Thursday, 31 December 2015

Magic Cooking. A new cooking club for children in North Devon

A new cooking club for children in North Devon will be launched at taster (!) sessions in Braunton and Barnstaple on 15 and 19 January 2016.

The Magic Cooking Pot is a cookery club for children aged 7 – 14 in North Devon and will be run by local charity South West Family Support. They plan to run 6 week courses after school in Braunton and Barnstaple, helping children to cook meals which can be taken home as a family dinner. The groups will be small and focussed so every child has the chance to get hands on experience and learn how to cook. The club will try out a new recipe every week, so that by the end of the course members will be confident and safe in the kitchen. The charity want children to find out more about food, flavour and where our food comes from, so there is a focus on healthy and more unusual foods – and tasting and experimenting is all part of the fun!

The income earned from the Magic Cooking Pot goes to support the charitable work of South West Family Support who help support families in North Devon when things are difficult to find a way to move forward.

The taster sessions on Friday 15 January in Barnstaple and Tuesday 19 January in Braunton are only £5 to cover the cost of tuition, ingredients and use of the venue. At the session everyone will be invited to join the club. Club members will receive an apron, the chance to book any of our courses and exclusive access to a secret page on our website. On the web page we share all the recipes we cook in our classes week by week and our members log on to add comments, their advice and make suggestions for extra ingredients or side dishes.

The Magic Cooking Pot can also run sessions for individual groups – so please do get in touch with organisers if you would like to request a session at a venue near you or for a group for your agency. Remembering that all profits will be reinvested in supporting families in need in the local area.

1st Taster Session 
  15 January 2016 4pm St Anne’s Arts Centre Barnstaple 
2nd Taster Session 
19 January 2016 4.15pm Braunton Academy 
Places must be booked in advance by contacting: South West Family Support or text or phone to 07805 642268. 
The office opens again for the new year on 4 January 2016 
A six week course for members will begin at the end of January and run weekly at 4pm 
Places need to be booked in advance 

About South West Family Support
South West Family Support is a charity working with children, families in their communities. We help support families when things are difficult to find a way to move forward. The charity offer a flexible and creative family support service across Devon. Our family support workers offer practical and emotional strategies to support children and their parents and help coordinate support around them. South West Family Support formed in March 2001. As a social enterprise we invest all income back into our work with families. South West Family Support is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Wildlife left guessing by mild winter weather

The mild weather is set to continue but as temperature records are broken and the ice rinks melt, Devon Wildlife Trust is asking us to spare a thought for our local wildlife.

Winter is a tough time for wildlife. It is a time of hibernation, migration and survival. But with temperatures reaching 14 degrees in Exeter at the beginning of the week, Devon's wildlife is not following its usual seasonal patterns.

The charity Devon Wildlife Trust is reporting some strange goings on at the 50 nature reserves it cares for across the county. David Wodehouse who helps manage DWT's Meeth Quarry nature reserve, near Holsworthy said:
 "The primroses are out at Meeth, normally a sign that spring is on the way. We also have marsh ragwort and wild strawberries in flower and our bee hives are still active."

Andrew Warren who has worked on The Trust's reserves for more than ten years added:
"Many of our winter birds including robins and song thrushes have been very vocal. I'm almost expecting to start seeing them collect twigs ready for nesting!" Birds do sing throughout winter but often in short bursts. The long songs being heard now suggest that these birds are thinking it might be time to find a mate and start breeding.

Devon Wildlife Trust has also been receiving reports that hibernating animals or those that normally lie dormant in the winter are being spotted out and about. Toads are one species that still seem to be very active this December. Some experts are concerned that this will have a knock on effect on toad numbers as female toads must go through a period of dormancy to develop their eggs ready for spawning in spring.

Sightings of hedgehogs are also being sent into the Trust with these prickly garden friends still being seen at people's garden feeding stations. Hedgehogs normally go into hibernation around October or November. Bats are another hibernating creature still on the move. East Devon based bat expert Sarah Butcher tweeted
"Common pipistrelle bat hunting over Devon Wildlife Trust Bystock Pools this evening. Bizarre for the shortest day of the year!"

