DNP Parish update – 31/3/21
Visitor Centres reopen
Locals and visitors can get helpful information on enjoying Dartmoor safety with the reopening on Dartmoor National Park’s visitor centres.
It is hoped the visitor centres can reopen on or around April 12 in line with easing of England-wide lockdown rules. April 12 is the date non-essential retail; outdoor attractions and some accommodation providers (self-contained accommodation and campsites) can reopen from.
The visitor centres at Haytor, Postbridge and Princetown have Covid-secure measures in place to keep people safe.
The exhibitions and gallery spaces at Princetown remain closed for the time being.
One-way systems will be in place and there will be limits on the amounts of people being able to go into the centres at any one time. This will help people socially distance easily and keep staff safe too.
The visitor centres are accredited to Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ standard meaning people can be assured they are adhering to public health guidance. Measures are under constant review, in line with Government regulations and guidelines.
For all the latest information including opening hours visit www.dartmoor.gov.uk
Leave no trace, give nature space – new campaign to help people explore Dartmoor while caring for nature
A new campaign has been launched by Dartmoor National Park Authority as they and their partners prepare to welcome people back to Dartmoor as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased.
‘Leave no trace, give nature space’ asks people to think about the positive impact nature and the outdoors has had on their lives during lockdown, and to show compassion and care as they return to the landscape to enjoy its mental and physical health benefits.
Dartmoor National Park is one of the nation’s most treasured, protected landscapes with some very rare and unique wildlife. Spring is a particularly special time with new life emerging wherever you look.
From the lambs, foals and calves you can see, to the meadow pipits and skylarks which nest on the ground, it’s important they are all given the space they need to thrive and are not disturbed by dogs or harmed by discarded rubbish. Farming and wildlife work in harmony in this landscape.
Alison Kohler, Director of Conservation and Communities explains: “We know that discovering or rediscovering nature and wildlife has played a big part of many people’s lockdown life.
“The connection to Dartmoor is a source of joy for us all. The freedom to now travel and spend time on the moor in the fresh air will be a welcome mental and physical wellbeing boost – at this time of year it’s truly magical.
“We know most people want to help us protect this special environment and we’d like to remind them it’s important to leave no trace of their visit. That way when they go, nature comes back and reclaims the space they left, making room for us all to share this special landscape.”
The Authority and its partners are asking people to think about each other and the space we all need to enjoy the countryside safely.
Please continue to respect the people who live and work on Dartmoor; it is a working environment where farmers need to be able to tend their animals on open common land and in their fields. Please don’t park in gateways or driveways and avoid paths through farmyards and gardens. Farmers are busy with lambing and calving and many of them have worked around the clock throughout lockdown.
The advice is to plan ahead to avoid busy places and times, check local information and travel reports. If you arrive and the place you hoped to visit is busy, have an alternative location in mind that might be quieter – where you may hear a skylark singing!
Rangers and volunteers will be out and about to help people enjoy their visit safely. Please smile and say hello if you see them. The Authority’s website has a helpful section with more information on about how to enjoy your visit including the Countryside Code.
Dartmoor National Park Authority is supported by its partners in welcoming back visitors: Forestry England, The Woodland Trust, South West Lakes Trust and the owners of the moor.
Moor Otters returns to Dartmoor in May
After very careful consideration, Dartmoor National Park Authority is pleased to announce it is launching its Moor Otters Arts Trail on May 28.
Following the UK Government’s announcement around the easing of restrictions, we plan to release 81 beautifully painted otter and cub sculptures across Dartmoor (and beyond!) so people can become ‘otter spotters’.
The aim of Moor Otters Arts Trail is simple, but effective: encourage people to connect with the National Park, learn to care for it and support the economy. There will be four trails on Dartmoor and one in Plymouth, the Mayflower Trail, which commemorates the historic journey of the Mayflower in 1620.
Otter spotters can get a map from the National Park Visitor Centres at Postbridge, Princetown or Haytor when they reopen, or download them from our website and tick off the otters they have seen. There will be competitions for the Most Sustainable Otter Spotter, a Design Your Own Otter and an Otter Spotter Draw – details will be on our website when the trails go live.
At the end of the summer, sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for Donate for Dartmoor.
