Bideford Buzz

Welcome to the  on-line edition of the Community Newsletter for Bideford   and adjoining towns, villages, and rural area.

‘Bideford Buzz’ is produced  by a team of volunteers and relies on our local community for articles.   If you are interested in supporting this newsletter we’ll be glad to hear from you.

You can submit your article on disc or by e-mail.    However, ‘snail mail’ is equally acceptable. Material for publication should reach us during the month preceding the month of publication.

Editor – Rose Arno (Bideford Buzz),    c/o Torridge Volunteer Resource Centre (‘TVS’),  14, Bridgeland Street, Bideford, EX39 2QE.  (TVS opening hours Mon.-Thurs. 9.30am to 3.oopm [12.30pm on Thurs.]).      Telephone 07929-976120, or E-mail:

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‘The Wild Tour’ – national premiere, 25th May.

Beaford, in partnership with Bideford Film Society, present a national premiere film screening of

Daniel Bye and Boff Whalley’s THE WILD TOUR.

A documentary film by Bevis Bowden.

New documentary film by Cinematographer and self-shooting Film Director Bevis Bowden.

Features professional theatre maker Daniel Bye (Arthur, Edinburgh Fringe) and musician & esteemed fell-runner Boff Whalley (of Chumbawamba fame!) as well as local singers and runners who joined them along the way.

Follows the epic running adventure of Dan and Boff across Devon from the Atlantic (Northam Burrows) to the English Channel (Dartmouth) in the space of a week in between performing their show ‘These Hills are Ours’ at five outdoor spaces along the way, as part of a co-commission with Beaford.

Showcases our glorious Devon scenery and how great it feels to be active in nature, taking you down picturesque Devonshire lanes, forgotten public footpaths and bracing moorland.

Premiere Film Screening: Weds 25th May, 7.45pm.     Kingsley Theatre, Bideford, EX39 3LY.


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The North Devon Show, 3rd August.


It’s back, and it’s going to be better than ever! After a two-year Covid enforced absence, The North Devon Show goes full steam ahead on Wednesday 3rd August, with Livestock Classes now open for entry.

Celebrating the region’s rural, agricultural and equestrian heritage, this year’s Show also features a host of entertainment and activities, all geared at making it a special day out for all the family.

Show Secretary Theresa Soanes said, “We’re all delighted that the Show is back, and from the messages we’ve received it’s been really missed by the North Devon public. A number of visiting tourists enjoy the event too, and this year we’d like to make it as family friendly as possible, with extra entertainment laid on to accompany all the traditional events”.

Regular events include most of the usual livestock classes, plus Pig and Poultry displays and a Horticultural Show. This year a new ‘Food Village’ is set to replace the old food hall alongside a Crafts and Gifts Marquee, Trade Stands, Equestrian events, Dog Shows and all the usual Main Ring activities.

A bumper side show of entertainment is planned including a Music Stage, Circus, strongman Mighty Adrian Smith, a BMX Display team, Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting, Vintage Cars and Tractors, plus children’s fairground rides and much more.

The venue remains the same, at Barton Farm, Umberleigh, but this year an agreement between the Show’s organisers and Stagecoach means that FREE bus travel is available for anyone purchasing an advance ticket. Theresa Soanes said, “I’m so pleased we can offer this to everyone who buys a ticket in advance. Busses will go from Barnstaple, Bideford, Torrington and South Molton, plus a link from Umberleigh railway station too. It really encourages use of public transport and it allows you to be dropped off right at the entrance, with priority access for all the busses, so no worrying about car queues. It helps everyone do their bit for the environment, and save on carbon emissions”.

Advance tickets are available now from various outlets across the region – for details of where and how to purchase tickets see


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Appledore Singers & Carry on Choir, 18th June.



A joint concert, in aid of Admiral Dementia Nurses at North Devon District Hospital, will take place on Saturday June 18th, 7.30 pm, (doors open at 7pm), at St Mary’s Church, Bideford, presented by two well-known local choirs: the Carry On Choir and Appledore Singers. Admiral Nurses specialise in providing life-changing support for families and individuals affected by all forms of dementia. The concert will comprise arrangements of well-known songs, both old and new, with each choir bringing its own, individual, performing style to the concert, but always with the emphasis on fun. So the audience can expect an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Entry at the door: £5 (U16s free). Light refreshments are available.

Contact: Andy Millar, 07788 377301.


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Shipping notes No. 205 (April).

Bideford Quay.

No shipping to report this month.


Al Avocet still in building shed at Appledore.

Yelland Quay.

Goliath moored at old oil berth.

Bristol Channel Observations.

1/4 at 12.03 container vessel MSC Hong Kong, 66,686 tons d.w., owners New York Shipping and Trading Cyprus, inward bound for Portbury. At 12.21 cargo vessel Sea Harmony, 3,182 tons d.w., owners Saturn Shipping Ltd Market Rasen, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 06.38. At 13.17 vehicle carrier Gral San Martin, 12,244 tons d.w., owners Gral an Martin Car Carriers Germany, inward bound for Portbury.

2/4 at 11.15 cargo vessel Peak Anfield, 3,154 tons d.w., owners Peak Anfield BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness. At 13.58 bulk carrier Aastvik, owners Aasen Bulk Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth.

