Monday, 22 December 2014

‘Fairy’ found on north Devon coast in new sea creature discovery

A new variety of sea anemone has been found off the coast of north Devon. Just 6mm tall, the tiny animal was spotted by retired teacher Robert Durrant in Hele Bay, near Ilfracombe. But it took an international exchange of emails and photos before the anemone was identified as a new variety. As it lacks a common name, Robert has proposed calling the small, pretty creature the ‘fairy anemone’. As a volunteer marine recorder for Coastwise North Devon, Robert wasn’t particularly looking to find a new species. He takes up the story: “It was found by accident at Hele Bay really – I took a photo and posted it on Facebook and experts hadn’t a clue. So I decided to take a specimen for my aquarium at home to feed the anemone to see how it would develop – and get some more photos to try to identify it.” There are more than forty recognised species of sea anemone found on our coasts, with the dark red beadlet anemone the most commonly seen. Although their appearance gives the impression of a flowering plant, the tentacles on these animals make them very effective predators. Once Robert had started to feed the anemone in his aquarium, it grew a little. He also noticed it reproducing asexually by breaking off small fragments of its body then moving away from them. In time, these smaller pieces will develop into individual anemones. The breakthrough in identification came after Robert tried a different way of photographing the animal. Robert said: “I took a backlit photo which showed very clearly the transparency of the anemone as well as the tiny tubercules on it.” After more online correspondence a French expert, Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat, identified it as a different variety of an anemone known to science as Aiptasiogeton pellucidus. Robert explains: “This anemone had been found in Portland Harbour in 1976, then further along the Dorset coast over the next two years – after that it disappeared off the radar.” But the differences between the anemones found in Dorset in the 70s and that of Robert’s find in 2014 are enough that experts agree they are different varieties of one species. As the scientific name for the Hele Bay discovery, Aiptasiogeton pellucidus var comatus, is a bit of a mouthful, Devon Wildlife Trust asked Robert for a suggested common name. Robert’s preference? “I’d like to call it the fairy anemone, as it’s so small, delicate and elusive.” Since this record, further anemones have been found at Newlyn in Cornwall which are individuals of the ‘Hele Bay’ variety, rather than the previously familiar ‘Portland Harbour’ variety. Devon Wildlife Trust’s Dan Smith commented: “It’s amazing that new animal discoveries can still be made right on our shores. The north Devon coast is particularly rich in marine habitats and species, which is why local people nominated the area from Bideford to Foreland Point as a Marine Conservation Zone. Government missed this site off the list in the first designations of MCZs in 2013, but we have a chance to secure protection for this stunning section of coast in the new year.” Dan continued: “Bideford to Foreland Point is one of three recommended MCZs for north Devon which the Government is considering for designation in 2015 – and public support could help secure protection for these marine sites.” 
The Government is expected to begin a public consultation on new Marine Conservation Zones in January. People can discover how to get involved on The Wildlife Trusts website: So the fairy on top of the Christmas tree is not the only one to have caught the eye this winter. Another ‘fairy’ off the north Devon coast shows how even the experts can still be dazzled by the wildlife beneath the waves.
  Photos of the anemone copyright Robert Durrant (All rights reserved)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thank you for visiting the North Devon Focus Coast and Country Chronicle. Hope you will visit us again in 2015.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Wildlife haven set to grow

