North Devon Coast AONB Braunton's Great Field truly lives up to its name. It is treasured as one of only two surviving medieval open strip field systems in England and is believed to date way back the 1200s. Here you can walk through a medieval landscape; covering an area of around 350 acres (equivalent to 200 football pitches). Such fields were the norm in medieval England but virtually all have since been lost or modified.
History This huge field would have been used by hundreds of landworkers, busily farming the food they needed to support their families. The land was farmed in narrow strips, most comprising of 22 yards (one chain) by one furlong (220 yards) in length, which interestingly makes an acre, which it was said was the amount an Oxen could plough in a day. Clusters of strips were given field names such as Gallowell, Pitlands, Longhedgelands, etc.
In 1840 it was recorded that the Great Field was divided into some 600 strips in 60 different ownerships. Today the land is worked by just a small number of farmers but clues to the field's ancient heritage are easy to spot. Although some of the distinct landsherds (small mounds of earth separating the strips) have been lost through modern farming methods together with the Bond Stones which marked division in ownership, many landsherds and the furlough boundary tracks still remain in place.
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Devon Wildlife Trust A slim, tit-sized bird, the treecreeper has a long, pointed tail and a fine, downwards-curved bill. Treecreepers climb up trees in a spiral around the trunk, feeding on insects and spiders that they find in crevices in the bark. They have long, curved toes that help them cling to the bark, and really stiff tail feathers that they can push against the tree for extra support.
They are residents in the UK, leaving their breeding territories in autumn, but usually going no further than a few kilometres. In autumn and winter, treecreepers often join flocks of tits, roaming woodlands and parks for food.
How to Identify
The treecreeper is white below and mottled brown above, helping it camouflage against the bark of trees. It has a white eyestripe and a long, downcurved bill.
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Plastic Free North Devon is a local environmental charity started by volunteers who want to reduce the impact of plastic pollution on the environment in North Devon and beyond. Our mission is to protect and improve our environment through community-led action to combat plastic pollution.
Our mission is to protect and improve our environment through community-led action to combat plastic pollution.
We aim to achieve this by helping people to recognise the relevance and value of the environment to their lives; to see and experience first-hand the impact of plastic pollution on nature; and to support good choices in purchasing, use and disposal of plastics, as we move to a more sustainable community.
By working with local communities, businesses, organisations and government we aim to:
- Raise awareness of our environment and how it is affected by plastic.
- Reduce the consumption of single-use plastics in North Devon.
- Clear waste plastic from our coasts, waterways, countryside and urban areas.
- Recycle and dispose of used plastics in an appropriate way.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/plasticfreenorthdevon/ (5.7k)
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The Great Pilgrimage of 1913 was a march in Britain by suffragists campaigning non-violently for women's suffrage, organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Women marched to London from all around England and Wales and 50,000 attended a rally in Hyde Park
The idea for the march was first put forward by Katherine Harley at an NUWSS subcommittee meeting in London on 17 April 1913. Plans were rapidly drawn up, and publicised through the NUWSS newsletter Common Cause, for six routes along which marchers would converge on London for a rally in Hyde Park on 26 July 1913. These were named the Great North Route (from Newcastle and East Anglia); the Watling Street Route (from Carlisle, Manchester and north Wales); the West Country Route (from Land's End and south Wales); the Bournemouth Route; the Portsmouth Route; and the Kentish Pilgrim Way.
On Saturday, 26 July, the marchers and others converged on Hyde Park for their rally. They assembled at pre-arranged points to march to the park, where 78 speakers addressed the crowd from 19 platforms, one for each federation within the NUWSS. At 6pm a vote was taken at each platform, and those present unanimously passed the motion "That this meeting demands a Government measure for the enfranchisement of women".
Centennial commemoration In 2013 a series of walks were held to commemorate the centenary of the pilgrimage. Playwright Natalie McGrath's play Oxygen, which was inspired by the 1913 march, was performed by the arts organisation Dreadnought South West at venues along the march route.
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361 Community Energy is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to help northern Devon’s community to take climate change action and rapidly reduce the region’s carbon footprint. We do this in a hopeful, action-based and non-partisan way.
361 is supported by a wide range of local and regional partnerships, including North Devon Council, Torridge Council, Devon County Council, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, local climate groups and more. We are focused on significant carbon reduction while also increasing quality of life for everyone in the region, young or old.
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Devon Wildlife Trust There are numerous species of Sphagnum Moss that look very similar, so are usually grouped together as 'Sphagnum' for easy description. These 'Bog-mosses' form the amazingly multi-coloured, 'living carpets' found in wet places like peat bogs, marshland, heath and moorland. They grow from spores that are produced in fruiting bodies called capsules. When seen up close, they are very beautiful, but they also play an important role in the creation and continuation of peat bogs. They hold water in their spongy forms long after the surrounding soil has dried out, providing essential nutrients and helping to prevent the decay of dead plant material. It is this organic matter that gets compressed over hundreds of years to form peat.