4/4 at 09.12 cargo vessel Fluvius Axe, 3,194 tons d.w., owners Fluvius Axe BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness. At 13.35 cargo vessel Pinta, 2,795 tons d.w., inward bound for Newport.

5/4 at 06.47 tanker Hafnia Beijing, 74,999 tons d.w., owners Vista Shipholding 1v Pte Ltd Denmark, inward bound for Portbury.

6/4 at 20.10 bulk carrier Saga Odyssey, 46,500 tons d.w., owners Saga Shipholding Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 13.42.

7/4 at 06.10 tanker Rystraum, 9,597 tons d.w., owners Utkilen Chemtrans AS Norway, inward bound for Barry.

8/4 at 14.27 vehicle carrier Grande California, 15,833 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 14.27 cargo vessel Lady Hester, 4,234 tons d.w., owners Lady Hester Netherlands, inward bound for Cardiff. (Seen again at 05.54 11th outward bound, having sailed from Cardiff at 0116). At 18.55 cargo vessel Arklow Beacon, 8,660 tons d.w., owners Glenthorn Shipping Ltd Eire, inward bound for Swansea.

9/4 at 13.25 cargo vessel Saros B, 11,443 tons d.w., owners NCB Navigation Turkey, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 15.33 French warship Garonne, French Navy, outward bound from Cardiff having sailed at 11.29. At 17.03 bulk carrier Aasfjord, 3,960 tons d.w., owners Aasen Bulk Norway, inward bound for Avonmouth. (Seen again at 21.12 14th having sailed from Hinkley Point Power station).

10/4 at 05.13 container vessel Allegro, 11,376 tons d.w., owners Borg GMBH & Co KG Germany, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 00.27 – she was easily spotted because strangely she had all her deck lights on. At 19.17 vehicle carrier Phoenix Leader, 20,146 tons d.w., owners Kotobuki/Kotobuki Shipping Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

11/4 at 06.29 tanker Oratuulia, 6,089 tons d.w., owners Tuuli Shipping CV Netherlands, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 00.12. At 07.45 cargo vessel Ammon, 3,840 tons d.w., owners Ammon Beheer BV Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 00.53. At 20.45 bitumen tanker Elisabeth J, 4,250 tons d.w., owners Bitumen Scheepvaart Elisabeth Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 14.10.

12/4 at 16.28 bulk carrier Pan Unity, 82,709 tons d.w., owners Pos Maritime XA sa South Korea, inward bound for Port Talbot. At 19.18 cargo vessel Hagland Chief, 4,450 tons d.w., owners Hagland Bulk Transport KS Norway, inward bound for Cardiff.

13/4 at 07.59 tanker Nordic Saga, 4,053 tons d.w., owners BKR Tankers KS, outward bound from Barry having sailed at 03.24. At 08.31 bulk carrier Aastvik, 4,319 tons d.w., owners Aasen Bulk Norway, outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 05.00.

14/4 at 21.12 bulk carrier Aasfjord, 6,053 tons d.w., owners Aasen AS Norway, outward bound from Hinckley Point Power Station having sailed at 13.16.

15/4 at 11.19 vehicle carrier Tulane, 28,818 tons d.w., owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Stockholm and Oslo, having sailed from Portbury at 04.40.

18/4 at 11.58 bulk carrier Aastun, 6,100 tons d.w., owners Aasen Bulk Norway, outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 06.00.

19/4 at 14.10 container vessel Allegro, 11,376 tons d.w., owners Borg GMBH & Co K Gvazurmany, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 09.07.

20/4 at 06.58 chemical tanker Sloman Hestia, 16,473 tons d.w., owners Sloman Hestia Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth.

21/4 at 17.45 vehicle carrier Igvazu Highway, 21,052 tons d.w., owners Marugme/La Darien Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 13.43.

22/4 at 20.13 cargo vessel Friendship S, outward bound from Sharpness having sailed at 11.31.

23/4 at 05.40 tanker Stena Important, 4,9731 tons d.w., owners Stena Bulk AB Sweden, inward bound for Portbury. At 20.20 vehicle carrier Auto Sun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Unipessoal Ltd, inward bound for Portbury. At 20.20 cargo vessel Larixborg, 3,570 tons d.w., owners Eems Beheer XV11 BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness

24/4 at 06.30 bulk carrier Adastar, 21,146 tons d.w., owners Adastar Shipping Ltd Turkey, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.27. At 07.00 cargo vessel Wilson Tees, 3,695 tons d.w., owners Wilson shipowning AS Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 13.07 cargo vessel Wilson Algeciras, 3,583 tons d.w., owners Luwert Saninga Vertoom Bojen Germany, inward bound for Swansea. At 17.42 cement carrier Cem Sky, 4,250 tons d.w., owners Cemsky Schiffahrts GMBH Germany, inward bound for Newport. (Also seen again at 08.54 27th outward bound, having sailed from Newport 02.56).

25/4 at 05.34 container vessel Solong, 9,322 tons d.w., owners Solong Schiffafrtsgel Germany, inward bound for Portbury. At 21.27 vehicle carrier Miraculous Ace, 19,381 tons d.w., owners Mitsui OSK Lines Japan, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 16.24.

