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EAST DEVON

Winter Edition

COAST & COU NTRY A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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East Devon Coast & Country

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Contents Nov-Feb

3. Quarterly What's On guide. 6. Christmas Gift Ideas by Nicola Skudder. 8. Art Gallery Exhibitions from across the East Devon region. 10. Fred's Kitchen Garden - Fred helps you grow your veg without using chemicals. 12. Food in East Devon - we take a look at the local food scene and visit a real community success story. 14. Housing your Chickens

Roger Mudditt gives you valuable advice and tips on keeping your chickens secure and healthy.

16. Croatian Dreams. Helen James explores the beautiful Dalmatian coast. 20. Close Encounter with the Ghost Bird. David Mead takes a closer look at the elusive barn owl.

ISSUE NO 1

22. Coast & Country Walk This issue we take a walk along East Hill strip, between Ottery St. Mary and Sidmouth. 26. Horse Care - Natalie BucklarGreen gives advice to help keep your horse in tip-top condition over the winter months. 30. Take the Bystock Challenge

Stephen Hussey takes a stroll along this unique pebble bed environment.

32. Health & Beauty Dr Ros Debenham discusses obesity. 37. Managing your Money by Expert independent financial adviser Helen Mulvaney of Richmond Independent.

CONTRIBUTORS

Nicola Skudder, Dave Meads, FCR Esgen, Dr Ros Debenham, Stephen Hussey, Helen Mulvaney, Ted Gosling, Peter Bowler, Roger Mudditt, Helen James, Natalie Bucklar-Green, Samantha Lawton, Alex Duckworth, Hanneke Coates and Fred.

MAGAZINE

Editor and publisher: Nigel Jones t. 01395 512166 e. jingles@sidmouthdiary.co.uk Advertisers call: t. 01395 512166 By post: PO 31, Sidmouth, EX10 9YU. DISCLAIMER page 40

EAST DEVON

Winter Edition

COAST & COU NTRY A Celebration of Life in East Devon

Cover photo N.Jones East Hill Strip winter 08

38. I'm a Cider Drinker - Ted Gosling takes a stroll down memory lane. 40. Tales of a Yokel "Fun and Games" by F.C.R. Esgen.

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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Editor's Letter A very warm welcome to the first issue of East Devon Coast and Country Magazine. Our new quarterly magazine is exclusively for the East Devon area and celebrates both the coast and the countryside. Living in East Devon we enjoy a great way of life and everyone I meet appreciates our great beaches, the beauty of our countryside and the variety of our towns and villages. Additionally, with the county city of Exeter on our doorstep we really have everything to enjoy life.

tacting any of the advertisers featured in this magazine. We're back again in spring so please look out for us again. If you go to page 34, you can find out where to pick up your free copy of the magazine. Additionally, many of the retail businesses advertising in the magazine will also stock free copies In the meantime, lets look forward to a glorious East Devon spring. Nigel Jones

In each issue we'll feature local interest stories, accompanied by lots of countryside pictures. We are particularly keen to hear from you. If you have a story or information that would you think would make interesting reading, please drop us an email or call us. You can also contact us if you have special events for inclusion in our What's On section. By the way, many thanks to all our contributors who have been a great help in producing this magazine.

There’s a new family in the Boarding House at St Peter’s School in Lympstone; The Shermans, Tom, Alix and their children, Oscar and Jemima.

If you are a business, an events organiser or a publicity officer, then you can be added to our 'round-robin' e-mail list, which will provide you with deadlines and publishing dates for forthcoming issues, all you need to do is send an email with your details.

The four of them settled into school over the summer, aiming to continue the excellent standard of boarding care established by their predecessors. St Peter’s is an independent prep school with a long and successful history. It is set in 28 beautiful acres overlooking the Exe estuary, offering day and weekly boarding for children aged 3 to13. Their last Independent Schools Inspectorate report found Boarding to be ‘outstanding…as close as possible to the model of really good home life’.

Inside, we explore some of the local shops and investigate ideas for presents. Also, don't forget your Christmas food orders which can be placed with a variety of independent, local suppliers in the area. The ethos of this magazine is that we're very keen to support and promote our East Devon economy. Buying locally is the best way to help your local economy and residents. Why not try the our East Devon Coast and Country's walk, you might even spot a badger on your walk like we did. In fact there's a wide variety of interesting articles which we hope you'll enjoy over the coming issues.

The school prides itself on its warm family atmosphere. The boarding house is a home from home, where children can relax after school, enjoy a wide variety of activities and continue to develop into confident and self reliant young people.

The East Devon C&C is a completely independent magazine and we rely on advertisers in order to produce it so please make sure you mention the magazine when con-

Alix grew up herself at St Peter’s and has freelanced for the school on research and finance projects. She ran “Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory” in Bristol for 5 years. Tom is an actor who has worked with the School in the past - directing Shakespeare with Year 8 children, and producing a drama tour of “Toad” to Canada. He is already on board for the school’s next tour to London and Oxford. Both are very excited to be returning to school as Boarding House Parents. To get a feel for the school, and for boarding house life, visit their website www.stpetersprep.co.uk or contact their registrar, Mrs Sam Lawton, to arrange a visit. She would love to show you what St Peter’s School can offer.

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Forthcoming Events November to February for the Children’s Hospice South West.

THEATRES 5-7th Nov - Motowns Greatest Hits! - Dancing in the Streets, direct from the West End at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. 6th Nov - Help for Hereos Fund Night. A Charity Band Concert at the Exmouth Pavilion. 9th Nov - David Essex in Concert at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. 9th Nov - An Evening of Clairvoyance with Shaun Dennis at the Exmouth Pavilion. 13th Nov - Dance night with AJ’s Big Band at the Exmouth Pavilion. 16th Nov - Heather Small in Concert at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. 17th Nov - Joe Longthorne in Concert at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

26-27th Nov - Sea, Sails & Salty Tales by the Temporary Name Theatre Company. A musical celebration of our nautical heritage. 28th Nov - Back to Broadway, from JMS Productions for One Night Only!. 3rd Dec - Remember When...at Christmas. Presented by Neil Sands and his cast of West End Performers. 11th Dec - A Christmas Concert by Sidmouth Town Band. 12th Dec - Variety By the Sea presented by Slightly Fat Features. 29th Nov / 3rd Dec / 1-3rd & 5-9th Jan - Babes in the Wood by SADS. The traditional family pantomime. Contact the Box Office at the Theatre for further details and booking tickets.

Concerts

19th Nov - The Spirit of Pink Floyd. A Tribute band performing hits from Pink Floyd at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

12th Nov - Joseph Tang & Waka Hasegawa, Piano 4 Hands, at Seaton Town Hall.

20th Nov - Waterloo - Spirit of Abba at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

14th Nov - Frith Piano Quartet playing at the Knowle council chamber Sidmouth.

24th Nov - Grumpy Old Women 2 - Chin up Britain ! at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

12 Dec - Frit Piano Quartet giving an afternoon concert at the Knowle council chamber at 3pm.

26th Nov - That’ll be the Day Xmas Show at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

9th Jan - Young Musician of the Year, violinist Jennifer Pike, accompanied by her father. Also a second piano recital by Jayson Gilliham at the Knowle council chamber at 3pm.

28th Nov - Noddy in Toyland at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. 30-12th Dec - Evita The Musical. A new national tour at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. 13th Dec - Royal Marines Xmas Show at the Princess Theatre, Torquay.

17Dec-13Jan - Cinderella the Pantomime at the Princess Theatre, Torquay. 29th Jan - Big Time American Wrestling at the Princess Theatre. Contact venue for further details

27th Mar - String Quartet. One of the finest chamber ensembles in Europe will be performing as a string quartet to play at the Manor Pavilion at 7.30pm. Tickets for the Seaton Concerts are available at Eve Gallery, Fore St, Seaton. £10 to incl a glass of wine. Sidmouth concert tickets are available to the public at local outlets or at the door for each concert.

MAIN EVENTS

MANOR PAVILION

5th Nov - Ottery Tar Barrels and Carnival also bonfire night.

14th Nov - The Ultimate Juke Box Party presented by Neil Sands.

5th Nov - Roundtable Charity Fireworks at Westpoint.

16-21st Nov - Sunshine in November presented by the Children of Sidmouth

7th Nov - Budleigh Bonfire - Pinewoods Nursing Home in conjunction with

Budleigh Lions. Drinks & barbecue available. 14th Nov - Sidmouth Christmas Lights to be switched on. 27-29th Nov - Christmas Shopping Fair. 26th Dec - Boxing Day Swim. 12-21st Feb - Animated Exeter 2010. At the Royal Albert Memorial Museun, Exeter.

LOCAL EVENTS 19th Dec – Carols, Chestnuts & Mince Pies. A festive celebration for all the family. At Otterton Mill.

Xmas Events 14th Nov – Christmas Fair. Sample Otterton Mill’s Christmas produce – from breads, cakes and puddings, to tarts and pâtés. Plus tastings of Devon cheeses, local wines and beers, and other festive delights. Place orders for these, or any of the Mill’s Christmas hampers, to collect before Christmas. At Otterton Mill. 27th Nov - Exmouth late night shopping till 8pm. Sidmouth Garden Centre 19 Nov, 2nd Dec - Xmas buffet evening. 16th Dec - Xmas celebration dinner. 9th Dec onwards - Xmas lunches avail-

able. All the above are booking only Tel 01395 516142

27th Nov - Ottery St Mary Xmas shopping. Late night shopping till 8pm. Torchlight procession from church with parish choir at 5.30pm. 6pm the big switch on of lights by carnival queen and prince and Colin Slade from Exeter FM. Ottery St Mary band plays carols till 8pm. Xmas market day 10am till 3pm. Dec - Santa at Sidmouth Garden Centre - every weekend in December run by Sidmouth Lions. 4th Dec - Seaton late-night shopping. Seaton will be alive with the sound of festive music from various bands, groups and choirs, from 4 -6pm. Lights on the Christmas tree in Windsor Gardens and The Square are being switched on at 6pm. Father Christmas, Seaton Majorettes, childrens entertainers, and more. Free Parking in all the towns car parks.

