The Quantock Hills AONB has published the most up-to-date version of the new Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014-2019 on their website. It will remain ‘draft’ until it is adopted by Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council in April this year. The Quantock Hills AONB Management Plan is significant for protecting the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty into the future as it sets the agenda for the AONB team, Joint Advisory Committee and the wide range of Quantock partners for the next five years.
You can download the PDF here: www.quantockhills.com/online_resources/view/quantock_hills_management_plan_2014_-_2019/
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Somerset Storyfest comes to historic Halsway Manor this Sunday, 16 March, 2-5pm. This is an afternoon for all the family with the following programme:
2pm Inside – West Country Myths and Legends with Storyfest Director Michael Loader
2.30pm – Storymaking… make up your own Somerset myth or legend with your family through words and pictures
3.30pm – Time for tea
4pm – Outside for outdoor activities including whittling, campfire & more with Woodland Play Centre’s Louise Kennedy http://www.woodlandplaycentre.co.uk
AND… a visit from the Gruffalo! Who? The Gruffalo!!
Storyfest costs just £3 per person, tickets on the door or book in advance 01984 618274. For more about the festival http://www.somersetstoryfest.co.uk
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Dave Weatherly, Curriculum Advisor, with local children exploring Moorland Classroom sites.
The Moorland Classroom has now engaged with over 6,000 pupils and this spring sees the launch of two new Moorland Classroom sites in Exmoor National Park.
The new sites are Grabbist, overlooking the medieval village of Dunster, and Winsford Hill, above Tarr Steps. Dulverton Middle School has recently returned from Winsford Hill as teacher Sophie Hanson from the school highlights: “Winsford Hill is a great resource. It covers many curriculum areas and is very hands-on with The Punchbowl, burial mounds and Tarr Steps all with easy walking distance of each other.”
Grabbist and Dunster also provide a great package and with plenty of wet-weather options. Curriculum Advisor for the Moorland Classroom, David Weatherly, stresses how the “Moorland Classroom is an ideal mechanism for delivering the new curriculum for 2014 – cross-curricular, engaging and challenging. It provides a real context for meaningful outdoor learning linked to places and issues that will inspire children and young people. Throughout there is an emphasis on enquiry based investigative learning and teaching which encourages children and young people to take responsibility for their own learning.”
David Rolls, Moorland Education Officer for the Heart of Exmoor Scheme, says: “To get your local school involved just google ‘Moorland Classroom’ and remember thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor Trust and the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund, our travel bursary can help schools with travel costs.
“A big thank you to all the schools that have helped us develop these resources for use in both the classroom and out in the National Park.”
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Jack with his winning design and certificate of achievement at the Thinktank Museum
Blundell’s pupil Jack Armstrong Williams, age 12, is celebrating after winning a national Design and Technology competition. Jack designed and prototyped a vehicle for the future in the ‘Alu Challenge’, beating 600 other entrants from schools across the country to win first prize of £200 for himself and a 3D printer for the school. The challenge, for students aged 11-14, was to design a vehicle that demonstrated an entirely new way to get around using aluminium while discovering how design can make products more sustainable to make, use and dispose of. Jack travelled to Birmingham’s Thinktank Museum to receive his prize and a certificate of achievement from Professor Michael Stacey from the University of Nottingham.
The panel of judges included experts from the fields of education, design, architecture, engineering and marketing and who were impressed by the range of creative ideas and high standard of the designs entered for the challenge. Professor Stacey said: “This year’s entries have not failed to convey the passion, creativity and innovation that we were seeking from the Challenge. The quality of submissions has been extremely high and the level of detail and thinking that has gone into their designs is obvious. Key Stage Three pupils are not so inhibited by exposure to what we would call traditional designs and for that reason we have seen some truly imaginative and clever entries, really focusing on the great attributes of aluminium.”
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Endymion’s ‘Uncle Willow’ series in Exmoor Magazine is a family feature based on Willow the dog’s adventures in the countryside.
Endymion Beer, Illustrator, and Trevor Beer, Artist, have joined forces to present a joint exhibition of wildlife art based on the flora and fauna of the West Country. The exhibition, which was previously shown at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, is now showing at The Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, until 12 April.
Endymion’s illustrations have been used in several books, some of which she has written herself. She is also well known for her ‘Uncle Willow’ series in Exmoor Magazine, a family series based on Willow the dog’s adventures in the countryside. The series is aimed at young people following willow’s exploration of various wildlife habitats which also has projects for youngsters and their mums and dads to do each issue. Endymion is the national Youth Officer for the British Naturalists Association.
Trevor Beer’s highly detailed pen and ink and watercolour work depicts wildlife in its natural environment, often with a humorous edge to it. Trevor has written every day in the Western Morning News for over 20 years and also writes nature columns for the North Devon Journal as well as a ‘Country Matters’ feature for Exmoor Magazine. He has written several books on nature subjects and a number of wildlife tourist guides with Endymion.
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Devon County Antiques Fairs will be organising another one of their popular events at RHS Garden Rosemoor on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 March. The Terrace Marquee will be home for a number of carefully selected stall holders from across the South West and beyond, selling a wide variety of antiques and collectables to suit all tastes and pockets. An early opportunity to buy something for Mother’s Day and browsing is positively encouraged!
After a long wet and windy winter the Garden is now coming to life with camellias and spring bulbs showing the full promise of Spring. Combine a walk around the Garden with a visit to Rosemoor’s award-winning restaurant, who will offering a carvery dinner on Sunday – a recipe for the perfect weekend.
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The Council agreed on Wednesday (February 26) to accept a Government grant of £20,547, the equivalent of a 1% increase in the district’s share of Council Tax. The freeze grant will be embedded in future annual funding to the Council.
A freeze will mean the average Band D Council Tax will remain at £137.82 a year for all the services provided by West Somerset Council. West Somerset’s share of Council Tax amounts to 9% of the total.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Taylor, said the proposed freeze would help hard-working residents and those on fixed incomes in the year ahead.
Car park charges are also to be frozen in the coming year.
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