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January 2007

MINUTES for the Annual General Meeting held on Monday 15th January 2007 at 7.00 p.m. at Bideford Town Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. R.Day Chairman, (CPRE and Instow PC.), Mr. T.Pratt, Vice-Chairman (NDYC), Capt P. Fronteras, (Westleigh PC), Mr. J. Daniel, (TT Nets), Mr. J. Hartnoll, (Braunton Marsh Inspectors), Mr T. Jones, (Devon Birds), Mrs. W. Dale, (RNLI), Mr. C Hassall, (Rolle Canal Soc.), Mr A. Bell, (NDCCS), Mr. D. Graham, (ATTURM), Mr. J. Diamond, (Natural England), Mr. J. Breeds, (Braunton Burrows Education Warden), Mr. A. Atkinson, (Appledore Sea Angling), Mr. J. Loch, (MOD Defence Estates), Mr.S.Corbett, (EA), Mr. R. Butler, (UK MAB), Ms. C. Roberts, (DWT), Capt. R. Hoad, (Bideford Harbourmaster), Mr. P. Mullen, (Fremington PC), Miss C. Manning, (Braunton Marsh Project Officer), Mrs. A. Humphris, Hon Sec.

1. APOLOGIES for ABSENCE: Lt Col M. Portman, (Fremington Camp, MOD), Mr. N. Davies, (NDJetski&PWC Club), Ms. L. Blanchard, (AONB), Cpl. D. Perkins, MBE, (RMB Chivenor), Cllr. R. Knight, (Barnstaple TC), Mr. M. Davies, (RSPB), Mr. T. Squire, (NDWaterski Club), Mr. J Lee, (NDDC), Mrs. M. Cox, (Northam TC), Mr. L. Oldham, (ND Wildfowlers), Mr. B. Hockin, (Fremington PC).

Management Study for Braunton Marsh:
Clare Manning, TTEF Project Officer and Author of the Management Study for Braunton Marsh.

Clare Manning began by announcing that the Study had been completed and was now at the Printers, in readiness for the Official Launch on Monday 29th January 2007 at Kingsacre Primary School, Braunton.
She explained that the Report had been in answer to considerable concern that no work on Braunton Marsh was in print for nearly a century. Therefore the aim was to publish a report on the historical, social, environmental and economical development of Braunton Marsh up to and including the present day. It was also important to record the factual knowledge and reminiscences of members of the Marsh community.
The Report is divided into several sections:-
1) Historical background of how the Marsh was formed and developed over the years. Included in the Study is a detailed account of farming on the Marsh, the effects of WWll on the land and the effects of increased tourism in the area.
2) Wildlife – There are recordings of different habitats and species and how they have been affected by changes in farming practices, and current issues such as climate change.
3) Current Issues – Changes in the development of the Marsh are brought about by agricultural changes. The study shows the cause and effect of these changes up to the present day. It is clear that the farmers need to be consulted on issues that affect the Marsh, such as the suggested re-alignment of Horsey Island, in the SMP.
4) Tourism – The effects on the Marsh of increased tourism are recorded to date.
The 32-page Study contains illustrations throughout with photographs from the archives showing the Marsh as it is today.
Clare concluded by thanking the TTEF for giving her the opportunity to do the work. She thanked the Marsh Inspectors, and the Braunton Marsh Drainage Board for their considerable help and also the various organisations, such as the ND Records Office, the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Braunton Museum for allowing access to their records.

The Chairman said that Clare was to be congratulated on her hard work in preparation of this fine piece of work.
A flyer advertising the Study was available to members at the meeting and on the website. The Chairman asked that members not already invited to the launch and wishing to attend, should give their names to the Chairman after the meeting.


Chairman: Mrs. Rose Day was proposed by Paul Fronteras, seconded by John Hartnoll and duly re-elected unanimously.
Vice – Chairman: Tony Pratt was proposed by Rose Day, seconded by Andy Bell and duly re-elected unanimously.
Hon. Secretary: Mrs. Ann Humphris was proposed by Tony Pratt, seconded by Wendy Dale and duly re-elected unanimously.

