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Biosphere at this Summer's Agricultural Shows

Farming is the dominant land use in the Biosphere and plays a crucial role managing and creating habitat and influencing watercourse quality.  At this year’s agricultural shows the Biosphere Team will talking with farmers, helping them to make space for nature and providing lots of ways for the public to get involved . Look out for our stalls at the Woolsery* (28th .July), North Devon (6th August), Okehampton* (14th August) and Holsworthy* (28th August) shows.
* = through the Nature Improvement Area project. Here you can find a complete list of the NIA’s public events and activities

The Year of the Devon Hedge

To mark its 20th year, the Devon Hedge Group has declared 2014 the Year of the Devon Hedge.  Our aim is to celebrate the Devon’s amazing hedges, the best in Europe and perhaps the world.  The dense green network of hedges that covers the county is an ancient one - most of our hedges are over 600 years old – and defines a cultural landscape that is the envy of other northern European nations.  Couple this with high biodiversity, delivery of multiple benefits, and great potential as a source of cost effective renewable energy, and we have an asset which is truly remarkable: worthy of all we can do to protect and conserve it for the future.  A series of events are taking place across the county as part of the celebrations – Find out more.   Rob Wolton, Chairman, Devon Hedge Group.

Biosphere WebMap

You can find lots of information on Nature Reserves, projects, eco-systems and sustainable places on our new Biosphere Web-Map


New Biosphere for England

At the recent UNESCO intergovernmental council in Sweden, a further 3 Biosphere Reserves were approved for designation.  One of these was Brighton & Lewis Downs Biosphere Reserve.  This latest addition strengthens the network of UNESCO sites in the UK founded on the ground breaking work done here in North Devon.  Other potential Biosphere's are being developed including the Isle of Man which is making a bid to make the whole state a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by 2015
 

Okehampton College wins Green Energy Competition

The prize is a £150,000 energy makeover from British Gas.
Okehampton was chosen from six finalists nationally in the secondary school category.  Read the whole story.

Walking with Dinosaurs!

Only joking, it is just our own Matt and Martin who will be leading a walk in Appledore on the 24th September as part of the Great South West Walk which is being held to raise money for the South West Coast Path and highlight recent improvements.  Led by the Coast Path Team in conjunction with Radio Devon, the event takes place between 20th-27th September. Find out more
 

New Owners at Yarde Orchard

Putting sustainability into action on North Devon’s Tarka Trail
Yarde Orchard, the popular café, accommodation site and live music venue on the Tarka Trail cycle path in North Devon has been bought by husband and wife team Simeon and Kelly Day.
A business with sustainability at its heart.


Tough times on the Trail

Users of the Tarka Trail will no doubt have noticed just how much the track-side vegetation has grown over the last few months. Be reassured.  The ‘summer cut’ will begin very shortly.
 
The vegetation has been a particular challenge this year in part due to excellent growing weather but predominantly because funding pressures for the Biosphere meant that the winter flail was not undertaken at the start of the year resulting in strong plant growth from early in the season.
 
The Biosphere Service is no more  immune from funding pressures than any part of local government but that has not prevented us working in partnership with other funders for example Devon Wildlife Trust to improve access to and from the Tarka Trail to their new Nature Reserve at Meeth Quarry.
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