Monday, 24 August 2015

"Britain’s Best Holiday Park". August Bank Holiday celebrations at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks

Join Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks in Devon this August Bank Holiday when it celebrates scooping the title of Britain’s Best Holiday Park.

Its flagship Park, Golden Coast, beat off stiff competition to achieve this prestigious award and a wealth of celebrations will be taking place at August Bank Holiday when the trophy is presented by the organisers of the contest, Towergate Insurance.

A party atmosphere will prevail and guests will enjoy live music, an award ceremony, fun entertainment - including a bouncy castle and games and activities for the children - along with an evening firework extravaganza.

To mark the achievement, the company is highlighting two-night bank holiday breaks - starting on 29 August - at the extra special on-line price of just £199 for a party of up to six people - equating to less than £34 each - staying in a Bronze villa or apartment.

In addition to enjoying the above celebratory activities, guests can also enjoy 40 free facilities including heated indoor and outdoor pools, outdoor water play areas, tennis, fishing, a cinema, plus children’s clubs and nightly entertainment. Other facilities, payable, include a surfing simulator, a high ropes course, 10-pin bowling and a 3D cinema.
 0843 208 0368,

Lobster & Crab Feast. Time to enjoy a fun-filled day down along Clovelly.

Come and enjoy a fun-filled day out for the whole family, in celebration of Clovelly's famous lobsters and crabs, sustainably caught by local fishermen. The Lobster & Crab Feast will be at Clovelly Harbour from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 6th September

There'll be live folk music, cookery demonstrations, a prize draw for a magnum of champagne, local food and craft stalls, including plenty of freshly cooked lobsters and crabs, and beer tasting. Children will be kept entertained by street theatre, walkabout magic, balloon modelling and event-themed craft activities provided by The National Trust. 
You can choose from a variety of crab and lobster dishes cooked on the quay or book a table at the Red Lion Harbour Restaurant and dine on delicious lobster and seafood platters.

The day is in aid of the National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow, who will be exhibiting some of their baby lobsters prior to their release into Clovelly Bay at the end of the day. You can even adopt a baby lobster, as well as learning about how they are raised in captivity and then released into the sea.

Standard admission charges include all entertainment

For more information Contact: Clovelly Visitor Centre. Tel: 01237 431781. or visit

Monday, 17 August 2015

Free Public Screening Event Launches Boat Stories Short Film Series

It is time to roll out the red carpet for the series premiere of Boat Stories - ten short films featuring local characters whose lives revolve around boats and fishing in North Devon. Local film maker Jo Stewart-Smith has joined forces with community film making organisation North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) to tell ten different boat stories. From traditional salmon fishing to the Lundy ferry and from Clovelly to Ilfracombe Jo sought out stories of heritage, politics, sport and family to create a valuable snapshot of life in North Devon today. As the project comes to a close and the final film sails out of the editing suite it is time to celebrate Boat Stories with a free screening event at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe on Friday 4 September 2015 at 7.30pm. Amanda McCormack, Creative Director of NDMI is delighted with the project "Jo has worked extremely hard on Boat Stories. From a chance meeting on Woolacombe beach two years ago to this fabulous series of local social documentary films we certainly have a journey to celebrate."
"Boat Stories has been much more than just a film making exercise. Jo has also kept the public up to date with the project in her frequent blogs and photos on the Boat Stories website and this in itself is a great local resource. Additionally, I've been very strict about NDMI's 5 minute running time policy and some of Jo's interviews were too good to end up on the cutting room floor so we have posted the best video clips on the website." Jo also did a great job of keeping it local, another rigid NDMI rule. She says that one of the best things about working on the project was the opportunity to work with new filmmakers. "Boat Stories was made by four different locally-based freelance cameramen, we had several young talent assistants on camera and sound and we worked with a different local musician for each film."
Jo adds "The biggest highlight though, was the people I met: fishermen, skippers, crews and scientists or conservationists - being welcomed on board for a few hours or whole days and being given a privileged peek into a new world."
"There were lows too: including losing a camera over the cliff on Lundy island on the first day of our three day visit and realising we'd have to wait till the following year to complete the film. On other films we cancelled trips for bad weather and lack of fish, had a couple of seasick cameraman and technical issues with film equipment, but the shows went on!"
Chrissie Ingle, Project Development Officer at North Devon + says "The Boats stories films have shown how intrinsically linked north Devonians are to the sea. These short films, supported by the Northern Devon FLAG, pack a lot into 5 minutes and are funny, engaging and, most importantly, informative. I thoroughly recommend going along to the showing of the films as part of the ‘Sea Ilfracombe’ and ‘Fishtival’ events, they are a treat to see. "
The Boat Stories Premiere is the launch event for Sea Ilfracombe 2015 - a weekend of celebrating all things maritime from 4-6 September. Although this is a free event, tickets must be reserved via the North Devon Theatres box office
 North Devon Lobster Potting. Photo copyright Boat Stories (All Rights Reserved)
Boat Stories Short Films. Photo copyright Boat Stories (All Rights Reserved)

