Sunday, 31 January 2016

More Water from the Hills

With the amount of rain we've had lately it's not surprising that there is more water in the streams that flow down the hillsides into the Tavy. One such stream, which runs down from Shutecombe, past the old chapel, under the causeway and into the river, increased in size recently. Instead of a small trickle flowing past the Quay, there was a swift torrent yesterday (Saturday) with white water as it exited the culvert under the causeway.
The marsh was also more waterlogged than usual.
Extra water in the marsh.
Water pours out of the culvert.

Anonymous Comments

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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Wine Tasting Evening

Forty-one villagers, not all of them alcoholics, attended a wine-tasting evening in the church hall last night (Friday) to raise funds for the Bere Ferrers Villagers’ Group. Local wine expert and retailer Charles Steevenson brought along a selection of eight wines from around the world for us to taste.
Charles explained how to get the best out of tasting wine: the important part is the ‘nose’, or smelling the liquid. Wine does not have a taste without the nose being involved – if you hold your nose while drinking wine, you will not get any taste at all, because it is the nose that gives wine its flavour. Barometric pressure also affects the bouquet and taste and on a night of rain and winds it certainly contributed to disappointing results on some of the wines.
Swill the wine in the glass, then bury your nose into the glass and take a deep breath to appreciate the flavours, all of which come from the type of grape used. Take a sip and wash it around the mouth to bring out the full sensations.
We tried Prosecco, French, German and New Zealand whites, followed by South African and Spanish reds. After this there was a blind tasting, to try and identify the grape variety, country of origin, vintage, ABV and price.
A raffle was held, with many attractive prizes.
Thanks go to Shirley Munn, Diana Mitchell and Ruth Charlton who organised an excellent evening and to Charles for his informative talk.

Conservation Workshops

Sallerton Wood Conservation Workshops Underway
A perfect opportunity to learn a variety of woodland crafts and skills, meet other interested people and have some fun in the woods!
We can now confirm the first woodland conservation workshop dates for our 2016 calendar. The first workshop for Bere Peninsula residents is to take place on the last Sunday of February, 28th 10am-4pm. The theme for the day will be coppicing.
Open Woodland Development Week over the Easter period from Saturday 26th March – Saturday 2nd April inclusive. Projects for this week will likely include the construction and erection of a new woodland workshop shelter for future workshops and courses, as well as building a clay oven (including extracting clay from the streambed!), among various other activities. Volunteers are welcome to come along for single or multiple days within this period to join the work party.
To reserve your place please just email: 
All welcome, minors to be accompanied by an adult.

A packed lunch and sturdy footwear (boots not trainers) will be needed. A cooking fire and toastie makers will be at your disposal for lunches! Hot drinks and biscuits provided for all volunteers, as well as all tools required.
Workshop participants are asked to make their own way to Sallerton Wood (Kelly, near Lifton). Please see our website for the location (; however, directions to the woodland from the Bere Peninsula can also be emailed to you. Please car share where possible as parking at the woodland is limited.

Please do get in touch if you are in charge of or involved with a youth, school and/or community group on the Bere Peninsula who would be interested in a woodland craft workshop, either in the woods or at your venue with our mobile workshop. Funding has been made available for such groups. Workshops can be tailor-made to suit your group.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Bus Service Changes

John Richardson-Dawes,
Principal Transport Co-ordinating Officer, 
Transport Co-ordination Service,
Devon County Council,
County Hall, Exeter, Devon, EX2 4QD.

This is to let you know that we have terminated our contract with Jackett’s Coaches due to unsatisfctory operation, specifically failure over a long period to comply with our contract requirements relating to vehicle accessibility standards, age and capacity.

The termination takes effect after operation on Saturday 30th JanuaryFrom Monday 1st February Stagecoach will take over on an interim basis, pending a competitive tender for a new long-term contract which will be open to all interested compliant operators.

There will be no immediate changes to the route or timetable and you can be assured that there is no intention to reduce the service. I’ll keep you informed of any further developments.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Burns Night

The 257th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns, was celebrated in traditional style at the Olde Plough Inn, Bere Ferrers, on Monday 25th January. The evening's festivities began with local Celtic band Ferrers Reel playing a selection of Scottish airs, jigs and reels.
A delicious four-course Scottish meal was served, courses interspersed with songs, music and toasts including the usual word-perfect rendition of the address to the haggis by Ross Herriot.The haggis was piped in by Tim Hamlyn. The Toast to the Lassies by Ian Swann and the reply by Jane Swann were both excellent and entertaining.
Rob Smith and Clive Charlton then recited a lively version of Tam o' Shanter and Andy Stewart gave an excellent interpretation of the toast to the Immortal Memory, which included a detailed account of Burns' travails as an exciseman.
Songs  included For a' That (sung by Clive), Scots Wha Hae (Rob), My Love She's But a Lassie Yet (Clive, Rob and Lesley), Highland Harry (Lesley), Bonny Charlie (Lesley), Ye Jacobites ( Bruce) and a tribute to the other Andy Stewart – Donald, Where's Yer Troosers (Rob and Clive, with Lesley as the girl from London town). The assembled company rounded off the evening in fine voice with Flower o' Scotland and Auld Lang Syne.
Many thanks to all participants, musicians, singers and assembled company and to Ted, Sarah and the team for their hospitality and fine Scottish fare.