4th Dec - Sidmouth late-night shopping. Open until 8 or 9pm. 4th Dec - Budleigh Salterton late-night shopping 6-9pm. 5th Dec - Honiton Christmas Carnival at 5.30pm through the High Street. 4,11,18,19,21,22,23rd Dec - Exmouth late night shopping till 7pm.

FARMERS MARKETS Budleigh Salterton at Brook Rd Car Park on the last Friday of month 9am-1pm. Exeter at South Street / Fore Street every Thurs 9am-2pm. Exmouth at Strand Gardens on the 2nd Wed of the month. Honiton at St. Paul’s Church, High Street on the 3rd Thursday of the month 8.30-1pm. Ottery St Mary at Hind St Car Park, 1st Friday in month, 9am-1pm.

Community Market Sidmouth Community Market, St John’s Ambulance Hall, Off High Street, 10am -12.30 14th Nov, 12th Dec, 16th Jan, 20th Feb & 20th March.

MARKET DAYS Axminster Street Market at Trinity Square every Thur 8.30-3pm. Axminster Country Market at Masonic Hall, South St, Thurs 8.30am-3pm. Exmouth Country Market, Tower St Methodist Church Hall, Fri 8.30-11.15am. Honiton WI/Country Market at Mackarness Hall every Friday 9.30-11.30am. Honiton Street Mkt every Tues & Sat 9am

SPORTS EVENTS 14th Nov - Exeter Chiefs RFC v Cornish Pirates. 24th Nov - Exeter City FC v Millwall. 28th Nov - Exeter Chiefs RFC v Thistles. 5th Dec - Exeter City FC v Brighton. - continued overleaf

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East Devon Coast & Country

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Vegetarian & Vegan meals & snacks Served all day in a fully licensed relaxed and friendly atmosphere overlooking the spectacular Jurassic Coast.

Contemporary Artwork

including Glass, Metals Ceramics, Jewellery and Paintings Tues ‒ Sat 10am ‒ 5pm ( open Friday & Saturday evening) Sun 11.30am-3pm

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12th Dec - Exeter Chiefs RFC v Coventry. 19th Dec - Exeter City FC v Southend. 27th Dec - Exeter Chiefs RFC v Bristol. 2th Dec - Exeter City FC v Gillingham. All games are home matches unless specified.

EXHIBITIONS 7-8th Nov - Devon Country Antiques Fair. 21-22nd Nov - Great Western Kit Car Show.

Lyme Bay Winery at the Xmas Shopping Fair

27-29th Nov - Christmas Shopping Fair. 5-6th Dec - South West Equine Fair.

28-30th Jan - Craft 4 Crafter Fair.

3rd Jan - Dolls House & Minatures Fair.

6-7th Feb - Ideal Home Show.

10th Jan - Toy Collectors Fair.

16-20th Feb - Holiday on Ice - Spirit.

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Christmas Gift Ideas ... for ladies

by Nicola Skudder

You don’t have to travel to the city this Christmas to find stylish up-to-the-minute gifts. Whether it’s for your Mum, your sister or your best friend, the individual and unique shops of East Devon stock a wonderful variety of ladies clothes and accessories in designer labels.

Rose & pearl necklace from a selection available at Plume, Budleigh Salterton Marie Méro at Chapter, Sidmouth

Once worn simply for special occasions, jewellery is now as much a fashion accessory as handbags or shoes. Today’s jewellery is big on design using lots of colour in semi-precious stones and it always makes a great gift for Christmas. Transparent blue silk long sleeve cover-up Both from a selection at Noli available at Chapter, Sidmouth

Grey knitted cardigan

Bangles available from a selection at Plume, Budleigh Salterton Steilmann at Beauchamp Place, Honiton

Stretch silk gloves available from a selection at Plume, Budleigh Salterton

Handcrafted beautiful multi assorted bead necklaces by Adini, available from a selection at Beauchamp Place, Honiton

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Bags of style With the welcome, and much needed, demise of the plastic bag, practical ‘hand’ bags are now in fashion. Gone are the days of trying to cram your essentials into the tiniest accessory. The bag is back and the bigger the better!

Owen Barry provides a unique service making suede or leather bags to order with a 3-4 week lead time. So if you're looking for that perfect bag to match that unique outfit, this could be the option for you. Matching gloves are available too! At Polka, Sidmouth

style with practicality Large Wicker shoulder bag from a selection of African handicrafts at The Village Collection, Sidmouth

The Lantern Shop in Sidmouth sells stylish Bill Brown bags. In a variety of sizes from washbags to large shopping bags, and in at least ten different designs.

The Devon-based Old Bag Company produces popular modern bags, purses and accessories in bright colours and designs. They are available from various retailers throughout East Devon. Darts Farm, Topsham, The Rowan Tree, Budleigh Salterton, and The Lantern Shop, Sidmouth

List of Stockists Chapter, Church St, Sidmouth, EX10 8LZ Tel: 01395 579181 Plume, 30 Fore St, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 6NH Tel: 01395 444270 www.plume-devon.co.uk Beauchamp Place, 72 High St, Honiton, EX14 1PD Tel: 01404 45692 www.beauchamp-place.co.uk The Lantern Shop, 5 New St, Sidmouth, EX10 8AP Tel: 01395 578462 Polka, 23 Fore St, Sidmouth, EX10 8AQ Tel: 01395 513255 The Village Collection, 48 High St, Sidmouth, EX10 8EJ Tel: 01395 513311 Coastline Jewellery in Honiton sells a vast range of brightly coloured costume jewellery, sterling silver, Thai silk bags and scarves, and seasonal gifts.

Darts Farm, Topsham, EX3 OQH Tel: 01392 878200 www.dartsfarm.co.uk The Rowan Tree, 7 Fore St, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 6NG Tel: 01395 446066 www.rowan.imouse.net Coastline Jewellery, 59 High St, Honiton, EX14 1PW www.coastlinejewelleryaccessories.vpweb.co.uk A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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Forthcoming Art Exhibitions Nov & Dec 09 - Jan 2010

GALLERIES Nov - Dec - In the Shadow of the Cross. Roger Polley. Also contemporary work from other artists including Chrispian Heath, Sue Bastin and Daniel Butler. Artannapola.com in Seaton. Nov until 29th - Evelyn Dewar and Christine Spencer Green. Both Chris-

Sunset over Sidmouth - The Attic Gallery

tine and Evelyn interpret what they see into an abstraction of colour and light.

Richard Sowman - Interior Oil on canvas - The Art Room

Nov until 13th - A joint show by two of our most successful artists, local girl Tina Morgan and Peter Barker. Marine House at Beer. Nov - Eileen Cooper RA at Brook Gallery, Budleigh Salterton. See display box. www.brookgallery.co.uk 01395 443003

Tina Morgan - Pink Dress Oil on canvas - Marine House at Beer

21st Nov - 30th Jan - Thanks Giving A broad range of work from gallery artists and craftspeople will present an opportunity to choose some unique and personal gifts. Hybrid Gallery, Honiton.

Bringing to Devon and on-line one of the strongest collections of Original Prints in the UK. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 5.00 Sunday 2.00 – 5.00 Exhibitions Nov - Eileen Cooper RA December - Coriander Studio

(Damien Hirst, Peter Blake etc,)

Christine Spencer Green - Three Trees Oil on canvas - The Art Room

They work to capture the essence of an experience; Christine the Cornish landscape and Evelyn the rich Italian interior found in the Fortuny Museum, Venice. The Art Room, see page opposite.

ISCA GALLERY

www.iscagallery.co.uk Exhibiting all year round original work by selected West Country Artists Autumn Exhibition to end December Christmas Exhibition - 5th to 22nd Dec Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-4.30pm (winter) Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm (summer) (Closed Thursday) 3 Chapel Street Budleigh Salterton EX9 6AF

01395 444193

Nov until 28th - Seven Year Linework by Shaun Gladwell - the first solo UK exhibition by the Australian artist. Spacex, Exeter.

7-14th Nov - East Devon Art student exhibition at The Attic Gallery, Sidmouth.

Nick Bodimeade - Tent Hybrid Gallery

December - Coriander Studio (Damien Hurst, Brook Gallery, Budleigh Salterton. See Brook Gallery display.

Peter Blake etc,) At

Nov until 12th - New Friends. This exhibition welcomes Cornish artists new to Otterton Mill Gallery, including: Bill Penman, a coastguard and driftwood artist who creates pieces in response to the coastal life he observes daily; and Karrie Fox who paints in acrylics and specialises in vividly colourful representations of Koi and the swirling water patterns they create. Otterton Mill. Nov until 14th - Nick Bodimeade New paintings from acclaimed artist particularly from his Bathers series. Also ceramic figures by Jenny Southam. At Hybrid in Honiton. Rob Ritchie - Redcurrants Oil - ISCA Gallery

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THE ART ROOM Topsham

Principal gallery in Devon for contemporary painting

Peter Barker - Woodland Sunlight Oil on board - Marine House at Beer

Woman reclining in garden - Jenny Southam Hybrid Gallery

5th Dec - 24th Jan - Daniel Adams,

Chris Garratt, Michael Hardy, Richard Sowman and Charlotte Moore. An Cross Currents - Eileen Cooper Brook Gallery

exhibition of professional painters from the region; still life, interiors, landscapes and portraits. The Art Room, Topsham (see display far right).

Chris Garratt - Pomegranates and Oranges Oil on wood - The Art Room

01297 625257

www.marinehouseatbeer.co.uk EXHIBITION 31st October – 13th November A joint show by two of our most successful artists, local girl TINA MORGAN famed for her iconic beach scenes and PETER BARKER with his fine studies of the English Landscape.

hybrid

Contact the gallery for a full colour catalogue and a private view invitation or view the works on our web site.

art & design for your home and garden

51 High Street Honiton t. 01404 43201 www.hybrid-devon.co.uk

76 Fore Street,Topsham, Devon EX3 OHQ Tel 01392 877737 Email theartroom@eclipse.co.uk www.theartroomtopsham.co.uk

Gallery and garden showing work in the fields of painting, sculpture, ceramics, crafts & applied arts. Until 14th Nov - Paintings by NICK BODIMEADE 21st Nov - 30th Jan - THANKS GIVING : work from 20 gallery artists including Richard Adams, Mary E. Carter, Jenny Southam and Philip Wood.

