Friday, 29 November 2013

What's the buzz in South Molton. Christmas fun days at Quince Honey Farm

There is a bit of a buzz in South Molton about the Christmas fun days at Quince Honey Farm when you can take part in Christmas festivities on the run up to Christmas. The Christmas Fun Days will be held on Saturday the 7th, 14th and the 21st December. Members will receive FREE ENTRY or only £3.95 for children and free for adults. Visit Santa in his grotto (£2.50 each including a gift) and post your Christmas wish list, there will be many Christmassy games and activities on offer with the chance to win prizes. As always children can buzz around in the play area while you can relax with a warm drink. We will be cooking up some Festive treats to get you in the mood and the shop will be open to purchase some last minute Christmas presents.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Catcing the Essence of Clovelly

Fishwives, fishy treats, fun and more than a splash of local colour down at Clovelly Harbour on a fair day in November. This is the month for the annual Clovelly Herring Festival, a time to celebrate the history and heritage of the humble herring, a time for visitors to meet the villagers who make and are the mainstay of this historic village. Local crafts and produce was the order of the day and an opportunity for folk to try those healthy herrings. We really enjoyed the oaty-coated herrings, freshly caught on the Perham line and pan-fried  in front of us. There were also platters of lobster and crab, tarts and quiche, smoked fish, fresh herrings, smoked herrings, marinated herring, locally sourced fish spiced with a myriad of flavours from around the world, homemade fudge, fresh baked bread and locally brewed beer. The Fishwives, a comical sight, with their rotund behinds and huge feet waddled amongst the crowds, along the Quay, their huge skirts swaying in time to the music. In addition to the Quay kitchens and cookery demonstrations, this is a time when villagers turn their hand to fundraising for local causes. The ladies from the Clovelly Community Garden Group had a stall up on the Kiln and Cream Teas were also served in the Lifeboathouse in aid of the RNLI. A couple of Clovelly yummy mummies had a homemade cake stall on the Quay, delicious sponges, fruit cakes and cupcakes raising funds for the  local “Small School”. The cupcakes decorated in sea blue fishy style with the help of little.Frida. The RSPB also had “A Stall for Nature” and the North Devon National Trust provided crafty activities for the kids up on the Kiln. Exhibitions and demonstrations of old seafaring skills and the History of Herrings and Flax Making came from Mike Smylie’s Kipperland and Simon and Ann from Flaxland. As the tide crept slowly into the harbour a Coracle, was launched by Simon who paddled quietly between a fishing boat used today and a Picarooner, one of the old traditional herring boats. I ventured along the top of the Harbour wall to capture a different perspective and noticed the Herring Gulls mobbing the lone fishing boat, a turbulent scene on a ultra calm sea. Herrings and heritage are the essence of Clovelly  I hope I have captured that in my video clip and the photos from the day. Shanty Singers “Shake a leg” can be heard in the background  - “Ten thousand miles away. Blow the wind high-ho”

Meanwhile on the other side the hub-bub on the busy Quay
Clovelly Herring Festival 17th November 2013 - Article, video/photos copyright Pat Adams

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Festive offers, music and mouth-watering delights at the next Ruby Country Market.

The traditional style Ruby Country Market at Hatherleigh began in Easter 2012 and has quickly become established as one of Devon's biggest community markets. This is an exciting event designed to showcase local businesses, a social event that brings together buyers and sellers from a wide area. Organisers and stallholders are now looking forward to welcoming visitors to the second Festive Ruby Country Market which will be held on Saturday the 7th December from 9am-2pm. You can browse and shop from around 200 stalls packed full of festive offers and be tempted by mouth-watering delights in the Food Hall. Entertainment will also be available throughout the day from such talented local musicians as:
  • The Hatherleigh Silver Band, 
  • The Hatherleigh Ukulele Bashers, 
  • The Unity Gospel Choir
  • Shebbear College Choir,
  • Josie Lloyd
  • Carnivala. 
Tickets will be on sale for a Bumper Food Hall Raffle in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance trust and several local charities will be represented. For full details of who is stalling and more information please visit or phone 07855187364

