Forum‎ > ‎Main Meeting Minutes‎ > ‎

July 2007

MINUTES of the Meeting held on 16th. July, 2007 at 7p.m. at Bideford Town Hall.


MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. R. Day, Chairman, (Instow PC and CPRE), Mr. D. Graham, (MoD. ATTURM), Capt. P. Fronteras, (Westleigh PC.and MVS), Mr. J. Daniel, (TTNets), Mr. G. Cox, (BARC), Mr. A. Gladwin, (Devon Birds), Cllr.T.Johns,(Bideford Town Council), Mr. C. Hassall, (Rolle Canal Soc), Cllr. B. Hockin, Cllr. D. Harris, (Fremington PC), Mr. S. Corbett, (EA), Mr. S. Shambrook, (RMB Chivenor), Mr. A. Bell, (NDCCS), Mr. J. Hartnoll, (Marsh Inspector), Mr. J. Diamond, (Natural England), Mr. J. Breeds, MBE, (MoD./NE.Education Warden), Cllr. P. Hames,(Northam TC), Mr. A. Atkinson,(Appledore Sea Anglers), Cllr.Mrs. M. Shapland, (BrauntonPC), Mrs.A. Humphris Hon.Sec.


1. APOLOGIES for ABSENCE: Mr. T. Pratt, Vice-Chairman, (NDYC), Cllr. R. Knight, (Barnstaple TC), Mr. R. Butler, (UK.MAB), Mrs. L. Blanchard, (AONB), Mr. M. Davies, (RSPB), Mr. T. Squire, (ND Waterski Club), Mr. L. Oldham, (ND Wildfowlers), Capt. R. Hoad, (Bideford Harbour Master), Lt Col. M. Portman, (Fremington Camp).


The Chairman welcomed The Maritime Volunteer Service as a new member organisation and Cllr. Harris, and Cllr. Johns as representatives from Fremington PC and Bideford TC, respectively. She also offered congratulations to John Breeds on being awarded the MBE. in the Queens Honours List.


2. PRESENTATION:                Taw Torridge Estuary Geomorphology and Management.

Andrew Bell, Chair of Taw Torridge Coastal Officers Group,

Manager of the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service, and Biosphere Reserve Co-ordinator.

Andrew Bell gave a talk on the Geomorphology and Management Study completed by Professor J. Pethick in February 2007.

The Executive Summary.


This report presents a study of the Taw Torridge Estuary and its adjacent coast. The aim is to provide a detailed explanation of the components and function of this complex geomorphological system upon which future management decisions may be based.

This study relies on two distinct modelling approaches: development of a conceptual model of the estuarine system and application of a series of computer-based models.

Conceptual model: Open coast.

The conceptual model concluded that the open coast of Bideford Bay is dominated by a counter-clockwise tidal gyre that re-circulates sandy sediment northwards along the nearshore and coast with a southerly return in the offshore zone. This re-circulatory system explains the continued northerly movement of sediment along the coast despite the lack of any sediment inputs to the Bay, or of massive erosion of the coast.

Conceptual model: Tidal delta.

The Taw-Torridge Estuary presents a major obstacle to the northerly movements of sediment along the open coast and, equally, the longshore movement of sand also tends to restrict the entrance to the estuary. This mutual antipathy is overcome by a complex morphological development: the tidal delta.

Conceptual model: the Pebble Ridge.

The Pebble Ridge along the Northam Burrows shore is a minor component of this overall coastal system.

Conceptual model: the Estuary

The conceptual model of the Taw-Torridge estuary concluded that both the Taw and the Torridge are still in the process of adjustment to the rapid rise in sea level after the last glaciation, during the Holocene period. The Taw has a wide valley floor that is only slowly filling due to the lack of muddy sediment. This infill proceeds in a seaward direction starting at the inner reaches of the estuary.

The Torridge, in contrast to the Taw, has a very narrow valley floor and its steep valley sides constrain the width of the estuarine channel so that it is much deeper than the corresponding sections of the Taw.

Regime model

The quantitative modelling of the estuaries of the Taw and Torridge provided additional information to complement that developed in the conceptual modelling stage. The basic model employed was a regime model. This defines the relationship between tidal volume and channel size using a sample of west coast estuaries and this relationship was then applied to the Taw-Torridge system.

Regime model: sea level rise.

The study went on to predict the response of the Taw-Torridge estuary to the rise in sea level over the next 100 years, put at just under 1m by Defra.

Management issues

Although the intention of the study was to provide the basis for management of the estuary rather than offer management advice itself, some consideration was given to the probable status of the estuarine flood defences over the next 100 years as a result of sea level rise.