Contemplation - Attic Gallery

Z. Hyde - In Conversation Thelma Hulbert Gallery

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

Open Weekends 11am to 5pm

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Kitchen Garden Gardening without using chemicals

T

HE SOIL

T

HE COMPOST HEAP

Good soil is, quite literally, the life of any garden. The more your soil teams with good things from bacteria to worms, the more vibrant and strong all your plants will be. So your first job is to build up the soil fertility.

If soil is the life of the garden, then the compost heap is the heart beat. The goodness taken out each growing season by plants has to be replenished for the next year's crop to flourish properly. Compost plays a major part in this process. So build a compost heap as soon as you can, preferably two, so that you have one working, that left-overs are going in, and one for use as a ready supply at any time it is needed. Compost bins are available from most garden centres or you could easily build your own. Sides of wooden slats work well, screwed together, or even chicken wire if supported well by wooden stakes. Virtually all kitchen waste can go into your compost heap, though not fish or meat as they will attract rats and mice. All garden waste of course, is grist to the compost mill. Grass cut-

tings, hedge clippings, anything green, although perennial weeds like bindweed, ground elder, docks etc. should be burnt instead as theses type of plants take over the heap. Keep working compost moist as the bacteria in the heap needs these conditions to flourish and put a spade or two of ordinary soil in every so often because the bacteria that break down your waste, live in the soil.

Vegetables Garlic - November is the month for planting that delicious and health-giving vegetable garlic. So many varieties have been successfully naturalised in this country now that you can grow good french or spanish types or new ones

December can be a wet and cold month. Warm yourself up by collecting leaves. Put them in a heap and leave them for 12 months for perfectly composted leaf mold. The wise gardener plans now for next year's harvest. So look through a number of seed catalogues to see what you and your family

is for everybody

What could be better than growing your way back to health and fitness in the fresh air with the sun on your back and then eating cheap, chemical free, gorgeous tasting fruit and vegetables. In this way and by following this series, you will find out what to do, when, and how in your own garden, month by month, while experimenting and having fun at the

from as far away as India. Early white and purple white are also good "tried and tested " varieties. Plant your individual cloves in the sunniest part of the garden in rich, free draining soil about 7 cms deep and 15 cms apart in rows 30 to 35 cms apart. Sow in square blocks if possible as this will give the plants more wind protection over the winter. Broad beans - Early sowings of broad beans can be made in November for an early crop. Picking can begin at the end of May in good weather. Just think of all that early protein. Aquadulce is the best broad bean variety to sow early like this. Choose previously dug soil, 5cms deep, 10 cms each apart, in double rows 20cms apart.

French climbing beans coming into flower

DECEMBER Planning

NOVEMBER

Gardening

give them a good start as they cannot be dug up again once they are in. The canes should be spaced 40 cms apart in rows of at least one metre apart. Try the variety GLEN CLOVA, it is a reliable raspberry with very good flavour. Tie in the canes on three horizontal metal wires supported by strong wooden posts.

Fruit Raspberry - this month is the time to buy your certified stock raspberry canes. Plant the canes in soil that has had some well rotted farmyard manure previously dug into it and put them in with plenty of compost around their roots to

East Devon Coast & Country

would like to grow in the coming year. Don't try anything too difficult, see what grows well in your friends' and neighbours' gardens. Include your children in the decision-making as they have tastes and preferences too. Will you grow luscious summer strawberries or easy to

Fred grew up on

a small

g in the idyllic farm, nestlin Dartmoor. Teign valley on years he rty fo For well over free, al ic em has grown ch tables ge ve d an healthy fruit dfather an gr d an like his father before him. od the way Fred grows fo ed it to be, nature intend naturally.

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Onion Sets - these need as long a growing season as you can give them. Sow your sets now or in February if the weather is inclement. Plant them in a well prepared soil, free of weeds, with a fine tilth and having incorporated some compost first. Pick the sunniest free-draining position you can find, as all the onion family love that yellow orb in the sky, just as we do. Push the sets in with just the tips showing above the ground. Space them 10cms apart and 25 cms between rows. Backbirds and robins sometimes pull the sets out for fun, so be prepared to push them in again. Children seem to find this as much fun as the birds do !

Garlic ready to be sown in November

Well-known gardener, Frank Farr, still gardening into his nineties, here with some of his produce on sale at Frank's Patch in East Budleigh. grow crimson radishes. You could also think about lettuce, carrots, spring onions, spinach, rocket and many others besides. Work out the growing space in your garden, green house or windowsill pots and buy plants and seeds accordingly.

Vegetables Shallots I have always thought shallots an exquisite taste experience. When cooked, they have a sweet, succulent, caramel flavour. If you like them too, grow them !

What could be better than broad beans fresh from the garden

Choose a sunny position and good all round soil, not too stony and plant on a frost-free day when the ground also is not water-logged. Dig a nice deep hole so the roots have plenty of room to splay out properly. Then back-fill partially with compost, completely covering the roots. Use ordinary soil to fill in the rest of the hole to the mark on the tree where the soil originally came. Firm the soil in well round the tree with your boot and stake it tightly. Young trees may not crop at all or sparingly in their first year, but bear with them and look forward to delicious apples and pears for years to come.

JANUARY Traditionally, January is the coldest month of the year. Warm yourself up by having a bonfire. Get rid of all those diseased bits of wood and woody plants that will not compost. The bonfire ash is full of potash and great for all plants especially flowers and fruit.

Fruit Fruit bushes including gooseberries and currants should be planted now if the ground is dry enough and not frosted. Make sure the roots are spread out evenly and add compost around them before you back-fill the soil. Cut back the currants hard to encourage a good root system in the future. Then look forward to plenty of summer fruit eating - Fred

Devonshire's equivalent to the grape!

Vegetables

Traditionally, as part of the onion family, shallot sets are put in the ground on December 21st and lifted on June 21st so they can have the longest growing season possible. Push the individual sets into the soil with just the tip showing above ground. Space them 10 cms apart, with 25cms between rows. Two wonderful varieties are called "Golden Gourmet" and "Red Sun".

Fruit Trees December is an ideal time to put in fruit trees. Apples, pears, plums and cherries should all be planted at this time of year when the trees are still dormant.

Tomatoes - If you are fortunate enough to own a heated greenhouse or sunny window-sill, then you can start your tomatoes off this month and look forward to gorgeous, sun-warmed, ruby red goodness all summer long. Sow the tomato seeds in a good quality seed compost and cover lightly with sieved compost. Water and put newspaper and the glass on top of the seed box until germination has taken place. When the plants are large enough, transfer three or four to each of a number of small pots filled with potting compost. As with all tiny seedlings, hold them by the first 2 embryonic leaves and never by the stem. Keep them moist and provide an average temperature of around 20 degrees. "Alicante" is a lovely flavoured tomato to grow and "Gardener's Delight" is one of the best cherry tomato varieties.

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Food in East Devon

Supporting your local food producers and shops Whichever way you look at it, eating locally produced food is good for you, good for your local community and much greener for the world.

East Budleigh Village Shop A story of success in the community Four years ago the last East Budleigh shop closed and community life within the village ebbed away. People were forced to travel to the nearest town to even buy a newspaper. In living memory the village boasted no less than fourteen shops, admittedly only one villager can remember back that long ago. Then Malcolm Florey campaigned to be a District Councillor on a platform of opening a Community Shop and unusually for political promises, he did so with the help of most of the village. We are now celebrating the first anniversary of the village shop. People come from miles around to buy fresh locally baked bread, milk and cheese from local farms, locally reared meat, apple juice, venison, fish pâtés and much more. “Fresh and Local” being the objective. Volunteers man the till, sort the papers and do the books, all under the watchful eye of our shop manager Colin Weston. It all started when Malcolm got together a dedicated team. They formed a management committee to steer the project, chaired by his wife Linda. They consulted the village, ordered a portacabin and recruited a shop manager. Local businesses and councils helped with expertise and grants and people living in the area paid a one-off £5 membership subscription and purchased £50 bonds. The Village Hall Committee gave permission to locate the shop in their car

park, charging only a peppercorn rent for the site and the use of a small room, to be been turned into the Village Information Point. On a cold grey early morning the portacabin arrived and a huge crane swung it over the hedge. The Co-op, who support community shops, kindly donated some old shelving and the Committee with the Manager fitted out the shop, complete with a bicycle rack, outdoor tables with seats, a place to tie up the dogs and some flower tubs. The Council had previously granted planning permission and local farms and businesses agreed to supply the shop. On what was a memorable day for our village, our Vicar conducted the opening ceremony and the oldest inhabitant with the youngest pupil from the village school cut the ribbon. Soon the project took on a life of its own and the business has thrived. Today it forms the heart of the village once more. The ladies of the village meet their friends in the Village Information Point for a chat and a hot chocolate and the local policeman holds a once-a-week surgery there. Next door in the Village Hall, the ladies running the preschool use the shop to buy their coffee and milk and sweets for the children. Everybody shops in the village now.

Kenniford Farm, one of East Budleigh Village Shop's main suppliers

The Chairman Lynda Florey, opens the ceremony

If you want to see anyone, just go down to the shop and the world comes along to see you.

Colin and Mel - Manager and key volunteers Editorial and pictures supplied by Peter Bowler

The shop arrives in the cold light of dawn

East Devon Coast & Country

The youngest and oldest villagers cut the ribbon

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Cabbages ready for harvesting at Pynes Farm

Winter greens now in season If you are looking to buy locally grown greens such as cabbage, sprouts, brocolli, kale, and red cabbage / cauliflower, then Pyne's Farm Shop is the place to go as they grow all these crops at their farm in Budleigh Salterton, which is located over the river Otter at South Farm. The Pyne family are into their 3rd generation of farming here and sell all their produce at their Farm Shop which also stocks a range of locally grown produce such as free range pork, bacon and sausage, as well as preserves, honey, beers, wines and ciders. They also sell a wide range of fruit and vegetables. They will also stock a range of Xmas trees and you can buy your Christmas birds which have all been sourced from local producers. Pyne's farm have recently bought a stock of chickens, so you can now buy free range eggs from the farm shop. The farm shop is set in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so once you've done your shopping, you can take the dogs for a walk up the river Otter, or join the coastal path to enjoy the spectacular views of Lyme bay.

