Friday, 12 October 2018

Oyez, Oyez.Oyez. Heanton Nursing Home Celebrates OUTSTANDING rating

Over 100 local people including the Town Crier of Ilfracombe, Roy Goodwin, and his wife, Bea, joined the team at Heanton Nursing home to celebrate their success at being rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Heanton Nursing Home, the 51-bed, specialist dementia nursing and care home near Barnstaple, received this highest rating following a rigorous two-day inspection by five inspectors. They concluded that “People received outstanding care and were supported to have the best quality of life possible.” Less than 2% of all the homes inspected in England achieve the Outstanding rating.
The guests who came to the party on Sunday 7th October, were treated to a hog roast and lots of home-made treats prepared by Heanton’s chefs. The event was a family affair and children were entertained with face painting, a bouncy castle and a bucking rodeo bull ride.
The manager of Heanton, Paula Mascall, said “We strive hard to make the lives of those living with us, the best possible. It is so important that people living in a home maintain their links to the community. Heanton prides itself on providing a bespoke service by familiarising ourselves with all the family members’ preferences which we obtain by taking individual life histories. I want to pass my thanks and congratulations onto the incredible care team who work so hard every day and night”.
Heanton nursing home is part of the Evolve Care Group, which operates 12 nursing and care homes across the South West. This is their second home to receive CQC’s outstanding rating in as many months. Their first was their Sundial Care Home, near Sidmouth. CEO, Preyen Dewani, a former National Care Entrepreneur of the Year winner, said “Our Evolve Model of care was developed by our team of specialists who researched practices in Australia and America, and we are delighted to be celebrating the results of it, here today.”
Evolve Care Group has developed its own bespoke training course that educates people living and working with dementia on the latest thinking and techniques. A number of free places on the course are available to people from the local community. Anyone interested should contact Rebecca on 0117 938 7747.

It is estimated that by 2030 the number of people living with dementia will increase by 61%. The independent charity, King’s Fund say that the cost of supporting those living with the condition is also set to rise to £24 billion by 2026. The Evolve Care Group has a number of subsidised care places for local residents. Further information can be obtained by calling the number above

Ilfracombe’s  Town Cryer, Roy Goodwin, with his wife Bea Goodwin with Evolve Group CEO, Preyen Dewani

Ilfracombe’s  Town Cryer, Roy Goodwin and his wife Bea Goodwin with Evolve Group CEO, Preyen Dewani

Ilfracombe’s  Town Cryer, Roy Goodwin, with his wife Bea Goodwin

  Ilfracombe’s Town Cryer, Roy Goodwin, with his wife Bea Goodwin

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Bursting with life. A country walk on the North Devon Coast

I love it when the sun breaks through the trees. I always try to capture a sunburst and I try even harder not to look into the sun to do it.

It was as warm as a Summer's day on the North Devon Coast today. I think it may have made it into the record books as one of the hottest October days for some time. 

As I wandered down the track towards the coast there was a lot of leaf fall, not much fall colour. The old Beech leaves are still green, I normally wait until November for the leaves to turn. Looks as though the National Trust have been working hard mowing the coastal meadows and clearing up the Bracken. The old Apple Tree must have weighed heavy with apples, lots of juicy red ones now lying on the ground important for birds, bugs and wildlife stocking up for the winter. The newly renovated orchard now has a seat and will make a magical resting place for tired walkers. I miss the flowering then berry-filled Hawthorn but the plus side of losing that will be the sight of apple blossom in the years to come.

There was one huge fungi on the trunk of one of the old Beech trees last year, this year they are climbing up the trunk, mycelium at its best or worst if they are damaging the tree.

It was really hot on the coast path overlooking Bideford Bay and there were a few wildflowers still blooming beside the track. Devil's Bit Scabious, Red Campion, Fumitory, Autumn Hawkbit, Hawkweed and Yarrow. A few solitary bees but my attention was taken by a movement on the Yarrow,  a wonderfully fluttery teeny butterfly, a Small Copper. I watched the other day as a pair were dancing together in ,the permaculture garden at Tapeley. A fleeting moment, then it was gone, much like the Sunburst. (Article Pat Adams 10/10/2018)

Country life on the North Devon Coast. Photo copyright Pat Adams (All rights reserved)
Country life on the North Devon Coast. Photo copyright Pat Adams (All rights reserved)
 Peppercombe Orchard. Photo copyright Pat Adams (All rights reserved)
All articles and photos copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All rights reserved)

Friday, 5 October 2018

Autumn Highlights. Pressing time on Apple Day down Clovelly

It is Apple Season – so Clovelly Village are holding their Third Apple Day with lots of lovely apple crafts and activities. On arrival at Clovelly you will see apple pressing by Gatcombe valley outside the Visitor Centre, so please do bring a bag of apples. Watch them being pressed and taste the fresh juice. Or if you wish, you can bring more for pasteurisation and bottling for which there will be a charge. 