26/4 at 21.30 vehicle carrier Grande Roma, 14,900 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

27/4 at 09.40 bulk carrier Blue Fin, 56,780 tons d.w., owners Blue Fin Shipping Ltd Turkey, inward bound for Portbury. At 14.20 hrs helicopter training ship RFA Argus, 28,481 tons displacement, Royal Navy, heading in a southerly direction towards Devonport or Falmouth. At 19.56 vehicle carrier Neptune Dynamis, owners Dynamis Shipping Co Ltd Greece, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 14.52.

29/4 at 0720 self-discharging bulk carrier Yeoman Bank, 39,997 tons d.w., owners Yeoman Bank Ltd UK, inward bound for Portbury. At 07.35 vehicle carrier Grande Detriot, 12,420 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury. At 11.49 container vessel MSC Federica, 60,519 tons d.w., owners Mediterranean Shipping Switzerland, inward bound for Portbury. At 14.20 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Unipessoal Ltd Maderia, inward bound for Portbury.

30/4 at 06.05 small cruise ship Ocean Nova, 2,183 gross tons, owners Nova Crusing Ltd USA, heading for Lundy. She sailed from there about 1200 heading for the South Wales Coast. At 07.47 cargo vessel Wilson Mersey, 2,500 tons d.w., owners Wilson Shipowning AS Norway, heading inbound for Avonmouth. At 09.40 vehicle carrier Coral Leader, 12,164 tons d.w., owners Kujyukuri Maritima SA Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 04.45. At 1042 cargo vessel Monte Rosa A, 3,674 tons d.w., owners Vulcania SRL Turkey, inward bound for Sharpness.



Photos from my collection: Celtic Pride passing Torridge Bridge, & Celtic Venture at Bideford.


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Dog restrictions on Westward Ho! beach.

From the 1st of May to the 30th of September Torridge District Council will once again be introducing a restriction for dogs on sections of Westward Ho! beach and the promenade.

The restriction helps create different usage areas on the beach to ensure that different groups engaged in different activities can all safely access and enjoy this popular resort. It also helps the authority to meet the criteria for the annually assessed Blue Flag Award, which is highly prized and important to bathers and the local tourist industry.

The restricted area will be the same as in previous years, and dogs will be allowed at the north end of the beach between Sandymere Bridge and the Taw/Torridge estuary. Dogs will be prohibited to the south of Sandymere Bridge and will need to be kept on a lead on the promenade. The order allows for fixed penalties of £100 to be issued in cases where owners fail to comply with the restriction, which will be clearly laid out in signage.

In the wintertime wading birds feed and rest at the Northern end of the beach but many of these birds will have now migrated north and it is a great place to let your pets exercise without worrying about disturbing livestock or nesting birds. When the tide is in people can head out along the coast path or explore the fantastic network of footpaths between Northam and Bideford Many of these walks can be found on the South West Coast Path website. Dog walkers should be wary that there are many lambs, baby chicks and rabbits on the burrows at this time of year and even well-trained dogs may need to be kept on a lead when moving away from the beach to avoid harm to the wildlife.

Northam Burrows Lead Ranger – Mike Day said: “The dog restriction at Westward Ho! helps us to provide both dog free and dog friendly areas on the beach. Not only is this an important part of the Blue Flag criteria, it also means that dog lovers and those not so keen on man’s best friend can all enjoy this wonderful place at the same time. We recognise what an incredible place Westward Ho! is, and we want as many people as possible to enjoy it. Please help us during this busy period by observing the signs and restrictions”.


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‘Natural Capital Marketplace’.

‘The Natural Capital Marketplace’ launches with a large carbon offset order from Devon County Council.

Farms are unique in their ability to transition from a ‘carbon emitter’, through ‘net-zero’, to creating a positive impact to CO2 emissions and the climate emergency. No other sector has the same potential to do this, and it offers farmers new income opportunities, through carbon offsets, nutrient trading, flood protection and biodiversity credits.

However, up until now, it has been incredibly hard for farmers to access reliable information and funding in this new market to implement these ‘natural capital’ approaches and realise the new revenue and environmental benefits.

The Natural Capital Marketplace (NCM), launched this month across Devon, seeks to change that and make it easy for farmers and landowners to plan, implement and benefit from these opportunities, like tree planting, peatland restoration, habitat improvement, in exchange for new revenue from the sale of resultant benefits. The launch has been marked by a large carbon offset order from Devon County Council.

The NCM has been developed over the last two years by the Biosphere Foundation (the non-profit trading arm of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere), in partnership with the Environment Agency & Siemens. The NCM platform is built on Siemen’s technology and has been designed to scale nationally and internationally.

For example, delivery partners could implement the creation of culm grassland areas, herb-rich meadows, wetlands, woodlands and river-bank habitats. These improvements improve the environment for wildlife and local people and help address climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reducingfloodrisk. The farmer is rewarded for these benefits through new incomestreams and the creation of tradeable environment services such as carbon & biodiversity credits.

Further, the NCM provides landowners with a route to market for the sale of these credits to environmentally responsible customers who have demonstrated their commitment to carbon reduction and align with the UN’s (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

Dr. Lawrence Couldrick, CEO of Westcountry Rivers Trust, added “The NCM is a great way to pair the buyers and sellers of ecosystem services together, and delivery groups like Westcountry Rivers Trust can work in the middle to ensure that the benefits are met. These private-on-private transactions will be an important part of our landscape and need careful planning to articulate with other public schemes whilst still supporting farmers to grow high-quality food.”