Devon Wildlife Trust has announced that one of its most popular and beautiful nature reserves is about to grow. An extra 3 hectares of land have been bought by the charity to add to its existing 33 hectare nature reserve of Andrew's Wood, near Loddiswell, in South Devon. The purchase was made possible after the Devon Wildlife Trust secured generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and donations from DWT supporters. The new land is known locally as Wizaller Wood and is a charming mix of silver birch, oak, ash, hazel and willow. Along with hundreds of plants and animals the wood is home to bats, wildflowers and woodpeckers. The new wildlife haven will be looked after by Devon Wildlife Trust's Jackie Gage. Jackie said: 'Along with local volunteers I've helped look after Andrew's Wood for the past 7 years and in that time it's become one of my favourite of all the 49 Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserves. So I was thrilled when the news came that Wizaller Wood was coming our way. It will make a wonderful new extension to what is already a haven for local wildlife.' The woodland is thought to be especially rich in rare lichens, mosses and fungi. Alongside these local dormice are another species that stand to benefit from the news. Andrew's Wood is already something of a 'dormouse hotspot' with a well-established colony. Jackie said: 'Dormice are animals which have struggled in many parts of the country during recent decades. But here at Andrew's Wood we have a good population. The funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is allowing us to put up a further 30 dormouse nest boxes in the new Wizaller Wood part of the reserve. These should ensure that the dormice can thrive and spread.' Visitors to Wizaller Wood are being welcomed by the Trust. Like all of its nature reserves it is free to enter and has a network of marked trails, which although muddy, make good winter walks. Jackie added: 'Visitors to Wizaller Wood will see that we've already been busy managing the place for wildlife. We've cleared invasive species such as rhododendron, created wildflower glades and coppiced some trees to encourage new tree growth. A new public path has also been cut to join the reserve with the local network of public footpaths, ensuring that it becomes more easily accessible to local people and visitors.' 
Andrew's Wood and its new extension Wizaller Wood can be reached from the A38. Take the Ugborough-Yealmpton turn off. Turn left on to the A3121, and at Kitterford Cross go straight across towards Loddiswell on the B3196. At California Crosstake the left-hand fork just past a petrol station (signed Loddiswell). The entrance and car park at Andrew's Wood lie 250m beyond Coldharbour Cross. A track leads down into the nature reserve.  
More details on this and DWT's 48 other nature reserves from

 Devon Wildlife Trust Andrew's Wood nature reserve is growing. Photo copyright Simon Williams. (All rights reserved)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Fantastic fungi finds on Devon nature reserves

Two rare and distinctive fungi species have been spotted on Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserves in one week. Hazel gloves (Hypocreopsis Rhododendri) fungus can be found in hazel woodland in western Britain. It was recorded for the first time at Devon Wildlife Trust's Vealand Farm nature reserve, near Holsworthy, this week. Likened in appearance to miniature rubber gloves, this fungus sometimes grows on blackthorn, but is primarily found on hazel. Hence the name 'hazel gloves', though in Sweden it is known as 'Trollhand.' The fungus was found by DWT reserves assistant Adam Rhodes, who said: "We were delighted to spot Hazel Gloves on a hedgerow at Vealand Farm as it's really rare - it's classified as 'Near Threatened' by the IUCN." Devon and Cornwall are the most important areas in England for this fungus as it specialises in Atlantic hazel woods. Hazel Gloves was considered by Natural England ten years ago to be possibly on the verge of extinction in the UK, as there had been no records for more than 35 years. It's not the easiest fungus to see, as Adam explained: "Hazel Gloves might be under-recorded as it's usually found up in the tree canopy - so to see it on a hedgerow was a double surprise." The other fungi find was a true exotic, as its original home is on the other side of the world. Clathrus Archeri rejoices in two striking common names: 'Devil's Fingers' and 'Octopus Stinkhorn.' Its vivid colours and tentacle-like shape make it unmistakeable to the eye - while its distinctive rotting odour makes it even more memorable. Like the native common Stinkhorn, this fungus emits a foul scent to attract flies to help spread its spores. Native to Australia and New Zealand, devil's fingers was first recorded in England in Cornwall a century ago. How does a fungus travel round the world? In boxes of military equipment shipped to the south-west from the Antipodes early in the First Word War is one theory. Already recorded once this autumn at DWT Dart Valley nature reserve on Dartmoor, it was seen again by journalist Lucy Purdy at the weekend on a walk from Poundsgate. Lucy described her find: "I spotted this amazing, sea-creature like fungus on Dartmoor, so I read up about it and found the name 'Devil's Fingers'." Also known as 'Octopus Stinkhorn', as the fungus grows it can assume a shape that's even more like a starfish than an octopus. But how prominent was the 'stink' of this stinkhorn? "I can confirm the rotting flesh stench" said Lucy. Mid-December is fairly late in the year for fungi forays but the mild autumn has led to later sightings of some species in 2014. DWT's nature reserves at Vealand Farm and Dart Valley are both open to the public, free of charge, every day of the year.
Clathrus Archeri (Devil's Fingers' and Octopus Stinkhorn.) 
Photo copyright Lucy Purdy (All rights reserved) -  
Hypocreopsis Rhododendri (Hazel Gloves)
Photo copyright Adam Rhodes (All rights reserved)

Monday, 15 December 2014

Charity wants us all to have a 'wild Christmas'