The Accounts for the year 2006 were presented and explained to members at the meeting.
Mrs Mary Jane Scott, CTA, had certified the Accounts as correct.
It was proposed by James Diamond, seconded by Tim Jones that the Accounts be adopted and the Members voted unanimously to adopt them.

Both the Chairman and the Hon Sec. had again waived their Honoraria.

It was agreed that the Annual Subscription should remain at £16.

7. MINUTES of PREVIOUS MEETING: Monday 16th October 2006:
Richard Butler asked that his apologies be recorded for the above meeting. This has been corrected.
Paul Fronteras proposed and John Daniel seconded the adoption of the minutes, and the members voted unanimously to adopt them.

8. MATTERS ARISING from the Minutes:
(a) Estuary Report: Including: 
TTEF Update – 5th November 2006 – all items were for information or were covered later in Agenda.
TTEF Update – 1st December 2006 – all items were for information or were covered later in Agenda.

Marine Bill and Integrated Coastal Zone Management: No updated information has been received.

Harbour Master’s Report:
Capt. Roger Hoad reported that Bideford shipping has increased since the last report.
Bideford Quay has been busy with visiting workboats, also a visit in September by the coastal passenger vessel Balmoral. There had been an import of salt for local Devon and Cornish depots. At present, Bideford is the base for the supply of all materials to Lundy. The materials are being used for the £1million repair of the collapsing Lundy road.
The serious navigational problems caused by the accumulation of sand in the river have been overcome by the process of removing the sand from the berths at Bideford and taking the sand away.
Trinity House has spent two days with the Harbour Master seeing the night and daytime estuary hazards, and has agreed to add two more lights near the confluence of the two rivers to aid shipping. Requests to improve the channel marking within the estuary will follow.
Torridge DC has the opportunity to take over the lease of areas of riverbed from Bideford to Yelland from the Crown after North Devon District Council gave up their lease. TDC is considering the benefits and responsibilities of doing so; a decision will be made in the next few weeks.
Texaco has kept the ownership of their oil jetty at Yelland, and all of the connecting pipes, leading to speculation that tankers will return to the estuary in due course.
This report can be seen in full on the TTEF website: 

Launch of the Taw Torridge Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service: On Saturday 2nd. December 2006 on the Kathleen & May.
Paul Fronteras said that there had been quite a lot of interest shown and the Service was gaining new members. All information is on the TTEF website. 

Devon Minerals Update:
Information was handed out informing members that there are two Stakeholder Events to assist in the preparation of the Devon Minerals Core Strategy. These will take place on:
14th. February – to introduce the Core Strategy and to develop the vision and objectives.
22nd. March – to explore the minerals issues for Devon in more depth and to develop options.
The Chairman asked that any issues members needed to bring up should be sent to her.

Clay Pigeon Shooting at Fremington Quay:
Peter Mullen informed the members that surveys were on-going and he would report back at the next meeting.

Our Coast: A Draft programme of courses for January to March was handed out to members.
The course has proved popular, and has been attracting between 30 and 40 people to each session.
A representative of the TTEF has been invited to attend the talk on Biosphere Reserves by Pete Jollands. Tony Pratt is to attend.

TTEF Website:
The Chairman thanked Paul Fronteras for all of his hard work on the website.
A Usage Summary for Nov 05 to Sept 06 was handed out to members

Appledore Ferry:
The Chairman asked if anyone had any information on whether the ferry is likely to be operating this season.
Capt Roger Hoad informed members that the ferryman had been unwell, but was now better and he thought that the ferry would operate as normal this year.

DWT. Volunteer Marine Awareness Assistants:
Caroline Roberts (DWT) informed members of voluntary posts of Marine Awareness Assistants. There are 4 posts advertised, 2 in North Devon. The posts are for 6 months unpaid structured training placements.
Copies of the full job specifications and information were handed out to members.

Devon Estuary Officers Group:
The Chairman had attended the Estuary Officers Group at County Hall on December 19th.
All of the Estuary Partnerships are very worried over their continued funding, as the Environment Agency, Natural England, Devon CC are all experiencing financial difficulties. DCC is to announce its funding for the Estuary Partnerships some time this month.
The next Devon Estuary Officer Group meeting will be held on the Taw Torridge Estuary. More details to follow.

