Monday, 28 May 2012

Make some noIse, find your voice SING.......

I just love this rousing song co-written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. It features musicians from across the Commonwealth and the wonderful Military Wives Choir. "Sing" released 28th May - Check out the video here
Official Diamond Jubilee song unveiled -Read all about it here

Friday, 25 May 2012

A Right Royal Occasion. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Clovelly

Clovelly will hold their annual Ale and Cider Festival over four days during this special bank holiday weekend, where you can enjoy a range of tasty local brews until stocks are exhausted. These unique local ales and ciders are not industrially manufactured, but created with passion by small North Devon breweries and there will also be some rousing musical entertainment too. To celebrate this momentous royal occasion, there will also be a fabulous street party by the New Inn in the heart of this most picturesque of villages. It starts at 3pm on Saturday, 2nd June and there will be a children's afternoon tea party with plenty of prizes to be won in a treasure hunt and for the best dressed king or queen and best portrait of The Queen along with fun and games for the adults too. There will be a barbecue, Diamond Jubilee real ale, and Bucks Fizz to toast our Queen, followed by an evening disco, karaoke and cocktails at the New Inn.

Event: The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Clovelly
Date: Saturday 2 June - Tuesday 5 June
Location: Red Lion and New Inn

Normal admission charges apply
Photo copyright Clovelly Estates

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Tribute Pieces hand-crafted in North Devon -

shop Dartington CrystalThis impressive crystal tribute pieces makes a lasting memento of a truly historic event so why not celebrate with some of the beautifully made products below. Click to view the Queen's Jubilee range and have a keepsake commemorative piece of Dartington Crystal.
Bottle - Queen's Diamond Jubilee A hand made crystal bottle with a unique stamp of the Royal crown applied to each piece. The rim collar is inscribed with the commemorative details. This piece makes a superb momento but is also very functional as a vase or table carafe. Presentation satin lined box.
Celebration Flute - Queen's Diamond Jubilee A pair of crystal flute glasses fit to toast the Royal occasion. Each is etched with the Queens' cypher and the commemorative dates are inscribed onto the foot of each glass.
Bowl - Queen's Diamond Jubilee A beautiful hand-made bowl to commemorate the occasion which will also give many years of functional service in the home. The bowl is etched with the Queens sypher within a diamond decoration and the reverse face bears commemorative text. Presentation gift box.
Votive - Queen's Diamond Jubilee A beautiful hand-made votive to commemorate the occasion which can also give many years of service in the home. The face is etched with the Queens sypher within a diamond decoration and the reverse face bears the commemorative text. Presentation gift box.
Vase - Queen's Diamond Jubilee A beautiful hand-made vase to commemorate the occasion which will also give many years of functional service in the home. The vase is etched with the Queens cypher within a diamond decoration and the reverse face bears commemorative text. Presentation gift box.
Royal Garland Centrepiece A splendid hand made Centrepiece with floral elements that have a special place in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Hand engraved by our Master Engraver and strictly limited to an edition of just 60 pieces.
Royal Bouquet Vase A splendid hand made vase with floral elements that have a special place in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Hand engraved by our Master Engraver and strictly limited to an edition of just 60 pieces.
Royal Posy Bowl A splendid hand made Bowl with floral elements that have a special place in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Hand engraved by our Master Engraver and strictly limited to an edition of just 60 pieces.

Monday, 21 May 2012

A Great Bideford Welcome for the Olympic Torch

The crowds turned out in force to welcome the Olympic Torch in Bideford today. Excited children and adults lined the route waving flags and cheering.- Check out some of the pictures which we hope capture this unique occasion.Bideford Torch Bearers - Duncan Withall, Joey Davis and Ross Watts

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Mighty Smith
The BIG Sheep, Bideford Sunday 20th May
UK's Strongest Man Challenge Adrian Smith aka Mighty Smith, who came 5th in the World's Strongest Man & three times Winner of UK's Strongest Man Competition, will be visiting the BIG Sheep to present a strongman show at 1pm & 3pm this Sunday 20th May.  
About Mighty Smith:Height: 5` 10" Weight: 19 stone Biceps: 20" Chest: 54" The show will see Mighty Smith ripple his muscles as he: Tears up catalogues Bends six inch nails in his teeth, Holds a chair with a seated lady on it with his teeth, Complete a vehicle pull. Could YOU beat Mighty Smith? Mighty Smith has organised a £1,000 open challenge if anyone can perform all feats of strength that he does in his act.
Up for the challenge? Know someone who would be? Contact Claire at the BIG Sheep on 01237 472366 for more details.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Working Wetlands project passes major milestone

