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
View full details/read all about it-
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 
Click here to add an event go to North Devon Focus Coast & Country Chronicle Community Calendar 
(We advise that you check with venues to ensure events are taking place, to confirm details dates & times)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Short Film - Ben Bengey - North Devon's Young Fishing Industry Ambassador

An inspirational young fisherman from Ilfracombe in North Devon is fast becoming the voice for the future of fishing in the UK. Ben Bengey's charm and passion for his work make him the perfect young ambassador for the industry. Ben features in a new short film - A Life in the Day of a Young Fisherman - one episode in a ten part series of five minute documentaries on the people whose lives revolve around boats and fishing in North Devon.

Ben understands the importance of sustainability in his work and wants to share this with others. In September Ben took his film to London for the launch of Blue New Deal, an initiative from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and explains "It was about UK coastal communities and the jobs and people behind it all. So I went to talk about fishing and tell people that fisherman are not as bad as the news shows and we do put things in place to stop overfishing, like the ray box and the Trevose box."

One scene in "A Life in the Day of a Young Fisherman" shows Ben returning a lobster to the sea despite it being within the legal size for keeping. He says he'd "rather put it back... may have kids... grow a bit bigger" and adds "I don't see any reason to keep 'em. You're just messing with your own future, to be honest". Ben lives and breathes a life on the sea - at just 19 he has his own boat, Silver Spirit, which is licensed for both commercial fishing and passengers so when he's not out potting for lobsters and crabs (or volunteering for the RNLI) he's running fishing trips and he spends his spare time on his boat fishing with his mates for the sheer pleasure of it. He sums up his film with the words " I just want to be out on the water, every day, every hour."

Boat Stories Producer, Jo Stewart-Smith says "Right from the beginning I wanted to make a film about a young fisherman starting out - who was serious about making a go of it in this tough, fickle, roller coaster business. It's not a choice many youngsters make - there are far easier ways of making a living. But as someone wrote after watching our film 'Ben is following his dream and making a go of it.' The Boat Stories films are a valuable way of informing people about the fishing industry, Ben says "It's really good as like I said on the news (ITV Westcountry interviewed Ben to launch Boat Stories as a web series) people don't have a clue what we do and it's great to show people!" 

You can watch Ben's film and read more about him and his work on the Boat Stories website

Boat Stories - A Day in the Life of a Young Fisherman

Charity raises support for wildlife through Christmas cards and gifts.

A characterful puffin and an icy fox are just two images a local wildlife charity has chosen for its 2015 Christmas cards. Devon Wildlife Trust has been fundraising through Christmas card sales for several years now and in 2014, nearly £6000 was raised to support its vital work for wildlife across the county.
This year, Devon Wildlife Trust has added a number of new lines. A puffin flying in the snow, a swan and her cygnet, an icy fox and a handsome robin along with the popular multi-image card make up the stunning designs. The Wildlife Trusts 2016 calendar is also available and features 13 stunning images of the UK's wildlife. Orders can be made online, by phone or by post.
Devon Wildlife Trust is also offering a special Christmas gift for countryside lovers. A year's membership of Devon Wildlife Trust provides the opportunity for countless free days out in some of Devon's most stunning landscapes. As an extra Christmas offer, gift membership also includes a choice of free illustrated book.
Devon Wildlife Trust is also urging people to think of treating the wildlife-lovers in their life with a very special Christmas gift. Adopting a species makes an unusual present. Choices include bee, hedgehog, bat, otter, dormouse and dolphin - with the recipient receiving a cute soft toy, activity book, fact sheet and more.
Jasmine Atkinson, DWT's Communications Assistant said 'Our Christmas cards are already flying off the shelves and the new designs are proving popular. Buying cards and calendars from Devon Wildlife Trust is a great way to help wildlife from the comfort of your living room!' Jasmine added 'It is sometimes difficult to find unusual presents. Our Christmas gift membership offers a present that will last all year and is perfect for friends and family who love wildlife and the Devon countryside'. Cards are printed on sustainably sourced card and really show off some of Devon's best-loved animals. All the profits from the sales of Devon Wildlife Trust's cards and gifts go directly to support its work for the county's wildlife.
People who wish to purchase cards should visit or call Devon Wildlife Trust on 01392 279244. The cards are also available through the Cards for Good Causes outlets across the county and from The Trust's Cricklepit Mill headquarters in Exeter.

