Wednesday, 18 March 2015

LOCAL MUSICIANS PLEASE NOTE. Competition Soundtrack on Your Road Trip

Fantastic opportunity for local musicians to put the perfect Soundtrack on this video and be in with a chance of winning £2000's worth of studio time. The music can be in whatever style you feel inspired to create – for example, electronic dance music (EDM), heavy metal or orchestral as long as it’s inspired by the video and fits its exact length. The competition ends on April 17. have filmed five road trips in five different locations around the UK, here is the one for the Atlantic Highway. Good luck everyone...

Leave a comment if you like this

Nature: This general election's missing issue?

West Country's leading nature charities unite to put nature on the agenda The National Trust, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts are calling on people across the West Country to put nature at the heart of debate in the run up to May's General Election and encourage candidates to support nature. Together the three charities have produced South West Nature 2015 - a new website that details landscapes, wildlife and the issues these face, across all 55 Westminster constituencies in the south west. 
Speaking for the partnership, Harry Barton (CEO of Devon Wildlife Trust) said; "Nature is the missing issue from this general election. We need greater political commitment to nature's recovery and fundamental changes in how we value, use and interact with nature. This is as relevant to the stunning wildlife we have in our seas as it is to our internationally famous landscapes. What happens in the next parliament, and the decisions our elected representatives make, are going to be crucial to the nature we cherish and depend on." 
The charities are encouraging people to visit the website - - or to find it on their local Wildlife Trust website, and discover the big nature issues where they live, then ask their local parliamentary candidates to show that they care about nature and that they will work individually and within their party to look after wildlife and natural spaces. 
Sarah O'Brien, South West External Affairs Advisor speaking for the National Trust said: "The South West has some of the country's most stunning landscapes and richest habitats, all surrounded by our world class coastline. Our natural environment is important in its own right, but it also underpins our economy, health and our wellbeing. Yet nature is in decline. It is vital that we halt this decline and secure nature's recovery in a generation, not only for its own sake, but for what it does for us." 
Simon Brenman speaking for The SW Wildlife Trusts said: "Our environment is under more pressure than ever before. The State of Nature report published in 2013 found that 60% of UK species we know about are in decline and many of the "free", but invaluable, services provided by nature are under threat, such as pollination, resilience to flooding, clean water supply, and food production." 
The charities, who have the support of hundreds of thousands of people across the West Country, say that nature is crucial to our economy, health and wellbeing.
Mark Robins, speaking for the RSPB in the South West said; "The West Country trades on the relative quality of its natural environment. It's one of the principle reasons why people choose to live, work and do business here." "But we need leadership, not only to commit to the recovery of nature, but also to make the most of the opportunities a thriving natural environment provides for healthier and more prosperous communities".  
To find out more visit

'Nature is crucial to the South West's future prosperity, but are our politicians doing enough to safeguard it?' 
Photo:Devon Wildlife Trust's Emsworthy nature reserve, Dartmoor copyright Simon Williams (All rights reserved)

Monday, 16 March 2015


A North Devon teenager has produced a captivating short film about local surf forecaster Trev "Toes" Lumley during his work experience week at North Devon Moving Image (NDMI). Fifteen year old Tom Taylor, who is a student at Pilton Community College in Barnstaple, says "When I saw the work experience blog on the North Devon Moving Image website I knew that this was the right place to go. Film making is a career I want to go into when I'm older so this was the perfect opportunity to see what it involves and what it takes to do film making." "I chose to make a film about the North Devon surfer and owner of Eyeball Surfcheck Trevor Lumley. Surfing is a much loved sport locally as much as it is around the world so I felt it would be interesting to make a film about it." Tom shot his film at Putsborough Beach where Eyeball Surfcheck have one of their webcams. In the film Trev describes his passion for surfing "It's like a really strong drug, it's like being addicted to something that you just can't let go." He also talks about the dilemmas he sometimes has with the surf reporting which brings surfers from far and wide to catch North Devon's waves, saying "I feel like Dr Frankenstein sometimes, like I've created a monster."
Amanda McCormack, Creative Director of North Devon Moving Image enjoys working with enthusiastic students like Tom "Outreach and skills sharing is a big part of what we do here at NDMI. It is really rewarding enabling young people to achieve their dreams. Tom really threw himself into the project and showed a lot of creativity and quick thinking which is essential in documentary film making. He even co-produced the music which has turned out to be a really key element in this film's success." "This was a real experience of the community film making business for Tom. As well as researching and producing his own film, Tom found out what it is like to run a small business and juggle time and money to maximise output."
Amanda thanked North Devon Councillors Brian Moores, Colin Payne and Chris Turner who are all supporting the NDMI Outreach programmes with funding from their community grants this year "Without these generous contributions we would struggle to offer opportunities like this to North Devon's next generation of documentary film makers."
Tom summed up his week at NDMI "Working at North Devon Moving Image has been brilliant. I have had a real insight into what film making is about."
Tom's film is now part of the North Devon Moving Image collection and available to watch on the NDMI website and YouTube channel
Photo: Trevor Lumley with young film maker Tom Taylor (15) from Pilton Community College