The Working Wetlands project led by Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has this month passed the £5 million mark for the amount of money it has helped local landowners access in grants from the government. The major milestone has been reached after four years of effort in northern Devon working closely with the landowning community and is thanks to the hard work of the team's seven farm and wildlife advisors with close support from Natural England. The advisors have helped farmers to complete applications for schemes such as Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) which is administered by Natural England and which pays farmers to manage their holdings for the benefit of wildlife. Mark Elliott, Working Wetlands Project Manager said: "This is a major milestone for us and really shows how the local farming community has embraced the project. Traditional farming practices are absolutely vital for maintaining some of our very best wet grasslands, which need management to prevent them reverting to scrub. Fortunately incentives such as HLS and to a lesser extent Entry Level Stewardship exist to reward those farmers who are adopting sensitive farming practices. This represents over 2,600 hectares of wildlife rich grassland being brought into favourable management and is really starting to make headway into recreating a living landscape on the Culm!" HLS is a vital mechanism which can help rebuild lost landscapes such as Culm grassland which has 95% of its area disappear in the past century. As well as annual payments for management, these schemes also include money for fencing and hedge-laying. The Natural England Team Leader for North Devon, Nik Ward, commented that "the partnership working between Natural England and Devon Wildlife Trust is a great example of how conservation effort can be focused to target funding towards land owners with good quality habitats so that they are managed and maintained for future generations to enjoy." Mark added: "Farmers in this area are already struggling to produce cheaper food for the supermarkets, often on very difficult wet ground. As a society we are also increasingly asking them to provide other services such as clean water into our rivers and reservoirs, and a landscape rich in wildlife. Schemes such as this are vital to pay farmers for providing these other benefits. We hope our advisory work will continue for many years to come. Anyone interested in receiving advice or getting involved in the Working Wetlands project should call 01409 221823 or email Working Wetlands advisors are employed by DWT, with funding from a number of sources. One of these is the South West Water "Upstream Thinking " programme which aims to support farmers who are looking after the water draining off their land into rivers and reservoirs downstream . Working Wetlands has also been supported by Tubney Charitable Trust, The Environment Agency, Devon County Council, Devon Waste Management, GrantScape and Natural England.
Working Wetlands Team


On May 21st, the Olympic Torch will be coming through Torridge and North Devon. Visit for Torridge Routes and Times – Visit for North Devon Routes and Times

Friday, 4 May 2012


Peppa Pig is visiting the BIG Sheep this Monday!! There are two options of how you can and your family can meet the world's favourite pig. Come along to our Special Peppa Pig Breakfastbetween 8:30amand 10am where you and your family can enjoy a yummy breakfast before having an exclusive meet and greet session with Peppa Pig. Limited spaces available to ensure each child gets exclusive time with Peppa her extra cuddles, high fives and perfect pictures. Price includes entry to the BIG Sheep for the rest of the day from 10am until 6pm so you can enjoy a whole day out. FIND OUT MORE - BOOK NOW 
If breakfast is too early for you then don't worry Peppa will be around at intervals throughout the day on Monday 7th May so everyone can meet her.
BOOK DAY TIME TICKETS NOW TO RECEIVE 20% OFF! (20% discount available for day time tickets for use between 10am and 6pm, this does not include the Peppa Breakfasts) 
SUNDAY Celebrate Punch's 350th Birthday! Help us celebrate Punch's 350th birthday with a special day of Punch and Judy Shows, Magic Shows and a Balloon Modelling Drop in Session. Forget computer games for the day and laugh out loud to one of the oldest childrens entertainment shows. Fun for the whole family as adults can recapture their youth and remember Punch and Judy from their own childhoods. 
SATURDAY 2 Full English Breakfasts for £10 Our Shepherd's Restaurant will be serving an All Day Breakfast on Saturday 5th May - Buy 2 scrummy yummy breakfasts for only £10! You do not need to pay admission to The BIG Sheep to use the restaurant. Entry to the shop and restaurant is free of charge.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Swallows, squelchy boots and swollen streams

We set off for Hartland Abbey in torrential rain on Sunday.  Appropriately dressed for a wet  walk through the bluebell woods we were pretty confident the rain would ease up so we could get some pics. I especially wanted to get some shots of those pretty little curly black lambs with the long tails. We kept to the track and encountered a few puddles created by water streaming down around the trees from the uplands. Looked out across the bluebells and the now pungent wild garlic beneath dripping hats. Quite comically the sheep were all facing the same direction standing stock still while the cattle huddled together in a line at the edge of the long meadow under the trees. We could hear and see the turbid Abbey River as it thundered down then watched as it spilled out into a weirdly calm sea at Blackpool Mouth. Sadly the rain was relentless so the cameras stayed in the bag. Despite our bedraggled appearance and squelchy boots we really enjoyed our walk and  paused for a while to watch the recently arrived Swallows as they swooped and scooped in the newly formed pools in the meadow beyond the bridge. There was a warm welcome back for us from the guy in the kiosk and the ladies in the Abbey Tea Rooms.  Pat Adams 29th April 2012.

There were 13 flood warnings in force in Devon, after the wettest April on record 
Photos of Bluebells and Wild Garlic in the ancient woodland at Hartland Abbey 2011 by Pat Adams - Click here to see more of our Hartland Abbey posts