Friday, 31 May 2019

Going 'wild' is secret for happiness. Thousands take up challenge to go wild every day in June

The Wildlife Trusts' annual challenge – 30 Days Wild – calling on everyone to go wild every day in June starts this weekend. This year looks set to be bigger and wilder than ever. So far 50,000 people across the UK including nearly 2,000 in Devon have signed up to participate. The numbers are made up of individuals, families, schools, businesses and care home communities.
30 Days Wild encourages everyone to enjoy nature locally through daily Random Acts of Wildness: listening to bird song, gazing at butterflies, growing borage for bees and making the most of our parks, gardens and school grounds. Evidence shows that taking part can also make us happier and healthier.
The impact of taking part in 30 Days Wild has been tracked by academics at the University of Derby. Their study found that people who did something 'wild' each day for a month, felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature, with added benefits for the natural world too.*
Miles Richardson from the University of Derby said; "Our research looked at the impact of 30 Days Wild on 1,000 people, two months after completing the challenge. All those taking part benefitted, feeling 30% healthier than when they started on average. People who reported a disconnect from nature and who spend less time outdoors, showed the greatest improvement in happiness and pro-conservation behaviours."
"At a time when poor mental health is on the rise and the decline of our wildlife show no sign of slowing down, 30 Days Wild demonstrates what a much-needed new relationship with nature might look like, for everyone, throughout the year."
Supporting the 30 Days Wild challenge this year are:
Ellie Harrison, presenter of Countryfile and President of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said: "Being outside in nature makes us all well. The smallest moments connecting - the surprise of a beetle revealing its wings; the fleeting secrets of bats at dusk; or the puff of valuable pollen from flowers we saw as weeds - all bring us wonder and enchantment. This June we're challenging you to a Random Act of Wildness every single day of the month. What will you be delighted by?"
James McVey of rock band The Vamps said, "30 Days Wild is a fantastic challenge and everyone can take part - whether it's building a den, listening to the dawn chorus or visiting a favourite wild place, enjoying our wonderful wildlife can help us to feel happier and healthier, I'll be joining in this June!"
Dr Amir Khan from Channel 5's GPs behind closed doors said; "Spending time outdoors, enjoying wildlife on our doorstep and in our communities is free and can benefit our mental and physical health in so many ways. Spend a few moments every day in June taking part in random acts of wildness – notice something new in nature, climb a tree or create space for nature in your neighbourhood - The Wildlife Trusts has lots of ideas and inspiration to help you make the most of the 30 Days Wild challenge. Go Wild!"
Devon Wildlife Trust's Steve Hussey said: "30 Days Wild has become a much-loved challenge and it's set to be an exciting month for everyone taking part. This year in Devon we're staging a special 30 Days Wild celebration at Exeter's Mincinglake Valley Park on Sunday 16 June from 10.30am. It's free and gives everybody an opportunity to join us in discovering Exeter's wild secrets and to be inspired by nature."

People wanting to sign up to this year's 30 Days can do so at the Devon Wildlife Trust website Signing up is FREE!

Friday, 24 May 2019


Head Down Along Clovelly for the annual Seaweed Festival which promotes seaweed for its immense health & nutritional benefits. As it is hugely versatile, quay kitchens will have a surprising variety of dishes and stalls will be selling a range of seaweed products.

There will also be plenty of entertainment for both adults and children to enjoy, such as "Know your Seaweed" talks by Emma Gunn, craft activities and workshops, street entertainment and live music throughout the day. The Seaweed Health Foundation will provide information on the benefits of seaweed for food and health, Adam Reeve will be doing a seaweed demonstration and talk, who forages local seaweed.

You will be amazed at the world of seaweed. Bring your own and ask the experts what is the best use for your particular selection.

Clovelly Seaweed Festival. Montage copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus

Clovelly Seaweed Festival
Admission charges include all entertainment.
Date: Sunday 26th May
Location: Clovelly Harbour
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Contact: Tel: 01237 431781.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Stepping Out. Enjoy an intriquing performance walk along the unique Northam Burrows coastline with Red Herring.

Join Red Herring on a unique shared journey, a fun and intriguing performance walk, which reveals little known stories of our coastline and invites us to experience it in new ways.