Pete Burgess, Devon Wildlife Trust's Director of Development, Policy and Research said:
"Our wildlife has evolved over millennia to cope with our climate. As weather patterns change at an unprecedented pace, we are entering a period of great uncertainty. "It is unknown how our wildlife will cope with the recent mild weather. Everything has been delayed as if we are having an extended autumn, this is unlikely to have a significant long term effect unless it extends throughout the rest of the winter. If we have a mild spring followed by a cold snap, that's when you can have more serious problems."

Devon Wildlife Trust are asking members of the public to send in their unusual wildlife sightings via Twitter @DevonWildlife or Facebook. The Trust wants to get a clearer idea of the effect the weather is having on Devon's Wildlife. The charity advises that people help their local wildlife by providing a regular supply of fresh water and keeping birdfeeders topped up. To find out more about Devon Wildlife Trust visit  

Devon Wildlife Trust
Photo Hedgehog copyright Adrian Evans (All rights reserved)
Devon Wildlife Trust
Photo  Robin copyright Chris Root(All rights reserved)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Fresh evidence of beavers discovered at four sites on East Devon river

Despite recent news headlines that a local beaver population had 'disappeared' from their East Devon home, a local wildlife charity is now claiming that it has evidence that they are very much alive.

In November the BBC reported the concerns of some local people that they had not had sightings of beavers on the River Otter for some weeks. This 'disappearance' was then reported by national newspapers. However, Devon Wildlife Trust has now come forward with evidence which shows that the beavers are still there, although they may have relocated their homes, known as lodges, along the river.

Devon Wildlife Trust is leading the River Otter Beaver Trial - a five year study of what is believed to be the first population of breeding beavers living wild in the English countryside for several centuries. The charity has said that it is currently monitoring four 'active areas' along the river where it has seen fresh evidence of the beavers' presence.

Mark Elliott is the Trial's manager and said:
"We knew the beavers had not 'disappeared' but it's good to be able to report recent evidence showing that they are still active on the river. Beavers are mobile animals and it's quite common for them to shift their lodges and feeding grounds. There's lots of room for beavers on this river so it's unsurprising that they have relocated from the places that we saw them last spring and summer."

The beavers have proved popular with local people and have also attracted many wildlife-lovers to East Devon after the animals gained national coverage when their story was featured on BBC's Springwatch programme. Devon Wildlife Trust's own series of beaver walks along the river were fully subscribed in 2015 and now the charity says it plans to run more next year to meet demand. However, winter is not the time to go beaver watching and any visitors are likely to leave disappointed. 

Mark Elliott explained:
"Beavers are largely nocturnal animals so they are difficult to see during winter when the nights are long. However, they will still be busy at this time building their lodges, preparing for mating in January and the birth of their kits in May. At this time we're keeping the locations of the new beaver sites a secret to ensure that disturbance to the animals and local landowners is kept to a minimum."

In February 2015 it was established that nine beavers were living on the River Otter. In May it is known that a breeding female gave birth to three kits taking the total to 12. This family were seen by many people throughout summer close to their lodge on a stretch of river near Ottery St Mary.

Devon Wildlife Trust is keen to record sightings of beavers to help it with its ongoing work monitoring the impact of the animals on local communities, local landowners and wildlife. Mark Elliott said: "

As we move into the New Year and the daylight hours lengthen beavers will be active at dusk and dawn. If people do see them then it's important they let us know so that we can get a clearer picture of the beavers' numbers and locations."

People with information can let the charity know if they see a beaver via email on and with details of the date, time, exact location and whether the beaver has a coloured ear tag.

The River Otter Beaver Trial receives no government funding. Devon Wildlife Trust is urging people to offer their support via its website
Devon Wildlife Trust is urging people to offer their support
Recent beaver activity has been found at four places along the River Otter in East Devon. Photo copyright DWT (All rights reserved)

Monday, 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It's been an event full year. Thanks for visiting hope you drop by in 2016.
Don't forget to feed the birds and wildlife over the festive season.
Big Garden Birdwatch 2016 is from 30th-31st January

