae’s philosophical and religious convictions. 4*” The Guardian 13.2.12
    “A documentary with scope and soul, this cradle-to-grave portrait of Bob Marley…is bottling what made Asif Kapadia’s ‘Senna’ such a success. 4*” Daily Telegraph 14.2.12
    “One of the main treats in Berlin was Kevin MacDonald’s massive feature documentary ‘Marley’…What makes it inspiring is the music, the exhaustive research and the personality of Marley.” The Independent 17.2.12
    “…the most enjoyable film so far is ‘Marley’, in which the life and career of the reggae icon is explored through archive footage and enlightening interviews with some of Marley’s most idiosyncratic collaborators…” Time Out 16.2.12

    Friday, 2 March 2012

    New Otter Spotters for Exmoor & North Devon

    New Otter Spotters for Exmoor & North Devon On Saturday 26 February Devon Biodiversity Records Centre (DBRC) found the sun shining and a full turn out at their Otter Spotter training day on Exmoor. For many years 'Operation Otter' has been a county wide monitoring project which has been vital for tracking this elusive mammal's recovery. Volunteers are often keen to be involved but funding to provide training days is not always available. This year South West Water generously supported DBRC and funded a classroom session in the morning, followed by identification skills sessions on the riverbank during the afternoon. Ellie Knott & Caroline Jones from DBRC have both been involved with the project from its earliest days and conducted the day's training. They were both delighted that twenty-one potential 'otter spotters' could attend the day resulting in 19 new sites being assigned to volunteers, 16 or which are in the North Devon area. Caroline said ''we are really pleased to have trained up some new people in the North of the county, as it has been some time since we could offer this support in that area''. During 2011 the Environment Agency issued a positive report on the otter's comeback. As a top predator it can be used as a guide to how a river's eco-system is functioning. Devon now has otters in all of its major rivers and Devon Wildlife Trust's waterside headquarters in Exeter, is often visited by at least one adult. Ian Egerton, Devon Biodiversity Records Centre's Manager, said: "It is important that DBRC continue to run monitoring projects such as this. Hopefully funding will be found to run similar days in other parts of the county as the interest this event generated has left us with a waiting list of other potential volunteers''.
    Otter_spotter_training_day_copyright Mark_Haworth-Booth