(b) Braunton Burrows UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve:

Regional Governance and Biosphere Reserves: Dr. Kim Pollermann:
Dr. Kim Pollermann of Hannover University in Northern Germany was conducting research into new patterns of Regional governance, looking into 5 case studies of Biosphere Reserves – 3 in Germany and 2 in the UK. The research is based on the use of interviews, with around 15 to 20 persons in every region and on analysis of the content of relevant documents.
Copies of the draft report from Dr. Pollermann giving his findings were circulated to members.
His survey of various bodies associated with the BR, put the Forum in first place in North Devon, with a score of 7.7 and second overall in the UK to Eco-Dyfi, which had a score of 8.0. 
The full report has now been published and the Chairman awaits her copy, which will be made available to anyone who wishes to see it.
A copy of the Summary will be placed in the Braunton Burrows Files and also on the website 

UNESCO Man and the Biosphere World Newsletter:
Copies of this Newsletter were made available to members also a copy will be placed in the Braunton Burrows Files.

Biosphere Reserve Strategy: Andy Bell (Biosphere Co-ordinator):
Andy Bell reported that the NDCCS was producing a Sustainable Development Strategy in order to explain to all the different authorities working in the area what a Biosphere Reserve really is.
Several working groups are set up to discuss the various aspects:-
 Wed.17th Jan. a.m. – Topic – culture including access
 Wed. 17th Jan. p.m. – Lifelong learning.
 Thurs. 18th. Jan. a.m. – Farming and forestry.
 Thurs. 18th. Jan p.m. – Climate Change.
 Fri. 19th. Jan. a.m. – Community Wellbeing
 Mon. 22nd. Jan. p.m. – Marine and Estuary, International Collaboration.
These groups are to produce a sustainable development draft for the Partnership to consider on January 30th.
This meeting will lead to a 6-week consultation period. The document will then be refined and reviewed by April / early May.

Update on Public Meeting on 16th. November 2006: James Diamond (NE):
James Diamond said that the results of this meeting would be available in two weeks. The Chairman said that she would circulate them to members when she received them; also she would place a copy in the Braunton Burrows Files.

Braunton Burrows B.R. Report Core Area: John Breeds Education Warden:
1.Staffing The Braunton Burrows Education Warden contract has been revised with combined funding from NE and MoD.
2. Management: Grazing – The Flats, to the east of the American Road, were being grazed by 64 cattle until the end of October.
Scrub Clearance – Major scrub clearance has taken place within the grazing trial plot.
3. Flora and Fauna: - As a result of the prevailing mild conditions a pair of common darter dragonflies were observed laying eggs on Nov 18th and the first crested newts were recorded in I lane pond on 14th Jan.
4 dead and one live guillemot were washed up on the beach in the beginning of January.
4. Research and Monitoring: - Despite the winter rain the water table readings remained lower than usual.
Regular rabbit counts have continued with no significant change.
5. Undesirable Activities: - The pollution from dog excrement is still an on going problem.
Civilian scramblers have been regularly trespassing throughout the dune system. Following complaints, the Warden advised the people to inform the Police and the Landowner.
6. Publicity: - Display boards about the flora, fauna and management of Braunton Burrows were erected in the foyer of Barnstaple Library from October 28th to November 12th.
A public information meeting concerning various issues on the Burrows was held in Braunton Parish Hall on Thurs. 16th November.
A talk was given to accommodation providers at the DWT ‘wildlife and green tourism’ workshop at Croyde.
7. Future Events: - The 2007 summer events programme has been drafted.
The Warden has qualified as a guide for the ‘ walk and talk’ initiative and will be leading 6 of these health walks on the Burrows and others in the wider biosphere area.
A series of 14 talks is again being planned.
8. Education Groups: - Four groups of ‘A’ level students were given talks on the management and succession of the dunes and were assisted with their fieldwork.
Illustrated talks have been given to the Dolton group of the DWT and Marwood Women’s Fellowship.
This Report can be seen in full on the TTEF website: 
The report will also be placed in the Braunton Burrows Files.

Braunton Burrows Files:
These files were all updated at the end of November, and as soon as Natural England’s report is received, the chairman will update the files again.
The Chairman said that the forum is very grateful to Carol Butler for ensuring that the updates are distributed within the Library Service.