The Foundation welcomes Devon County Council (DCC) as the 1st purchaser of carbon credits through the NCM platform. By placing an order for nearly 2,500 tonnes of carbon credits from the Natural Capital Marketplace towards offsetting its carbon footprint, Devon County Council has affirmed its commitment to ensure its carbon reduction strategies also contribute to the local economy.

DCC’s Environment & Sustainability Officer Doug Eltham said: ‘We have been tracking the development of the Natural Capital Marketplace for some time, and its ability to provide carbon credits from projects right here in Devon, which then keep the associated benefits for nature and communities local, is exactly how

DCC wishes to deliver its net-zero commitments. It can be difficult to be certain that carbon storage is happening if the project is occurring elsewhere in the UK or overseas.’

David Collier, NCM Operations Manager, added; ‘we are delighted that Westcountry Rivers Trust and Devon County Council have recognised the potential of the platform, and we are now urging Devon farmers and landowners to get in touch for free advice on how they can benefit from natural capital projects on their land holdings.”

Find out more at , or email


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“Floating Bye” event – Instow, 12th June.


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“Plastic Free North Devon” – visitor campaign.

Local environmental charity Plastic Free North Devon (PFND) relaunch their Visitor Campaign for 2022, working to empower and support local businesses to encourage positive environmental behaviour change.

Building on the success of previous years, the campaign will include updated resources via a ‘Menu of Ideas’ for hospitality businesses, new toy shed locations across northern Devon, promotion of wooden bellyboards over the cheap polystyrene alternatives, and a workshop and toolkit for housekeepers, property managers and cleaners providing easy-to-action ideas to ‘tread lightly’ and lessen their environmental impact.

North Devon welcomes over 5 million visitors each summer, and the campaign aims to make it as easy as possible for them to connect with the stunning nature here on our doorsteps, in a way that protects our towns, moors, and beaches for generations to come.

The updated online Menu of Ideas launches this week and enables businesses to pick what resources or actions they would like to take and use however they see fit when they sign up to the campaign. From posters to email footers to leaflets; the choice and flexibility is there to suit any type of business.

Local businesses who sign up to the campaign will also be offered a 10% discount on the charity’s wooden bellyboards. PFND are encouraging businesses to purchase these boards for their guests to use whilst on holiday to combat the ‘wave of waste’ and eliminate the need to purchase cheap polystyrene boards which are abandoned on local beaches each year in their thousands, causing environmental damage.

A recent workshop hosted by the charity welcomed cleaners and holiday let owners to share and develop their ideas of how to lead by example when it comes to welcoming their guests – from locally sourced, plastic free welcome hampers to refillable cleaning products and toiletries to getting guests on board with recycling. This is going to be followed by a toolkit which will be available on their website from June and there will be a further workshop in September for anyone who missed out in March.

Another addition to this year’s campaign is the expansion of the Toy Library system trialled at Croyde last summer. The bespoke shed, built by one of the charity’s long term volunteers, allows visitors to borrow and leave toys such as buckets and spades at an easily accessible beachside location. The aim is to reduce the sheer volume of plastic toys that end up at best sitting in a cupboard at home unused for 51 weeks of the year, or at worst end up discarded on our beaches. The charity has received funding from North Devon Council via the HM Gov and EU Welcome Back Fund to build another 6 toy sheds which will be in place before the summer holidays, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon and ways individuals can get involved in building the libraries!

Anne-Marie Eveleigh, PFND Director of Operations, says: “We have created a simple way of allowing businesses to decide what journey they would like to take in helping to protect the environment and support our campaign. They could order some posters and leaflets to put around their accommodation, they could add the messaging to their accommodation information booklet, they could purchase a wooden bellyboard for their guests to use, or they could do all of these and more. It’s entirely up to them.

We’ve expanded our offering from previous years, broadening the scope of the campaign to really encourage businesses and the visitors that they serve to engage in a meaningful way, beyond just bringing a refillable water bottle. All businesses are on their own path and we want to make it as easy as possible to make a difference. Connecting people with the problem and with the nature that surrounds them is key in encouraging behaviour change.”

Want to see how your business can get on board? To sign up to this year’s Visitor Campaign, head to


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The Huntshaw Church bells project.

Huntshaw’s Historic Bells drop into the limelight – After 500 years!

For over a year the ‘Friends of Huntshaw Bells’ have been raising money through grants, sponsorship and events and have raised so far £17k. There is a long way to go yet to get the full £30k needed, but last month saw a big step on the way.

Because Taylors of Loughborough (the Bell Founders) had a slot in their work schedule come free due to a cancellation they were able to come down and over a 3 day period remove the bells as a first step.

The tower in its present form was added to church in 1439 with 3 bells sitting on a framework of oak trusses; but over the centuries with decay in some of the trusses the bells have been sinking under their own weight making them unringable for the past 20 years, plus also needing attention with new fittings and bearings etc – plus one of them needs specialist welding as it is cracked.

The earliest bell, the tenor, dates from 1505 and was cast by Thomas Gefferies in Bristol, and this will be the first time it has seen daylight in 500 years! The other two are more local, one being cast in in Exeter in 1665 and the other in 1634 by “WK” in Barnstaple – this one is believed to be only 1 of 8 known to exist in the country. We still have some grant applications lodged which we hope will come to fruition soon, but our next event is: –

The Art and Science of Bells and Bell Ringing.” – On Sat 14th May 2.30pm – with Ian Campbell.