Crafts and and activities

On entry to Clovelly (free for children under 7 years old), you will find the Apple crafts and activities in the Visitor Centre from 11:00-16:00. The round shape of the apple with the great reds and greens makes the apple a perfect base for creating art. So enjoy some Apple Art with The Plough and either carve, sculpt, decorate or do all of them with your apple.

There will also be live music, apple bobbing, apple stamping and making corn dollies.

Isabella Necessity on her Story Bicycle will be there to tell stories of her orchard escapades and share snippets of apple folklore. Isabella is a bicycling botanist who loves to share stories from her incredible journeys around the world with the people she meets along the way. She has flown with the blue butterflies of Brazil in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, outwitted trolls in the fjords of Norway, learnt Kung-Fu on the Mountain of Kunyu and rested in a robin's nest on Dartmoor. With delightful storytelling, gorgeous illustrations, unexpected wonders and a handsome Story Bicycle called Dilys, Isabella will whisk you away to another world.

Farmers market and competition
There will be a small farmers market, including a pick of pumpkins, vegetables, herbs, and cider amongst other stalls. Merry Harriers Garden Centre will also have some of their interesting products on display. The RNLI will be hosting our Apple Crumble competition (so please bring your crumbles at 10:00 to enter). They will be also selling lovely homemade cakes and apple deserts.
Harvest Hunt, Garden Tour and Chef demonstration

At 13:00 pm, families can take part in a fun Harvest Hunt with the Clovelly Tour Guide, Jana Edwards, who will take you down around the craftyard and Mount Pleasant. She will tell spooky stories and looking for clues to win a harvest treat back at the Visitor Centre. Please book your place on arrival as spaces are limited.

Also this year, our Head Gardener, Lucy Halliday, will offer a garden tour at 14:30. Then don't miss our Chef demonstration at 16:00.

Clovelly Apple Day. Photo copyright Terry Annis (All rights reserved)
Clovelly Apple Day. Photo copyright Terry Annis (All rights reserved)
Clovelly Apple Day
Clovelly Apple Day. Photo copyright Terry Annis (All rights reserved)
Clovelly Apple Day. Photo copyright Terry Annis (All rights reserved) 
Apple Day October 24, 2018
Apple pressing: 11:00-13:00
Apple day activities: 11:00 – 16:00
Chef Demonstration: 11:30-12:30
Harvest Hunt 12:30-13:30
Garden Tour: 14:00-15:00 

Be (bee?!) kind to hornets, says charity

A leading local wildlife charity is hoping to bring the plight of the humble hornet to the public’s attention.

Devon Wildlife Trust is worried that a spate of recent news stories about the threats to native nature by the invasive Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) is resulting in the persecution of our home-grown hornets.

Asian hornets are devastating to honey bees, with the invasive insects raiding and destroying colonies. There is now growing fear among the UK’s beekeepers who are worried that the presence of Asian hornets threatens the future of the honey bee.

Confirmed reports of Asian hornet nests in North Devon in 2017 and in Cornwall in September have fuelled these concerns.

However, the charity Devon Wildlife Trust believes that fears over the arrival of the Asian hornet is now leading to the misguided persecution of another separate species, the native European hornet (vespa crabro).

The Trust’s Steve Hussey said:

“We’ve had several people telling us via social media that they think they have an Asian hornet nest on their property and asking can they destroy it? Other people have told us that they have already gone ahead and destroyed nests, suspecting them of belonging to Asian hornets. Unfortunately, where we’ve been able to do further investigation all the cases have proved to be European hornets and not the invasive species.”

“This is really unfortunate. European hornets are a beautiful and vital part of our environment. They also help us by helping to keep in check many insect species that gardeners consider to be pests.”

“European hornets are also struggling and their persecution is one of the factors behind this recent decline. Other countries are now urgently acting to conserve their remaining hornets; in Germany, for example, since 1987 it has been illegal to destroy a hornet nest. We need to look after our native population too.”

Devon Wildlife Trust recommends that people be aware of the threat of Asian hornets and they should immediately follow official guidelines on suspected cases. This means not destroying the nest and instead carefully photographing the insect without disturbing the nest and submitting an on-line sighting report to the GB Non-native Species Secretariat (NNSS).

Steve Hussey said:

“Telling a native European hornet apart from an Asian hornet isn’t always easy. Our native hornets are slightly bigger, while Asian hornets tend to be smaller and of a darker colour, not yellow, especially on their thorax (middle section) and abdomens (tail section).”

“However, it is easy to be confused, so our advice is always not to destroy a nest, but instead to report suspected sightings of Asian hornets to the NNSS.”

“It’s now easy to make a report via their website There is even an App that you can download for Apple and Android phones. The alternative is to risk doing harm to an already struggling part of our native British wildlife.”
European hornet emerging from its nest - Photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust (All Rights Reserved)
European hornet emerging from its nest - Photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust (All Rights Reserved)
 European Hornet's nest - Photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust (All Rights Reserved) 
 European Hornet's nest - Photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust (All Rights Reserved)