(c) North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty:
A Report of the ND AONB from Linda Blanchard, Manager of the North Devon AONB Unit was circulated to members.
Linda Blanchard comes to the TTEF annually to report on the AONB and she has requested that she attends the next TTEF meeting to give a presentation.
There is a meeting of the ND AONB Partnership on Friday, 26th January.
Under-grounding of cables: Richard Butler reported that the National Association of AONBs had met with OFGEM to discuss the matter. OFGEM had explained that they would like to get the gas and electricity companies to be a little more sustainable in the environment. They have set up an Innovation Fund to encourage companies to invest ½ % of their revenue to aid research into everything from the design of pylons to the under-grounding of cables.
In responding to this initiative, Western Power has proved to be particularly unhelpful in this and appears to be the only company to refuse to co-operate. 
Richard Butler suggested that he should look into this response from Western Power and should gain more information. He would then pass it on to the Chairman for her to write to Western Power (with copies to OFGEM, CPRE, and National Assoc. AONB to express the concerns of the Forum at the lack of co-operation on Western Power’s part.

(d) Knapp House:
The Chairman had spoken to Robert Harwood at the Environment Agency about Knapp House. He said that the Agency were well aware of the importance of transitional saltmarshes to the Estuary. The initial decision made by the EA on the re-instatement of the flood defence bank at Knapp House has had a knock-on effect on the decisions that can now be made.
Having now appreciated that a transitional salt marsh had been created as a result of the breach, the EA is negotiating with the landowner to try and arrive at an agreement to ensure that the salt marsh should continue to be inundated by salt water, thereby ensuring the survival of the transitional salt marsh. To date, there has been no particular progress.
The exemption to use waste material for filling in the bank ran out in October or November, but has now been reissued.
There were also pollution problems found associated with a septic tank and soak-away at the site. These problems have now been resolved to the satisfaction of the Agency.
Stuart Corbett (EA) reported that there was to be a site meeting with the landowner, and the EA, the NDCCS were also to be in attendance.

(e) Moorings Code of Practice: Feedback and Stage II:
All feedback received so far has been positive. Tony Pratt added that the NDYC was discussing the issue at its meeting on the following Wednesday.
The Chairman said that it was always intended that the Code of Practice would be Stage I of an ongoing process looking into mooring and abandoned boats in the Estuary. Now is the time to move on to Stage II.
Roger Hoad suggested that as TDC were considering taking on the lease of areas of the river bed from Bideford to Yelland from the Crown which had been released by NDDC, it seemed sensible to wait until the future of the leases has been decided. The Chairman could then re-convene the meeting of the Moorings Committee.

(f) Appledore Slipway:
The report about the 2005 Slipway Warden Scheme is not yet available. Simon Toon of the TDC Car Parks Dept. is hoping to present a report to TDC Members at the meeting of the Development and Trading Services Committee on 13th February 2007, which will provide a draft policy for the use and management of the slipway.
Simon Toon promised to let the Chairman know what decision was taken by the TDC Committee and to forward a copy of the report, when it is published.
The Chairman will then circulate the report to TTEF members.

Launching from Chivenor:
The Chairman had spoken to Dave Perkins (RMB Chivenor), and he has confirmed that civilians would no longer be able to launch from the Chivenor Slipway this coming season. The slip is rented from the Defence Estates, who will now charge a commercial rate if civilians use the slip.
Dave Perkins also confirmed that all of the 8 or 9 civilians launching from the Chivenor slip have 3rd party insurance, respect the Codes of Conduct and the registration scheme.
He also said that he would support the TTEF in writing to Col W. Taylor, the Commanding Officer of RMB Chivenor, to ask if there was any chance that he could influence this decision in favour of the personal watercraft users.
The Chairman is to write to Col. W. Taylor OBE, CO of RMB Chivenor, and also to notify the Toll Keeper on Braunton Burrows of these 8 or 9 PWC users, so that they can launch at the White House. She would also notify Ben Totterdell, who facilitates the TTEF Registration Scheme.

