Thursday, 31 August 2017

Wood Fair > South Brent > Saturday 9th September

A rather nice looking event taking place a week on Saturday just south of Dartmoor:

The Wood Fair - Saturday 9 September 2017

Charcoal burning, willow weaving, pit sawing, oak joinery, crafts, demonstrations, talks, walks, games and more: yes, South Brent Wood Fair is back!
This free, family-friendly community event takes place from 10am-5pm at and around South Brent Village Hall. Organised and run by the hedges and woodland group of Sustainable South Brentthe Fair aims to celebrate our local trees and woodlands and all their rich wildlife, culture, traditions, enterprises, crafts and skills. There will be stalls, exhibitions, workshops, guided walks, music, story-telling, poetry, children’s activities, plus delicious food and a bar. Meet local craftsmen and women at work, talk to wood-workers and wood-related businesses, view displays by Devon Rural Skills Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, Orchard Link, Moor Trees, Dartmoor National Park Authority and more. Those feeling adventurous can have a go at craft activities including using shave-horses, a pole-lathe, spoon carving and willow work. There will be talks and stories on a whole range of topics: woodland livelihoods, ecology, energy systems, and what it takes to restore ancient woodland on Dartmoor.

Music and workshops will include:
For full information about the events of the day see the Wood Fair webpage or contact Robin Toogood 01364 72458 / 07967 456 380 e-mail robin.toogood@gmail.com or sbwoodfair2017@gmail.com.
Any offers of help at the Wood Fair would be very welcome e.g. setting up, in the cafe, raffle, car parking..... Please let Robin know - 01364 72458 / 07967 456 380 email robin.toogood@gmail.com.
Use this link to return direct to the Wood Fair page
and also see Facebook event.

Sustainable South Brent

The promises from the Skypark 'business park' >>> >>> >>> "A multinational comes along and plonks itself just out of town. Hooray, they tell us... Jobs for all!"

This part of the UK is haemorrhaging jobs in manufacturing:
Futures Forum: "A staggering 50,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the South West in a decade." Which is not surprising, as "the LEP area ranks 32nd out of 39 LEP areas in England for the level of productivity."

Meanwhile, what is being promised by developers and politicians is 'job creation':
Futures Forum: The empty promises of 'Job creation' - and the real possibilities from 'entrepreneur-led revitalisation' and the 'return of a spirit of self-reliance'

But one wonders how much of it will be 'real jobs':
Futures Forum: SMEs, self employment and the sharing economy

Or whether it will be about some sort of 'investment':
Futures Forum: Foreign Direct Investment ... vs ... supporting locally-owned small businesses

As suggested by a business in Penzance:

Olivers Photographics - Love Penzance
Localism in action – and destroyed | East Devon Watch

Everyone is getting excited about the new Ikea on its way just outside Exeter:
Everything you need to know about IKEA Exeter (with a little help from ABBA) - Devon Live
IKEA Exeter: How the new store within an hour of Plymouth is taking shape - Plymouth Herald
IKEA Exeter: video shows the new store is taking shape - Somerset Live

Meanwhile, at another spot 'just outside Exeter', a bit more 'employment land' is happening:
Futures Forum: An 'inter-modal freight depot', a giant Lidl's warehouse ... and when a 'site employing up to 450 people' is not 'counted as an employment site'
Futures Forum: An 'inter-modal freight depot' by any other name >>> >>> also known as: a giant Lidl's warehouse on the M5

It's part of the joint Exeter/East Devon project:
exeter gateway distribution facility - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point
6 January 2016 - Lidl brings jobs boost for Exeter and East Devon Growth Point - East Devon

With that promise of 'jobs':

Lidl's huge new depot near Exeter is taking shape - PHOTOS

The site is due to create around 500 jobs when it opens in Autumn


A giant new supermarket depot near Exeter is starting to take shape near Exeter. The Lidl distribution centre under construction near Exeter Airport and Skypark is part of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point. It is expected to create around 500 jobs when fully operational.