Kenniford Farm opens new cafe

Waitrose Update For many months now work has been steadily progressing at Waitrose supermarket in Sidmouth, where many developments to the store are taking place. The extension means that, together with an increase in floor space, there will be even more ranges available, in addition to the stores already extensive selection of foods. Jon Pike at Waitrose Sidmouth tells me that they are planning to increase the fresh food section by an extra 50 per cent, whilst the fruit and vegetable section will be doubled. In addition, the store will be totally refurbished in the process. Jon tells me that all the fresh food counters will be new and customers will now be able to take advantage of their new time-saving service, Quick Check, where shoppers can scan their food as they shop. Completion of this re-development is scheduled for 20th November 2009. Waitrose in Sidmouth stock a wide range of locally produced foods from across the Devon region, ensuring that customers have a wide range of choice. The increase in size of the store at Sidmouth Waitrose will allow for an even greater selection.

John and Cynthia Coles outside East Hill Pride Farm Shop

East Hill Pride This farm shop based just on the outskirts of Sidmouth has been open for about 6 months now and is run by the hard-working Cole family, who are 4th generation farmers. Their operation is located around Ottery St Mary and East Hill. They sell all their own meat, beef, pork, bacon, and sausages which are raised on their own farmland. They also have their own abattoir, which is fairly unique in that it allows them to have total control of quality and traceability for all the meats they sell. Additionally at the farm shop, you can buy a wide range of preserves, poultry, and pasties / pies made with their own meat and bread which they bake daily. They also serve tea and home-made cakes outside on the picnic tables, where the view is superb.

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

Local food producers, Kenniford Farm, grow a range of arable crops and also raise large white Crossland Race pigs at their farm in Clyst St Mary. They also produce their own free range eggs and stock honey made from hives on the farm. A recent development has been the opening of a new cafe at the farm, where you can now sit down to have tea and cake, a pie, or even a full English breakfast with served with a coffee for ÂŁ4.95. The cafe is open 10am-3pm 7 days a week.

Andrew and Liz at Kenniford Farm

13


Housing your Chickens by Roger Mudditt of Tiphayes Farm

C

hickens are naturally hardy creatures that can happily thrive in the coldest British winters as long as they have been provided with a strong, dry, draught free and well ventilated house to roost in at night. Chickens feathers provide very good insulation but must be able to be kept dry in the cold.

The Hen House I have tried to design the perfect house for a small family flock of up to eight chooks with our Gable Cottage so will start by outlining the desirable features from a hen’s point of view. Strength of build - proof against foxes and badgers - this subject poses a dilemma because most people want to be able to move their chicken house easily around the garden, but if it is light enough to do this, it is probably not strong enough to withstand a sustained attack from an adult fox or badger. The essential things that a henhouse should provide are shelter from the elements in a draught free and dry environment with good ventilation. Good access to make cleaning as easy as possible. If you are keeping layers you will need a cosy nest-

box in the darkest part of the house for those private “laying” moments when a girl needs all the privacy she can get. The nest box should be low down in the house but preferably not on the floor. Perches are the next essential, it is natural behaviour for a chook to “go up to roost”

Caring for your chickens centres firmly around the environment, space, and housing that you provide for them. (that’s roost, not roast!) so the perches should be between one and two feet above the floor and higher than the nestbox otherwise they will roost in there, they like to get up as high as possible. Perches should be made from two inch planed timber with the corners rounded but a nice flat top as they rest on their breasts on the perch when asleep so this is most comfortable

East Devon Coast & Country

for them. Raising the house off of ground, on a stand or on legs, has several advantages, one of which is that you don’t have to bend down so much to either collect the eggs or to clean out the house. Other advantages are that it provides a shelter for the hens in bad weather and also somewhere dry to provide their food water and grit as well as a place for them to make a dust bath. Keeping the house clean is very important and if the floor of the house is designed to slide out this is made much easier. The droppings and shavings can simply be scraped into a wheelbarrow or bucket and added to the compost heap where they do a fantastic job of accelerating and improving your compost. A new layer of about an inch of dust extracted shavings is then spread out and the job is done in literally a few minutes. I also add a few handfuls of clean straw or hay to the nestbox.

The Run Important points are, that it is big enough for the number of hens you are keeping and strong enough to keep them safe. Having a well designed and secure run allows you to go away

14


for a weekend or on holiday with peace of mind and as you grow to love your chooks this becomes very Important. Two hens of average size per square metre of ground would be satisfactory if they were allowed out to free range for a few hours per day but if they were to be kept permanently in the run I would recommend more, at least a square metre per hen and they must have room to flap

shield by fixing weldmesh to the underside of the run panels protruding out at least one foot; the grass will grow through this shield as it lays flat on the ground outside the run and it will disappear. If foxes or badgers try to dig into a run they always try to start digging immediately adjacent to the mesh panel, they are then defeated by the shield. Note, it must be a minimum of sixteen guage weldmesh as wire netting or other inferior products of which there are many will not do the job.

The Enclosure

Poultry Keeping nooks and crannies and around the nest box as well. The Diatom Powder needs to be used sparingly as it is quite expensive and I have found it best to apply it using a long bristled paintbrush as this allows you to get small amounts into all the nooks and crannies. Another trick is to occasionally alternate with a different Mite Dusting Powder. I have found this to be very effective. I also on a monthly basis, pick up the birds, gently turn them upside down on my knees and give them a good dusting under the wings and

The ideal setup, if you are lucky enough to have a large garden, orchard, paddock or field in which to keep your hens is to surround the house and run with an electrified poultry fence giving your hens plenty of room to free range. These fences are very effective if fitted with the right specification of Fencer Unit they are unobtrusive and readily available from country stores such as Mole Valley Farmers or Countrywide or over the Internet from sites such as www.farmcareuk.com . This arrangement allows you complete peace of mind, your hens stay where they are supposed to be and there is another line of defence against predators.

One of Roger's excellent chicken houses and jump around. From a hen's point of view you should try to make the run as much like an activity centre as you can with perching, hanging up fresh green veg for them to peck at, but most important is the floor. Hens love to scratch around looking for food, it is their main function in life and they start doing it almost as soon as they emerge from the egg. If you throw a handful of corn into some straw or grass this will keep the hen very happily amused for hours. So what to put on the floor of the run, well I use a three or four inch layer of coarse wood chippings to cover up the bare earth, which also encourages worms and bugs which the hens love. The drop-

Feeding This subject alone could run into thousands of words so I will only cover the basics initially. Chicks, Growers, Layers and Finishers all have their own requirements with different feed preparations available for all the varying stages and types. Some people will want to feed organically others will be content with a natural feed with no GM or Meds and others will want a feed with an Anti Coccidiosis additive. You will need to do some research and make up your own mind as to which route to take. My advice is that a natural and complete layers pellet from an established source such as those made by Farmgate or Allen & Page Smallholder Range will have the best levels of vitamins and minerals and proven good results. I provide an on demand feed system usually using a green and white plastic feeder of the correct size. I also supplement this with a scratch feed of poultry grain mixed with additional cut corn thrown for the hens in the afternoon.

Cleaning and Maintenance

A French Copper Black Maran pullet pings can then be washed through by the rain or hosepipe to keep it clean. As for the design of the run, it needs to be made from strong, treated timber or galvanised steel and covered in sixteen guage weldmesh with three quarter or inch squares. This specification will deter the most persistent foxes and badgers of which there are plenty in East Devon. The only additional requirement is to add an anti dig

If cleaning and maintenance are carried out on a regular basis the task is really very quick and easy. I use a layer of wood shavings on the floor of the house and clean straw on shavings in the nestboxes. If the house is inspected daily and the eggs collected, it is little bother to keep a poop scoop in the house and regularly remove the worst of the droppings, this also gives you an opportunity to inspect them as they give a good indication of the condition of your birds, you will quickly get to know what is normal healthy poop. Then on a weekly or fortnightly basis clean the house out completely and replace the shavings. It is also essential to prevent rather than try to cure the infestation of the house with bugs, particularly Red Mite which can make a chook's life a misery. Every time I clean out my houses I apply a small dusting of Diatomaceous Powder to the ends of the perches and particularly around the sockets where the perches sit, any

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

between their legs to prevent parasites, again I use Diatom and alternate with another proprietary brand of dusting powder. A very thorough spring clean should be carried out if any infestation or disease is suspected, I do this about quarterly as a matter of routine. The house should be emptied, and in the case of one of our Gable Cottages, the nest box, floor and perches all removed. The house should then be thoroughly scrubbed out with Poultry Guard or similar, I use a pressure washer to blast out the whole House inside and out. It is best if the spring-clean is done on a dry day and it can be left with all doors and windows open to thoroughly dry out before being put back together with clean shavings and bedding. Roger Mudditt

Editor Roger makes a range of excellent housing units and runs for chickens. You can see his products at www. tiphayesfarm.co.uk or you can view his products by appointment. Roger is very approachable and happy to advise you on this aspect of chicken care. You can call the farm on Tel 01404 861147 Tiphayes Farm is at Uppottery near Honiton.