Monday, 14 December 2015

Charity wins top green award

The environmental achievements of a Devon-based charity have been recognised with a top international accreditation.
In the past year Devon Wildlife Trust has targeted the impact it and its 80 staff have on the environment. As a result the charity has been able to reduce its gas consumption at its Cricklepit Mill headquarters in Exeter by 55%. Its electricity consumption across all its properties has also been reduced by 20%. A hydro-turbine installed at the Mill is also helping The Trust generate 40 kilowatts of its own clean, green electricity each day from water power - equivalent to around 50% of the building's total supply.
The Trust has also substantially reduced the amount of waste which goes in its dustbins, increasing its recycling rates from 45% to a whopping 89%. These positive changes have brought recognition with them. After a rigorous audit, Devon Wildlife Trust has just seen its top international accreditation for Environmental Management Systems, called ISO14001, renewed by the British Assessment Bureau. Stuart Hodgkiss has led the charity's drive to reduce its carbon footprint and other environmental impacts. Stuart said:
"Because of our work with wildlife we need to be an organisation that minimises any impacts on the local environment. Over the last two years we've reviewed every area of our work. The changes we've made have often been straightforward but they have made a good deal of difference. Our energy consumption is something we've worked especially hard to reduce and by turning down the ambient temperatures in our buildings, fitting 'smart' meters and installing low energy computers we've made real progress." Stuart added:
"Getting recognition with the award from the British Assessment Bureaux shows we're heading in the right direction. We're now looking to other areas where we can do better. For example, in March 2016 we're opening a visitor centre in East Devon. Seaton Jurassic will have a café and shop and in both we're putting in place a sustainable procurement policy. This will mean that our visitors can buy with confidence in the knowledge that their food and gift purchases will combine high ethical standards with low environmental impacts."
Another area of The Trust's work which will come under the green spotlight will be its use of vehicles. In 2015 staff trialled a number of electric vehicles and the charity now has a plan to begin to replace some of its conventional petrol cars with zero-emission models.

Devon Wildlife Trust
'Staff at Devon Wildlife Trust have increased recycling and composting to a whopping 89% of all waste.'

Monday, 7 December 2015

North Devon's nature feels benefit from Biffa Award

Some of North Devon's most stunning and wildlife-rich nature reserves have benefitted from £500,000 of Biffa Award funding as a Flagship project - money made available through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The support has allowed the charity Devon Wildlife Trust to make vital improvements at 11 of its nature reserves in North Devon. Sites at Meresfelle, Volehouse Moor, Mambury Moor, Stowford Moor, Veilstone Moor, Stapleton Mire, Ash Moor, Dunsdon, Vealand, Meeth Quarry and Ashmoor have all seen work undertaken to make positive changes for local wildlife.

Among the highlights Biffa Award has helped The Trust to restore and recreate nearly 50 hectares of 'species rich' grassland - an important home to wildflowers including orchids, ragged robin and birdsfoot trefoil. 250 further hectares of existing grassland is now in better long-term management. Five kilometres of traditional Devon hedgebanks have also been rebuilt, restored and replanted with trees including hawthorn, blackthorn, ash and oak. Wildflower seeds have been harvested from 50 hectares of existing Culm grassland to be spread on sites elsewhere. The project also saw 300 metres of the historic Bude Canal restored and re-watered at The Trust's Dunsdon National Nature Reserve, near Holsworthy. The canal is now home to frogs and dragonflies.

Devon Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve Officer Steve Threlkeld has worked on the project for the past three years. Steve said: "Funding from Biffa Award has made a crucial difference. For some time we've had a long list of improvements that we wanted to make to our North Devon nature reserves but without help we would have struggled to undertake them. Now it's very rewarding to see the positive changes that the work has made for local wildlife. To see wildflowers growing where they were once lacking, to see dragonflies flying over a new stretch of canal that you have created and to see a new Devon hedgebank planted up and growing, is very satisfying."

Local people have benefitted from the funding too. Much of the work carried out has been done by Devon Wildlife Trust staff in conjunction with local contractors, bringing money and work to the rural economy. Local volunteers have also played a key role, while The Trust has also organised a series of 16 public events showcasing the work done, its techniques and the benefits it can bring.

Matt Boydell, Devon Wildlife Trust's Land Manager said: "Our work under the Biffa Award is now in its final phase but its legacy will last. It's helped us improve our North Devon nature reserves and we believe it's been an example of positive land management for wildlife. We've learned a lot of lessons which will shape how landscapes are managed in the future."