Lidl's huge new depot near Exeter is taking shape - PHOTOS - Devon Live

Meanwhile, even more 'jobs' are about to happen next door, as reported in March:
More MASSIVE speculative industrial development at Clyst Honiton with benefits to LEP | East Devon Watch

Two planning applications are to be considered by the District Council:
17/0532/MOUT | Outline planning application with all matters reserved for the provision of up to 110,000 sq. m of Use Class B8 development with ancillary Use Class B1 and associated parking, servicing, yard areas, landscaping and engineering works including demolition of existing structures within the site. | Land At Hayes Farm (Phase 2) Clyst Honiton
16/3021/MFUL | Mixed-used development comprising 64 bed care home, offices, retail, 250 space Park and Change, plus associated roads, servicing, car parking and landscaping. | Land Off Hawkins Road Hillside Gardens Pinhoe Exeter

As reported in today's Devon Online:

Massive industrial park on edge of Exeter set to be approved

The industrial park next to the Lidl depot at Clyst Honiton will create nearly 2,000 jobs and add £100m to the economy


Outline plans for a 110,000sqm industrial park next to the Lidl depot at Clyst Honiton are being recommended for approval by East Devon District Council.

Councillors are also being asked approve plans for a mixed-used development comprising 64 bed care home, offices, retail, 250 space Park and Change, plus associated roads, servicing, car parking and landscaping at land off Hawkins Road in Pinhoe that will create 165 jobs.

The massive development on land at Hayes Farm would create between 1,530 and 1,817 new jobs and contribute an extra £90 to £105m to the regional economy, the applicants, the Church Commissioners For England claim.

The huge chunk of land is earmarked for more storage and distribution warehouses, offices and business space as part of the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.

The application goes before Members of the council due to the significance of the proposals and an objection from Clyst Honiton Parish Council.

The summary of the application says: “The application site falls within the East of Exeter Growth Point and is one of the key strategic employment sites identified for the area, along with the Skypark Business Park and Exeter Science Park. Through the former County Structure Plan and previous Local Plans the site was allocated for an intermodal freight distribution centre comprising a railhead and associated B8 uses to facilitate the Agenda page 115 17/0532/MOUT transfer of freight from the rail to road.

 Masterplan for the industrial park

“After outline and reserved matters permissions for the first phase of development (up to 65,000 sq. m of B8) two applications have been submitted by the Church Commissioners for the second phase of development - an outline for up to 110,000 sq. m of B8 storage or distribution and a Section 106A application to remove the phase 1 Section 106 railhead obligations.

“While separate applications, the status of the railhead land is crucial to the acceptability of the outline and therefore the two applications are considered together in a single report.”

Clyst Honiton Parish Council and Broadclyst Parish Councils have both objected to the scheme which would also need associated parking, servicing, yard areas, landscaping and engineering works including demolition of existing building within the site.

At the moment the future occupiers are unknown. Options for the land include space for 540 car parking spaces on a two unit scheme, and 530 for a multi-unit scheme.

For both scenarios the storage/distribution use with ancillary office floorspace and car parking is supported by development of an estate access road, SUDs features, sprinkler tanks and a pump house, on site surface water attenuation measures and strategic landscaping to the site boundaries.

Planners are being asked to approve the application as although the use of the site for large scale development has long been accepted and while locally contentious, sufficient evidence has been submitted to support the removal of the railhead obligations.

Watch as DCH's new Skypark headquarters takes shape

The report continues: “The scale of use proposed on the site is considered to be acceptable, although the potential for a single large building will require a higher level of design and landscape mitigation. Being in outline the application does not contain much in the way of prescriptive detail and the applicants aim is to retain as much flexibility as possible, but the proposal is supported by a robust ES. The development has not attracted any significant objection, and as such the application is recommended for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement.”

Planners are also being asked to back plans for a mixed-used development comprising 64 bed care home, offices, retail, 250 space Park and Change, plus associated roads, servicing, car parking and landscaping.

The application is before Members as it is a departure from the Local Plan and there is an objection from the Parish Council.

The application proposes a reconfigured layout for the Park and Change, a reduction to the office and retail provision, and substitution of the light industrial units for a carehome, and the revised scheme will generate 165 jobs compared to the estimated 171.5 that would have been generated by the previously approved uses that were granted in 2012 for the site.

