Identify plants on the Totnes to Sharpham foot & cycle path – FREE SPOTTER SHEET NOW AVAILABLE

A free, downloadable spotter sheet that helps you identify plants is being offered by The Sharpham Trust as part of the charity’s rewilding project Wild for People.

The spotter sheet shares colour photos and information about the wild flowers you can expect to see along the footpath and cycle route that runs from Totnes to Ashprington, much of it through the Sharpham Estate.

The sheet can be viewed on a phone or printed out – so people can use it to check off the plants they’ve spotted.

“It’s a very simple sheet that encourages anyone to notice the nature around them on that popular walk from Totnes towards Sharpham,” said Lisa Carnell, Events and Education Officer at The Sharpham Trust.

“Lots of people walk or ride that path and perhaps don’t know much about the flora that shares that route. This is a really easy way to discover more about the wildlife around us.”

Each sheet has The Sharpham Trust’s social media links and the hashtags #SharphamTrust and #NoticeNature – inviting participants to photograph and share their own photographs of the wildflowers they spot.

“The ethos of The Sharpham Trust is based in mindfulness and the awareness that it brings, as well as a strong nature connection,” said Lisa. “This sheet – and future ones we develop – is to tempt people to look closer at the plants and flowers surrounding us.”

Download the spotter sheet here: www.sharphamtrust.org/infosheets


id flowers

Rewilding at Sharpham

50 acres of farmland on the Sharpham Estate are being rewilded as part of the Wild For People project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In the first year of the project, more insects, birds and mammals have been recorded on the rewilding site, where grasses and wildflowers are proliferating in the absence of chemicals and artificial fertilisers.

Find out more about the project here: www.sharphamtrust.org/wild-for-people


Nature & Wildlife events at Sharpham

Look out for nature and wildlife events happening on the Sharpham Estate. If you subscribe to the mailing list, you can select Nature & Wildlife and/or Open Days & Events to get alerts to your inbox. Sign up here: www.sharphamtrust.org/subscribe

Visit our events page to see what’s happening at The Trust: www.sharphamtrust.org/calendar

There is more information and pictures at our website here www.sharphamtrust.org

Or call 01803 732542 or emailbookings@sharphamtrust.org

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New retreat venue at Sharpham

Charity invests £1.6million in a new retreat venue at Sharpham

The Sharpham Trust is investing £1.6 million to convert a stable yard behind Sharpham House to a new centre for mindfulness courses and retreats.

The charity, which works to connect people to nature and themselves, has begun the creation of The Coach House - which will feature a new meditation space and 18 en-suite rooms.

The current, disused stableyard is a Grade II-listed building, dating back to 1760 when Sharpham House was built for the naval sea captain Philemon Pownoll.

Now work has begun to develop the single-storey quadrangle directly behind Sharpham House into a new retreat centre where participants can stay, amid historic grounds thought to have been landscaped by Capability Brown.

The Trust runs an annual programme of courses and retreats featuring mindfulness meditation and nature connection on the wider Sharpham Estate and on the adjacent River Dart.

“Prior to the pandemic we were finding that our programme was fully booked with long waiting lists,” said Trust Director Julian Carnell.

“As a charity we want to help as many people as possible and so creating more accommodation became a priority. The stable yard had become rundown and so there was a fantastic opportunity to give the building a new lease of life and restore it as part of the Sharpham Estate’s important heritage,” he said.

The Coach House behind Sharpham House INSIDE April 2021 LO RES
The Coach House

Retreats in The Coach House

The Coach House will join the Trust’s other retreat venues Sharpham House, The Barn Retreat and Woodland Campsite and it will offer a weekly programme for those in need of developing and deepening their mindfulness practice, compassion and their connection to nature.

Participants staying there will be able to spend a week living in community surrounded by the amazing natural environment of the Sharpham Estate.

They will spend time volunteering in the 18th century Walled Garden – helping to grow food for the retreats at Sharpham – and conserving the heritage and wildlife of the wider estate.

Helping 1,000 more people a year

Chairman of Sharpham’s Trustees Daniel Stokes said: “Our mission is to connect people to nature and foster mindfulness and wellbeing. There is now a plethora of research showing the physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature.

“This project will enable us to help another 1,000 people a year, giving them a chance to spend time slowing down and reflecting in a beautiful natural setting,” he said.

Using local construction companies

The Trust is using South Devon firm Carpenter Oak to build the frame for an eye-catching glass structure linked to The Coach House which will be the new centre’s meditation and dining space.

Classic Builders, a local South West-based construction company, has been awarded the contract to convert the Coach House and hopes to complete the works by January 2022.

“We are delighted to be working with The Sharpham Trust on this significant local project. The Coach House is an important listed building, not only in a sensitive location but also next to Sharpham House. We’re looking forward to drawing on our years of experience delivering comparable works in similar settings to make this project a success,” said Adam Brimacombe, Director at Classic Builders.