A local charity is offering people ideas for a wild Christmas with a difference. Leading conservation charity Devon Wildlife Trust has developed a series of ideas for 'wild Christmas escapes' and is urging people to spend just a small part of the festive season and get away from the excesses and stresses of this time of year. Devon Wildlife Trust's Steve Hussey explained the idea: 'Despite all the merry making Christmas can bring with it a series of challenges to our health and well-being. And if this seems a bit Scrooge-like then which of us can really say that we haven't had a Christmas past in which we've felt trapped by the combination of too much food, too many relatives and too many repeats on the telly?' Steve added: 'We wanted to offer people a chance to escape some of the stresses of Christmas by re-connecting with local nature. It's important not to forget your wild side and this needn't mean consuming more food and drink or spending hours looking at a screen. Instead it means taking a bit of time to get outdoors with the wonderful wildlife and wild places which are local to you. Exploring your wild side provides a great way of re-charging your Christmas spirit.' Devon Wildlife Trust looks after 49 nature reserves around the county including some of Devon's most beautiful landscapes and most wonderful nature, and the charity believes that a visit to anyone of them this Christmas will be time well-spent. Steve Hussey added: 'Wherever you are you in Devon you can feel the positive impact of wildlife. In Exeter you can experience one of nature's great winter spectacles with a visit to the Old Sludge Beds nature reserve to see the huge starling murmurations as birds congregate in their thousands each evening. In Plymouth you can enjoy a walk through woods at Warleigh Point nature reserve to the edge of the Tamar and the estuary's stunning winter wading birds. In North Devon you take a stroll beside the white water of the River Torridge at Halsdon nature reserve near Great Torrington or if feeling more energetic climb the wildest sections of the Coast Path in to Marsland nature reserve near Hartland.' For those looking for Christmas escape ideas Devon Wildlife Trust has set up a series of 5 'Wild Walks' through its nature reserves. Ranging from 3 to 6 miles the walks are another way to escape the sometimes overwhelming world of Christmas. The walks provide a perfect way for families to get out of the house and burn off a few of the Christmas calories. Details of the Trust's Wild Walks can be found at And if you can't get out to the great outdoors this Christmas period, then the Trust's message is make sure you get nature to visit you. Your garden's birds will welcome the opportunity for an energy boost provided by some of your Christmas leftovers - a bit of crumbled Christmas cake, some bacon fat, an end of cheese left on the bird table will be much appreciated. Steve continued: 'In return for feeding them garden birds will put on a Christmas show the likes of which you won't get from repeats on the telly. Putting just half an hour aside to watch their comings and goings can re-connect you with the wild world outside your kitchen window. Seeing who arrives, watching their behaviour, their squabbles, the jostling for food, the different table manners and eating techniques - it can be just like what goes on around many human Christmas dinner tables, but without the emotional baggage!' To plan your wild Christmas escape visit the charity's website
 'Tree hugger: the Devon Wildlife Trust is giving people ideas to re-connect with nature this Christmas. Photo copyright Tom Marshall (All rights reserved)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Irish star Hozier’s global hit Take Me To Church has been announced as 2014’s most streamed track of the year. This morning Spotify announced the song as their global number 1 most shared song on the service in 2014, and the biggest song in the world at this moment. It follows confirmation that Take Me To Church had already topped their global chart (with over 87 million streams to date), and further cements the young Wicklow musician as the first tangible example of a breakthrough streaming superstar. The track currently sits at 1 on the Shazam worldwide chart. At the turn of this year, the video to Take Me To Church had quickly gone viral, and now sits with over 40 million views on YouTube. It caps a hugely successful, breakthrough year for Andrew Hozier-Byrne, having picked up his first Grammy nomination this month for Song of the Year, and debuting his critically acclaimed eponymous album at number 2 in the US Billboard chart (the second biggest debut album of the year), number 5 in the UK, and enjoying five weeks at number 1 in his native Ireland. To date, Hozier has sold-out all his headline shows across the globe and will headline two nights at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire in January, a little over one year from headlining the 100-capacity Troubadour in Earls Court back in January 2014. The debut album, ‘Hozier’, is out now through Rubyworks/Island Records. Watch Take Me To Church here