15


Croatian Dreams

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or many people, Croatia, as a holiday destination is just quite simply "off their radar". Having returned from holidaying there recently many people queried just where Croatia was and what on earth it was like. Situated next door to Italy, with the warm Adriatic seas lapping at its shores, Croatia has one of the best climates in Europe. August, can be searingly hot, but September and the early season can be simply perfect for holiday making. Popular with the Italians and Germans it's a destination not yet discovered by many Brits. If you enjoy the beach, Croatia certainly won't disappoint. Personally, I'd say that Croatia has

one of the most scenic and beautiful coast lines I've ever visited. Huge, mist-covered craggy mountains, rise up dramatically behind fragrant, pine-fringed beaches; azure-green seas gently play against the shore line; deserted little coves and bays are secretly tucked away on mysterious islands, accessible only by boat. In fact, boats it would appear, are a major theme in Croatia, the seas being relatively calm, offer a fantastic opportunity for cruising around the coasts and exploring the little islands which are scattered like thousands of sparkling jewels along the Dalmatian coastline. In terms of beaches, you are certainly spoilt for choice - most have lovely backdrops and crystal clear waters. What's more, the coastline remains relatively unspoilt compared to the shorelines of Spain and some of the more popular Mediterranean destinations. One of the

by Helen James loveliest beaches is Brela (along the Dalmatian Coast) which has stunningly green-blue water and dramatically shaped rock formations. But Croatia has more than beaches - although I admit it's difficult to tear yourself away from the

The city of Split, where the walls of Diocletian's Palace can still be seen today

The Roman vaults under Diocletian's palace

beach. This is a country with a long and sometimes turbulent history and there's plenty to see and appreciate. If you're a bit of a history buff you're in for a real treat as Croatia has some of the best Roman ruins (boasting one of the most well-preserved elliptical Amphitheatres in existence today at Pula) in Europe. A must-see town is Split which is a UNESCO world heritage site and is the location where the Emperor Diocleatian chose to spend his retirement. The vast palace of Diocletian is one of the largest and bestpreserved left from the Roman world. The heart

East Devon Coast & Country

16


A rooftop view over the mediaeval town of Dubrovnik

of the palace is the Peristyle where the interior courtyard of the Roman complex is truly impressive where layers of centuries of building can clearly be seen. The slender columns bordering 3 sides rest on a high plinth and have highly decorated capitals. Croatia has always been a place of turmoil, due mainly to its strategic location. The Romans used to find their comings and goings in the Adriatic restricted by the native peoples and after a couple of hundred years of fighting Augustus finally managed a decisive conquest in around 9 AD. Over the years that followed, Augustus made the Balkans part of the Roman empire and 'civilisation' was brought to the region; cities and roads were built and the inhabitants became Roman citizens and were therefore allowed to run for public office. Illyria (as the region was then known) produced several emperors including Septimus, Severus, Arelian, Cluadius II, Probus, Valens, Valentinian, Probus and perhaps the most famous of them all Diocletian. Diocleatin's palace in Split is extremely well-preserved and was built originally directly on the sea as a sort of retirement home for Diocletian when he eventually left office. The old city walls are remarkably-well preserved and you can enjoy an interesting tour around the town and city gates. Today, just outside the old walls, a vibrant and colourful local market thrives selling the local produce, cheeses, honey, and lavender as well as just about every fruit and veg under the sun. Just outside the port of Split lies the ancient remains of the Roman city of Salona,

destroyed in 614 but with many of its features still recognisable, especially the amphitheatre. Further south, down the Dalmatian coastline lies the jewel of the Adriatic, the ancient city of Dubrovnik. A medieval city with ancient churches, magnificent squares, twisting streets and impressive towers. One of the best known monuments in the city is the Big Fountain of Onofrio, built by a Venetian architect, was originally a two

overlooking the sea. Unfortunately, Dubrovnik suffered heavy, relentless bombing during the war in the 1990's and much of the city suffered damage. UNESCO and the European Union set up as special commission for the reconstruction of the city and much of the damage has been repaired. The ancient city is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Once again the strategic location of the city has had a direct bearing on its history and it's a city which has been much fought over

The Roman Peristyle

storey building with the upper story being destroyed in the earthquake of 1667.

The thriving market at Split, with every type of fruit and vegetable available

Due to its history and rich culture this is a destination of international importance with many, many tourists stopping here to enjoy this ancient city and to walk along its 10th century walls

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

right up till the present day. The Venetians, the Hapsburgs and the French all have some history in this region and Maximillian of Hapsburg built a palace at Lokrum (one of the small islands off Dubrovnik) which is now a nature reserve where there are many exotic plants. - continued overleaf

17


Brela beach on the Markarsa Riviera

Enjoying the sea at Brela on the Makarska Riviera

There's nothing like a refreshing dip

The Romans are back - help!

Many ferries to take you island hopping

East Devon Coast & Country

18


Croatian Dreams

The mediaeval town of Dubrovnik

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or those who love countryside and nature, Croatia has 4 national parks, nature reserves, oases, biotopes (environments characterised by particular conditions) and two marshes. The country has magnificent rivers flowing into the sea along the Dalmatian coast and for those who enjoy active holidays there's the chance for climbing, cycling, hiking and rafting. If you manage to get totally off the tourist trail you'll find yourself deep in the wooded hillsides of

the countryside where the road signs frequently warn you about wild bears and wolves as well as lynx and wild boar. The forests of Croatia are so dense and high that these animals have managed to retain their habitat and thrive. In these backwaters you'll enjoy touring the small villages where the locals gather in the cool of the night to enjoy a relaxing drink and still maintain all the traditional, seasonal coun-

try pursuits - such as drying figs in the sun. Most villages have thriving little markets and many roadside vendors sell their local produce and crafts. In fact, there's probably so much to see that you'd need to have several holidays there to make sure you've not missed out.

Dubrovnik has some fine beaches

Dubrovnik at night

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

19


'Out of the Dusk' (pastel)

East Devon Coast & Country

20


CLOSE

ENCOUNTER WITH THE GHOST BIRD

David Mead reports encouraging news for our local barn owls Out of the dusk it came, suddenly, silently, on snow-white wings tinted gold by the setting sun. I stood still in the shadows as it flew towards me. Within seconds, I was almost literally face-toface with one of the most beautiful and beguiling birds ever to grace our rural landscape. I’ve seen my share of breathtaking sights in many years of wildlife-watching, and that dramatic close encounter with a barn owl rates highly among them. It was all the more memorable for being entirely unexpected. By pure luck I happened to be there, on the slopes above an East Devon valley, as the owl began hunting, trailing its long legs and needle-sharp talons ready for action. In low, slow and characteristically buoyant flight, it scanned the meadow for any sign or sound of an off-guard field vole, its favourite prey. Every so often, it would twist abruptly, hover briefly and plunge to the ground. I could not tell how many of its pounces resulted in a kill, but sometimes it was hidden in the tall grass long enough to gulp down a meal. Barn owls make short work of small rodents, swallowing them whole and later regurgitating pellets of indigestible bones and fur.

socky, ungrazed grass preferred by voles. And it’s also well away from major roads, where the glare of fast-approaching headlights is so often the last thing a barn owl sees. Maybe, in the course of evolution, these birds will learn to fly high over tarmac, but for now they carry straight on at low level into the path of traffic, with tragic results.

David Mead is an East Devon-based wildlife artist and writer who has illustrated major ornithological books and produced artwork for leading conservation organisations. Formerly a Fleet Street journalist, he now writes mainly about birds and other natural history topics. His website is: www.hawkart.co.uk

An estimated one-quarter of all young British barn owls are killed on roads, of which the A30 is the biggest culprit here in East Devon. The impact of roadkill was first highlighted by the Ashburton-based Barn Owl Trust, whose recommendations to make highways safer for the owls include the planting of high hedges or closely-spaced trees alongside major routes. It’s a sad irony that a species which benefits from breeding and roosting in man-made structures, especially farm buildings, is now suffering from man-made problems. The loss of prey-rich habitat has been identified as the major cause of the barn owl’s decline, while factors such as rodenticide poisoning, collisions with overhead wires and drowning in cattle troughs also play a part. But there is hope amid the gloom. The provision of artificial nest boxes has helped to offset the demise of traditional barns, and the national population of barn owls, although well short of historical levels, is thought to be holding steady at around 4000 pairs. Latest survey results reveal even better news for our local birds, with 31 nests found in East Devon in 2003 compared to 21 ten years earlier. The same survey estimated 350-470 pairs in the county as whole, an increase of 37% on the 1993 figures. The barn owls I watched last winter left The Hill in mid-March. I hope they found a safe place to nest and that they, or their offspring, will return soon. For the sake of their species, and the wider good of our countryside, we should all wish them well.

SHARP EYES AND EARS The barn owl’s face acts like a parabolic reflector by directing sound towards the finely tuned ears, which are set just inside the fringe of the heart-shaped facial disc. One ear is positioned higher than the other, enabling the bird to more accurately pinpoint even the faintest sounds made by small rodents. The owl’s dense, soft plumage reduces wind roar, and the wing feathers are covered with tiny hairs as a further aid to silent flight. The highly light-sensitive eyes are designed to see detail and spot movement at night, but there is no truth in the old adage that owls cannot see properly in sunlight. Barn owls are largely nocturnal for most of the year – being most active at dusk and dawn – although they often hunt by day in winter.

DID YOU KNOW? 1. Barn owls do not hoot like the more common tawny owl. Instead, they communicate mainly by hissing and shrieking, hence their alternative name of screech owl.

I watched that owl as the light faded from gold to grey and the bird became little more than a blurred, pale shape floating in the night sky. Eventually it disappeared, leaving me in no doubt as to how this almost mythical creature gained its old country name of ghost owl. That first sighting was in mid-December last year, and the owl returned to the same hillside with reasonable regularity – and often in broad daylight – throughout the winter. A second owl appeared in February and the two hunted together on several evenings, raising the exciting possibility that they would stay and breed. I will not divulge their location because these once common birds are now struggling for survival in Britain and can do without disturbance in a potential nesting area. So let’s just say I saw them on The Hill. There is little doubt that owls can find plenty of food on The Hill, covered as it is in the rough, tus-

2. This year’s wet July in the West Country would have caused problems for barn owls because their soft plumage can become waterlogged and impair their hunting ability. 3. Except when they are nesting, barn owls may roost for 22 out of every 24 hours. 4. Around 4000 prey items are required annually to feed a pair of barn owls and their chicks. 5. Some barn owls still nest in tree holes or rock crevices, which would have been their normal breeding sites before they began using farm buildings in Britain. 6. Experiments have shown that barn owls can locate and catch prey in total darkness by relying solely on their acute hearing. 7. The barn owl occurs on all continents except Antarctica, making it the most widely distributed owl species. In many parts of the world, barn owls are darker in colour than those found in Britain.