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A dark day and bright night at Meeth Quarry nature reserve

Devon Wildlife Trust together with the North Devon Astronomical Society are inviting members of the public to join them for a unique viewing of the solar eclipse followed by star gazing at Meeth Quarry nature reserve. The event will take place on Friday 20 March. Experts will guide visitors through the solar eclipse using professional equipment. From 8am onwards the North Devon Astronomical Society will be at Devon Wildlife Trust's Meeth Quarry nature reserve with their hydrogen alpha telescope which filters light making it safe to look at the sun. Viewers will be able to see sun spots and spectacular prominences, these are huge loops tens of thousands of miles above the surface of the sun large enough the fit the earth through. Stuart Bartlett form North Devon Astronomical Society said "This partial eclipse seen in the South West, is a rare opportunity not to be missed. The moon will block out our view of the sun by approximately 93% which will create a noticeable dark sky". Stuart warns people not to look directly at the sun or through cameras or optical equipment at any time as this can cause permanent damage to eyes. All safety equipment, including solar film for binoculars, will be provided at this event. The solar eclipse will be at its maximum just before 9.30am but Devon Wildlife Trust invites visitors to arrive from 8am onwards. Jo Pullin from Devon Wildlife Trust said "bring a deckchair and enjoy our bacon butties while you watch this two hour spectacle." 
A separate star gazing event follows in the evening from 7.30pm looking at constellations and planets with North Devon Astronomical Society's telescopes. Jo Pullin said "Meeth Quarry nature reserve is easily accessible but far away from street lights and other light pollution which provides the perfect place to view the night skies at their best." Hot drinks and soup will warm viewers but wrap up warm and sturdy footwear is essential, torches advisable. Each session costs £3 per adult, children are free. Visitors are asked to bring solar viewing glasses if possible although some will be available to borrow. If there is cloud cover, the solar eclipse event will not take place and star gazing will be postponed until Sat 21 March. For updates on the day phone 01837 811889. 

 Photo: Andromeda Galaxy copyright Stuart Bartlett (All Rights Reserved)

Meeth Quarry DWT nature reserve is on the southern edge of the village of Meeth on the A386 between Hatherleigh and Great Torrington. Follow the access road for half a mile and the car park is on the left. Nearest postcode is EX20 3EP Check the Devon Wildlife Trust website for more information 

Monday, 9 March 2015

A little Spring Bounce

I took this video of an incredible display from a male Blue Tit last Spring. Such a big effort from a teeny bird. He started what I think was his courting ritual in April, jumping to the log, fluttering up and down the window then across to the feeder and back again, the only sound "tappity tap" as he collided frequently with the window. Marvin's visits started early morning and went on for hours each day. For three weeks the ritual continued until he finally found his soulmate.
Spring has arrived early this year, as I am writing this I am thrilled to say Mr. Blue Tit is back again and has started his merry dance once more, I would like to think it’s Marvin. Around and around isn’t nature fantastic.
Window on the World: A short vido clip by P. Adams (2014)
Photo: Marvin's return 10/3/2015