Gillian French, Head of Grants, Biffa Award said: "We're really proud to have been a part of this incredible habitat restoration project across Devon. Over the past three years we have enjoyed our visits to Devon Wildlife Trust's Meeth Quarry nature reserve, and others to see how Landfill Communities funding has helped restore this unique landscape. "
North Devon's most stunning and wildlife-rich nature reserves
Harvesting wildflower seed at Vealand nature reserve near Holsworthy
Clearing the bed of the historic Bude Canal at Dunsdon National Nature Reserve with the re-watered canal after work was completed 
Photos copyright Devon Wildlife Trust (All Rights Reserved)  

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Charity and Kew Gardens combine to preserve Devon's trees

Devon Wildlife Trust has spent this autumn conducting a very different kind of harvest. 

The charity has been collecting seed from Devon's ash, hawthorn, blackthorn, holly and other trees at some of its 49 nature reserves as part of a national project to aimed at protecting the UK's woodlands. Devon Wildlife Trust is a partner in the UK National Tree Seed Project, which has been set up by Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, and made possible with funding generated by players of the People's Postcode Lottery.

Tree seeds collected as part of the project will be safely banked in the underground vaults of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank - forming the UK's first national collection of tree seeds. These will then play a vital role in conservation work to protect UK trees and woodlands, including against pests and diseases such as ash dieback. The collections, and associated data, will be available to researchers working on solutions to tackle the many threats facing our woodlands.

Speaking during National Tree Week (28th November - 6th December) and taking a break from collecting ash seeds, known as keys, from its Sourton Quarry nature reserve, near Okehampton, Devon Wildlife Trust's Andrew Warren said:

"We're proud to be contributing to a project which is protecting the genetic diversity of Devon's trees. Many people will be familiar with the threats that face our trees and woodland landscapes, for example, sudden oak death and ash dieback have both hit the headlines in recent years. Our work collecting the seeds of these and other Devon tree varieties is a step towards creating a kind of safety deposit for the future."

Clare Trivedi, UK National Tree Seed Project Co-ordinator, said:
"Almost all of the nation's favourite trees species - from oak to ash to beech - are affected by a variety of pests and diseases. We are thrilled that Devon Wildlife Trust is working with the UK National Tree Seed Project. This project is really important for the future of our trees, wildlife and landscape - but we cannot do it all by ourselves. Contributions from partners such as Devon Wildlife Trust are absolutely vital to help us ensure all areas across the UK are covered."

The UK National Tree Seed Project was launched in May 2013 and has a list of priority native trees and shrubs targeted for collection. This priority list gave ranking to individual species according to their conservation ratings, prevalence in the landscape and vulnerability to pests and diseases. Species on the list include ash, Scots pine, common alder, common beech, silver birch and yew. 

Devon Wildlife Trust's Andrew Warren said: 
"The seeds we are gathering today are just one of several collections that we've undertaken this autumn. Because Devon Wildlife Trust's nature reserves include many of the county's most treasured landscapes we're ensuring that we are getting seeds which come from each of Devon's corners - north, south, east and west. The collected seeds will act as a living legacy, recording the genetic make-up of our local trees in the early twenty-first century." 

For more on Devon Wildlife Trust's work
 'Close up of holy berries - one of the species of tree seed that Devon Wildlife Trust has been collecting for Kew Gardens' Millennium Seed Bank'  Photo copyright DWT (All rights reserved)

For more on Devon Wildlife Trust's work visit

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Howard Marks - In Conversation with "Mr. Nice" at the Factory, Barnstaple 13th December

Just over a year ago Howard Marks was diagnosed with Cancer of the Bowel which had spread to two other organs, he was given 10 months to live. Here we are 3 months after his predicted passing and after nearly 30 sessions of Chemotherapy combined with Cannabis Oil Treatment, which is more and more being used seriously for the treatment of cancer and other illness and everything from apricot seeds to moths. Howard has just released his latest book ‘Mr Smiley: My Last Pill and Testament’ which went into the Book Charts at Number 7.

Interviewed by Dub Pistols Barry Ashworth, expect stories from his incredible life as a drug smuggler, hunted man, inmate at a high security prison, to becoming a celebrity, a national treasure with a film made about his life.