The campaign goes to the heart of what Dartmoor National Park Authority does, its core purposes: to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage; promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of Dartmoor’s special qualities and foster the economic and social well-being of communities within the National Park.
The pandemic has highlighted the value of nature and exposed the challenges for those who cannot access open space. Moor Otters Arts Trail will welcome all people to Dartmoor, whether they are new visitors or returning ones, and help them enjoy this special environment safely and responsibly.
Car park changes introduced from April 1
From April 1, there will be some slight changes to car parking fees and charges across the majority of car parks, increasing car park ticket prices by two percent, or around 10p per hour. This will help offset the significant loss of revenue from the pandemic, and enable us to continue to focus on key priorities over the coming year.
We have also negotiated a ‘no fee’ deal with ticket app providers RingGo, so anyone parking across the districts’ car parks will be able to top up their tickets remotely at no extra cost. Customers can download the RingGo app and put their vehicle and payment details in and never have to worry about having enough change for parking again.
The proposals will include changes for any blue badge holder who, as well as being able to use on street parking for free across the district, will benefit from an additional hour’s free parking on top of their standard parking charge. The existing ‘disabled parking’ permits, which are only provided for current blue badge holders who have an address in the Teignbridge district, will be phased out as they come up for renewal and be replaced by this more equitable system.
Other changes to car parking also includes the removal of the pay on foot exit barriers in three Newton Abbot car parks, which will be replaced by the standard pay and display machines, seen across the rest of the district.
Bonfires (March 2021)
The recent good weather and the fact that spring has now arrived, means that many of us are starting to tidy up our gardens which inevitably leads to piles of garden waste. So, what should we do with that waste? A bonfire is one answer but, judging by recent feedback from villagers, is not perhaps the most popular. The following link will take you to the latest advice from Teignbridge District Council regarding bonfires – Bonfires – Teignbridge District Council
Established in 1961, Devon Communities Together (DCT) has been built upon the importance of community to all aspects of life in Devon. To view their latest newsletter, celebrating their 60th year, please visit – Your LOVE Devon update (sendibm3.com)
Railway from Newton Abbot to Heathfield
What are your thoughts re having a rail-link between Newton Abbot? Please complete the following survey.
Lustleigh Neighbourhood Police Annual Report
The following report covers the period from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2020.
Locally Sgt Seth Saunders is still the Neighbourhood Team Leader, PC Holly Lynch is the Neighbourhood Beat Manager and PCSO’s Paul Wilson and Tina Jordan complete the team.
In this period, we have had 35 recorded crimes across the parish area. 26 of these offences are linked to two ongoing situations.
There were approximately, a further 25 other incidents reported to the Police across the same period. These incidents include traffic collisions, road obstructions, missing persons, concerns for welfare, and abandoned vehicles.
The Corona virus lockdowns throughout the year have had and continue to have a significant impact on local Policing. It is important that the local Community knows we are still here and are able to respond to incidents when required.
It is to the Parish’s credit we have had very few reports of Covid legislation Breaches
It is equally important everyone continues to follow the legislation and the guidance.
Please Stay at home, only travel if it is essential, exercise close to home.
It is important that if you need the Police you do contact us.
In an emergency telephone 999
Non-emergency telephone 101
PCSO 30382 Paul Wilson
Putting the Air Ambulance at the heart of Lustleigh…night and day. (The following is an abridged version of a report produced by Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer).
Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) now operates until 2am every day and is working towards providing a 24/7 service. Operating and landing in towns and villages during the hours of darkness is very different to how they operate during daylight and to support ‘night’ operations, Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) are working with communities to create a network of Community Landing Sites. These need to be open spaces with either existing or newly installed floodlighting that can be operated remotely.
Working with Rob Harris and Sheila Palmer, DAAT has reviewed the potential for several sites in/near Lustleigh to become a community landing site and that work has led to the cricket ground being identified as a prime location. This would not be possible without the kind permission of Elliot and Cindy Bialick. The cricket ground meets DAA night landing requirements (size, slope etc.) and is close to the main part of the village. There are several key requirements for DAA to be able to use Lustleigh cricket field as a night landing site, the main one being lighting. The site will require the installation of a 10m column and two LED lights illuminating a south-western part of the ground. The cricket club has kindly agreed to supply and meet the costs of the electricity and the lighting will be controlled remotely by DAA.
