Thursday, 26 July 2012

Get your walking boots on for Devon's marine wildlife

Challenge yourself by walking one of the most stunning stretches of the North Devon coastline and support Devon's marine wildlife by raising at least £50 for Devon Wildlife Trust on Saturday 11 August. Leaving Ilfracombe, DWT's Challenge Walk finishes 23 miles later at Braunton, or for those who prefer a shorter trek, after just 9 miles at Woolacombe. Learn about the amazing wildlife which lives on the shore and beneath the waves and why it is important to protect this stretch of coastline. Devon Wildlife Trust's event organiser, Dan Smith, said: 'Devon's marine wildlife is under threat, but with the efforts of local people DWT is campaigning and fundraising to help protect it. Keen walkers can do their bit by raising at least £50 on our North Coast Challenge Walk. One of the Trust's volunteers in Ilfracombe has already raised a wonderful £200 from shops and businesses in the town and surrounding area. All the money raised will go towards the vital work of the Devon Wildlife Trust helping wildlife both in the sea and on land. It's easy to pay for and register your place on the walk, just visit ' The walk follows part of the Bideford to Foreland Point recommended Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). MCZ's are a new designation to create a network of 127 marine protected areas around the UK, including 16 off the coasts of Devon. Currently less than 0.001% of the UK's seas are legally protected from damaging activities. The Wildlife Trusts are lobbying the government to make sure all these sites are designated. Dan Smith added: 'With luck, our walkers might spot grey seals and gannets out at sea, along with a variety of wildflowers, birds and butterflies on the cliff-top grassland and heathland. There are regular bus links at the start, finish and mid-points of the walk so you can leave the car at home! Everyone taking part in this sponsored walk will be doing their bit towards securing a future of North Devon's spectacular wildlife.' The 23 mile route starts at Ilfracombe and finishes in Braunton (option to take a shorter 9 mile challenge walk). There is a £10 registration fee and participants need to raise at least £50 sponsorship to take part. Regular bus links at start, finish and mid-points of the walk. To register visit 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

What do you love about Devon's beaches? Follow the Seashore Code

What do you love about Devon's beaches? Is it walking barefoot across the sand...exploring a rockpool...riding a perfect wave? Everyone loves Devon's beaches, but this summer a leading charity is asking us to spread that love to include the very special wildlife which we share our coastline with. This summer Devon Wildlife Trust is asking all beach goers to spare a thought for our marine wildlife. From forests of seaweed, through rockpools covered in anemones and limpets, to brightly coloured birds such as oystercatchers - our marine wildlife is wonderful. Without them a day at the beach wouldn't be complete Now beach goers are being asked to play their part in protecting marine wildlife by following a simple 6-step 'Seashore Code'. The code which is illustrated by some fun cartoon characters calls on people to: 
1) Handle seashore creatures with care - especially soft-bodied creatures such as anemones 
2) Don't make creatures homeless - make sure shells are empty before taking them home 
3) Don't leave litter - our rubbish is one of the biggest killers of marine wildlife 
4) Put rockpool creatures back where you found them 
5) Watch where you walk - be careful not to crush or dislodge animals such as limpets 
6) Finally, look after yourself - be aware of incoming tides, especially when you are rockpooling 
Devon Wildlife Trust's Steve Hussey said: 'We want everyone- young and old - to explore the wonderful wildlife we have around Devon's coastlines. But that wildlife needs a bit of tender loving care. Follow our 'Seashore Code' and you'll be doing your bit for marine nature. Devon has some very special wildlife - let's keep it that way.' The Seashore Code marks the beginning of National Marine Week 2012 (Saturday 28 July - Sunday 12 August). Join Devon Wildlife Trust for a range of fun seaside events at Wembury Marine Centre, near Plymouth. DWT's work for marine wildlife is part of a wider campaign for better protection of the UK's marine environments. Anyone who loves the beach is being asked to take part in this campaign by visiting 

Download your own copy of DWT's Seashore code and mini marine wildlife guide

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Ben Howard new single "Old Pine" and Live dates