Come and walk with us along the unique Northam Burrows coastline. This place may already be familiar to you, we’ll experience it together, in new and unfamiliar ways. You’ll be immersed in a journey of both travel and time: a monumental journey of the earth beneath our feet; the migratory routes of wintering birds; the marks left behind by boatbuilders and the footprints of life along this coastline.

Through snippets of text, recorded sound and found objects, we’ll investigate the stories attached to the land as we travel across it.

A circular walk, developed in partnership with Northam Burrows Country Park, will cover 2 – 3 miles over uneven ground. Please come prepared to walk this distance with suitable outdoor footwear and clothing. You will walk for about 1.5 hours with frequent stops and creative interludes along the way. We will provide light refreshments. Please note, performance duration and finish times may vary, depending on the walking pace of each group.

Red Herring will be running further Stepping Out events in September 2019, please join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Events will include a new Creative Coastal Walk as well as an Interactive Walkabout Performance and Sound Installation see below for details.

Stepping Out
Saturday June 8th and Sunday June 9th: 2.00 – 4.30 PM
Location: The walks will start and finish from The Skern end of Northam Burrows Country Park. Specific details on the meeting place will be provided after booking. Performances will start promptly, please arrive 15 minutes in advance to allow time to park and walk to the start. If you drive to the Burrows please be aware, unless you have a season ticket, there will be a £4 access fee.
Cancellations: If weather conditions are unsafe, we will inform you of any cancellations by 10am on the morning of the performance. If, due to poor weather, a performance is cancelled we will endeavour to offer an alternative date.

  • Unfortunately, as the walks take place over uneven ground, we aren’t able to accommodate wheelchairs or push chairs. 
  • As we’ll be walking in a group, we also request that dogs stay at home. 
  • Walks are suitable for young people aged 13+. 
  • Numbers are limited to 20 on each walk.
Illustration from "A History of the Earth and Animated Nature" by Oliver Goldsmith from rawpixel’s own original edition of the publication (Creative Commons)
Illustration from "A History of the Earth and Animated Nature" by Oliver Goldsmith  (Creative Commons)

Stepping Out is supported with funding from Arts Council England and the North Devon Coast AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) which is funded by Defra. Stepping Out is part of a series of events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the North Devon Coast AONB.

About Red Herring Productions CIC:
"We create playful and exciting outdoor theatre which brings diverse groups of people together to celebrate our shared heritage. These are performed on street corners, in parks and rural landscapes, with a fresh approach that blurs the edges between performers and audiences. We work with local communities, enabling them to learn about, share and celebrate their cultural heritage through talks, workshops and performance." Website - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

Thursday, 16 May 2019

‘Dangerous’ fly-tipping creates problems for charity

A Devon-based charity has been left the costly and dangerous task of clearing up fly-tipping left by thoughtless vandals at one of its nature reserves.
A ‘substantial truck or van load’ of mixed rubbish was dumped recently at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meresfelle nature reserve. The reserve is near Woolfardisworthy in North West Devon and is a haven for rare wildlife including the marsh fritillary butterfly.
The charity’s staff discovered what was described as a ‘mixed load’ of rubbish fly-tipped and blocking an entrance to the site. On closer inspection the items dumped included carrier bags, children’s toys, general household rubbish, concrete paving slabs, timber, an old fan heater and garden waste.
Devon Wildlife Trust’s Steve Hussey said:
“It’s always sad when people fly-tip at one our nature reserves. Most are in rural spots and represent easy targets for unthinking individuals who can’t be bothered or don’t want the expense of recycling and disposing of rubbish properly.
Clearing up after fly-tippers puts our staff at risk because you can never be sure what has been dumped. In the past we’ve discovered used medical equipment in amongst discarded materials.
It’s very expensive for our charity to deal with these incidents. We’d much rather be directing our people and resources to the job of helping Devon’s wildlife.”
Devon Wildlife Trust cares for 50 nature reserves in the county. Anyone with any information on the fly-tipped rubbish should call the charity or the police with information.
The fly-tipped rubbish recently found at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meresfelle nature reserve
The fly-tipped rubbish recently found at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meresfelle nature reserve
Devon Wildlife Trust cares for 50 nature reserves in the county. Anyone with any information on the fly-tipped rubbish should call the charity or the police with information.
Keep in touch with Devon Wildlife Trust