Planning permission is required and an application has been prepped and submitted by Toby Russell and Lis Wallace. Once the planning permission has been secured, all parties will meet on site to finalise the installation plans. The works can then be carried out and within 1-2 days the site will be operational.
The costs of this project are not insignificant. DAAT has a grant to cover the labour and our community needs to pay for materials, the planning application and ongoing maintenance. County Councillor George Gribble is making available a very generous grant of £2,500. In addition, Lustleigh Parish Mag is making a donation and the remainder will be met by the Parish Council, from reserves. The light column will be added to the Parish Council’s list of assets and the council will be responsible for ongoing maintenance.
Public access to the National Park
The latest guidance from the Government (published when the current lockdown came into
force) makes it clear that you can only leave your home to exercise (once a day), and not
for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). Further, you
should not travel outside your local areas for physical exercise. We have taken this to
mean stay local – do not travel outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you
live (as per the wording in the Government guidance).
You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
o by yourself
o with the people you live with
o with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
o in a childcare bubble where providing childcare, or
o when on your own, with one person from another household
This guidance is reflected in our own communications and we are working with other
partners (e.g. Devon and Cornwall Police) via the Local Resilience Forum. No organised
recreational activities should be taking place (e.g. sponsored walks, rides etc.) – we have
suspended the large-scale recreation event notification system that we operate.
Our Rangers are working and patrolling as normal but subject to Covid safety guidance.
We have seen unprecedented numbers of visitors to the National Park since the first
lockdown was eased. We recognise that this has caused some issues for local
communities and businesses. We have sought to respond through, for example, the
National Park Marshall initiative and temporary closure of one area of common land. We
are continuing to liaise with Devon County Council, as the highways authority about
parking issues and have been working with Devon and Cornwall Police to seek resource
for joint patrols. We submitted a bid to the Government’s Green Recovery Fund which
included resource for additional Rangers but this was not successful. We are currently
reviewing the National Park byelaws to see how we can better support our Ranger team in
their patrolling activity. We hope to complete this process by Summer 2021 in order to
learn lessons from Covid but this timetable is not within our control. A formal public
consultation period will form part of this review. We will keep you informed of progress.
At a national level we have called for more resources for visitor management, tougher
fines for illegal and ‘unsafe’ parking and an enhanced profile for the Countryside Code.
Covid-19 Vaccine Scams
Over the past few weeks there has been an increase in phishing emails, and more recently text messages being sent to individuals stating they are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. These texts purport to be from the NHS and the link provided takes you to a very convincing looking NHS website whereby asked to confirm your identity by providing your payment card details.
For information as to how to avoid these scams please visit the following link – General Advice | Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk)
Avian influenza (bird flu)
The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds, following a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK.
Government Chief Veterinary Officers are encouraging bird keepers to use the next 11 days to prepare for new housing measures, including taking steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and where necessary put up additional housing.
Whether you keep just a few birds as pets or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.
Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:
- housing or netting all poultry and captive birds
- cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
- reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and using effective vermin control
- thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle
- keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry and captive bird housing or enclosures
- minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.
Telephone Support – Covid – 19
Voluntary Organisations, charities and local community groups have come together to provide valuable services to our residents during this difficult time. The below link will take you to a list providing details of key providers in our local community who are able to provide one to one support over the telephone. Telephone support
Parish Council Meetings
Meetings will be held by zoom until further notice. Members of the public are welcome to attend and joining details will be displayed on the agenda. Alternatively, email Lis Wallace who will send you an invitation.
An agenda will be issued during the week prior to the meeting.
Sheep in Orchard
The most effective and environmentally way to keep the orchard undergrowth in check is to graze sheep a few times a year. There have however been incidences of local people allowing their dogs to enter the orchard off lead, resulting in the sheep being chased. This is unacceptable. When sheep are in situ notices will be placed on the gate, reminding people to keep their dogs on leads. Please respect and adhere to this request.
Parish Council AGM 2021
The parish council made the decision to cancel, rather than postpone, the Annual Parish meeting.