Born in 1945 in Kenfig Hill, a small Welsh coal-mining village near Bridgend, Howard Marks attended Oxford University where he earned a degree in nuclear physics and post graduate qualifications in philosophy

Described by the Daily Mail (UK Tabloid) as 'the most sophisticated drugs baron of all time', Howard Marks has worked with the British Secret Service and has been connected with the Mafia, the IRA, MI6 and the CIA.

Busted in 1988 by the American Drug Enforcement Agency and sentenced to twenty-five years at America's toughest federal penitentiary; Terre Haute, Indiana. He was released on parole in 1995 after serving seven years.

In 1996 he released his autobiography, Mr. Nice, which remains an international best seller in several languages and was the best selling non-fiction book of 1997.

During 1997, he performed his first live shows, which discussed his life as a marijuana smuggler and his views on drug use and legalisation. The shows received excellent reviews throughout the national press, and his now legendary one-man comedy show, An Audience with Mr Nice, continues to sell-out at venues throughout Britain and Europe covering an ever-widening range of topics.

Howard wrote a monthly column for Loaded for five years and has written features for The Times, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Time Out, GQ, and the Guardian. He has also penned Senor Nice, the sequel to his autobiography, collected together writings on intoxication for the anthology Dope Stories, co-wrote 101 Uses of a Dead Roach and has published the first of a series of crime fiction novels called Sympathy for the Devil.

His TV and Film career includes a cameo in Human Traffic, narrating Manumission – The Movie, presenting Channel 5 News on the day George Best died, interviews for Selena Scott, Hardtalk and This Week and appearances on Dinner with Portillo and Heartbeat amongst many others.

A Cardiff City supporter, Howard directed the Welsh Celebrity Soccer Six team that included Ian Rush and members of Goldie Looking Chain and reported on the 1998 World Cup in Paris for The Evening Standard. He is also a keen follower of Rugby Union, Boxing and especially Lawn Green Bowls, his interest in which was piqued when he learned it had been made illegal for the hoi polloi by Henry VIII.

Since his release from prison Howard has been politically active, standing for parliament in four separate constituencies (Norwich South, Norwich North, Neath and Southampton Test) in the 1997 general election on the single issue of the legalisation of Cannabis, catalysing the formation of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance. He applied for the position of Drugs Tsar, created by the Labour government in the late 90s but Keith Halliwell ‘pipped me at the post’. He continues to campaign vigorously for the legalisation of recreational drugs.


Doors open at 19:30pm
£20 in advance - Seated based on first come first seated
Physical tickets - North Devon Theatres & Beatsworkin, Barnstaple
Online tickets available from
More info –
Howard Marks "Mr. Nice" at The Factory, Barnstaple

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Ho Ho Ho Barnstaple Craft Market finishes its 1st year with a Christmas Special!

Barnstaple Craft Market will be celebrating its first year in business with a Christmas special on Sunday 13 December – perfect timing for shoppers looking for a unique and handmade gift. 

The monthly craft market has now been running since June to compliment the Real Food Market in the Pannier Market. As usual all the crafts on show will be handmade in North Devon, it’s a showcase for the best of local makers in a truly unique setting. 

Established by Barnstaple Town Council, local craft event organiser Jo Isaac now runs the show, “I’ve really enjoyed managing the monthly Craft Markets in the Guildhall, it’s is a fantastic space right above the pannier market that few people get the chance to visit.  The craft community has been very supportive of the markets in their first year, each month brings new sellers and customers.  The Christmas Market will be a fantastic end to our first year.”

Crafts on sale will range from prints and pictures, textiles and jewellery, illustration, glass and natural bath products.  There will be a free raffle for visitors to the market with a wonderful hamper of handmade gifts to win, just visit the main chamber of the Guildhall to collect your free ticket.  The winning ticket will be drawn at 3pm by Father Christmas!

The next market is on Sunday 13 December 10.30am – 3.30pm in Barnstaple Guildhall which can be accessed from Butcher Row or the door inside the Pannier Market.