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

THE BARN OWL TRUST The Barn Owl Trust is a small but extremely active Devon-based registered charity dedicated to conserving the barn owl and its environment. Founded in 1988, the BOT works on many levels, from the creation of suitable habitat and provision of nest boxes to surveys of barn owl populations and research into the various problems facing the species. The Trust also provides educational resources and advises local and national government. Owl casualties receive expert care in the BOT aviaries, which form a true sanctuary, not open to the public. The Trust does not operate a visitor centre, but its website contains a vast amount of information on the barn owl and the efforts being made to ensure its survival. www.barnowltrust.org.uk The Barn Owl Trust, Waterleat, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7HU Email: info@barnowltrust.org.uk Telephone: 01364 653026

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4

View from East Hill

The view from East Hill car park can be stunning on a clear day. You can see across to the Haldon Hills

Continued page 25

East Devon Coast & Country

22


the

Coast & Country walk

If you’ve never walked along the ridge at East Hill, then this is your chance to enjoy some of the excellent views that this high ridge has to offer. Point 4 is where you get the best view, and on a cold clear day you can see for miles. The opposite page gives you an idea of the panorama that can be enjoyed from this position. For dog walkers, this is a fairly laid back walk, as dogs can be released off the lead and have a good run around

Sidmouth area - Core Hill to East Hill from point 1 to 4. Here, the track is the old Core Hill Road which is flint and shale and makes for fairly easy walking. Parking can be fairly restricted at point 1, so the other option is to drive over to point 4 where there are more parking spaces, if you do this then you can proceed from here along the same route. This walk will take about 1½ to 2½ hours depending on your fitness and is fairly easy going apart from points 1-2 and 7-1. Continued overleaf

East Hill

alternative START & PARK

4

ry

te

Ot

Coming across a badger in the daytime was a surprise. I can only think that Mr (or Mrs) Badger wasn’t feeling too well. There was not really much I could do to help. ne

La

WALK DIRECTIONS 1

This is the start point, however if parking is unavailable, you can START at point 4 where more parking is available. Start walking up the steep track at 1 this takes you through the wood where the path levels out at point 2 Note that the track is a continuation of Core Hill Rd, but is stone & gravel.

2

At this point you emerge out onto moor for a short distance. Don’t worry about finding the track, it’s well defined, just keep following the largest track, don’t veer off.

3

This point is the intersection between the main track and another smaller track (Burscombe Lane) which can be seen leading steeply down on the right. On the opposite side, you can get a great view by walking down to the fence. Still follow the main track.

4

You’ve arrived at East Hill carpark. Take time to enjoy the spectacular view looking west before carrying on. To proceed, turn sharp right onto the road, which you follow until you come to the first turning on the right.

5

Turn right here and follow lane downhill past Burscombe Farm and then up the hill where the lane veers right sharply.

6

At this point, go over the stile and head directly across and up the field to the gate in the fence bordering the woods.

7

Go through the gate follow the path up the wooded hillside. Keep walking uphill where you come to the summit. Here, you can see a path at the bottom of the gulley which you need to follow to take you back to your car.

5

3

Co oad ill R

H re

Burscombe Farm

6

Bur

2

sco

7

mb

eL

ane

PARKING RESTRICTED

1

START & PARK re

Co oad lR

<

d lefor pp Po n o wt Ne

Hil

MAIN FOOTPATHS COAST ROAD A3052 BACK LANES OTHER FOOTPATHS LINK FOOTPATH

STOWFORD

A30

ord

52

Sidf WAITROSE

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

>

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A s h g rov e K i t c h e n s

Beautiful kitchens, beautifully made.

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ased in Devon, Ashgrove Kitchens have been designing and making beautiful and individual kitchens since 1987. With a wide variety of choice and styles, lovingly crafted and hand built, first-class service only adds to the beauty of having a bespoke kitchen, bedroom or home study. We would be delighted to arrange a free no-obligation home visit with one of our designers to discuss your particular requirements, or why not visit our showroom in Crediton, only 15 minutes drive from Exeter. For more information, or a copy of our brochure, please give us a call or perhaps browse our website to see a selection of our work. Please quote â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Coast & Countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; when you call.

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East Devon Coast & Country 24 Showroom open 9am - 5.30pm weekdays and 10am - 1pm on Saturdays or by appointment. Head Office & Showroom: No.3 Marsh Lane, Lords Meadow, Crediton, Devon EX17 1ES


6

View to Burscombe Farm

At this point youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve walked down past Burscombe Farm (in the mid ground) and up the lane to the stile. The Iron Age hill fort of Sidbury Castle is located on crest of the hill in the distance.

A bonus from starting the walk late in the day

1

to 4

Tree lined walks

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

If you enjoy walking through avenues of trees, then this is the walk for you.

25


Horse Care The Winter Months by Natalie Bucklar-Green

Natalie Bucklar-Green gives valuable advice on keeping your horse in tip-top condition over the winter months...

Natalie Bucklar-Green

BSc (Hons), MSc (Equine Science)

Natalie has owned horses for over 20 years and breeds pedigree Shetland ponies. She has previously lectured in Equine Science to degree level and produced research for preparing Great Britainsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; equestrian teams for the Olympics. Natalie owns Jorrocks Saddlery near Sidmouth and has fitted saddles for competitors at Badminton International Horse Trials.

Feeding

Put simply, if a horse receives more energy in its diet than it needs for day to day living, it will put on weight but if it receives less energy than it needs it will lose weight. The energy requirements of a horse increase during the winter months and for many horses this extra energy requirement can be provided by feeding hay. However in horses who cannot maintain their condition on just hay, extra hard feed is required to increase the energy in the diet. Conversely, avoid feeding additional hard feed to an overweight horse, so the horse uses its own reserves to keep warm, and you will have a slimmer, healthier horse by the spring. Feeding horses successfully is both an art and a science but for all horses and ponies the aim should be to easily feel but not see the ribs. Forage in the diet is a main source of warmth for the horse because the process of fibre digestion in the large intestine releases a large amount of heat. So as grass quality and quantity decrease, it is important to provide hay or haylage in the field as well as when the horse is stabled. This also serves another purpose in minimising the risk of gastric ulcers. A horse turned out on very little grass all day will have insufficient food going through the stomach; this drastically increases the risk of gastric ulcers because the acid present in the stomach starts to attack the stomach lining in the absence of food. Over 60% of leisure horses have been shown to have gastric ulcers.

Stabling and Health

Many horses spend more time stabled in the winter, which is alien to their physiology; horses are naturally designed to move almost continually, eating little and often in the open air. Stabling prevents this and so stabled horses

East Devon Coast & Country

If hay is in short supply you can feed an alternative fibre source such as chaff or fibre nuts to make up some of the diet. are more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal problems, respiratory disease and digestive disorders. To help keep your horse healthy if he must be stabled: 1.

Feed hay off the floor to mimic the natural posture of a grazing horse. Hay nets can be detrimental to the horses back and respiratory system.

2.

Feed ad-lib hay or haylage, making sure your horse has sufficient to last the night. Long periods without forage can cause ulcers and colic, not forgetting it is mentally unhealthy too.

3.

Use dust free bedding and muck out when the horse is outside. Dust and ammonia are severely detrimental to a horse's respiratory system. By the time a horse coughs and/or has nasal discharge, damage has been done.

4.

Soak hay for 30 minutes before feeding to reduce spores.

5.

Turn out as much as possible to allow your horse to move and roll. Just think how stiff you would be if you stayed in bed 23 hours a day - continued page 28

26


Equine Club & Rider Feature

EQUESTRIAN EVENTS November to February

The Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club

5th Nov - Unaffiliated Show jumping at Bicton College.

by Nataline Bucklar-Green

8th Nov - Sid & Otter Valley Riding Club Members Dressage Training at Bicton College.

With 120 members from East Devon, the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club (SOVRC) brings together riders of all ages and abilities for numerous social and sporting events throughout the year. The club is affiliated to the British Horse Society, which gives its members the opportunity to compete in area competitions and the chance to qualify for national championships. Indeed the club is very successful and most years manages to win an area qualifier in Dressage, Show

15th Nov - Sid & Otter Valley Riding Club Members Showjumping Training at Bicton Arena. 15th Nov- Exe Equestrian Club Unaffiliated Dressage at Bicton College. 20th Nov - Exeter racecourse Race Meeting. 21st Nov - Unaffiliated Show jumping at Bicton College. A SOVRC member riding cross country in the clubs colours

welcome, so competitive riders can be seen alongside those who don’t compete receiving

Jo Lee and Heidi Rose after winning the National Pairs Dressage Championships

Jumping or Horse Trials, if not all three. For the last six years the SOVRC have qualified for the National Horse Trials Championships and they have gone with the intention of winning, not just making up the numbers. Twice now they have been a whisker away from the title of National Horse Trials Champions, holding the lead until the final stages, only to be struck with bad luck and the dream of winning just slipping away. This year however, several members bought home rosettes from the championships, with two teams and several individuals being placed in the top ten. The teams are organised by Jo Lee from Honiton, who along with Heidi Rose from Feniton, recently won the National Pairs Dressage to Music title. Each year the club hosts a variety of competitive and social events. The committee of ten are chaired by Karen Oakley and they work hard to enable members to enjoy everything from a talk by an Olympic team trainer to their ever popular annual One Day Event. The highlight of many members’ year is summer camp, where adults get to regress back to childhood and camp for four days with their horses. Organised by Cheryl Beer, with a cheerful band of helpers, the camp is an excellent opportunity for riders to have several daily lessons and lots of fun. Everyone is

instruction and practising flatwork and jumping. This year a daily challenge saw riders having to subtly drop in a random word into their lessons, to see if their instructors would twig. ‘Buttocks’ was a fairly easy one for a bunch of horse riders and ‘flatulence’ caused a great deal of amusement. As mentioned, camp is a chance for adults to regress to childhood! Evening activities are organised by Graeme Holmes, with the rounders match being particularly hotly contested. One member (who shall remain nameless to spare her blushes) strained her leg muscles this year in her efforts to gain an elusive ‘run’ for her team. The bingo and quiz are taken no less seriously, although the answers inevitably deteriorate through the evening as bottles are emptied. Whilst many clubs seemingly hibernate in the winter, the SOVRC continues to organise events for its members. Facilities are hired for lessons, which the club subsidises, so riders can continue their all important training through the winter. There is an annual Christmas dinner, fun Christmas show and a series of dressage competitions start in January. The members of Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club are a diverse mix of people from all over East Devon, with jobs ranging

22nd Nov- Sid & Otter Valley Riding Club Members Dressage Training at Bicton College. 28th Nov - British Dressage at Bicton College. 4th Dec - Raceday at Exeter Racecourse - Axminster Carpets Day. 6th Dec- Exe Equestrian Club Festive Fun Ride on Woodbury Common. 6th Dec - Unaffiliated Dressage at Bicton College. 12th Dec - British Dressage at Bicton College. 13th Dec - Sid & Otter Valley Riding Club Members Christmas Show at Bicton College. 17th Dec - Christmas Raceday at Exeter Racecourse. 24th Jan - Sid & Otter Valley Riding Club Open Unaffiliated Dressage at Bicton College. 21st Feb - Sid & Otter Valley Riding Club Open Unaffiliated Dressage at Bicton College.

from hairdressers to teachers and ages spanning many decades. The youngest members are still at school whilst the oldest are (cough, cough) considerably older! The club offers opportunities to bring these people together for sport, learning and fun with a common interest- the love of horses. For more information on the Sid and Otter Valley Riding Club see their website at: www.sovrc.co.uk.