District Council: Local Strategic Partnerships:
The Forum continues to be involved in the Local Strategic Partnerships.- The Torridge LSP was held on 7th December.
North Devon LSP will be 22nd January.
The Torridge LSP will be liaising with Andy Bell over the three Environment Themes.

(h) Estuary Modelling and the Shoreline Management II:
Andy Bell reported that due to delays with the data, the report on the Estuary Modelling due in January, would not now be ready until March.
He also made a request for any photographs of the Estuary that could be dated accurately
James Diamond reported that the 2010 SMP is in the Defra Programme. There is a steering group set up to initiate the process and set the budget.

9. URGENT MATTERS brought forward by the Chairman:


• NDDC: Proposed Demolition of the Former Sussmann Factory to from 29 units of Mixed Commercial Use. Application No:-43250
• NDDC: Outline Application for the comprehensive development of the site at Leaderflush & Shapland, Raleigh Works, Taw Wharf, Barnstaple.
• Environment Agency: River Basin Planning – Deadline: end of March 2007.
• Appledore Fish Dock: The Response to this application has already been circulated. It was reported that TDC was no longer proceeding with the jetty as they did not have the funds.
• Development Briefs for Anchorwood Bank, Bear Street/Queen Street, etc and Best Practice Note for Developer Contributions. No comments were received from members.
• 22 Affordable Homes at Velator Bridge: Comments were received from Braunton Marsh Internal Drainage Board and Braunton Marsh Inspectors concerning this application. Their comments were included in the response. A copy of this response was handed out to members.

The Chairman suggested that a small sub-committee should be set up to discuss responses to these consultations and she was asked to suggest suitable dates.

12. AGENDA ITEMS proposed for the next meeting:

 North Devon AONB Annual Report and Presentation.

 Draft Biosphere Reserve Strategy.


a) Roger Hoad, TDC, mentioned that the Travis Perkins Site, Bideford, had a planning Application submitted.
b) Caroline Roberts DWT, reported that the DWT Newsletter would be available at the next meeting.
c) Chris Hassall, Rolle Canal Soc., announced a Rolle Canal Exhibition, at the Burton Art Gallery on 1st February, at 7.30.p.m.
d) Wendy Dale RNLI, reported that with the appointment of a new mechanic, there was now a full complement of personnel at Appledore Lifeboat Station.

14. DATES and VENUES of Meetings for the Forthcoming Year:
 Monday 16th April 2007 at Barnstaple Civic Centre.
 Monday: 16th July 2007. at Bideford Town Hall.
 Monday: 15th October 2007. at Barnstaple Civic Centre.
 Monday: 21st. January 2008. at Bideford Town Hall. AGM
 All meetings to commence at 7.0.p.m.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.17.p.m.


Environment Agency: Your Environment. November – January 2007 – Issue 13
Environment Agency: Your Environment. August – October 2006 – Issue 12
Environment Agency: Fit for the Future – Briefing Notes 3 and 4
Coastal Partnerships Working Group Update – December 2006
Dart Estuary Update
Newsletter of the Dart Estuary Environmental Management – Autumn 2006
Devon Wildlife Trust – Catchment Connections – Autumn 2006
Teign Estuary Partnership – Teignscene – Winter 2006/7
Torridge Together LSP – Agenda and Papers – 7th. December 2006
North Devon Natural History Network – 2006-7 Calendar of Events
Government Office of the South West - Greener Events Guide
Coastal Futures: Climate Change and the Environment – Briefing – 30th. November 2006
West Cork Sailing and Powerboating Centre
Groundwork 2006
Groundwork: On the Ground – Newsletter – Spring 2006 – Issue 9
North Devon Food & Drink Safari – 20th.-22nd. October 2006
AONB Magazine: Outstanding – Autumn 2006
ND Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – Newsletter – Autumn and Winter 06/07
South West Protected Landscapes Forum: Natural Partners – Arts in the Protected Landscape
CPRE: Countryside Voice – Autumn 2006
Green Books – Autumn and Winter 2006 – Catalogue
The Open University/BBC: Coast – Leaflet
The Open University/BBC: Ozone – Magazine – Autumn/Winter 2006
RSPB: Information Leaflet
DCC: Devon Mineral Update: December 2006
DCC: Devon Minerals Update: Issue 2: January 2007