Three other management issues were briefly considered in the study. These were the erosion at Crow Point, sand accretion on the Instow foreshore and the erosion of the Pebble Ridge.

The management of the Pebble Ridge is more complex particularly in view of the multiple use of the land behind the ridge including the landfill site.


It is emphasised that the intention of this study was to provide a coherent geomorphological model of the Taw-Torridge estuary and coast upon which local planning and management decisions could be based. The work has attempted to do this and to provide appropriate quantified estimates of change over the next 100 years as a result of climate change. It is acknowledged however, that the Taw-Torridge estuarine system is an extremely complex one and that the basic model resulting from this study should be seen as only the first stage in the process of understanding this important and beautiful area.

A copy of the Executive Summary of Professor Pethick’s Study was handed out to members at the meeting. It can also be obtained from the TTEF website:

The Chairman suggested that a presentation similar to the one given by Andy Bell for the Bideford side of the estuary, should be offered to the member organisations on the Barnstaple and Braunton  side of the estuary and to any other interested organisations.

This was approved by the members and left for the Chairman and Andy Bell to arrange.


3. MINUTES of PREVIOUS MEETING: Monday, April 16th 2007.

The Chairman wished an amendment to be made to the minutes. The Chairman had declared an interest in Northam Burrows as her husband is a member at RNDGC. The minutes were duly corrected.

James Diamond proposed and Brian Hockin seconded the adoption of the minutes, and the members voted unanimously to adopt them.


4. MATTERS ARISING from the Minutes:

(a) Estuary Report: Including:

bulletTTEF Update – 24th. April 2007
bulletTTEF Update – 29th. May 2007
bulletTTEF Update – 7th. June 2007
bulletTTEF Update – 24th. June 2007

All matters in Updates were either dealt with in later Agenda items, or were information items.

The Chairman gave out copies to members of:-

bulletEstuary Report (Newsletter) September 3rd 2007. containing:-
bulletTTEF Visit to Braunton Marsh
bulletNortham Burrows – Disused Landfill Site
bulletEA Bathing Beach Monitoring:
bulletEstuary Geomorphology Study – Braunton:
bulletEA Fish Survey – 13th. September 2007:
bulletOur Coast – Course Programme:
bulletND AONB – New Volunteer Co-ordinator:
bulletLandmarc: Event at Fremington Camp:
bulletDWT: Staff changes and new address:
bulletKathleen & May Appeal:
bulletOther Information Items:
bulletBathing Beach Monitoring – Saunton, Instow Westward Ho!
bulletNortham Landfill Site – e-mail from Ben Jennings, County Waste Manager
bulletAtlantic Array – brochure
bulletBideford Harbour Master’s report.

The Chairman announced that the TTEF had received a certificate for the Braunton Marsh Management Study from the Barnstaple and District Civic Society in their Annual Conservation Awards 2007.


(b) North Devon’s UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve:

Biosphere Reserve Strategy: Andy Bell explained the finer points of the Strategy and asked for feedback from members and member organisations.

A copy of the Summary of Biosphere Reserve Strategy for Sustainable Development 2007-2012 was handed out to members. A sub- committee was to meet over the summer to discuss this.

Kenya Project:  Andy Bell reported on the project which was a different type of twinning within the biosphere communities, also between the participating schools. A visiting group from Kenya were to visit the South West to look at Education, Tourism and Conservation Management. There will be trips to Lundy and the Eden Project before the group return to Kenya. Later there is to be a reciprocal visit to Kenya.

Braunton Burrows Core Area Report: John Breeds, MBE. Braunton Burrows Education Officer.

Management – (i) Grazing. Seasonal grazing has increased slightly on the previously grazed areas.

(ii) Biosphere Volunteers Conservation Tasks. Five volunteers help regularly with tasks such as monitoring the water tables and recording Flora and Fauna. Tasks include collecting beach and foredune litter and bracken cutting. The summer task programme continues with butterfly and water germander surveys and a moth trapping session.


Flora and Fauna: Wet conditions have produced an exceptionally vigorous growth of vegetation this season, increasing the spread of scrub, mostly bramble, privet and sallow, that is progressively choking the flora.

The former car park area in Broadsands where vehicles are now excluded is showing interesting recolonisation on many of the bare areas with the principal pioneer species being Sand toadflax and Sticky Stork’s-bill along with the re-establishment of carpets of Thyme rich turf.

The monthly water table and rainfall readings have continued and the exceptionally high rainfall has raised water levels with some of the excavated wet slacks becoming flooded. Seven rabbit counts have been carried out.

Undesirable Activities: The dog mess in and around Sandy Lane Car park has significantly decreased since 5 new dog bins were placed in and around the car park.