Entry free but donations welcome.

Ian will bring an 8 ft high bell stand and large bell into the church to demonstrate ringing in the “up” position and when down. He will also bring a set of handbells and volunteers to demonstrate change ringing, and on his laptop connected to speakers he will demonstrate the “Magic of Bells.” – Ian says his talk will be more like ‘entertainment’ than a talk and afterwards everybody will have a chance to try to ring the bell. Whilst this is happening there will be Cream Teas (with pink bubbly), Devon Guild of Ringers displays and models to view, and activities for the children with some small prizes for them, a bell-shaped cake raffle and a “guess the weight” of a handbell (the handbell being the noisy prize!).

In renovating we also found a pristine 600-year-old hand-made nail in the bell chamber, so at about 4pm we’re going to hold an auction for it – just for Fun! (It will be framed and with certificate of provenance).

Further ahead: – on the afternoon of Sunday 17th July we are holding a “Walking Treasure Hunt” of about 3 to 5 miles ending at the church with a “Beer and Burger BBQ!”

For further info, or to become a sponsor, contact

The 1505 Tenor bell comes down – first time in 517 years!

In transit.

In transit.

Ready for the off.

New steel UB goes up as replacement support.


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A ‘Helping Hand’ in Torridge.

Torridge Councillors have approved a further package of funding to support local projects and initiatives, which includes an immediate top-up for a dedicated fund to help support households that find themselves in need of a “helping hand”. The direct funding follows on from previous schemes, that included both government and Torridge Council funding, introduced in response to the Covid crisis and the financial hardships this created for many families and individuals. The allocation is intended to bridge the gap until follow-on funding from the government is distributed via Devon County Council, which is expected shortly.

The interim funding recognises that while “living with covid” might be the new norm, in many cases the financial impact on households is actually getting worse with inflation, fuel, food and utility costs at record highs and forecast to deteriorate further. The Community and Resources committee decision has allocated £36K to the fund in line with a desire from Councillors to make a meaningful and quick response to the looming crisis.

In line with previous support, the funding will be managed through the Council’s partner charity, Encompass, who work across Devon to prevent and reduce homelessness and the impacts of poverty. By design the application process is set to be simple and straight forward and can be used to support or cover the cost of a whole range of necessities that in the current climate people might be struggling to afford. Councillors envisage this might include utility bills, food, housing costs, rent or replacing white goods such as fridges and washing machines, but the need will be dictated by the applicants themselves, and there are no set criteria for what the funds must be used for.

In the same decision funds were also allocated to support other important local organisations and projects, which included additional funding for the critical work the local Citizens Advice Bureau undertake, taking their funding from Torridge to £50K. Money was also allocated for community developers working with individuals requiring multi agency support under the partner “high-flow” project. Other allocations will also support economic regeneration projects in the area bringing in further external investment and jobs, an officer post to assist development of the councils housing strategy and a reserve for the capital programme to offset increasing material and other costs being experienced.

Councillor Claire Hodson, Deputy Leader of Torridge District Council, said: “The recent package of funding was unanimously passed by Councillors and while it covers a whole range of Council initiatives one of our key priorities is to continue to provide a “helping hand” where people find themselves in unexpected crisis. This can happen to any of us at any point in our lives and we want to make sure there are no barriers, real or imagined, to people seeking help. All applications will be dealt with entirely in confidence and people should not be worried that it reflects negatively on them in any way whatsoever. While we can’t replace government benefits or other sources of support, we can try to step in and help in a small way for essential purchases that households might be struggling to finance. This will support our residents until the further additional government funding is received”.

Contact details for the support can be found on the Torridge Council’s website and social media, or by calling Encompass for free on 01271 371499. Lines are open Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 3pm.


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Shipping notes No. 204 (March).

Bideford Quay.

Goliath still alongside at Bideford Quay.

Yelland Quay.

No shipping.


Inyanga Entsha sailed from Appledore at 09.10 8th, for Falmouth.

The dredger Al Avocet, 2,700 tons d.w., arrived at Harland and Wolff’s yard at 08.45 23rd (this vessel is converted cargo vessel, ex- Carrissa).

Dredger Al Avocet passing Instow bound for Harland & Wolff’s yard at Appledore.

A couple of photographs taken by Doug Saunders of Al Avocet approaching shipyard, published with his permission. (Thanks Doug, great photos!).

Bristol Channel observations.

3/3 at 13.15 cargo vessel Celtic Crusader, owners Charles M Willie and Co Cardiff, outward bound from Cardiff having sailed at 08.52. At 19.30 cargo vessel Werratal, 4,443 tons d.w., owners Werratal Schiffahtrs VG Germany, inward bound for Newport.

4/3 at 06.20 Eems Sun, 2,600 tons d.w., owners Eems Sun BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness. At 11.50 vehicle carrier Heroic Leader, 20,434 tons d.w., owners Heroic Ray Ltd Isle of Man, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 07.5l. At.14.38 cargo vessel Wilson Dundalk, 3,685 tons d.w., owners Wes Echion Schiffahrts Germany, inward bound for Newport .