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


North Devon faired reasonably well in the wake of the St. Jude’s Storm which swept over the UK overnight on the 27th October. Almost 30 metres of rain fell in Devon with up to 75mph winds. Nearly 1inch of rain fell in neighbouring Bude and there was localised flooding and fallen trees. Meanwhile on the North Devon Coast up to a 10ft surf was predicted sending photographers and storm watchers racing to the coast to capture the waves. This was followed by another stormy night on the 3rd November with exceptionally high tides rolling in under a full moon.  The wind had subsided the following day for our walk down to the beach, but there was a definite chill in the air. Amazingly the old trees in the wooded valley had survived. We were looking for Autumn colour but apart from the burnished bracken there was more leaf fall than leaf turn. Down at the beach the colossal Atlantic rollers had tossed a huge tree branch clear of the pebbles blocking the path at the entrance  to the beach. A wooden pallet and piles of bleached driftwood were scattered on the tideline beneath the cliffs to the left around the bend towards Clovelly and right towards Portledge and beyond. Amongst the driftwood there were, thankfully, just a few bits of plastic debris, a sign of the times. I thought it ironic that the largest item was a plastic bottle entitled “Biological Toilet Cleaner”.Article & Photos copyright P. Adams 4/11/2013 
 After the rains, the waterfall  always looks more dramatic.  Photo copyright B. Adams

Get involved - How you can help protect our waves, oceans & beaches

North Devon Will Remember

The Royal British Legion is recognised as the national custodian of Remembrance. Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, is the day traditionally put aside to remember all those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

REMEMBRANCE DAY EVENTS AROUND THE REGION (Sunday 10th November) Please visit the North Devon Gazette for more Remembrance Week events

BARNSTAPLE - Remembrance Service at Rock Park War Memorial 10.50am, followed by parade to the Parish Church for a full service. The Guildhall will be open from 9.45am to 12 noon for those who wish to see the names of the fallen in World War II, and those from HMS Stevenstone, and pay their respects.
BRAUNTON - Civic Service of Remembrance, St Brannock’s Church, Braunton, 11am. Parade leaves Caen car park 10.20am.
BIDEFORD - Act of Remembrance Victoria Park 10.50am, followed by parade to St Mary’s Parish Church for Remembrance Day Civic Service 11.15am.
COMBE MARTIN - Parade leaves village coach park (Pack O’ Cards) 9.55am for Parish Church, Service of Remembrance 10.15am, Act of Remembrance at war memorial 10.50am, all welcome.
ILFRACOMBE - Remembrance Service at Holy Trinity Church and war memorial, 10.30am.
    Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognised as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.(Wikipedia)

    Tuesday, 5 November 2013

    Wildlife Trust's new App leads people to nature

    Heading out this weekend and want new places to experience autumn's wildlife spectacles? Or perhaps you just want to discover nature on your doorstep... With Nature Finder, The Wildlife Trusts' new free iPhone app, you will have a fabulous guide to thousands of nature reserves and wildlife across the UK. If you're looking for a day out and wondering where to go or what to do, look no further. Nature Finder, the simple location-based app, enables the user to find Wildlife Trust nature reserves and events wherever their current location. The app uses GPS technology to automatically find the user's location and display maps and listings of Wildlife Trust nature reserves and events nearby. Each nature reserve has an image, brief description, and information on facilities, such as parking, toilets etc. Announcing the launch of the app Devon Wildlife Trust's Steve Hussey said, 'If you're looking for a day out and wondering where to go or what to do, look no further. Visit glorious woodlands, beautiful wetlands and inspiring coastline - wander through wild countryside, discover secret inner city wildlife havens and enjoy family events from bat nights to fungal forays and children's nature activities.' The Wildlife Trusts care for more than 2,300 of some of the most beautiful wild places in the UK - landscapes that not only look gorgeous but are all the more precious because they are carefully managed to ensure that wild plants and species can thrive. In the South West the Wildlife Trust's care for some of the region's most iconic landscapes including wild coastlines, heather covered Dartmoor tors and tumbling rivers. 'This app represents a great way of accessing the South West's best nature reserves', said Steve Hussey. 'Using it will unlock walks along the River Teign at Dunsford Woods nature reserve, adventures across the wild countryside of Marsland nature reserve near Hartland, and a chance to explore the beautiful heathlands of East Devon at Bystock nature reserve. These and other wildlife havens are there to be explored and they are all free to enter.'

    Fantastic features of Nature Finder, which is free, include:
    • Searching more than 2,000 Wildlife Trust nature reserves  Information on more than 800 UK wildlife species, with the ability to favourite * Searching for nature events and activities
    • A directory for all 47 Wildlife Trusts with contact details and ability to donate by text
    • Saving your favourite places - where you've been and where you'd like to go 
    Nature Finder, suitable for all iPhone and iPad models, is available from the App Store - just search for 'Wildlife Trusts'.
    Photo copyright Tom Marshall