Hozier Live UK
21st December - Belfast, Ulster Hall(Sold Out) 
21st January - Oxford, O2 Academy, (Sold Out) 
23rd January - Birmingham, The Institute (Sold Out) 
31st January - London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (Sold Out) 
1st February - London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (Sold Out) 
22nd May - Newcastle, O2 Academy (New Date) 
25th May - Manchester, Albert Hall (New Date) 27th May - Glasgow, Barrowlands (New Date) 
28th May - Leeds, O2 Academy (New Date) 
1st June - London, The Roundhouse (New Date)
 Available on iTunes

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


It's Silver Darlings season - local, sustainable and nutritious Clovelly Herrings are now available in North Devon up until Christmas and Boat Stories has a film to get you in the mood. Fishing for Clovelly Herring is a scenic and moving short film featuring traditional herring fisherman Stephen Perham. Producer Jo Stewart-Smith tells us why this is a film she has been eager to make for some time “When I first met Stephen, Clovelly lobster and herring fisherman and harbour master, around seven years ago I was both inspired and fascinated by what he had to say.” “A fisherman who heads out on his own in a tiny open boat, with only oars or sail, into Bideford Bay; passionate about what he does, determined to keep a tradition going – against the odds, captured my imagination and I always knew he would make a great film and tell a great story.” Fishing for Clovelly Herring is not just a tale of a disappearing way of life but a fascinating glimpse into the tight knit community of this unique North Devon village whose cobbled streets are traffic free. We see brothers, sisters, cousins and children all celebrating the heritage of Clovelly at its famous herring festival. We experience the tranquility of the little harbour as Stephen and his cousin Peter Braund row out to cast their nets at dawn and see their resigned but amused reaction to some cheeky little whiskered poachers! “I was really keen to film this boat story as it ticks all my boxes and, following a recurring Boat Stories theme, combines wildlife, conservation and sustaining local communities through traditional methods into one great story." says cameraman Simon Vacher "Filming Stephen’s story boat to boat using a radio microphone meant we got some really great sequences and the changing morning light brought a magical quality to the calm water.” Clovelly herrings are only caught up until Christmas so now is your chance to buy local and enjoy the silver darlings, supporting this sustainable fishing method and low impact way of life. Stephen Perham says "If you can't get people to start eating the herrings, then youngsters like my nephew Joe won't have any future in it." He concludes " Fishing in the picarooner, rowing up the shore, is probably not for everybody but I don't want to be the last one that does it. It's the knowledge of the coastline, the tides, mending and setting nets, you lose all those skills. And once they've gone you never get them back. Never."
You can read more about the five minute film Fishing for Clovelly Herring and find out where to buy fresh fish on the Boat Stories website
Photos copyright NDMI (All rights reserved)
  • Still from the film - Stephen Perham
  • Simon Vacher filming on board Stephen Perham's picarooner
  • Jo Stewart-Smith, Simon Vacher and Oscar Adams filming at Clovelly Herring Festival
  • Simon Vacher, Oscar Adams filming Stephen Perham at Clovelly Herring Festival

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Plymouth marine photographer the focus of national award