Charity promises biggest ever Mother's Day bunch of flowers

Devon Wildlife Trust is offering a very special Mother's Day treat - and the good news is it's free. The charity cares for 50 of Devon's top places for nature and at one of these - Dunsford, near Exeter - this year's Mother's Day is set to coincide with the peak of its famous display of wild daffodils.
Devon Wildlife Trust's Steve Hussey said: 'Dunsford nature reserve contains one of England's biggest collections of wild daffodils. Every March these flowers bloom and together their delicate yellow flowers provide a spectacular natural spectacle. This year the signs are that the flowers will be at their best in the middle of the month, making it the perfect place for a Mother's Day stroll on Sunday 15 March.' Steve Hussey said: 'With the River Teign running through its heart, picturesque woodland walks and wonderful wildlife Dunsford attracts more than 40,000 visitors a year. It's a very special place at any time but in spring with the daffodils on show it makes the perfect place to take Mum and the rest of the family.'
The scene at Dunsford wasn't always so rosy. In the 1960s the wild daffodils were in steep decline as many were picked by unthinking visitors. There were even regular advertised 'daffodil picking' trips run by coach companies to the beauty spot. However, concerted campaigning by local people and a change in law to protect wildflowers means that this problem is largely a thing of the past.
Today it is the job of Devon Wildlife Trust's Andrew Bakere to look after Dunsford. Andrew said: 'We find that visitors today are very respectful of the wild daffodils. I think many realise just what a special natural event they are. Today people are content to just come and marvel at them.' Recently Andrew has been hard at work with the help of volunteers and funding from the English Woodland Grant Scheme to clear glades in Dunsford's riverside woodland. These glades are now providing light and space for the daffodils to grow. Andrew said: 'It's been hard work but rewarding. The wild daffodils last year were the best I've seen for years and we're hoping to top that display for Mother's Day this year. And it's not just the flowers that have benefited - birds including pied flycatchers breed here and use the glades to hunt insects in, while butterflies including silver-washed fritillaries bask in the warm, sheltered spots which they provide.' Dunsford's wild daffodils will be in bloom until the end of March.
Dunsford nature reserve is on the B3212 just inside the Dartmoor National Park boundary between Moretonhampstead and Exeter. Its main entrance is close to Steps Bridge over the River Teign. Like all of Devon Wildlife Trust's 50 nature reserves it is free to enter. For more details on Dunsford nature reserve visit

Daffodils at Dunsford. Photo copyright Kevin New. (All Rights Reserved)

Friday, 6 March 2015

"What is our rural landscape worth to us?" - five conversations - one play

The Common Charter Hall, Okehampton, March 14th, 7.30pm

Beaford Arts and China Plate present The Common. Spring 2014, five writers went to North Devon to explore what the rural environment means to its people. They got to know old farming families, incomers and returnees. They met rural life in mugs of tea at farmhouse kitchen tables, on windswept hills, under rusting barn roofs and from 'backies' on a farmer's quad bike. These encounters and conversations fed the writing of The Common, a performance work of five dialogues about life and land. Two performers (Charlotte Melia and Martin Hyder) play ten characters examining their relationships with each other and the landscape which connects them with life itself. 

Rural arts organisation and cultural ambassadors for North Devon's Biosphere Reserve, Beaford Arts initiated this project. "In north Devon, we've always known the value of our land." says Mark Wallace, Director of Beaford Arts "Now, as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and as one of Natural England's Nature Improvement Areas, we're increasingly under the national and international spotlight. But it's the rural communities, living with the land for generations, who made this landscape. This new show is about the values we still hold in common - about the voices which should still be heard." Six months on from its world premiere in North Devon, The Common is going on tour to four other NIAs - Meres & Moses, Morecambe Bay, Birmingham and Wild Purbeck. The Common is a local play with national significance, it captures the environmental zeitgeist and its universal relevance makes for vital viewing in every rural community. One of the five writers, Inua Ellams, said "It was a job of listening, of conversations that were heart breaking, overwhelming, passionate and multi-layered. When it came to writing, I didn't know where to start, but an idea crystallised after I met a farmer, his wife and two sons." "They told stories and anecdotes to illustrate how complicated a process it would be. How there are some aspects of the land that simply cannot be valued, that are (by that definition) priceless. He referred to us as townies, and he and his colleagues as country folk. He did not like townies. As a black African I'm used to prejudice, I found it refreshing, dare I say thrilling, to be prejudiced because of where I lived rather than the colour of my skin. As we talked and I asked the right questions, he began to relax and slowly 'you townies' became 'those townies'. We 'othered' them so we could point and laugh."
Talking about her part in the development process, another of the writing team, Charlotte Josephine explains "The piece I wrote was mainly inspired by meeting photographer Rosie Anderson. I read her charming 'personal post on a place called home' on her website on the train down and knew we'd be friends. Her passionate post about the closing of Hatherleigh Market really struck a chord with me. It's heart-breaking when we sacrifice tradition, community and culture for financial gain." 
The Common will be performed in Charter Hall, Okehampton, March 14th, 7.30pm Tickets are free but limited so booking is essential. Bookings through Eventbrite
Beaford Arts The Common - Photos copyright (All rights reserved) 
Read previous post about The Common 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A wild life is a better life says charity