Jo Lee and Heidi Rose on their way to winning the National Pairs Dressage

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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Mud Fever is caused by a bacteria that gets into the skin through a small graze or when the skin is softened because of the wet and mud.

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Sundew, really exotic when you get close up

Mating hairy dragonfly

Unmistakable - a kestrel

Take the Bystock challenge by Stephen Hussey at the Devon Wildlife Trust

D

evon Wildlife Trust’s Steve Hussey visits a place that has been challenging people and wildlife for centuries

When I spot the kestrel, it is backlit atop an isolated downy birch tree. The light of the low sun is enough to make me shield my eyes, but the bird’s distinctive outline is still obvious. The hawk knows it is being watched, decides that it will hunt elsewhere, steps off its branch, makes half a dozen rapid wing beats before dipping its shoulder and easing away on a glide across a landscape of heather and gorse. Bystock, close to Exmouth in East Devon, is one of Devon Wildlife Trust’s most popular nature reserves. Its 27 hectares are a made up of a mix of heathland, grassland, woodland and a small reservoir. Together they form a Site of Special Scientific Interest, leased to DWT by South West Water. These bare facts conceal a story of change, adaptation and survival that is as remarkable as it is long. Bystock is part of the larger East Devon Pebble Bed Heaths. These are a slither of land running from Budleigh Salterton on the coast inland to West Hill, near Ottery St Mary. The heaths get their name from the pebbles that poke through the ground’s surface. The pebbles were formed 235 million years ago by the action of a large river which at that time flowed through a desert straddling the equator. In the millennium since the gradual movement of the earth’s tectonic plates have brought this landscape here to Devon. This history is confirmed by the crunch of our boots as I explore Bystock via one of its many

paths. My feet tread through patches of yellow gravel mingled with large, smooth stones. It’s this characteristically thin soil of pebbles and sand that have shaped Bystock’s natural and human history. The heathland is poor and unproductive. In Neolithic times it was probably farmed, but its soil soon became exhausted so that in the centuries since it has been treated as wild, marginal land, a place on which to run a few cattle and collect fuel, but which otherwise offered only meagre returns. For wildlife too, the heathland has presented a challenge. But, other guide for the day, Roger Hamling, explains, from this challenge of poor resources a series of heathland specialists have evolved, all adapted to life in its harsh landscape. Roger is a keen naturalist and knows Bystock’s wildlife well having worked here for several years as part of a group of dedicated local volunteers committed to maintaining Bystock as a wildlife haven.

dew,’ explains Roger as he crouches to point to a tiny pink plant, glistening as if covered in dew. ‘Because the ground here is so poor in nutrients it has developed another means of survival. The leaves are covered in little sticky hairs. Insects get stuck on these and when this happens the leaves curl inwards trapping the insect. The plant then slowly digests its prey. That’s how it manages to survive.’ Along with carnivorous plants there’s much for the visitor to Bystock to see whatever the time of year. However, just as it has had a tradition of challenging wildlife, so this nature reserve has also been tough going for some visitors; that is, until recently.

Roger details the wildlife that calls the heathland its home, the birds such as stonechats, Dartford warblers and tree pipits, along with the pair of nightjars whose churring, whirring calls make a summer evening’s walk on Bystock something special. Then there are the nature reserve’s heathland reptiles that include common lizards, adders, grass snakes and slow worms.

Things have now changed thanks to £10,000 of funding from Devon County Council’s RocKETS scheme, a part of Defra’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, along with money from the Clare Milne Trust. Devon Wildlife Trust has used this to open parts of the nature reserve to all. Once a short length of path designed for disabled visitors led from Bystock’s main southern entrance alongside its small reservoir. But now this path has been linked by a bridge over a small stream to a new wheelchair-friendly boardwalk. This in turn takes people to a newly built turning circle and viewing platform to look across Bystock heath and back over the water.

As we come across one of Bystock’s small spring fed pools Roger stops to point out one small plant that seems to epitomise the adaptation that is required to be successful in this harsh landscape. ‘Around the edges of the heath’s small pool grows round-leaved sun-

In the past Bystock nature reserve’s heathland landscape may have been one to which people and wildlife had to yield, but perhaps these latest changes may have softened its image. This stubborn landscape is there to be loved and enjoyed by everyone.

East Devon Coast & Country

30


Adders are a rare sight

How to get there

Bystock nature reserv

between Exmouth an

e lies

d Budleigh Salterton in East Devo n, close to the B3180. For more de tailed directions visit the Ha vens pages of www.devonwildlife trust.org or call DWT on 01392 279244.

The unique habitat of the pebble bed heath

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A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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Health and Beauty

Dr Ros Debenham discusses obesity

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Industry because we dieters will be back for more, time & time again! Did you realise that ‘low fat’ foods are so called just because they are lower in fat than the ‘normal’ foods but higher in other components that may be even worse in terms of keeping that weight on. And do you remember reading about a well known brand of cereals that had a rather alarming amount of sugar in it? October 5th & 6th were the dates of this years National Obesity Forum held at the Royal College of Physicians, London. The highlight for me, was meeting Sir Steven Redgrave & hearing how he dealt with the

Quality Street, you then are programmed to think of the nice times you have had at the cinema. Knowing how to recognise & break these associations is cornerstone in effective weight loss management. Another factor which has a big part to play in our ability to effect change is the way in which we talk to ourselves, as we do all day long, in our heads. Just realising, that by encouraging ourselves & praising ourselves for any progress made, we will be more likely to achieve our goals. Over the years, as a General Practitioner specialising in weight loss, I have developed a program addressing the behavioral aspects of overeating which have usually

Diet alone will not give sustained weight loss in the majority of people and the psychology surrounding weight loss must be addressed unrelenting training that led to his achieving his 5 consecutive Gold Medals. Over the two days, more alarmingly, figures were disclosed regarding the increasing obesity rates & particularly those of children. The big message of the 2 days was that diet alone will not give sustained weight loss in the majority of people & that the psychology surrounding weight loss must be addressed. To some, this may sound daunting, but it is no different to realising that ‘psychology’ is happening when you do something over & over again. An example may be something as simple as eating Quality Street at the cinema every time you go so that, whenever you eat your favorite

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A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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BEECH ROYD 6 BENNETTS HILL SIDMOUTH DEVON EX10 9XH

Live the Bradbury’s Experience kitchens | bedrooms | living

Open Monday – Saturday, 9am-5pm. Closed Sundays Tel: 01392 825940 www.bradburysltd.co.uk

Bradbury’s, Denbury Court, Matford Park, Exeter EX2 8NB

Bradburys ALNOSTAR Exeter Living1 1

East Devon Coast & Country

21/9/09 10:02:13

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MANAGING your MONEY

Ever decreasing circles....

Helen has been advising clients in the East Devon area for the past 18 years and specialises in the provision of retirement and investment advice.

How the State Pension is moving out of our grasp

Her firm also provides a specialist annuities service for people approaching retirement and newly retired which operates nationally.

R

etirement is beginning to sound like a dirty word for those in their 50's. The State Pension, especially for women, has changed radically for those born in the "post baby boomer " years. At one time, retirement at age 60 was a possibility; but then there was the suggestion that in order to be fair, that State Pension ages have to be equalised for men and women and, of course, this was always going to mean a higher retirement age for women. So, for those reaching age 50 this year, an additional 5 years of work and national insurance contributions is on the cards and a loss of 5 years' worth of pensions payments - which could amount to a substantial amount over this time period.

O

ne of the big stories from the Tory conference was that proposal to increase State Pension age to 68. However, Labour has suggested this already (although it doesn't seem to have been widely discussed in the press) and this calculation is, in fact, already factored into the DWP's calculator on their website. The Tory suggestion, if it comes to be, will start affecting those in their late 50s as well as those in their early 50s and younger. Congratulations to those ladies who were born at the start of 1950 and earlier - it would appear that you have luckily got off Scott free. Having recently been on the DWP's website I decided to check my own State Pension retirement age (using their on-line calculator) and it is currently 65 and 5 months. Interestingly, the DWP 's website already calculates a retirement age of 68 for those born in the 1980's. The Tories' suggestion (if it happens) will merely bring this regime to those in their later 50's. My thoughts are that this won't be the end of increasing retirement ages and 70 has already been mentioned as a realistic target age. So the State Pension seems to be disappearing before our eyes and sadly many more people will never manage to retire.

Congratulations to those ladies who were born at the start of 1950 and earlier - it would appear that you have luckily got off Scott free.

B

ut there are advantages for those of us currently in our 50s (and younger) as we are apparently going to live a lot longer and we'll have the benefit of staving off some of the diseases that afflict the elderly. Apparently this is because we'll be fitter and more mentally alert (due to later retirement). Furthermore, we won't be categorised as pensioners for another decade. The Tories have also alluded to reinstating the link between national average earnings (rather than the current retail price index) and the State Pension which of course would be welcome,

To find out more about her practice, you can view her company websites at: www.richmondindependent.co.uk For pension annuities visit: www.pension-annuity.co.uk

Helen Mulvaney BA (Hons), Dip M, Cert PFS Proprietor of Richmond Independent

however, the timing on this is still very vague and likely to be repeatedly postponed and may, in fact, never materialise.