One of the UK's top underwater photographers has received a new environmental award for his volunteering work for marine wildlife. Devon-based photographer and author Paul Naylor is the first recipient of the Marsh Award for Marine Conservation, honouring his contribution in capturing the beauty of the UK's marine wildlife, and educating countless people in the value of the nation's undersea environments. Paul, who lives at Wembury near Plymouth, was nominated by four regional Wildlife Trusts - Devon, Cornwall, Kent, and Lincolnshire. In making the award on Monday 1 December at Plymouth's Mount Batten Centre, Devon Wildlife Trust's Chief Executive Harry Barton paid tribute to him: "Paul's underwater images truly are extraordinary photographs. We have used them for countless campaigns. Paul has an incredible talent, and he is incredibly generous giving us every picture for free. We believe the value of those images is worth more than £10,000 to the Devon Wildlife Trust alone. I can't think of a more deserving person to receive this award. In the interests of marine conservation we thank him so much." Also making the award was Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas for The Wildlife Trusts. Joan added: "Paul's stunning photographs of British marine life are vital for our work. They allow us to showcase our marine environment, bringing to life species and habitats which many people don't get to experience, and demonstrate how important the protection of our seas is." Paul Naylor is widely recognised as one of the UK's top underwater wildlife photographers. Over the years, he has built up a wonderful collection of images of British marine species and habitats, bringing the beauty of underwater world to new and wider audiences. His books which include a guide to 'Great British Marine Animals' have provided a fascinating insight into the life, behaviours and struggles of the species he photographs. On receiving his award Paul said: "I am delighted to win the award because I'm very passionate about spreading the word for our amazing marine life and supporting The Wildlife Trusts with my underwater photography. I also feel humbled at being chosen, knowing what wonderful work all the other volunteers do". Paul's passion for marine wildlife was first sparked by snorkelling trips on the Norfolk coast as a teenager. Paul added: "Having now completed 2,000 dives all around the British coast, our native marine animals still enthral me. I am incredibly fortunate to be privy to their hidden lives. I am passionate about showing people, from schoolchildren to politicians, just what beautiful and vulnerable creatures live close to our shores. The intriguing lifestyles of so many animals, including those that appear humdrum at first glance, is a great way to reinforce the message that our marine life is special and deserving of much better care." The body making the inaugural award for Marine Conservation is the Marsh Christian Trust. Established in 1981 it runs a portfolio of awards across several conservation themes. The Trust's Jo Probert explained the reasons for establishing this new honour: "We set up this Award in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts because we were concerned about the conservation of marine wildlife. Our other Awards for marine conservation recognise both international and academic achievements, so with this Award we wanted to highlight the important work which marine volunteers are undertaking in the UK. Hopefully the Award will help recognise the outstanding efforts of these volunteers in their protection of the Living Seas and raise the profile of their essential work." Photo: Paul Naylor (centre) receives his award from Harry Barton Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust (right) and Jo Probert of the Marsh Christian Trust (left)
Photo: A Devonshire cup coral copyright Paul Naylor (All rights reserved) This is just one of the many hundreds of Paul Naylor's beautiful images which showcase the UK's rich underwater world.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Love for North Devon Nature Mapped by Beaford Arts

Beaford Arts is drawing a digital map of creative responses to nature in northern Devon. As creative partner of the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area (NIA), Devon Arts organisation Beaford Arts has set up the Responding to Nature project, asking local people to put their favourite places on the map in words, pictures and sounds. Via the Responding to Nature website each submission is geotagged to the exact position where its creator produced it. Responding to Nature is a Cultural Ecosystems Services project. It aims to tap into the emotional experiences of being in nature and help us achieve a deeper connection with our environment and understand its value through art. Beaford Arts is inviting people of all ages to submit their responses to nature in drawings and paintings, poetry and prose, films, audio recordings or sculpture to build up a multi media picture of what our natural environment means to us. To get the collection started Beaford Arts recently held a competition for children in north Devon primary schools which brought in some inspirational stories, poems, pictures and films. There were two age categories and the winner of the 7 years and under group was Hettie King, aged 5, for her collage entitled 'I Love Nature' and first prize in the 8-11 years category went to 9 year old Jack Ayres for a musical piece called 'Jack's Rap - My Place to Escape'.
Hettie King 'I love Nature'
Raran's Garden by Isaac Champion
Keiran Beer  Tarka Trail

Jack's Rap can be heard via this link to Smule

You can see all the entries from the competition together with other independent submissions on the Responding to Nature website where you can also find out more about the project.
If you would like to take part and send in your own creative response please post your work of art to Claire Ayres, Education Project Manager, Beaford Arts, Crown Yealm House, Pathfields Business Park, South Molton, Devon EX36 3LH or email it to
Full list of prize winners:
7 years and under
1st place – HETTIE KING, age 5 (Monkleigh Primary) ‘I love nature’
2nd place – GABRIEL NAPIER, age 6 ½ (Monkleigh Primary) ‘Nature Life’
3rd place – EMMA ROVENSKA, age 5 (Clawton Primary) ‘The Story of the Pinecone Family’
8 years – 11 years
1st place – JACK AYRES, age 9 (Holywell CoE Primary) ‘Jack’s Rap – My Place to Escape’
2nd place – ISAAC CHAMPION, age 10 (Monkleigh Primary) ‘Raran’s Garden’