The Trust has been busy over the last ten years developing its charitable programmes and refurbishing the heritage of its listed landscape and properties. Every year, some 2,000 people attend retreats, courses and events on the Sharpham Estate.

See our events here: www.sharphamtrust.org/Calendar  

A new fish finger takeaway in town

Cormack's Seafood recently launched a takeaway lunch menu from our fish shop. We sell a range of four sandwiches, featuring our handmade products. On offer at the moment is:

Classic Fish Finger Sandwich  £8
shoestring fries, tartar sauce, iceberg

Nashville Hot Fish Finger Sandwich £8
fish fingers, hot chilli dust, pickles, Cajun mayo

Plaice Katsu Curry Sandwich £9
Curry mayo, pickles, cabbage

Brixham Crab & Avocado Sandwich £10
Coconut, lime and chilli mayo, smashed avocado, crispy fried onions

Our fish fingers are made using line caught pollack from Devon and are battered in panko breadcrumbs, dill and spices. Our katsu fillets are inspired by Aarik’s (owner and chef) time working in South-East Asia and are made with plaice landed in Brixham.

fish finger

The takeaway is available every day from noon Tuesday to Saturday. We are located on Ticklemore Street in Totnes. 

Help get Proud2Be Youth to Trans Pride Brighton

Young people from an LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or questioning+) youth group in Devon have launched a Crowdfunder campaign to raise funds to help them get to Trans Pride in Brighton next month.

Members of the Proud2Be youth group have been heavily involved in the planning of the trip and if successful, they will be able to take part in the procession, community day event and even visit the Museum of Transology, a unique exhibit documenting the history of transgender people in the UK, hosted by Brighton Museum.

Trans Pride Brighton has been running since 2013 and is an important event in the LGBTQ+ calendar where trans people, friends, allies and family from all over the UK can meet and have an amazing time in a fun and safe space.

As part of the campaign, several young people have recorded a short video explaining why the trip is so important to them.

In the video, Charlie says: “Being trans can be quite isolating, especially where we are in quite a rural area, it’s quite hard to meet other trans people and be in a trans space and it’s great that we have our youth group which acts like that, but being able to go to Trans Pride would be incredible, there are so many trans people and we get to learn about trans history and be in a space that feels like ours and we can really be ourselves for the whole weekend and it’s going to be great!”

Young people have just under £1500 left to raise. You can donate here 

To find out more about Proud2Be please go to proud2be.

 

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Be an eco-tourist

Be an eco-tourist - by Blueriver Cottages

At Blueriver Cottages, we strive to make the right choices for environmental sustainability. In this blog, we offer a few suggestions so that our guests and other visitors to this beautiful area can help us to protect the local environment, wildlife and economy for all to enjoy!

How to go green

CONSERVE ENERGY
At your cottage, reduce energy by switching off lights and closing windows if heating is on. Please visit energysavingtrust.org.uk for more information on what you can do to save energy at home and when on holiday.

SUPPORT THE REAL LOCAL ECONOMY
Locally made crafts and souvenirs are not always cheaper, but purchasing them ensures your contribution to the economy will have a more direct and positive impact.

CLEANER JOURNEYS
Some destinations are just harder to reach, so consider renting a hybrid or hybrid vehicle. Walk, bike, or use public transportation to get around whenever possible.

SAY NO TO PLASTIC
Take a BPA-free water bottle you can refill over and over again at many eateries. Refuse plastic straws.

BEACH CLEANS
There are monthly beach cleans to take part in but you don’t have to wait for those - spend 10 minutes before you leave the beach to do your bit.

EAT LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD
Support the region’s farmers, get a more authentic taste of the cuisine and cut your carbon footprint even more.

TAKE AN EDUCATIONAL WALK
Totnes is the world’s first Transition Town. Take part in one of their walks to find more out about the pioneering projects.

RESPECT NATURE
Help us to look after the beautiful landscape and wildlife of our county by not littering, guarding against fire and using footpaths and cycle-ways responsibly. Ensure you follow the Countryside Code.


You can take a look at Blueriver Cottages’ collection of holiday homes in South Devon and Torbay by clicking here.


Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies

Tucked away down a siding of one of Devon’s beloved steam railways is a conservation project helping to reintroduce endangered species to the wild. The Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies Sanctuary at Buckfastleigh is a small visitor attraction where you can learn about these beautiful creatures and the important work happening to protect them. We were invited to review the sanctuary by Visit Totnes. This was our first mini-adventure of the summer holidays and the girls and I had roped in Tin Box Grandma and Grandpa for the experience. None of us had been to the sanctuary before despite riding the South Devon Railway between Buckfastleigh and Totnes on other occasions. Tickets are available to combine the train, otter sanctuary and Totnes Rare Breeds Farm at the other end of the track. Together they make a full family day out in South Devon. Read more about Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies 
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