A

ll this is difficult to take on board for many people, but in essence your own pension provision is going to be more important than ever. For many, it will mean a substantially increased working life and less retirement years to enjoy. If you are self-employed or you're not in a superannuation scheme or company pension then life looks set to be even more difficult. It's therefore important to get independent financial advice.

Your own pension provision is going to be more important than ever.

I

h ave been helping clients with their retirement options for the last 18 years and we offer a very thorough service, guiding you through the available options and ensuring that you fully understand your choices. In a world of increasing complexity it important not to miss out on the opportunities for maximising your retirement and pension planning. Helen Mulvaney 01395 512166 This is our understanding of current tax and HMRC regulations which can and do often change. Richmond Independent is an appointed representative of John Ellis IFA Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

37


I'm a Cider Drinker by Ted Gosling Old signs - Farmer John's Cider for sale - the old sign for the old cider press at Newton Poppleford. This picture was taken at Burscombe Farm, where the old cider press is still in use today on a limited basis by the Sidbury Cider Club.

T

he village of Axmouth has a tradition that the first cider in Devon was made in the village. Whether or not this is true, the fact still remains that cider presses were common place in the nineteenth century when nearly every farm in East Devon made its own cider. Nowadays, cider presses are antiques much coveted by homeowners to give a period feel to their restored country farm houses and cottages. Sad to think that they have lapsed form common use to become valued merely as decorations. It was over a century ago that Henry Whiteway set up his own family cider making business in the heart of Devon at Whimple and over the years the company went from strength to

strength exporting Whiteways cider world wide. However, in August 1989, due to the merger of Vine products and Whiteways of Whimple, activities at Whimple orchard ceased and the sound and smells of the cider press disappeared from the village. Today in East Devon, the firm Green Valley Cyder which operates from Darts Farm shopping village at Clyst St George, is dedicated to continuing and developing the best traditions of cider making in the county. Green Valley cider has even been on the menu at the House of Commons.

D

evon is famous for its cider and this old song gives a guarantee of long life to those who drink it.

The art of cider making is still carried on in a small way at Axmouth in a Barn belonging to David Trezise in Stepps Lane.

,

In an East Devon village not far from the sea Still lives my old grand-dad aged ninety and

three,

Of orchards and meadows he owns a good lot, Such as his - not another has got. My grand-dad is lusty, is nimble and spry, ,

As Ribstons his cheeks, clear as crystal his eye His head snowy white as the flowering May, .

And he drinks only cider by night and by day Photo - Sidbury Cider Club

Loading her up - everyone lends a hand at the Sidbury Cider Club

East Devon Coast & Country

38


Apples ready for harvest - if you have space in your garden, plant an apple tree, you can look forward to a flush of blossom in the spring and later in the year you can enjoy an ornamental show of ripening apples - what could be better?

The mass production of cheap cider for sale in supermarkets and in many pubs is made to suit a modern palate, but there are still small breweries in Devon producing the potent and real Devon cloudy "Scrumpy". Long before the second world war it used to be very much the rule for a Devonshire orchard to have more gaps in it than any other enclosures on the farm. It was a handy place for cows, pigs, a colt or two, geese and the remainder of the poultry. No attention worth

The "Cheese" - chopped apples and straw

Burscombe Farm press - the cider press at Burscombe Farm. It resides in the old barn and is a rare sight, especially when you consider many a barn has been converted and presses dismantled. The valuable cider harvest used to be a staple of most devonians' diet. Below - apples being loaded into the chopper, prior to making up the "cheese" in the press. Photo - Sidbury Cider Club

mentioning was paid to the trees. They bore their fruit every year in quantities according to the season. Devon is a county with near-perfect conditions for apple growing and the best cider came from the Royal Wilding apple though another good cider was the Midyate. The liquor made from this apple was know as bramble cider, because in swallowing it, one felt a sensation as if a bramble had been thrust down one's throat and snatched back again. Lovers of really rough cider gave it preference over all other sorts. A very prolific tree was the Cowley-Bridge Crab, two trees alone would yield upwards of six hogsheads of cider in a single year. By frequent racking, this cider, naturally austere could be rendered soft and pleasant and agreeable to the most delicate palates. Cyder or cider has been know in England for at least 800 years and it would be good to know if it was first made in Axmouth. We do know there are no references to cider making during the Roman occupation of Britain, but after the Norman Conquest in 1066, the planting of orchards and making of cider arrived in the westcountry. It is singular that the cider apple tree has thriven so well in Devonshire with the small amount of care bestowed on it. In my youth, East Devon still had its 15 pints a day cider drinkers, but by the 1960's this practice of drinking cider in such quantities went out and cider went upmarket.

A Celebration of Life in East Devon

Burscombe Farm Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast and Self Catering

T

ucked away in a peaceful and picturesque valley, our family-run dairy farm is situated just 3 miles from the pretty seaside town of Sidmouth.

C

ome and enjoy the tranquillity of Burscombe which is an ideal position for beautiful country walks where you can see buzzards, pheasants, rabbits and many fantastic views.

R

elax in the large garden and watch the time go by with the farm pets, while the children keep themselves occupied with the toys available.

Burscombe Farm, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0QB

01395 597648

robert@burscombefarm.orangehome.co.uk

39


Tales of a Yokel

50 Broad St Lyme Regis

By FCR Esgen

BRIGHT STUFF FOR COOL KIDS

Fun and Games

Joules - Emile et Rose Wow! - Lizzie Shirt

Fun and games seem to be played by the children of today sitting down, usually in front of computer screens, playing expensive games served up to fill their young minds. As a boy, life was far different for me.

A little off the beaten track....

THE GARDEN SHOP For lovely plants, cards and gifts and everything for your garden! KING STREET, COLYTON, DEVON

EASY PARKING

Open Mon-Sat year round, also open spring and summer Sundays Tel: 01297 551113 We are

Seeds of Italy Stockists

My family was comparatively well off as the saying goes, but my parents expected us to make our own fun. Our fun and games were therefore only limited by our imagination. Our pastimes, as they were sometimes called, varied according to the season.

The summer holidays would see us boys making our go-carts. Any and all spare pieces of wood and metal were pressed into service. The yard at the back of the fish and chip shop was always

good-pickings. The wheels were more difficult to acquire, pram wheels of course were best, especially for the back as this gave the coveted dragster effect. I once made a go-cart entirely out of old fish boxes and roller-skates, sad to say I ended up in a ditch when one of the roller-skates fell off while negotiating a particularly tricky bend. The winter, of course, was very different when I was a boy, they were much colder. Crisp, nose-tingling days were a certainty as a precursor of what we hoped would be mountains of snow. Then it came, small specks at first, then slightly bigger, until the sky was filled with a million large puffs of white delight. Every boy and girl in those days worth their salt had a snow sledge or at least something to slide down the fields or banks on. I sometimes used my Dad's wooden surfboard or one of my Mum's old tea-trays. Life seemed to me much more fun because the games we played were all home-made.

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Curious,

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DISCLAIMER - All material in this magazine is copyright. The publishers are not responsible for any loss or damage suffered by any person, persons, or company as a result of any advertisement or article in this magazine. Adverts are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. All artwork is accepted on the strict condition that permission has been given by the owner for use in this publication. The opinions and comments expressed are purely those of the originators. We do not endorse any products or services advertised within this magazine. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that information is correct, the publishers take no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Any person or persons undertaking the circular walk featured within this publication does so entirely at their own risk. If you take children or dogs on the walk, they will require supervision. We strongly advise that prior to travelling to any of the events listed in our What's On sections, that you call the event organisers to check that the event is running at the times and dates specified.

East Devon Coast & Country

40


FOR ALL YOUR KITCHEN AND BATHROOM NEEDS

An established bespoke design business dedicated to giving you an exceptional and totally functional kitchen

Roomers (SW) Ltd 42 Rolle Street Exmouth Devon EX8 2SH

T 01395 272757 T 01395 270091 E showroom@roomers.co.uk W www.roomers.co.uk

Brighten your outlook with Doors & Windows from

Otter Windows Tel: 01404 549229

Email: info@otterwindows.co.uk

●Windows ●Doors ●Conservatories Daily quotations in ● Sidmouth ● Seaton ●Lyme Regis ●Axminster ●Yarcombe ● Dunkeswell ● Whimple ●Woodbury ● Exmouth ●Budleigh And surrounding areas

●Porches ●Fascias ●Cladding ●Guttering Otter windows Limited, Unit 3, Durham way, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton EX14 1SQ

Showroom open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday & 9.00am to 1.00pm Saturdays. Large product range available in PVCu or aluminium. Free, no obligation quotations & helpful service. A Celebration of Life in East Devon

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A thing of beauty is a joy for ever!

Christmas Hospiscare Raffle Situated within the Garden Centre of the Year Proprietor, Sarah Tye welcomes you to her elegant lifestyle store where you can shop until your heart’s content for all your Christmas shopping. Delighted to present a huge variety of products from decorations, table settings to his and hers and childrens. Having won a prestigious customer care award at the start of this year, Sarah and her team will focus on making your shopping experience an absolute pleasure. We look forward to welcoming you to a little indulgence at Temptation...

“Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop” Bo Derek

1st prize - 1930’s Bugatti replica 1/3 scale model racing car worth £4,500! All profits going to the charity. Tickets £5.00 each, with the draw taking place on 21st December.

Christmas Trees The center of everyone’s Christmas is the Christmas Tree in all its splendor, so why not pop into the Garden Centre and pick up the best Christmas Tree you will ever have.

Sidmouth Garden Centre Stowford Cross, Sidmouth EX10 0NA Tel: 01395 516142 . www.sidmouthgardens.co.uk

Find us on the main Sidmouth to Exeter Road, the A3052, East Devon Coast & Country 500 metres from Waitrose towards Exeter on the right hand side.

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East Devon Coast & Country magazine  

Community glossy magazine covering the East Devon area.

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