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

December Highlights.. Countdown to Christmas around North Devon

This is a sparkling time in the region when local shops, businesses, cinemas, galleries, museums, theatres and pubs pull out all the stops as we count down to the holiday season. As well as traditional services in our local churches and chapels, there are many Christmas themed events in schools, towns and villages. It’s lighting up time, get ready for Christmas Carols, Christmas Fayres, Christmas Concerts, Christmas Markets and Pantomimes. The Christmas Lights are already twinkling in Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe, this Sunday it’s the turn of Clovelly and Great Torrington. Whether shopping for Christmas fayre, fresh local produce or unique gifts North Devon has lots to offer. Our local Pannier Markets are of course open all year round including the Bideford Farmers Market in Jubilee Square now on the second and fourth Saturdays in the month throughout the winter. Bideford Town Council will be hosting a series of Winter Fairs with fun for all the family and free parking around the town at Bideford Pannier Market on the four Saturdays leading up to Christmas There are also Christmas Farmers' Markets at the Big Sheep on Saturdays on the 6th, 13th and 20th December while over in Hatherleigh, on the 6th December, the Ruby Country Market looks like a brilliant mix of traditional market shopping with a vast array of goods on sale, local music and attractions to entertain while you browse and shop. There will be some Christmas Fun at Quince Honey Farm in South Molton with Santa and the Snow Hive, festive fun and more. Don’t forget the Richard Long Exhibition Contemporary Art in the Countryside ARTIST ROOMS On Tour is running until 10th January 2015 at the Burton Art Gallery. Finally it’s going to be a White Christmas at Woolly’s Winter Wonderland at the Big Sheep from the 6th to 24th December. A magical light show plus all the spirit of festive family fun with Santa and his secret VIP guest. You can even try ice skating and tobogganing or have a go on the Snowboard simulator. PS……The word’s out that Clovelly is holding it’s first Boxing Day Barbi.. Scroll down for more event details

Winter Wonderland Bideford Pannier Market will transform into a winter fair on the four Saturdays leading up to Christmas. From 10am until 1.30pm, the town council will be hosting the winter fairs, with fun for all the family and free parking around the town. See press for full details 
Christmas Farmers Markets at the Big Sheep. The South Wests largest Farmers Market with over 50 local produce stalls. Sponsored by the North Devon Journal Free range turkeys, organic meats, sprouts on stalks, cheeses, cakes, puddings, biscuits, fudge, chocolate, bread, fish and Christmas trees are just some of the delights which will be on offer… Christmas Farmers Markets will be held on Saturdays 6th, 13th, 20th December.
6th December Christmas Concert with the Two Rivers Wind Ensemble. 7.30pm Lavington Church, Bridgleland Street, Bideford. Programme includes highlights from "Frozen".
6th December Christmas Fun at Quince Honey Farm, South Molton 10am-4pm. Meet Santa and his festive friends. Play in the Snow Hive, festive fun, food and drink and face painting.
6th December 9amThe Ruby Country Market is not an Antique & Collectors Fair, not an Art & Craft Fair or a Food Festival but a Traditional Market combining all of these events rolled into one with Local Music and Attractions to entertain you whilst you browse and shop from a vast range of local businesses, talent and charities.. This is the third Festive Market to be held and as the plans come together for this-2pm one, it is promising to be rather special. There will be a bumper Food Hall/Shippen raffle in support of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and if you buy a ticket you may go home with your Christmas lunch!- See more at: 
7th December Christmas Lights in aid of the R.N.L.I. Christmas is a magical time at Clovelly. A local brass band leads the procession down to the harbour and accompanies Christmas carols sung with a local choir. A hog roast, punch and mince pies follow and Father Christmas makes a surprise visit. At about 5 p.m. the switch is thrown and the entire village and harbour are lit up. It's a fantastic sight and there is a grand finale of fireworks to... 
7th December Ilfracombe's magical Fore Street Christmas Market is just the place to become immersed in the Christmas spirit. Featuring Santa Clause in his grotto and stalls from local businesses and craftspeople, the market takes place from 3pm to 7pm on Sunday 7th December 2014.
21st December Breakfast with Santa at the Big Sheep. Christmas is a magical time of year for all children so why not sprinkle that extra bit of magic and make this Christmas even more special by treating the children in your life to Breakfast with Santa at the BIG Sheep in Bideford on Sunday 21st December. Hot or Cold Breakfast Exclusive time with Santa…
26h December This Boxing Day, come to Clovelly for a lunchtime treat! The Red Lion Clovelly presents. . . . .‘New Orleans Style’, Boxing Day Barbecue Bring your family and friends for a relaxing Boxing Day lunch time and enjoy our New Orleans style’ Barbecue at the harbour with a background of live jazz music. 12.30 –3pm. FREE entry to the village on the day
 For more North Devon Events see Local Press: What's On North Devon Gazette - North Devon Journal
Photo Bideford Highlights 2 December 2014 Copyright B. Adams (All rights reserved)
North Devon Tourist Information Centres
Barnstaple Tourist Information Centre, North Devon Museum, The Square, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX32 9LS
Bideford Tourist Information Centre, Burton Art Gallery, Kingsley Road, Bideford, EX39 2QQ 