A Wild Life is a Better Life - all the evidence is there Sir David Attenborough highlights why the natural world is so important to us all South West charity wants to hear all about people's wild lives!

When we stop and think, we all know that nature is good for us - but how often do we stop and think? Devon Wildlife Trust is launching My Wild Life today which encourages us all to stop for a minute to reflect on what wildlife means to us and think about how to make wildlife part of our everyday lives. If we did this, not only would wildlife benefit, but so would we - because contact with nature is good for us. Those people lucky enough to live near and experience green spaces have a 50% chance of being more healthy - both physically and mentally and are 40% less likely to become overweight or obese.

Sir David Attenborough has travelled the world in search of wildlife but in London where he lives he can watch stag beetles flying in his garden and marvel at ancient trees in London's parks. Sir David, The Wildlife Trusts' President Emeritus, says: "Contact with nature should not be the preserve of the privileged. It is critical to the personal development of our children." This is why Devon Wildlife Trust is restoring wildlife and wild places in the county's towns and cities as well as in its wonderful countryside, and why we are encouraging people from all walks of life to share their own personal stories about what nature means to them.

Sir David Attenborough is one of hundreds of people taking part so far, alongside students, nurses, families, volunteers, teachers and many others from across the UK. From today his, and other stories, can be found at where people can add their own story and discover wild places near to them. Sir David continues "People turn to nature in moments of joy and in moments of sadness. We are part of the natural world: we depend on it for the air we breathe and the food we eat. The Wildlife Trusts are helping people to understand their role in the natural world and their dependency on it. This is essential if we are going to speed nature's recovery." 

Simon King OBE, The Wildlife Trusts' President, said: "People across the UK benefit from the work The Wildlife Trusts do - from nature therapy projects to forest schools, the thousands of wild places we care for and our work bringing back wildlife and natural processes to landscapes. We've always known that contact with nature can make a big difference to people's lives. The evidence is now building to back this up. We hope these stories inspire others to think about their relationship with the natural world and to make nature part of their life." 

Imogen, 15, from Exeter has been volunteering for Devon Wildlife Trust for the past six months and her story features in My Wild Life. Imogen says: "I volunteer for The Trust as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Award and I chose the charity because it looks after the things that I really care about. I love Devon as a place to grow up in. I body-board and swim in its seas, I love the feeling of freedom I get from walking on Dartmoor and I like sharing these spaces with its very special wildlife." 

Steve Hussey from Devon Wildlife Trust explained the thinking behind the My Wild Life campaign: 'The South West's landscapes and nature are what underpins our quality of life - they make this a special place to be. Unfortunately, in our busy daily lives we sometimes lose sight of this and the things that really matter. With My Wild Life we're asking people to stop, think and then tell us what their connection to nature is. We're interested in hearing all about people's wild lives!' Everyone can share their stories of the wildlife and wild places which matter to them and why, using #MyWildLife on twitter, facebook and Instagram.

* Find inspiration - explore stories about people and nature at, including Sir David Attenborough's. 
* Share your wild life - share your 'Wild Life' and what nature means to you. Upload your story at or use #MyWildLife 
* Wild is better, pass it on - read and share our '10 Reasons Why Wild Is Better' infographic at 
* Make nature part of your life - see our ideas for putting the wild back in your life 
* Discover Devon's best Wild Walks at 
* Start your wild life at one of hundreds of Devon Wildlife Trust events this year