South Devon Biosecurity Planning workshop (01/02/17)

The AONB Unit is hosting a seminar to work on the production of a South Devon AONB Estuaries BioSecurity Plan, everyone is welcome.  It will be held on Wednesday 15th February from 10am -12.30pm in the Cary Room, Follaton House Totnes.  Nigel Mortimer South Devon AONBs Estuaries Officer commented "Without an effective single species silver bullet, the emphasis of the plan has to be the prevention of further Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) introductions and spread, rather than the control and management of those that have already arrived." We are being assisted in the production of the plan with funding from Natural England, and the workshop will be led by Robin Payne. Further info: [email protected]  or Tel:01803 861384

Try a New Skill for 2017! – Green woodworking workshops (01/02/17)

One of the community orchard groups we are working with as part of the Growing Orchard Communities project is looking for local volunteers to get involved with an exciting woodwork project for the orchard.
Newton and Noss community orchard group are about to start working with local furniture maker Peter Lanyon to create rustic seating for the Community Orchard.
Working in Peter’s workshop near Membland, locally sourced oak logs will be hand-split and shaved. The oak will then be jointed to form seating and a table. Peter will be holding 6 Saturday sessionsfrom now until 1st April.  No previous experience or skills are necessary, minimum age is 14.
Workshops are free,but numbers will be limited,please contact Sue Hinchliffe to book Tel: 01752 873060 or [email protected]

Celebrating Heritage - Growing Orchard Communities networking day (30/01/17)

This  free network celebration day will focus on heritage of apples, cider and orchards. It is the last of our community orchard network events and doubles up with the Orchard Link annual gathering. The venue is the Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone near Modbury. It will be a day of activities, talks and networking with other orchard enthusiasts!  Please download the pdf to see full programme.

 It is free to all members of Orchard Link - others may attend by arrangement, please call Nicky Bailey on 01803 861384 or email [email protected]

South Hams Coastal Community Team given £10k to improve the local economy (30/01/17)

Salcombe fishing boat

The South Hams Coastal Community Team is one of 28 Coastal Community Teams to have been set up around the UK in a Government backed plan to revitalise the nation’s coastal communities. Each Coastal Community Team has been allocated around £10,000 to develop a plan to boost jobs, develop economic growth and rejuvenate the local area. On the South Hams Team are representatives of the South Devon Coastal Local Action Group, local business organisations, South Hams District Council, town councils and harbour boards, along with people representing the agriculture, fishing and tourism sectors.

£1.5 Million Funding Programme Now Open (05/12/16)

A programme offering funds for rural business projects is now open. The South Devon Coastal Local Action Group (LAG) has been awarded just over £1.5 million to allocate to business projects which assist business growth, productivity and create jobs. Applications are now open for projects which aim to help small businesses and businesses in rural services, including farming, forestry, tourism and heritage.

Microchip backpacks for South Devon Bees! (16/11/16)

The South Devon Bee project is a partnership between the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit and the University of Exeter. The project consists of a four year PhD position, held by Raluca Herascu, which aims to better understand how bees navigate in their natural environment.  By carrying out experiments in the AONB, the research hopes to shed light on how the natural features of the landscape affect the way in which bees navigate and forage.

FWAG SW Hedgerow Project (15/11/16)

The FWAG SW Hedgerow Project, in partnership with the Woodland Trust, has officially started and their target is to plant 15,000 metres of hedgerow across the 6 counties of the South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire) by the end of April 2017.  The Woodland Trust is offering an 80% grant on hedgerow plants and trees including guards exclusively through the project.

Harvest time for Growing Orchard Communities (15/11/16)

It truly has been a fruitful year for the 22 community orchards signed up to our project with lots of workdays, training workshops and network events going over the last 12 months.

It has run its target number of 10 site development workshops and these have been very popular with volunteers from the member groups. There have been  three successful, fun and busy network days on themes of biodiversity, produce and involving communities. These have been a great way for members to meet up and chat over ideas and development in their orchards as well as learn a few things along the way!

Torcross sea defence repair commenced (08/11/16)

The Environment Agency has commenced work  to stabilise the existing flood defence in Torcross The work started with the installation of 12m long sheet piles approximately 650mm in front of the existing line of piles. A concrete capping beam will then be cast on top of these piles completing the structure .It is anticipated that the piling will cause noise and vibration within the permitted levels, but they will be routinely monitored.

Lively Q and A session at planning presentation (16/08/16)

50 people attended a presentation in Kingsbridge last week given by Adam Royle,  Senior External Affairs Adviser to the National Trust concerning the findings of a report they commissioned about decision making on development in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

New AONB Manager appointed (03/08/16)

We are pleased to report that Roger English has been appointed as the new Manager for the South Devon AONB Unit. Roger’s role will include managing the staff team,  coordinating action in support of the Management Plan for the area and ensuring that the AONB Partnership works effectively.

Roger is no stranger to South Devon having worked as the Project Officer within the AONB unit since 2003 developing and delivering a variety of projects, working closely with a wide range of local partners. Previously he worked as the Nature Development Manager and Head Countryside Ranger for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.