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Blackdown Hills AONB newsletter

Autumn 2016

Carols under the stars

Wellington Monument, Friday 2 December, 7.309pm

Get that festive feeling at an evening of carol singing at the Wellington Monument. An avenue of torches will light the path to this iconic landmark, while a toasty bonfire will keep us warm as we sing. Members of the Blackdown Community Choir will be leading the Christmas singing. Mince pies and mulled wine will be on sale thanks to Smeatharpe Women’s Institute.

This joyful event, organised by the AONB and the National Trust, will mark the close of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The event is free, but weather dependent. So if the weather is poor on the night, please check our online events calendar before setting off. Wrap up warm and please bring a torch.

Community Heritage Forum

Healthy Living Centre, Hemyock
Tuesday 22 November
10.30am–12.30pm
If you're interested in the heritage of the Blackdown Hills, do join us at the Blackdown Hills AONB's Community Heritage Forum on 22 November.

Devon's county archaeologist, Bill Horner, will present the latest findings of the National Mapping Programme, funded by Historic England.

There will also be talks on the most recent surveys on the Wellington Monument, the water mills of the Blackdown Hills and the South West Airfield Heritage Trust’s new centre at Dunkeswell.

Hembury Hillfort learning materials

Hembury Hillfort, near Payhembury, is one of the most important Iron Age forts in the South West.

Blackdown Hills AONB team, working with Devon County Council's Historic Environment, has produced a series of lesson plans and resources to provide primary school  teachers with inspiration for classes based on this local site, at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Blackdown dormouse

The discovery of a black dormouse in the Blackdown Hills, the first to be recorded in the UK, has been generating significant media interest. This now famous small mammal has appeared in the majority of national newspapers, on radio, television and the internet.

It has been a fantastic opportunity for us to publicise Blackdown Hills Natural Futures' work providing homes for and monitoring the progress of dormice in the area just one of the many achievements of the project.

Nature and wellbeing

As part of our work on nature and wellbeing, Somerset Wildlife Trust will be running three sessions for young people (16-24 year olds) to get involved in  outdoor learning and volunteering days in the Blackdown Hills AONB.

The sessions will run from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Tuesdays: 13 December, 10 January and 14 February. For more information contact Kristen Lambert, Nature and Wellbeing Officer:
klambert@somerset.gov.uk
01823 451 884

Response to A30 public consultation


Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership has submitted a response to Devon County Council's public consulation on A30. The improvements proposed are between Honiton and the Devonshire Inn, bypassing the village of Monkton.

Support for planting hedgerows

FWAG South West, in partnership with the Woodland Trust, has recently launched a project with the aim of planting 15km of hedgerows by the end of April 2017.

As part of the project, the Woodland Trust is offering an 80 per cent grant on hedgerow plants and trees.

More about the hedgerow project

A big thank you

 
Thank you to all who contributed to the Blackdown Hills Countryside Fund recently. We received £496 from Waitrose Community Matters and Wambrook Flower Show made a very generous donation of £500 to the fund.

Thanks also to Corrymoor Mohair socks, Otter Valley Dairy and Otter Brewery Each raised funds through the sale of their local products, to celebrate the Blackdown Hills' 25th anniversary as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Sustainable Development Fund

Money is still available for people wishing to apply for a grant from the Sustainable Development Fund this year.

So if you have an idea for a sustainable project why not submit an application?

The Fund gives grants of up to £3000 to encourage individuals, community groups and schools to try to achieve a more sustainable way of living in the Blackdown Hills.
 

Coming up...


Winter tree identification

Saturday 10 December
10am–2pm


Learn how to identify a range of tree species even after they have dropped their leaves.

Read more about winter tree ID

 

 


Hedgelaying course

Saturday 7 January
9am–4pm


Learn to lay hedges in the Devon style. A very hands on course with pairs of students teaming up with an experienced hedgelayer.

£40. Booking essential

More about hedgelaying courses
 
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