How to Identify
There are at least ten species of Sphagnum Moss in the UK, which are very difficult to tell apart. These species range in colour from red and pink, to orange and green. Sphagnum Moss plants are very small, but they grow closely together, forming spongy carpets; 'hummocks' are even created when the mosses grow to form large mounds up to a metre high.
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THE PROBLEM The potential for community renewable energy to benefit local economies is being blocked by unfair regulations and hugely disproportionate costs.
THE SOLUTION We have drafted the Local Electricity Bill and are campaigning for it to be made law. This would give community-scale renewable energy a massive boost by empowering communities to sell their energy directly to local people.
OUR CAMPAIGN So far, we have brought a cross-party group of 229 MPs on board in support. But we need many more and to achieve this we need your help.
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Devon Wildlife Trust Large or small, lawn or courtyard, our gardens provide a patchwork of green spaces for wildlife. There are an estimated 16 million gardens in the UK and the way these are cared for can make a big difference to wildlife.
- Action for Insects Watching bees and butterflies in your garden can bring great joy, and all insects do important jobs such as pollinating our crops. But 41% of insects face extinction. To help insects thrive throughout the year we need to create spaces where they can live, and our gardens are a brilliant place to start! Our Action for Insects page contains lots of useful information to help you turn your home and garden into insect-friendly havens. https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/action-insects
- Get your Garden Buzzing Gardens are vital for urban and suburban bees, with the right planting they can give a boost to early emerging bees and be hotspots for these insects throughout the year https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/take-action/garden-wildlife/get-your-garden-buzzing-bees
- Help the Hog Let’s make Devon the most hedgehog friendly county. Help boost Devon’s hedgehog population by doing something to help hogs in your area and map your achievements here. We can make big differences in our gardens through doing simple things. There are 15 million gardens in the UK, covering about 270,000 hectares – more than the area of all the National Nature Reserves. Together they can make a crucial difference to hedgehogs. https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/take-action/garden-wildlife/help-hog
- Welcome Birds to your Garden Many birds that were once common have seen declines over the past 50 years, reasons are varied and complicated but lack of food and nesting sites are thought to be contributing to the decline. Song thrushes, sparrows and starlings along with many other species are struggling to survive in the countryside but you can help in your garden by feeding the birds and providing nesting sites. https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/take-action/garden-wildlife/welcome-birds-your-garden
- Wildlife Ponds Ponds are guaranteed wildlife magnets, they will attract a great variety of wildlife including frogs, insects and birds. Here are our top tips, do's, don't's and guidance on creating a wildlife pond in your garden. https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/creating-pond
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Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg (born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish environmental activist who is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. Thunberg initially gained notice for her youth and her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she criticises world leaders for their failure to take what she considers sufficient action to address the climate crisis.
Thunberg's activism started after convincing her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their own carbon footprint. In August 2018, at age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for climate). Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organised a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were multiple coordinated multi-city protests involving over a million students each. To avoid flying, Thunberg sailed to North America where she attended the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit. Her speech there, in which she exclaimed "how dare you", was widely taken up by the press and incorporated into music.
Her sudden rise to world fame has made her both a leader and a target for critics. Her influence on the world stage has been described by The Guardian and other newspapers as the "Greta effect". She has received numerous honours and awards including an honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, inclusion in Time's 100 most influential people, being the youngest Time Person of the Year, inclusion in the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women (2019), and two consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2019 and 2020).
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A Net-Zero Task Force has been appointed, which will use its specialist knowledge and experience to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan. This will consider the earliest, credible, date that should be set for net-zero emissions.
Stages to Creating a 2-Part Devon Carbon Plan
The Interim Devon Carbon Plan will be available for consultation by the end of the year (2020), reflecting the suggestions identified in the public call for evidence and thematic hearings and highlighting issues that require further consideration by a Citizens’ Assembly. We expect to publish the Final Devon Carbon Plan for consultation in 2021, providing more detail on the challenging issues which will have been deliberated on by the Citizens’ Assembly, as and when this event is able to take place.
Publication of a draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan 8th December 2020
We are, therefore, delighted to introduce the consultation draft of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, produced at our invitation by the Net-Zero Task Force, who have generously volunteered their time and expertise. This Plan shows how we can deliver collectively on our ambition for a net-zero Devon.
The transformational change outlined through this ambitious document will be challenging, but it also highlights many new opportunities for Devon. The Plan requires investments, but the return on investment is clear for the climate, the environment and the health of Devon’s citizens, as well as for the many economic opportunities it presents.
Collaboration has been essential to the development of the Plan, with the input of much expertise by Devon’s citizens in the Thematic Hearings and in response to the Public Call for Evidence, from which the Plan has taken shape. The ongoing information sharing and collaboration of the partner organisations has also been valuable in informing the Plan.
The Task Force has assessed all available data and contributions from the evidence gathering phase to identify which actions can be adopted more easily across Devon. These ideas will be used to produce a draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan that will be published for consultation in December 2020. Ideas that are deemed more controversial or more challenging to implement will be presented to the Citizens’ Assembly in 2021 to ensure the recommendations in the Final Devon Carbon Plan are reflective of the opinions of Devon’s Citizens.
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