Barnstaple Craft Market
Barnstaple Craft Market
 Photos above feature goods made by Silver Springs, CherOcean Skyes Designs, Martha and Hepsie and Hogwash Soap

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

All Around North Devon with Liz Shakespeare

Those in search of an unusual present will have the opportunity to buy a personally signed book during the run-up to Christmas. Local author Liz Shakespeare, who has become well-known in the South-West as an author who brings to life the people, history and landscapes of Devon, will be signing copies of her books at several different venues. 

Her most recent book, All Around The Year, is a collection of twelve poignant stories, deeply rooted in the Devon countryside, and each linked to a month of the year from January through to December. She relied on historical research for inspiration for her previous books, The Turning of the Tide, a true story of a young Clovelly mother confined in Bideford Workhouse, Fever: A Story from a Devon Churchyard, and The Memory Be Green: An Oral History of a Devon Village. 

She is currently working on a novel based on the life of the Bideford Postman-Poet Edward Capern. Liz will be signing copies of her four books at the following venues:
  • Bude Castle Christmas Fair on Sunday 29th November
  • Ruby Country Market at Hatherleigh on Saturday December 5th
  • South Molton Fatstock Show on Sunday December 6th
  • Big Sheep Craft Market on December 12th, 19th and 23rd
  • Hartland Farmers' Market on Sunday December 20th
Liz Shakespeare Books
Liz Shakespeare at Clovelly
Liz Shakespeare Books

Monday, 23 November 2015

Devon Wildlife Trust wins top award for green education work

News has just been announced that Devon Wildlife Trust is the 2015 recipient of the Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) Environmental Education Award.  
This award category is aimed at those who 'promote environmental education across Devon recognising schools, colleges, universities, as well as community groups and the business sector who has made a significant contribution to improving environmental education'. The award was made on Thursday night at a ceremony at the Met Office's Exeter headquarters. Devon Wildlife Trust was chosen for its Wildlife Champions programme which has inspired hundreds of children to do good works for local wildlife and wild places. 
Wildlife Champions works with local schools where it has striven not only to get young people to appreciate the beauty and importance of the natural world , but also to take practical action to help it. In the past this has meant the Trust has worked with pupils to improve their school grounds through planting wildflower meadows, creating ponds and planting trees. Each autumn Devon Wildlife Trust also organises a conference in which hundreds of Wildlife Champions gather to discuss their achievements and plans

The Trust's Paul Martin leads the Wildlife Champion initiative. He said:

"We were told that the award was given to us due to the scale of our project, the length of time that it has been running and the vision for empowering a generation of children to be able to change the world around them. We are immensely proud to have won this award! All the staff and students involved work so hard to make this project successful, so it is fantastic for them to receive this accolade." 

Devon Wildlife Trust's Paul Martin with the DEBI Award
Devon Wildlife Trust's Paul Martin with the DEBI Award  Photo copyright DWT (All rights reserved)

Friday, 20 November 2015

Machines that Draw. Winter Artists in residence at St. Anne's Art & Community Centre, Barnstaple.

St Anne’s Arts Centre has welcomed its next artists in residence – Edmund Eva & George Baldwin, eegb drawing. The pair are the successful applicants to Septembers call for a winter artist in residence at the arts centre. Last year Ed and George both graduated from Falmouth University and have spent the last 8 months working in Belfast on an artist residency. They build machines and robots that draw. Previous work includes an interactive polargraph set inside a shipping container. When the public walked by, a sensor picked up their movement and the machine drew. This led the public to engage with the machine, inviting them to play, move and dance to affect the resulting drawing.

“We can’t wait to see what they might build or develop whilst they are at St Anne’s. I’m looking forward to visiting one of their open studio sessions to hear about their work in progress” Cllr Mrs Val Elkins, Mayor of Barnstaple

The aim of the residency is to provide a personal and professional development opportunity for an artist, helping to introduce new audiences to their art form and in turn interesting people in the building and its history. As part of the residency the artists will be opening their studio to the public, leading workshops for school groups and giving talks for groups of adults. Ed and George are hosting Open Studio sessions on 26 + 27 November, 3 + 4 December, 9 + 10 December all 11am - 7pm, it’s an opportunity to meet and chat to an artist while they are working and learn something of their creative process.

There will also be a special workshop for families on Friday 11 December from 10am – 12 noon, it’s a free drop in session to try out the artists Scribble Bots – tiny robots that race around drawing large scale pictures on the floor.