Friday, 7 August 2015

Clovelly Lectures “The Rise and Rise of China” Speaker Jonathan Fenby CBE

Clovelly Lectures runs a lecture forum on World Affairs, International Relations, Security & Defence and Science & Technology. The venue of this Forum is Clovelly on the stunning coastline of North Devon; a soft background to ask hard questions.

It seeks to provide a global positioning of British relationships and influences, with an emphasis on and analysis of Government policy and its direct impact on British lives.

Clovelly Lectures is an effort to introduce a platform for ideas and events which shape the world; a filter to create clarity and explain significances. Focusing on what is important, interesting and often ignored, it is a platform providing information for making informed choices.

Now in its 4th year, Clovelly Lectures has found in Devon a responsive audience. There is a curiosity and interest in listening and discussing matters that affect our lives in a fast, changing and confusing economic and political world. The attendance at these lectures has been enthusiastic and overwhelming. Clovelly Lectures has a fast growing audience, a wide participation and is becoming oversubscribed. This has been invigorating, encouraging us to think that we must be doing something right. latest lecture takes place on SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 26th 2015 and our eminent speaker is JONATHAN FENBY CBE, founding partner and Managing Director of the China Team at Trusted Sources, a journalist and writer of many books. A media point of view on China was thought to provide an analysis which would be free of all the normal constraints. Although the world's most populated nation has a chequered history, Fenby will be speaking on China's new importance as an increasingly significant global force. With an emphasis on China’s relationship and history with Britain and our mutual interests, Fenby promises to deliver a unique and coherent picture of China’s essence and evolution, contemplating its future - both alone and connected to the world. 

For tickets to this exciting event or for more information, please contact; or phone 01237 431200.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Move to protect Devon's endangered mussels

New conservation project to protect rare and endangered freshwater pearl mussels One of the UK's rarest wildlife species is set to get extra help in one of its last strongholds in north Devon. Devon Wildlife Trust has recently launched a project to safeguard our freshwater pearl mussels on the river Torridge. The river Torridge has the 4th largest remaining population in England, but the mussels are threatened due to the poor health of our watercourses.
This Biffa Award funded project, with the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) as the lead partner organisation, will be looking at methods to protect and enhance our existing populations as well as offering support and advice to landowners and communities for methods of reducing river pollution. Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager said "This project is an exciting opportunity to save one of the most long-lived animals from extinction; the freshwater pearl mussel can live for more than 100 years and is internationally protected".
The project will run for three years and is part of a broader approach to improve water quality and river health in north Devon. Izzy Moser, the new Freshwater Pearl Mussel Officer said 'Thriving freshwater pearl mussel populations are a good indicator of healthy watercourses. Healthy watercourses are vital for providing clean drinking water, maintaining biodiversity, supporting local fisheries and communities and meeting the new stringent standards for bathing waters' 
Freshwater pearl mussels are a long-lived species with a fascinating lifecycle, of which part is spent attached to the gills of Atlantic salmon and brown trout. These long-lived mussels were once numerous across Devon and much of the UK, however, they are not thought to have bred successfully in the river Torridge since the 1960's and as a result, are in serious decline. 
A small amount of money is available for workshops, one to one advice and grants for habitat improvement work or farm infrastructure enhancements. The overall aim of these workshops and grants is to reduce the amount of sediments, nitrates and phosphates entering the watercourse, therefore improving water quality. 
The Devon Wildlife Trust project incorporates a range of partners including Westcountry Rivers Trust, North Devon Biosphere Reserve and the Environment Agency. Together, these teams will be working to monitor populations, enhance reproduction and improve water quality. 
Project officer Izzy Moser is now calling on landowners and farmers, particularly those who farm along the main River Torridge to get in touch for advice on riparian management and the potential for grant support. If you would like to find out more, or are interested in getting involved, please email Izzy at
 Freshwater pearl mussels on the Torridge. Photo copyright Julian Payne(All rights reserved)