Following the 200,000+ sales of his top 10 debut album Every Kingdom in the UK alone, two sold-outs tours of the US (multiple, and contemplating a hectic Summer of festival appearances ahead of his biggest, UK tour to date, Ben finds himself positioned as one of the most successful young singer-songwriters from the UK and Europe in years. Old Pine is a woozy, languid song, both cathartic and quietly euphoric. A long-standing live favourite, Ben’s percussive perfection is matched with the driving intricacies of his guitar playing and, smoky controlled voice. Originally released in the Spring of 2011 as an introductory EP through Communion Records, Old Pine has already played a crucial part in introducing Ben to a bigger, broader audience. He has since played to over 80,000 thousand fans at over 120 sold out performances. His UK tour later this year has now sold in excess of 50,000 tickets alone, culminating in three sell-out nights at London's Brixton Academy. Ben Howard’s music harks back to a classic and comforting time of old, albeit with a forward-thinking method of guitar performance. 2012 has very much been his year, with over six months of it still to enjoy.
  • 16th June - Goldcoast Oceanfest, Devon
  • 24th June – Radio 1 Hackney Weekend, London
  • 7th July – T In The Park, Kinross
  • 15th July – Latitude Festival, Southwold
  • 18th August – V Festival, Chelmsford
  • 19th August – V Festival, Stafford
  • 6th September – Bestival, Isle of Wight
  • 2nd November - Brighton, The Dome SOLD OUT
  • 3rd November - Plymouth, Pavilions SOLD OUT
  • 4th November - Cardiff, University SOLD OUT
  • 5th November - Bristol, Colston Hall SOLD OUT
  • 7th November - Dublin, Olympia SOLD OUT
  • 9th November - Belfast, Waterfront SOLD OUT
  • 10th November - Glasgow, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
  • 12th November - Manchester, O2 Apollo SOLD OUT
  • 14th November - Leeds, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
  • 16th November - Newcastle, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
  • 17th November - Aberdeen, Music Hall SOLD OUT
  • 19th November - Cambridge, Corn Exchange SOLD OUT
  • 20th November – Lincoln, Engine Shed SOLD OUT
  • 21st November - Leicester, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
  • 22nd November - Nottingham, Rock City SOLD OUT
  • 24th November - Birmingham, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
  • 25th November - Bournemouth, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
  • 26th November - Southampton, Guildhall SOLD OUT
  • 28th November - London, O2 Brixton Academy SOLD OUT
  • 29th November – London, O2 Brixton Academy SOLD OUT
  • 30th November – London, O2 Brixton Academy SOLD OUT

Ben Howard releases his new single  ‘Old Pine’ 6th August 2012 on Island Records
“He’ll make listening to acoustic folk-tinged music feel like the first time.” —The Guardian

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Author Liz Shakespeare has deep roots in the North Devon Countryside

Author, Liz Shakespeare, was born in Devon and the family stories she grew up with and the sense of being deeply rooted in the area have, she feels, influenced her writing. She draws her inspiration from the North Devon countryside, from the strong historical identity of the area and the sense of past lives that can be experienced in any long-inhabited area. She is interested in social history and particularly in the lives of the less advantaged. A synopsis for each book follows, Liz's books are available from
The Turning of the Tide. Young and vulnerable Selina Burman from Clovelly and her two young children are confined in the harsh environment of Bideford Workhouse. Her prospects improve when she meets Dr Ackland, a popular G.P. committed to social change. He employs her as a servant in his own household, despite the doubts of his wife and the Bideford community. Selina's work gives satisfaction, but her search for love and security does not conform to the expectations of a middle class Victorian family and threatens to damage both her own future and Dr Ackland's career. Set in Bideford and Clovelly, this novel draws on newspaper articles, letters and census returns, and powerfully brings to life the factual origins of the story.  
Fever: A Story from a Devon Churchyard. How many of us have wandered through a country churchyard and been moved by the memorials to young children? In this book the author sets out to discover the truth behind a number of graves dating from just one year in a nineteenth century Devon village. Her compelling investigation reveals the harsh reality of life in a small village before the days of effective medical care. By skilfully weaving social history, research and imaginative reconstruction she builds a sympathetic portrait of a community in the midst of adversity. It is a story common to many rural communities; it is impossible to remain unmoved by the knowledge that this story is true. 
The Memory Be Green: An Oral History of a Devon Village Within living memory village life has changed beyond recognition. Yet the old ways have not disappeared completely for they survive in the memories of our older neighbours. In this book men and women born early in the twentieth century recall a vanished way of life: a time when large families kept a pig to supplement a simple diet; every drop of water was carried from the village pump; the whole village turned out to help with the hay harvest and life was as slow and steady as the horse which pulled the plough. 
Reviews of Liz's books can be seen at

Monday, 2 July 2012

PROMS IN A PIGSTY Summer Classical Evening at the BIG Sheep

Trot over to Abbotsham on Sunday July 22nd for PROMS IN A PIGSTY, a Summer Classical Evening The BIG Sheep. The event, sponsored by Devon Life features String Ensemble, Sorrelli Strings, three of the brightest young classical stars in the West Country. They will be accompanied by musical director and pianist Dom Carter and will be playing to an appreciative audience which will not only include some of the west countries most discerning classical music lovers but also an array of four legged classical novices. The concert will be performed in the animal barn with all the resident animals also being able to enjoy the evening. CLICK HERE TO BOOK TICKETS AND FIND OUT MORE 
World's First Classical Event in an Animal Barn - Rick Turner Director of the BIG Sheep flock says..... "As far as I am aware this quirky new event will be a world first with a classical concert being performed in an animal barn. I cannot wait to watch the animal's reaction to the music, we have done a test run and they seem to enjoy it as much as the humans. Their reaction to the finale Land of Hope and Glory will be amazing to see - we hope that the human audience will be joining in as they do at the last night of the proms and maybe the sheep will contribute with the odd baa and the pigs may cover the odd squeak with the lamas, pups and chickens adding to the harmony." 

PROMS IN A PIGSTY Summer Classical Evening The BIG Sheep, Bideford Sunday 22nd July from 7pm - Contact Information: Telephone: 01237 472366