“We believe the juxtaposition of modern technology in this 14th Century chapel will refresh the space, inviting in new audiences to engage in the arts as well as the heritage of Barnstaple’s most interesting building”. Ed Eva

In 2016 St Anne’s will be offering a series of opportunities for Devon artists in any art form – visual art and sculpture, craft, music, theatre, poetry, dance or any combination of these.

“Offering our building, heritage and experience as inspiration will help us to showcase Barnstaple’s history and culture in a new way for visitors and the local community. This time round I received a fantastic range of applications, there are some wonderful artists living and working in North Devon. A call out for an artist in residence during the spring will be released in the new year.” Dion Sears, Culture and Community Development Manager
You can also sign up for the St Anne’s mailing list to keep up to date with news about events and open studio days

Edmund Eva & George Baldwin, eegb drawing

Edmund Eva & George Baldwin, eegb drawing
Machines that Draw - Photos copyright eegb drawing  (All rights reserved)

Keep in Touch
·         Open Studio sessions on 26 + 27 November, 3 + 4 December, 9 + 10 December all 11am - 7pm
·         Free Workshop for Families – Scribble Bots 11 Dec 10am – 12 noon
·         Talk with Petroc Art Students 1 Dec 1pm
·         Workshop with Park School 25 Nov 10am
·         Exhibition 14 – 24 Dec
·         Exhibition Preview 17 Dec 6.30pm

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Winter Highlights. A celebration of North Devon Coast and Countryside events

Well the weather has turned, what a gloomy week, rain AND all things reality or celebrity on the TV. Thank goodness for dramatic highlights, Homeland, Unforgotten and Arne Dahl to even things out Although the sunshine has been turned off for the moment the Christmas Lights will soon be turned on around the region, Barnstaple will be first to light up in spectacular style this Sunday so get the camera or your phone at the ready. What great timing there is also a camera extravaganza at the Cedars Inn, the LiveView Photo & Optics Shows will be worth a visit, you can find out all about the latest gadgets before you go or get some advice on how to do those nights with lights shots. You’ll definitely need to be ready (photographically speaking) for the twinkling Coca-Cola truck how fantastic that it has included Barnstaple in its UK tour. The “Holidays are Coming” too at the Big Sheep who will be holding a series of events on the run up to Christmas, Farmers Markets and Craft and Gift Fairs and wacky Woolly’s Wonderland Weekends. Bideford's big switch on will be on 6th December. A little Christmas spirit for local charities is always welcome so watch out for your local seasonal events, a family friendly Christmas Fair is being held in aid of Northam Lodge on the 5th December and on the 6th December Clovelly will be switching on their Christmas Lights in aid of the R.N.L.I. Clovelly’s very busy year finishes off with their Boxing Day Barbecue on the quay. So if you want to get some fresh air ENTRANCE IS FREE into the village and there will be live music, mulled wine, and even a treasure hunt? While you are all tucking into festive fayre spare a thought for the birds and keep those feeders and water bowls topped up. 

Sunday 22nd November Barnstaple Christmas Light Switch On Sunday 22nd November from 2pm-7pm. The countdown to Christmas starts now! There's a packed programme of events planned in Barnstaple in the run up to Christmas, kicking off with the town's light switch-on event at the Square on Sunday 22 November. There's a great line-up of local talent performing live from 2pm onwards, with BRIT Award-winning BLAKE taking time out from their concert of Christmas Classics at the Queen's Theatre to switch on the town's lights. Visit website for details

Sunday 22nd November LiveView Photo & Optics Show, The Cedars Inn, Roundswell, Barnstaple Love photography? You'll love this... back by popular demand, J&A Cameras proudly welcomes you to our very own camera extravaganza, LiveView 2015! Sunday 22nd November sees us descend on The Cedars Inn at Roundswell, Barnstaple for the South West's largest photographic and optics show. If you've been thinking about a new toy for this Christmas then you're in luck, the show offers a first class view at some of the latest technology on the market with some unbeatable show prices to boot………… Special guests include Devon Wildlife Trust, cosplay group 'Troop 69' and the beautiful birds from Exmoor Hawking, who will be with us providing some fantastic photo opportunities on the day. The show runs from 10.30am until 4.30pm and admission is completely free. Parking areas will be clearly marked within the grounds of The Cedars Inn, however alternate parking is available 10 minutes walk away at Roundswell Retail Park if needed. The list of guest exhibitors are subject to change. Contact us for more information, showline 01271 375037 or visit