5/3 at 10.58 cargo vessel Eems Exe, 3,813 tons d.w., owners Amny Eems BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness. At 10.58 cargo vessel Gelmond 1, 5,498 tons d.w., owners Sarfo Denizcilik VE Ticaret Turkey, inward bound for Newport. At 11.03 buoy tender vessel Patrcia, 1,200 tons d.w., owners Trinity House Harwich, inward bound for Swansea. At 13.05 vehicle carrier Neptune Dynamis, 6,550 tons d.w., owners Dynamis Shipping Co Ltd Greece, outward bound from Rosslare, Eire, having sailed at 13.07 2nd ( and had been anchored in Blue Anchor bay awaiting orders). At 13.44 cargo vessel RMS Neudorf, 2,620 tons d.w., owners Neudorf Shipping SA Greece, inward bound for Newport.

6/3 at 10.47 ro-ro cargo vessel MN Colibri, 4,171 tons d.w., owners Maritime Nantaise MN SAS France, inward bound for Avonmouth. (Seen again at 16.59 7th outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 12.12. At 06.10 cargo vessel Telmo, 5,613 tons d.w., owners Urola Shipping SZ Spain, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 00.10. At 07.11 cargo vessel Rix Flevo, 4,515 tons d.w., owners Rix F Shipping Ltd Latvia, inward bound for Sharpness. At 16.52 vehicle carrier Grande Anversa, 12,353 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

8/3 at 06.08 vehicle carrier Martorell, 19,531 tons d.w., owners New Autocarriers SA Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 0608 bulk carrier Sea Falcon, 3,715 tons d.w., owners BND 1067 Gmbh & co KG Germany, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.01. At 14.30 cargo vessel Mia Sophie B, 2,300 tons d.w., owners Sophie-B Schiffahts Germany, outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 10.17. At 15.00 vehicle carrier Autosun, 6,670 tons d.w., owners Unipessoal Ltd Maderia, inward bound for Portbury. (Seen again at 17.16 10th having sailed at 11.30).

9/3 at 07.28 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 12,300 tons d.w., owners Francis Maritima SA Norway, inward bound for Portbury. At 13.19 vehicle carrier Michigan Highway, 17,663 tons d.w., owners Kawaski Kisen Kaisha Japan, inward bound for Portbury.

10/3 at 06.16 container vessel Allegro, 11,388 tons d.w., owners Bjorg GMBH & Co KG Germany, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.43. At 06.28 cargo vessel Westewind, 2,515 tons d.w., owners Weststrate JL Netherlands, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 00.12.

12/3 at 05.50 bulk carrier Petrel Arrow, 72,800 tons d.w., owners Gearbulk Shipping Ltd Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 22.06 11th. At 14.55 cargo vessel Eems Ranger, 4,500 tons d.w., owners Eems Ranger BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness.

13/3 at 07.55 cargo vessel Verena, 3,794 tons d.w., owners Verena Hermann Lohmann Germany, outward bound from Newport having sailed at 00.07. At 14.54 vehicle carrier Viking Adventure, 18,372 tons d.w., owners Fortune Car Shipping Ltd Norway, outward bound from Portbury.

14/3 at 07.10 cargo vessel RMS Neudorf, 2,620 tons d.w., owners Neudorf Shipping Greece, outward bound from Sharpness having sailed at 14.14 11th.

16/3 at 17.38 cargo vessel Celtic Forester, 4,323 tons d.w., owners Charles M Millie and Co Cardiff, inward bound for Newport.

17/3 at 06.26 vehicle carrier Emerald Leader, 12,300 tons d.w., owners Francis Maritima SA Norway, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 01.02 12th (her original orders were cancelled, and she spent her time drifting off the South Wales coast). At 10.05 tanker Jutlandia Swan, 17,998 tons d.w., owners Jutlandia Swan APS Denmark, inward bound for Avonmouth.

19/3 at 05.57 cargo vessel Wilson Bergen, 2,995 tons d.w., owners Shanger Shipping AS Norway, inward bound for Sharpness. (Seen again at 06.10 23rd having sailed from Sharpness at 22.22 22nd).

20/3 at 12.17 cement carrier Cemcoaster, 4,916 tons d.w., owners Cemcoaster Schiffahrts GMBH Germany, inward bound for Newport.

21/3 at 18.13 chemical tanker Georg Essberger, 5,771 tons d.w., owners MTR Mittelmeer Tank Reederei Germany, inward bound for Barry.

22/3 at 09.10 cargo vessel Heenvliet, 3,850 tons d.w., owners Heenvliet Shipping Co CV Netherlands, inward bound for Cardiff. At 09.10 tug MTS Valour, owners MTS Group Ltd Brixham, towing a barge away from Hinkley Point Power Station having sailed at 18.43 21st. At 10.07 cargo vessel Fluvius Axe, 3,193 tons d.w., owners Fluvius Axe BV Netherlands, inward bound for Sharpness.

23/3 at 14.16 cargo vessel Muzaffer Ana, 12,447 tons d.w., owners Arter Denizcilik AS Turkey, inward bound for Newport. At 15.36 cargo vessel Johanna Helena, 6,627 tons d.w., owners Johanna Helena herman Lohmann Germany, inward bound for Avonmouth. At 16.40 vehicle carrier Minchah, 4,442 tons d.w., owners Accordia Minchah SA Singapore, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 05.50 19th and having been at anchor in Blue Anchor Bay.