Devon Wildlife Trust Christmas Cards

 Devon Wildlife Trust Christmas Cards

Monday, 9 November 2015


Local community film makers North Devon Moving Image are working on an exciting new project to unveil and preserve Barnstaple's hidden heritage through your personal stories and photographs.  They will be holding a free drop in event at Barnstaple Guildhall on Friday 27 November 2015 between 10am and 3.30pm where you can contribute to the project.

Amanda McCormack, Creative Director of NDMI says "We are fascinated by tales and images of old Barnstaple and there is nothing quite like hearing about the past from those who have lived it or who have stories passed down through their families."

The drop in day will be an informal and friendly event where people of all ages will have an opportunity to share their stories of Barnstaple.  Interviews recorded and photographs scanned on the day will be used to produce a series of short films which will then be shared online and on the touch screen display at St Anne's Arts Centre in Barnstaple.

Amanda adds "The Barnstaple Stories event will be an opportunity for people to come along and share their own memories and pictures of Barnstaple in days gone by.  It will be an informal event with free tea, coffee, cake and a chance to put your feet up after a hard morning's shopping. We are hoping that we will hear stories connected to local landmarks and significant historical events as well as romantic and poignant anecdotes and preserve them in the form of short films for future generations."

North Devon Moving Image Oral History Project
Previous NDMI Oral History Project
North Devon Moving Image Oral History Project
Old photo Barnstaple High Street - Mac Fisheries and WH Smith Shops

The Guildhall is fully accessible with a lift to the first floor and at 12.30pm on the day there will be a free guided tour for anyone who is interested.
For further information contact Amanda McCormack, Creative Director, North Devon Moving Image 01271 860610
Barnstaple Guild Hall
Barnstaple Guild Hall

All Photos copyright Amanda McCormack North Devon Moving Image CLC (All rights reserved) 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

New poll reveals parents' concern over children's lack of wildlife experiences

The Wildlife Trusts launch new initiative to make 'Every Child Wild'

Evidence has been growing for a number of years pointing to the health and social benefits to be derived from contact with the natural world for all ages1. However, results from a new YouGov poll, commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, highlight the discrepancy between what parents think is best for children and what they actually experience. 
Our new poll shows that:
  •  91% of parents of children aged 18 and under think that having access to nature and wildlife is important for children, yet
  •  78% of parents are concerned that children don't spend enough time interacting with nature and wildlife
Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts, said: "We will be physically, mentally and spiritually impoverished if our children are deprived of contact with the natural world. Contact with nature should not be the preserve of the privileged. It is critical to the personal development of our children."
However, a generation of children is growing up disconnected from nature, with just one in ten ever playing in wild places2. The Wildlife Trusts reach around half a million children each year, many with outdoor experiences through their school, but are concerned that many more children are not getting the chance to get close to wildlife. 
The poll also reveals:
  • 57% of parents said their children spend a little less or a lot less time outdoors than they did - many children are missing out on contact with the natural world:
  • Less than half (46%) of children aged 8-15 had looked for wild flowers with their parent/ guardian or grandparent with even fewer (42%) listening for birdsong together
  • 71% of children have never seen a lizard in the wild in the UK, more than half (53%) have never seen a flock of starlings and more than a third (37%) have never seen a hedgehog
The Wildlife Trusts work with schools and teachers who are passionate about using the outdoors but this poll shows wildlife experiences are limited in schools:
  • Although more than half of the children polled (56%) have learned about wildlife in the classroom in the last six months, under a quarter (24%) said their school has an indoor nature display area, like a nature table, and
  • Only 50% of children said their school had an outdoor nature area and less than half (46%) of the children said they had been to a place in the wild with their school to learn about wildlife in the past year
Lucy McRobert, The Wildlife Trusts' Nature Matters campaign manager, said: "We know that first-hand contact with nature is good for children. It makes them happier, healthier and more creative and for some it can have a life-changing impact. But there's a gap between what society intuitively knows is best for children and what they're actually getting. The results of our poll illustrate that some children are missing out on the contact with nature their parents and grandparents are likely to have known. This is partly due to the changes in our everyday lives and partly due to diminishing opportunities: wild places are vanishing and wild animals such as starlings and hedgehogs have declined massively over the past 50 years.
"Parents clearly think it is important for children to have outdoor experiences and we need to help schools make the most of opportunities for them to discover nature. There are some creative teachers using wildlife and wild places to engage and enthuse pupils but we need to help nature become a more central part of school life, enabling more children to have special wildlife moments close to home."
More encouragingly, 95% of the children polled have visited a park with their parent/guardian or grandparent, and many (82%) had held a ladybird, highlighting the importance of using urban environments like parks and gardens as places where children can discover and experience wildlife.
In a bid to ensure every child in the UK has an opportunity to enjoy regular contact with nature, over the next year
The Wildlife Trusts are inviting individuals, parents, teachers, schools and organisations to share their ideas on what needs to happen to put the wild back into childhood and make 'every child wild' as part of a new initiative called Every Child Wild (see It offers top practical tips for successful family adventures, inspiration from young people with a passion for nature and much more, including: 
  • a new Every Wild Child report, with insights gathered from a poll asking parents and children about wild experiences during childhood 
  • The Art of Getting Children outdoors: A Practical Guide to Family Adventures, offering practical ideas for parents to inspire children to get outdoors, by Jen and Sim Benson from A Wild Year 
  •  a podcast with five young people, aged 10-16, discussing what it's like growing up with a passion for nature 
  • daily blogs on The Wildlife Trusts' website throughout November from well-known wildlife champions, children, parents, teachers and others on ideas for reconnecting children and nature 
  • Short surveys for teachers and parents (and anyone else) to share ideas for reconnecting children with nature at home and at school. The Wildlife Trusts are also hoping to gather more information about wild experiences during childhood from people of all ages. See 
In the South West, Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) has noticed a growing demand for its expertise in providing a connection between children and wildlife. DWT's Paul Martin says: "We're trying to lead the way in outdoor learning and early nature experiences through our Wildlife Watch groups, school outreach work, volunteering opportunities, and the huge number of wild events that we offer every year. We hope Every Child Wild will get people talking and sharing ideas about how we can all help to put the wild back in childhood. We need to empower families, teachers and schools to ensure children have access to nature and to engage with it on a regular basis. Together, we are all nurturing the next generation of naturalists, animal-lovers, birdwatchers, explorers, scientists, campaigners and politicians to try and slow the decline of nature." 
Sir David Attenborough adds: "The Wildlife Trusts are giving countless people the chance to experience wildlife in their everyday lives. It is moving to see the delight on the face of a six year old looking at a pond skater or caddis fly larva." 
Billy Stockwell is a 16 year old from Nottingham. He features in a new podcast in which five young people discuss what it's like growing up with a passion for nature. Billy says: "There's a physical side of nature, like trees and ponds and fields, but then there's the symbolic side of nature, which makes you realise that some things just aren't as important as you thought they were. The other day I dropped my phone. I was so annoyed but then spending time in nature, which has been around for millions of years, helped me to understand that I worried about the little things far too much. We need to learn when to turn the computer off and actually go outside and have experiences." 