From 26th November Machines that Draw. Winter Artists in residence at St. Anne's Art & Community Centre, Barnstaple. St Anne's Arts Centre has welcomed its next artists in residence - Edmund Eva & George Baldwin, eegb drawing. The pair are the successful applicants to Septembers call for a winter artist in residence at the arts centre.
Open Studio sessions on 26 + 27 November, 3 + 4 December, 9 + 10 December all 11am - 7pm
· Free Workshop for Families - Scribble Bots 11 Dec 10am - 12 noon
· Talk with Petroc Art Students 1 Dec 1pm
· Workshop with Park School 25 Nov 10am
· Exhibition 14 - 24 Dec
· Exhibition Preview 17 Dec 6.30pm
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Friday 27th November Holidays are Coming. It’s a familiar, Christmassy sight: a fleet of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks making their way across a snowy landscape. This is how you know that holidays are coming. And this year, the famous truck is coming to Barnstaple on 27th November. The trucks have become Christmassy icons since they were launched on TV in 1995. Come on down to The Square, Barnstaple on Friday 27th November, from midday until 8pm - it promises to be a great day! Visit Website for Barnstaple Events

Christmas Farmers Markets and Craft and Gift Fair at the Big Sheep, Abbotsham (5th - 23rd December) Woolly's Wonderland Weekends from 5th December and Daily from 19th - 24th December + Visit Website for details

Saturday 5th December Family Friendly Christmas Fair from 12noon to 3.30pm at Northam Lodge Rose Hill, Heywood Road, Bideford EX39 3PG. A family friendly Christmas Fair with stalls, a raffle, refreshments and Father Christmas will be in his Grotto. Please come along and support your local charity. IN AID OF Northam Lodge. Contact Email: - Website:

Saturday 5th December Ruby Country Market Hatherleigh Market. Large Festive Market selling "all kinds of everything" with music and attractions. 9am-2pm.

Sunday 6th December Bideford Christmas Lights Switch On 5pm - Click here for details

Sunday 6th December Clovelly Christmas Lights 3:30 pm, in aid of the R.N.L.I. Christmas is a magical time at Clovelly. A local brass brand leads the procession down to the harbour and accompanies festive Christmas carols sung by a local choir. A hog roast, punch, and mince pies follow and Father Christmas makes a surprise visit. At about 5 pm the switch is thrown and the entire village and harbour are lit up. It's a fantastic sight and there's a grand finale of fireworks to finish off

Saturday 12th December Frank Sinatra Tribute Evening. The Westward Ho! Music Community are celebrating the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra by organising a special Tribute Evening at the Bideford Football Club, Robin's Nest in aid of Dr Robin Buckland Children's Holiday Foundation North Devon - Against Domestic Abuse and Winston's Wish Charities.
This special Christmas Sinatra Night Celebration will feature music by RAT PACK PETE and Kasey & Magi’s Magic Karaoke Ensemble supported by members of local singing groups.
The show starts at 7.00pm through until midnight – an open buffet, Rat Pack Pete, Karaoke and Dancing, guest singers and a Champagne Ticket Draw and ample parking.
For further information about tickets call 01237 474 974 or email etc visit…/

Friday 26 December Clovelly Boxing Day Barbecue 12.30 to 3pm at Clovelly Harbour. Join us for our Boxing Day Barbecue on the quay at Clovelly, with FREE entrance into the village. Why not enjoy a walk on the estate then come along to the barbecue where there will be live music, mulled wine, and even a treasure hunt? It will make the perfect follow-up to your own family day.
Contact: Tel: 01237 431781. No admission charges:
For more North Devon Events see Local Press: What's On North Devon Gazette - North Devon Journal  

North Devon Coast and Country Chronicle

Home is where the birds are -  Photo Copyright P. 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 
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(We advise that you check with venues to ensure events are taking place, to confirm details dates & times)