The scheme is for a 250 space Park and Change proposed in two phases (revised layout from previous approval) 440 square metre retail unit located to the front (north) of the Park and Change site 914 square metre B1(a) office units sited next to the retail unit 64 bed care home along the western edge of the site.

The Tech List: 30 Exeter and South West firms at the cutting edge of technology and innovation

The report concludes: “The proposed scheme is contrary to policy and despite the submission of additional information it is not considered that the resulting loss of the B2 use has been properly evidenced.

“However, there are a number of benefits from the scheme that give considerable weight to a positive recommendation - the delivery of some employment and much needed facilities on the site, evidenced demand for additional carehome provision in the locality, the submission of positive amendments to address design/layout concerns, and the development will secure DH connection to both the commercial uses and approved primary school.

“While the lack of evidence for the loss of the B2 use is unfortunate, the scheme has been carefully considered and it is felt that on balance these identified benefits override the policy conflict in this specific case, however this is subject to the result on the current amended plan consultation the results of which will be reported to the meeting.”

Both applications go before East Devon District Council planners on Tuesday, September 5.

Built over 20 years, the 110-acre Skypark site will provide 1.4 million sq ft of warehouse, industrial and office space and deliver up to 6,500 new jobs. When it completes this autumn, this new office building will create 17,142 sq ft of employment space.

The new offices will join the Ambulance Special Operations Centre (ASOC West) and DPD UK’s new 60,000 sq ft distribution centre on site. They will benefit from the £3.5 million worth of investment in road and services infrastructure at Skypark and the five-acre public realm area, complete with trim trail exercise stations.

Massive industrial park on edge of Exeter set to be approved - Devon Live

See also:

Brexit: and struggling to recruit skilled labour in the food and drink industry

Back in March, the Sun and Telegraph were reporting about fears from the food and drink industry over Brexit:
Worried bosses fear EU nationals working in Britain's food and drink industry are already leaving the UK over Brexit - Sun
Brexit could hit retailers and food suppliers, Moody's warns - Telegraph

Further warnings this week have been reported in the press:
Food industry warns of Brexit workforce shortage - BBC News
EU migrant exodus threatens UK food and drink industry, warns survey | The Independent
One in three UK food firms 'unviable' without European workers - report - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
Half of food and drink EU workers consider leaving UK - food manufacture

This is how the Guardian reported the story:

Food and drink industry says EU staff exodus will damage economy

Brexit warnings from trade bodies come as businesses across UK struggle to recruit skilled labour

EU nationals working as seasonal migrant farm labourers pick oakleaf lettuce in Tarleton, Lancashire.
 EU nationals working as seasonal migrant farm labourers pick oakleaf lettuce in Tarleton, Lancashire. Photograph: Alamy

The food and drink industry has issued a warning of significant disruption and economic damage if the government fails to stem the flow of EU nationals leaving the UK.
Nearly a third of British food and drink businesses have had non-UK EU workers leave their employment since last summer’s Brexit vote, according to a survey of more than 600 businesses representing nearly a quarter of the food chain’s 4 million workforce. Almost half said more planned to leave because of uncertainty about their future.
Retailers, farmers, food processors, pubs and restaurateurs have clubbed together to lobby the government to avoid a “cliff-edge” Brexit, which they said would affect their ability to grow, produce and serve the food we eat.

The prime minister, Theresa May, has offered EU nationals who arrive lawfully before Brexit the chance to build up the same rights to work as UK citizens. But her proposal fell short of the EU’s demand for its citizens living in the UK to maintain all EU rights in perpetuity.
The Home Office said initial proposals for a new immigration system would be released this autumn. A government spokesperson added: “We have already been clear there will be an implementation period after we leave the EU to avoid a cliff edge for businesses.”
About a fifth of the 2 million EU nationals working in the UK are involved in the food industry – either in farming, food processing, retailing or catering.
Ian Wright, director general of the Food and Drink Federation, which represents more than 6,000 processors and manufacturers, said: “It is only a matter of time before the uncertainty reported by businesses results in an irreversible exit of EU workers from these shores. This is a scenario that will hurt the UK culturally and economically.”
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, which represents most major British retailers, said: “An abrupt reduction in the number of EU workers eligible to work in the UK after Brexit would result in significant disruption for the entire food supply chain, with consequences for the availability and price of UK goods for consumers.