Experience nature with your Wildlife Trust and take your child(ren) to one of our events, nature reserves, Wildlife Watch groups or join as a family. 
 Join in the discussion with Every Child Wild and share your ideas and inspiration for reconnecting children with nature using #EveryChildWild on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Wildlife Watch Autumn - Photo copyright Tom Marshall (All rights reserved)

Monday, 2 November 2015

North Devon Music Group gets off to a great start with it's first Sofa Session

Some very crowd pleasing specially selected music was played at the St Annes Sofa Session on October 27th to an audience made up of venue reps, promoters, open mic hosts and music lovers. The musicians said they really loved having the opportunity to play at St Annes Arts Centre in the heart of Barnstaple and having the bonus of quality sound engineering provided by music legends Doc Honk (Kev Teague) and Brain Tucker

The very talented young musician Wren Frost stated on facebook "Tonight was absolutely amazing, wonderful venue, fantastic people and an incredible amount of support and opportunities given to me for the future"

Every musician playing had professional shots taken by Josh Stevenson who offered his services for free. The musicians who played have already grabbed and uploaded these to their facebook pages - check out Mama Says’s facebook page:

Feedback from those who attended this free music networking event was really positive with their every need provided for by the organisers Dion Sears and Lucy Betts including a very comfy sofa, home-made brownies and a well stocked bar thanks to Clearwater Brewery. Beverley Eastwood who’d come up from Exeter stated “Lovely event with lovely people at a lovely venue! .....ooh and some lovely chocolate brownies”

Dion Sears and Lucy Betts, the founder members of the North Devon Music Network, were so pleased with the turnout, outcomes and feedback for the event that they are planning to hold another Sofa Sess in the new year. For more information check out their facebook page  or email

North Devon Music Network
St. Annes's Sofa Sessions - Photo copyright Josh Stevenson (All rights reserved)
Wren Frost -  Photo copyright Josh Stevenson (All rights reserved) 

 Ben F Goddard  - Photo copyright Josh Stevenson (All rights reserved)

North Devon Music Network - Web Site
North Devon Music network - Facebook
North Devon Music Network - Email