Surfers Against Sewage warn bathers to avoid Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton after recent heavy rain

“Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location [Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton] within the past 48 hours.

Otter and Axe estuaries added to Marine Conservation Zones

“The Axe and Otter estuaries are amongst 12 new Marine Conservation Zones created in the south west of England.

The expansion of the UK’s ‘Blue Belt’ was announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove today (Friday May 31).

Among the species and habitats given greater protection by the designation are fan mussels, native oysters, tentacled lagoon-worms and the deep sea bed. …”

Budleigh and Raleigh – 2 Tory 1 Independent

Budleigh and Raleigh (three seats)
Alan Dent (Conservative) – 1,112 ELECTED
Pete Duke (Green Party) – 971
Brigitte Graham (UKIP) – 518
Patsy Hayman (Conservative) – 982
Paul Jarvis (Independent) – 1,187 ELECTED
Penny Lewis (Liberal Democrats) – 907
Thomas Wright (Conservative) – 999 ELECTED

Budleigh Salterton and Tesco … accelerating high street decline

Tesco has announced it is cutting out butchers, fishmongers, bakeries and delis from its stores.

Spare a thought then for the poor traders of Budleigh Salterton High Street.
The Budleigh Salterton Journal of 23rd January reports that a variation of an approved planning application has been submitted to EDDC by Tesco because “a review has concluded that a smaller store could work better in this site than that of the approved plan”

Many inhabitants of the town are fearful, as before in 2014, that its wonderful delicatessens, butcher, greengrocer, florist, stationers and its 2 invaluable general stores would be put at risk of surviving with the opening of a Tesco. Locals had all dared to hope that the 5 years that this project had been gestating meant that it was no longer viable.

This move just doesn’t make sense when as Owl of 28th January highlights:

“TESCO is set to axe 15,000 jobs as part of £1.5bn cost-saving measure that will see fish, meat and deli counters across the country close down. Bakeries will also be overhauled, with the supermarket giant now ordering staff to use pre-frozen dough instead of making it on site. ..”

Many in Budleigh Salterton will not be happy to contribute to (last year’s) CEO Dave Lewis’ £4.87million pay packet and the chief executive’s short-term bonus of £2.28million on top of his base salary of £1.25million.

AND on top of that see the decimation of Budleigh Salterton’s High Street.

East Budleigh – rare bats or bulldozers? Special council meeting 7 November 2018

Clinton Devon Estates – which frequently touts its so-called environmental credentials – now has a difficult choice to make in East Budleigh – as does East Devon District Council.

A short notice special meeting of East Budleigh Parish Council has been called for 7pm on Tuesday 6 November to discuss the findings below which will bring into sharp relief a pressing question: which is most important: environmental sustainability and bio-diversity or cold, hard profit?

The East Budleigh Parish Wildlife Protection and Conservation Group was formed earlier this year to try to save what were thought to be 11 species of bat from having their habitat destroyed as a result of 18/1464/FUL — Demolition of existing barn and construction of a single dwelling behind the Pound. As a result of their observations they have recorded as many as 14 of the 18 known species in the UK.

This not only confirms but extends the survey conducted by Richard Green Ecology between 2012 and 2017 for Clinton Devon Estates (CDE). This survey found: the rare Greater Horseshoe (roosting); Lesser Horseshoe (roosting); the very rare Grey Long Earned (roosting); Natterer (roosting); Soprano and Pipistrelle (roosting). These findings make this site one of the most species rich in the County.

Of these, the finding of Grey Long Eared, Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats are, perhaps, the most exciting as they are some of the rarest bat species in the UK.

EDDC, in order no doubt to inform the DMC, has just published an independent review of the CDE commissioned Richard Green ecology report. We the ratepayers have paid for this review and Owl wonders whether it represents value for money in these hard pressed times. All it appears to be, as is clear from the Terms of Reference, is a review of the 2012/2017 work done by Richard Green to see whether it was reasonable and in line with best practice, given the ecological constraints identified. Not surprisingly, since it was conducted by a reputable ecological survey firm, another equally reputable firm concludes it was fine.

This ratepayer funded review presents no new data to support or reject the more recent local finding of 14 bat species, indeed it couldn’t really do this because it was conducted too late in the year when bats are less active as they begin to hibernate and the surveyors didn’t venture onto private ground.

The original surveys were undertaken on 31 August and 10 September 2012 including a dusk bat emergence survey and placement of an automated bat detector in the barn between 11 and 17 September 2012, allowing recorded bat calls to be analysed. Further bat emergence surveys were undertaken on 25 May and 22 June 2016, and 31 July 2017. The East Budleigh Group have spent many evenings conducting observation using computer aided bat detectors this year, 2018.

One question not satisfactorily answered is whether the barn is being used as a maternity roost. This is particularly important as some species like the Grey Long Eared bat are so rare that research advice from the University of Bristol states that maternity roosts should not be destroyed under any circumstances as this would compromise the favourable conservation status of the species, particularly as research has shown maternity roosts of this species do not respond to mitigation measures.

In the UK, Grey Long-Eared bats tend to live in close proximity to human settlements and roost almost exclusively in man-made roosts making the barn in East Budleigh an important roost. The overall estimated population size is around 1000 making it one of the rarest of UK mammals. Its extinction risk is high due to its habitat specialisation of foraging close to or within the vegetation, its small foraging ranges and limited long distance dispersal ability is a result of its flight profile. There are only eight known maternity colonies left in the UK and females have only one pup a year. So there has to be one near the Pound.

Another question is whether the demolition and rebuild will destroy too much habitat so the bats will never return, despite “mitigation”. (When CDE developed the Budleigh Salterton allotment site their slow worm “mitigation” was a disaster, they were simply bulldozed away by mistake).

Surely we ought to be celebrating the discovery that East Budleigh has one of the most species diverse bat colonies in Devon rather than sending in the bulldozers – again.

Everyone involved would do well to read this recent article:

“Poorest to be worst hit by a cashless society, warns Which?”

Lyme Regis hit the headlines last week when it became yet another bank-less town. In East Devon we already have Ottery St Mary and Budleigh Salterton without banks, with surely others to follow.

“Lower-income households and older generations will be hardest hit by bank branch and ATM closures that threaten their vital access to cash, as these groups use cash more frequently than average, new research from Which? reveals.

More than three quarters (78%) of consumers in the two lowest income households groups rely on cash, using it at least two or three times a week. This group are less likely than average to use a credit or debit card – in fact, just over a quarter (26%) never use card payments.

Cash usage is high among over-65s – the group perhaps most at risk of social exclusion when bank branches and ATMs disappear – with four in five (80%) reliant on cash, using it at least two to three times a week.

The findings come amid concerns that consumers’ access to cash is under threat, due to a severe reduction in bank branches on Britain’s high streets and changes to the funding model of ATMs that is seeing 250 disappear every month.” – Which?

Clinton Devon Estates: an early Lord Rolle’s interesting history in Budleigh

From Facebook’s ‘East Devon Past’:

“I found this report relating to the old harbour at Budleigh, I knew that boats used to navigate up the Otter estuary to the mills at Newton Poppleford. Anyway it seems that Lord Rolle was a bit of a rogue and dammed up the harbour to increase his expanse of land but put an end to the use of larger boats on the Otter. So not only did he remove the Sidmouth stones but he took away the harbour for his own gain.”😵
Western Times 1858: