A Rare Treat at Bucks Mills

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We had a wonderful day down at Bucks Mills Cabin last Saturday with a great turn out of people, many of which had made a special effort to see the modest retreat of the renowned artists Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards.

This is a small, yet charming building, set on the cliff overlooking breath taking scenery. I love this place!  The building itself has plenty to keep you interested. A time capsule from the 1920’s to the early 70’s it provides an intimate insight into the lives of these two strong and inspiring women.

Much of their artwork is held at the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford, along with the diaries of Mary Stella Edwards, providing a comprehensive snapshot of life spent at Bucks Mills and completing an inspirational story of two pioneering women of their time.

The National Trust took ownership of Bucks Mills Cabin in 2008 and will continue to preserve it.  To allow the public to enjoy the building we have a number of open days throughout the year. We were also part of Art trek this year and welcome local artists to use the Cabin and surrounding area as inspiration for their work through short term residencies. This often provides further opportunities for the general public to see inside this special place.

Thank you to Gill Grove for providing the lovely black and white photos from Bucks Mills.

Gregg Wilson

Torridge Ranger

Boat Bonanza at Clovelly Lifeboat Day

In our second year at the Clovelly Lifeboat Day last Sunday, Gregg, Nicky and I were out early setting up our stand on top of the lime kiln in the harbour. The aim of the day was to celebrate the Clovelly lifeboat & its volunteer crew.

At our stand we had badge making and boat making out of recycled drinks bottles with endless design possibilities. It was a very busy and lovely day with some of the kids making lifeboats. We also had a boat testing area where we could try out and race the finished boats, with only a handful needing rescue! The most popular boats were our speed boats made with a propeller for extra power!

 Thank you to Clovelly Estate for including us again this year, we had a great day.

All of the proceeds from the day will be shared by the National Trust & RNLI.

Karen Saunders – Voluntary Ranger

Shiver Me Timbers!

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A sunny day at Welcombe saw National Trust Rangers and volunteers building a pirate ship on the beach with local sculptor Tom Hyde. It was a glorious day and we had lots of help from children and adults alike to create a brilliant pirate ship made of drift wood collected from beaches along the Torridge coast.

Drills, hammers and sun cream were abundant at the event which was part of Welcombe Open Studios annual event which gives the public the opportunity to enjoy artist studios around the area. More information on Open Studios can be found at https://welcombearts.wordpress.com/

 Yo-ho yo-ho a pirates life for me!

Karen Saunders – Voluntary Ranger

If there were a place

If there were a place – By Josey Field

Josey If there were a place prose

If there were a place where the web had not connected
And the ancient, gnarled oak canopy, predominant, allowed shafts of light to dazzle through
I would give my time to care for that

If there were a place where both the most minuscule and grand of creatures still found a home
And beasts of fairy tales long forgotten still roamed
I would give my time to care for that

If there were a place where the power of the tides reigned
And change was inevitable, accepted, and integrated
I would give my time to care for that

If there were a place where shared connections were the investment of the day
And consideration for locality was prized like gold
I would give my time to care for that

But, this is no mythical place; it is the outcast fringes of our modern world
The environment and ecology that supports our being; silent, slowly, sadly diminishing
And so I do, give my time to change that

As a parting thought I wanted to provide some context for my prose. My name is Josey, and I am a Volunteer Ranger with the National Trust in the Heddon Valley, North Devon. For the last three years I have been researching and writing a PhD that was concerned with how people relate to the natural environment, and their subsequent environmental practices. During this time I explored how we, in the modern westernised world, often separate ourselves from nature. Yet it is magical; integral to our very being, we would not survive without it. Sadly, we do not always recognise this, and the non-human is slowly being pushed to the fringes of society. So when my PhD ended, I channelled my career path toward practically applying the lessons I had learned through my research. And that is why I give my time for free: to gain the land management and conservation skills necessary to help look after our beautiful land and the creatures who inhabit it. Hopefully, in doing so I will inspire others to connect with the astounding diversity of the world, so they too will love it, enjoy it, care for it, and feel empowered to integrate it more fully into their lives.

Boats and badges a big hit at the Woolsery Show!

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The Torridge team had a fantastic day out at Woolsery Show held at Clovelly Court on Monday. It was a pretty breezy day, but well worth the opportunity to catch-up and meet lots of locals as well as those who had travelled a little further afield. Our coastal-themed marquee, adorned with bunting and deckchairs, celebrated 50 years of our Neptune campaign. Armed with a paddling pool, sandpit and badge-maker, we set about providing fun activities for kids whilst raising money for a fantastic cause too. The money collected from events like these goes straight back in to helping to look after fantastic places for you to enjoy. Did you visit Woolsery show this year? If so, what was your favourite part?

Kate Sparrow & Karen Saunders

Full Time Volunteer Rangers

Join us for an early morning beach clean.

There really is no better way to start the day than by getting some fresh air and exercise in a beautiful setting whilst doing something to make the world a prettier place so that’s why we are organising a regular quick beach clean every Saturday morning until the end of August. Come and join our friendly beach rangers Gudrun and Paul at 9am by Mill Rock on Woolacombe Beach for an hours satisfying work beside the sea. We will provide all equipment, all you need to do is bring yourself, your family, your dog and a smile and help us do something good for the places we love. Call them on 07557 938399 for any more info…..WP_20150408_14_51_53_Pro

Notes to the imagination

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Our Family Coastal Trail around Baggy Point was a fantastic success over May half term, with over  200 families exploring this special place and learning a few interesting facts along the way. With a busy season on the cards I was a bit slow at fetching the doors back in… (my bad!) after the initial week long event, but that’s when people really started using their imaginations! The small oak and ash wood doors tucked away under bushes, walls and banks on Baggy Point, inspired letter writing addressed to Hobbits, Fairies, and Wonderful Mystical Creatures, all giving accounts of beautiful views, places , memories and anniversaries. I was blown away by peoples imaginations and excited to see how this special places can inspire and benefit people in so many different ways. I’ve always heard stories of mystical goings on around Baggy Point but now I’m starting to believe them…