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September 2015

£20k Trail Improvements

The Tarka Trail is a major contributor to the area’s economy and the health and wellbeing of many local users and visitors. That is the reason for the Biosphere securing nearly £20K from Devon County Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund to improve the user experience and encourage repeat visits.

Projects will include updating the interpretation in Bideford Station’s railway carriage and the audio posts along the Trail, and replacing the map-boards and iconic wave shelter near Yelland that were removed for health and safety reasons earlier this year. The improvements should all be in place by April 2016.


Escape to the Country

In August this year, Matt Edworthy spent a morning on the Tarka Trail filming with BBC’s Escape to the Country. It's important that the Biosphere uses local and national media to tell our story as part of our goal to inspire a positive future by connecting people and nature. Showing in the Autumn.

Green Space Works (GSW) Project bid unsuccessful:
Unfortunately, the Biosphere’s approach to the Big Lottery for a project called ‘Green Space Works’ to improve local green space for wildlife and the health and wellbeing of local communities, was not selected for funding.

The Big Lottery received more than 200 high quality bids to their Our Environment Our Future fund, but could only support 30 projects in their final portfolio. We hope to take forward some elements of the GSW project through other channels in the future.

Update on the Torridge Estuary Project

The Taw/Torridge Estuary project is now well underway. Six site visits have been completed and more are lined up for the coming weeks. The project will improve water quality, reduce flood risk and create new wildlife habitats around the Estuary through grants and advice to farmers for a variety of on-farm 'soft engineering' techniques like the reed bed in the picture above. Find out more.
Cycle Sunday
We ran a Tarka Trail quiz at this event in Rock Park, Barnstaple that encouraged people to explore the Trail up to Chivenor. Connor Martin answered all the questions and won a Tarka Trail T-Shirt and Guide.

Check out this video of Andrei Burton, a professional mountain bike trials rider, who showed off his skills at the event.

Riverfly volunteers' 250th sample

Our Torridge Riverfly volunteers reached a significant milestone in August with their 250th invertebrate sample. Their efforts are helping to monitor water quality, which is so vital to a wonderful range of wildlife such as the endangered Fresh Water Pearl Mussel, Atlantic salmon, and kingfisher. Clean water also helps sustain leisure activities such as fishing and watersports, which are both big contributors to the local economy. More

Plastic bag charge coming soon
From October 5th all large shops in England will charge 5p for  single-use plastic carrier bags thanks to a welcome new law. In Wales, a similar levy introduced in 2011 has reduced the number of single-use carrier bags handed out by shops by 71%. More

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