Braunton Tourist Information Centre The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1AA
Combe Martin Tourist Information Centre Cross Street, Combe Martin, North Devon, EX34 ODH 

Holsworthy Visitor Information Centre: The Memorial Hall, Holsworthy, 
Torrington Tourist Information Centre, Castle Hill, South Street, Torrington   
lfracombe Tourist Information Centre The Landmark Theatre, The Seafront, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 9BX
Lynton Tourist Information Centre Lynton Town Hall, Lee Road, Lynton, North Devon, EX35 6HT T

South Molton Tourist Information  1 East Street, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3BU 
Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre The Esplanade, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7DL 
Click here to add an event go to North Devon Focus Coast & Country Chronicle Community Calendar 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Anthony Henry a.k.a. Tippa Irie, Grammy nominated recording artist and UK reggae veteran, hailing From the infamous Saxon Sound System, having a list of hits including Complain Neighbor on Green Sleeves Records and member of the UK all-stars. Tippa has been at the top of the UK Reggae scene for time.

Support comes from

Irie Bingo comprising of a duo of roots vibe bad boys. Blazenstein, operator and selector for the mighty Irie Bingo Soundsystem out of Devon. Playing music for the revolution and inspired by soundsystem tradition of bringing news to the people. Heavy conscious music to shake the chains of Babylon.

Shire Roots, conscious Reggae MC hailing from the Southwest, strong roots vibes from this man

Joe Joe Jdb Burn – this young man, straight out North Devon this is our very own musical prodigy fresh from his new release on Defcon records, Joe is representing hard for the North Devon family, bless up this yoot man flying the flag for us Southwest crew!

OneDrop Soundsystem crew with Irie Selecta and King David on the early tip and maybe the late one as well !
Doors open 9pm - late
Advance tickets £12 [more on the door]

Physical tickets available from: Beats Workin, Barnstaple
Online tickets available from:

(Ticket outlets subject to booking fee)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Local Play with National Significance - The Common Hopes to Hit the Road

"An inspiringly insightful piece of contemporary theatre with important messages for our collective future – we ARE the land" ... Positive response to Beaford Arts' The Common might just get this show on the road. After two sellout performances of this series of dramatic dialogues about our relationship with the local environment, Beaford Arts hopes to take The Common on a national tour. Lucy Deasy, General Manager of Beaford Arts, says "Our objective as the cultural partner of the North Devon Nature Improvement Area (NIA) was to create a piece about the value of the land. Our mission was to engage with two local communities, work within them, engage them and produce a show that would resonate with the varied audience within those communities." 
Feedback from those who saw the shows in Dolton and Hatherleigh, where The Common was researched, developed and performed, certainly seems to indicate success "It was a triumph. Full of admiration for the performers. Very moving and you got the Devon nuances." Others wanted to share the love @ruthresearch tweeted "A lovely evening in the company of @beaford & @YourOldChina last night, do hope there is a longer life for #TheCommon" and another comment simply says " Brill! Sock it to Whitehall". Producer, Fin Irwin worked with theatre company China Plate to create the show " It has been a pleasure to work on a project that has had such a high and diverse level of engagement. From the environmentalists to the local farmer and the pub landlord, everyone has had a story to tell and has been keen to tell it. The positive response from the participants and audience alike was overwhelming and proved that this project will create a lasting legacy in the memories of those who saw it." This is a local production with national significance. The rural issues explored in The Common are relevant to communities nationwide and Beaford Arts hopes to roll the show out to the other eleven Nature Improvement Areas around the country "Our future goal is to tour the play to other NIAs, Westminster and maybe beyond." says Lucy Deasy. 
Beaford Arts The Common - Photos copyright (All rights reserved)
Beaford Arts