25/3 at 05.38 container vessel MSC Emden, 34,248 tons d.w. owners Emden Shipping and Trading Ltd Cyprus, outward bound from Portbury having sailed at 22.39 24th. At 1205 vehicle carrier Cape Town Highway, 21,676 tons d.w., owners Kawaskia Kisen Kaisha KK Japan, inward bound for Portbury. At 12.20 vehicle carrier Grande Detriot, 12,480 tons d.w., owners Grimaldi Line of Italy, inward bound for Portbury.

26/3 at 07.55 container vessel MSC Mandy, 46,852 tons d.w., owners Mandy Maaritime Inc Switzerland, inward bound for Portbury. At 17.45 fruit juice tanker Orange Wave, 16,700 tons d.w., owners Atlanship SA Switzerland, outward bound from Avonmouth having sailed at 12.45.

27/3 at 19.20 cargo vessel Celtic Pioneer, 5,699 tons d.w., owners Charles M Willie & Co Cardiff, inward bound for Cardiff. At 20.25 vehicle carrier Morning Lena, 27,297 tons d.w., owners Eukor Car Carrier Inc South Korea, inward bound for Portbury.

28/3 at 05.32 bulk carrier Dione, 180,132 tons d.w., owners Dione Transportation Corp Greece, outward bound from Port Talbot having sailed at 01.53. At 17.30 vehicle carrier NOCC Atlantic, 22,500 tons d.w., owners NOCC Atlantic As Norway, inward bound for Portbury.




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Torridge raises Ukrainian flag.

Torridge Councillors have arranged for the Ukrainian National Flag to be flown at its Riverbank House headquarters in Bideford to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine and their loved ones and relatives around the world. The flag is a symbol of the strength of feeling amongst Councillors and the residents of Torridge that the people of Ukraine are in everyone’s thoughts, and like other areas, Torridge is ready to assist in government programmes to provide sanctuary should they be forthcoming.

Last week Councillors added their support to the joint statement issued by Devon County Council on behalf of all Local Authorities in Devon. This pledged all Devon authorities to work together to support Ukrainian refugees seeking sanctuary in the UK, and condemned Russia’s actions. All have agreed to give particular support to families in Devon whose relatives in Ukraine are fleeing the conflict.

Torridge also set out contact details on their website for agencies collecting money or supplies to provide assistance to the Ukrainian people. These included the details of local collection points for items to be driven out to transit camps dealing with the refugees now making their way to neighbouring countries. While the Council have also received some offers of accommodation for refugees there is currently no programme to bring people to Devon that can match these offers to those in need. Any programmes that emerge are likely to be coordinated by central government but will be advertised by Torridge, Devon County, and neighbouring Councils.


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New accreditation scheme to enhance, support, and protect wildlife.

North Devon is a biodiversity hotspot, renowned for its spectacular scenery and wildlife. Visited by thousands of visitors every year, the tourism industry of North Devon is second to none and provides memorable and engaging experiences with the amazing array of marine life that can be seen both from the coastline and on-board local vessels.

In recognition of the keen interest shown by North Devon skippers to protect marine life, an Accredited Wildlife Safari Operator Scheme was developed in 2016. Its success has been shown by the support to Accredited Operators by visitors .“We have found the accreditation scheme very useful and informative, we found that it attracted more customers for us due us displaying the poster for accreditation and many of our customers ask what it involved and why we wanted to be involved. As skippers and crew being happy to share our knowledge has helped others around the coast”, Andrew Bengey, Skipper of ‘Obsession II’ told us.

As the impact of the pandemic has hit hard on the North Devon tourism industry, and to show their support of all local operators, North Devon Biosphere and Lundy have joined once again to redevelop and expand the Scheme so that it now reflects the broader coastal business sector in North Devon and is open to all North Devon businesses and individual operators who encounter coastal and marine life.

The marine life found in North Devon is spectacular and attracts many visitors to business across the coastline. There has been an explosion in businesses operating along the coast and offshore since the initial schemes release and so now is a great time to support all our businesses by relaunching the scheme and opening it up to them all”, Andy, the Manager of North Devon Biosphere told us “As someone who regularly interacts with marine life around our coast, it really is up to us to protect it and make sure that both the species and visitors benefit from interactions”.

Today, the new Marine Wildlife Aware Accreditation Scheme (MWAAS) covering the North Devon Biosphere and Lundy has gone live, allowing any relevant business or individual to undertake training online and gain accreditation. Participants to the Scheme will receive annual training, be promoted as Wildlife Aware businesses through the relevant websites and the new North Devon Explorer App, be able to promote their businesses using the Scheme logo, have a transferable skill and have the opportunity for further support through regular webinars and updates through a members-only Facebook group.

Derek Green, the Lundy General Manager told us “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to run the wildlife accreditation scheme online, which will make it easier for charter boat skippers and other boat users who visit Lundy to take part remotely. Lundy is famed for its wealth of wildlife, and with a larger than normal number of visitors expected in the region this summer, we need to ensure that our wildlife is properly protected for everyone to enjoy. I would encourage anyone who is considering visiting the island by boat to take part and acquire the accreditation. My thanks to The North Devon Biosphere and former island Warden Beccy MacDonald-Lofts, for organising the course”.

Since its initial launch, the course has been well received with a mix of local businesses sign up including boat operators, bed and breakfast businesses and recreational activity providers including Tom McKee and Tom Humphreys who have become individual accredited members of the Scheme.