Workers from eastern Europe pick strawberries on a farm in Kent.
 Workers from eastern Europe pick strawberries in Kent. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

“EU workers are key to getting British food on our shelves; from producing food, through transport to colleagues in store they are vital in providing the service and quality British consumers demand.”
He said EU workers needed more clarity about their status once the UK leaves the European Union.
The latest warnings from the food industry came as British businesses faced their biggest challenge in recruiting skilled labour in a decade. High employment has combined with a fall in the value of the pound and uncertainty about the future for EU nationals in the UK to reduce the pool of available staff.
A net balance of 52% of 1,500 UK companies questioned in May said they had experienced difficulty in recruiting skilled labour over the past six months, compared with 31% in January, according to the predominantly small- and medium-sized businesses surveyed for Lloyds bank’s regular Business in Britain report.
The National Farmers’ Union has also said the number of seasonal workers coming to the UK this year had dropped by 17%. It blamed the lack of clarity on the future for EU workers and a drop in the value of sterling. 

Food and drink industry says EU staff exodus will damage economy | Business | The Guardian

See also:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and bad pay

Futures Forum: Brexit: and strawberries
Futures Forum: Brexit: and our dependence on foreign goods and labour
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the future of food

Futures Forum: Brexit: and catering, construction and care sectors getting ready
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the hospitality industry >>> migrant labour and low-wages
Futures Forum: Brexit: and an uncertain future for the hospitality industry

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Sid Valley Bat Project: September programme

Bat catching is happening in the Sid Valley:
Futures Forum: Sid Valley Bat Project: lower half of the Sid and shoreline: bat catching research session: Saturday 19th August

And it is going well:

Hi All,

Firstly, thank you to all that took part in the August sessions when we caught a barbastelle on one occasion and soprano pipistrelles, common pipistrelles, daubentons and a whiskered bat, 31 bats in total. We have definitely had a productive couple of nights so far.

I have attached the schedule for the rest of the season with location details. If you can let me know that you are attending then that would be really useful.

Kind Regards

Louise Woolley BSc (Hons) ACIEEM - Ecological Services

22 Arcot Park, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 9HP
01395 512536                  07905 418460

Sidmouth Bat Group

East Devon AONB Annual Meeting > Weds 27th September

This year's Annual Meeting of the East Devon AONB is at the Donkey Sanctuary - and promises to be quite a feast:

East Devon AONB Annual Meeting & Acland Award Presentation

by East Devon AONB


Wed 27 September 2017
17:00 – 21:00 BST


The Donkey Sanctuary
Slade House Farm
EX10 0NU

Join us for an evening of presentation and celebration at the East Devon AONB Partnership Annual meeting.

It’s the main event in the East Devon AONB calendar, bringing together key local supporters, businesses, AONB Partnership members and our Ambassadors, in support of our outstanding area of natural beauty.
Come along and enjoy an evening hearing from our engaging speakers and connecting with others; with the opportunity to network in an informal environment over a complimentary buffet.
With our focus this year on wildlife, the environment and heritage, we’re delighted to have Harry Barton, Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust, as our keynote speaker and further presentation from Mike Baker, CEO of the Donkey Sanctuary.
We will also celebrate exceptional local projects, with the presentation of this year’s Acland Award – our annual commendation of innovative and meaningful activity thatenhances, conserves or promotes the AONB.

Places are limited and invites are open to AONB Partnership members, Ambassadors, AONB supporters and special guests, so please register to confirm your attendance ASAP.

Event Schedule:
  • 17:00 Tour of the Donkey Sanctuary (optional)
  • 18:00 Registration, refreshments/complimentary buffet
  • 18:45 Transition
  • 19:00 Welcome & introduction
  • 19:15 The Donkey Sanctuary a presentation from Mike Baker CEO
  • Q&A
  • 19:45 Devon Wildlife Trust - a presentation from Harry Barton CEO
  • Q&A
  • 20:15 The Acland Award - AONB Annual Award for outstanding contribution
  • 20:30 Summing up, final networking and departure
  • 21:00 End

East Devon AONB Annual Meeting & Acland Award Presentation Tickets, Wed, 27 Sep 2017 at 17:00 | Eventbrite