North Devon Biosphere are hosting an introductory webinar on the Scheme at 7pm-8pm on Thursday 17 March 2022. Sign up via North Devon Biosphere Eventbrite or facebook page.

To register your interest to participate in the Marine Wildlife Aware Accreditation Scheme (MWAAS), please register via the Accreditation Scheme tab on the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere website and for updates follow North Devon UNESCO Biosphere social media accounts.

This project has been funded through North Devon Biosphere’s BioCultural Heritage Tourism Project which an INTERREG Channel project. This project links 2 English UNESCO Biosphere reserves with 2 French reserves to develop sustainable tourism products and experiences that ultimately help to safeguard and restore our natural capital.


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Do you have a property to let?

Torridge District Council is promoting a scheme to lease properties from private owners to provide homes for those in need. In exchange private sector landlords are being offered a package of support and help including financial incentives, secure rental income and hassle-free letting.

Torridge District Council have been keen to stress the benefits for property owners, which include:

A competitive rental income paid monthly in advance and guaranteed for the duration of the lease – even if the property is empty.

No letting agent or management fees, as the Council finds a suitable tenant and manages the property.

No liability for Council Tax or utilities even when the property is empty, as the Council will cover these costs.

No expense or hassle resulting from a tenant causing damage (accidental or otherwise), as the Council will arrange and pay for these repairs.

A guarantee that the property will be returned to you in the same condition it was leased (excluding fair wear and tear).

Guaranteed vacant possession at the end of the lease.

While all types of property are in demand, the Council are particularly keen to hear about 1 bedroom or larger 4-5-bedroom family homes. But the Council are looking to work with any landlord and any size of property.

As well as looking for landlords to lease properties from, the Council are also keen to stress their other role in helping landlords across the district to find suitable tenants, paying the deposit and rent in advance to minimise any delay for a landlord in letting a property.

Councillor Rachel Clarke, Lead Member for Homelessness and Housing Need in Torridge, said: “The current housing crisis is being felt all over the country and Torridge is no exception. We have many families and individuals who desperately need homes in the local area. Working alongside our housing team opens up a range of benefits for landlords, including guaranteed income even if the property is empty. We are appealing to landlords in Torridge to work with us and help us keep families close, children in their local schools, and communities together. So, please contact us and see what we can offer.”

Landlords who would like to help are being asked to visit the Council’s website at or email


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Nature Tourism Agenda for UNESCO Biosphere in Torridge.

New Nature Tourism Collaboration!

North Devon UNESCO Biosphere have joined forces with Torridge District Council to drive forward the council’s ‘Nature Tourism Agenda’, which will help businesses to grow by supporting them in showcasing the region’s abundance of natural assets and adventure activities.

Nature Tourism covers three dimensions:

Tourism in the environment – Activities such as kayaking, yoga, hiking and forest bathing.

Tourism about the environment – Experiences that leave the participant with an improved understanding of the surrounding landscapes and nature, such as wildlife walks and star gazing.

Tourism for the environment – Responsible tourism that unites conservation, communities and sustainable travel

During March, a series of tourism workshops will be held to support and show businesses across northern Devon how to create new, bookable, nature experiences or enhance the offer they may already be providing. Hosting these workshops will be Chris Brant, Director and Founder of Unmissable England, who says “No longer do visitors just want to see the sights when they visit a place. They’re looking for authentic guided experiences that connect them with the locals and the places they know best. Visitors want to be captivated by fascinating stories about nature and the landscape well beyond the tourist trail. They want to immerse themselves in local history and heritage and leave with a better understanding of the places they have experienced.

I cannot wait to see what new nature experiences are developed by local businesses in Unmissable England’s latest series of experiential tourism training”.

An Introduction to Experiential Tourism Webinar will be hosted by Chris, followed by an in-person workshop, which will include interactive activities to help participants discuss ideas and identify opportunities to work together to create new and unique experiences across northern Devon.

The series of FREE workshops can be found on North Devon UNESCO Biosphere’s EventBrite page, or email for the link to the collection.

Following these workshops, Nature Tourism Officer and Biosphere Business Partner Coordinator, Sarah Jordan, will be offering a limited number of businesses a FREE 1:1 support session to discuss ways they could offer Authentic Experiences for their guests, become a more sustainable business, and increase their year-round offer. Sarah says “Having worked with numerous tourism businesses over the last couple of years on the UNESCO Biosphere’s ‘Bio-Cultural Heritage Tourism’ project, this collaboration is a logical next step to ensure we keep up the momentum of increasing sustainable tourism across the region. I can’t wait to meet new businesses and help them discover ways of increasing their offer.”

Torridge District Council have already created a range of resources to help tourism businesses extend their season, understand the wildlife and experiences that Torridge has to offer, and to bring new/targeted customer groups to their business.

The free resources include a nature tourism business toolkit, which looks at tourism patterns in Torridge, what makes our region so special, nature tourism case studies, and how businesses can develop their offer. The kit also includes free resources such as high quality photos of Torridge through the seasons, seasonal itineraries to print and display, a wildlife spotting calendar and posters on coastal and inland landscape features. This toolkit may be useful to all tourism businesses across Torridge and wider northern Devon. To be kept up to date with nature tourism news and events, businesses can sign up to the Nature Tourism mailing list:


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