Publicity: Braunton Burrows display boards were exhibited and manned at Rock Park for the Walking Festival and Rosemoor for the ‘Go Wild in the Garden ‘ event. They were also displayed at Barnstaple Library and the Landmark Theatre.

Events: 12 public walks have taken place attracting a total of 191 participants.

The ‘Walk and Talk’ walk to Health on the Burrows attracted 15 people.

A series of 15 evening talks on the subjects of local interest are to take place weekly at Braunton Countryside Centre.

Education Groups: A number of groups have been guided around the Burrows.

The ‘A’ level fieldwork session with Bideford and West Buckland Schools was filmed by Neil Worth for use in a new interactive website project featuring 5 local schools carrying out fieldwork in the local environment.

A copy of ‘Illustrated Talks ‘at the Braunton Countryside Centre was handed out to members and will also be placed on the forum website.

The full report can be seen on the forum website: -


(c) North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Report.

Richard Butler, ND AONB Chairman had prepared a written report, which was handed out to members.


(d) Appledore Churchfields Slip: Report from Paul Fronteras, Maritime Volunteer Service.

Paul Fronteras reported that the MVS is providing a service to the community by steering them towards the Estuary Code of Conduct. If boat owners want to launch from Churchfields Slip, they are required to register and have 3rd. party Insurance. Paul Fronteras did raise concerns that by policing the slip for Torridge District Council and collecting the slipway dues, it has alienated a lot of local people who are very unhappy at having to pay a launching fee. Also at busy times, all the checks take time and some must slip through without paying.

A copy of this report was handed out to members at the meeting

The Chairman said that she would pass on the comments expressed to TDC. She also commented that the Maritime Volunteer Service had made a huge difference to the running of the Appledore Slip and a debt of gratitude was owed to the MVS.


(e) Fremington Quay: Clay Pigeon Shooting:

There had been further emls from Mr. Jury, Chairman, of Fremington PC, but no further progress had been made.

Lt Col Portman had sent a report to the meeting. He had looked at various aspects of the clay pigeon shooting at Fremington Training Camp as requested at the last Forum Meeting.

He had now purchased 10,000 steel shot cardboard biodegradable wadded cartridges and these have been used for the last month.

For the whole of this year and part of last year, each unit using the facility has cleared the tide line of the plastic wads, before and after shooting.

It had been suggested that when Peter Mullen had canvassed local opinion in the Fremington area to see if there were any particular times, days of the week etc, when clay pigeon shooting might be minimised, he would meet up with Lt. Col Portman to discuss this.

Peter Mullen is no longer a Fremington Parish Councillor.

The Chairman asked the Representative of Fremington Parish Council to take back to the council the comments that Lt. Col. Portman had made and she urged them to progress this matter. It was also pointed out that the MOD was looking to take over the lease of the foreshore in that area.

The Chairman also asked the representative of Natural England to walk the foreshore in that area to see what the situation was.


The Chairman had had an invitation to a Local Residents’ Social Evening in the Officers’ Mess at Fremington Camp on Friday, 3rd August 2007. The Chairman of Fremington Parish Council had also been invited.


(f) Visit to Braunton Marsh:          Saturday, 15th. September 2007

Details will be sent out when finalised, but provisionally all to meet at Vivian Moon Centre in Braunton, to be transported onto the Marsh, returning for a cream tea at the Vivian Moon Centre.


(g) District Council Liaison: As there were no Liaison Officers present at the meeting, there were no reports.

The Chairman reported that the TTEF is no longer on the LSPs of Torridge and North Devon, following the merger of these two LSPs. The Forum will be included in the LSP Federation instead – a sort of Extended Forum that will meet once or twice a year. Marguerite Shapland will be a member of the LSP and has agreed to keep the Forum informed on all matters.


5.BROADSANDS BEACH: A copy of a letter to John Hartnoll about cars, boats and disturbance to the one nesting Ringed Plover in the Taw Torridge Estuary this year, (no young were successfully reared), was handed out to members.

This matter has been discussed by the Marsh Inspectors and by the Marsh Internal Drainage Board.

The Chairman is to help John Hartnoll to put together a leaflet to be handed out at the Toll House.

It is to educate the Public on:-

Ø      Parking

Ø      No driving on the beach – except to launch boat but must then take car and trailer to car park.

Ø      Respect wildlife

Ø      To reinforce Estuary Code of Conduct with designated areas for particular activities.

Ø      Boat Registration

If people persist in parking on the beach, the access will be closed off by the Marsh Inspectors.

 Marguerite Shapland said that Braunton Parish Council were in agreement with these actions.


6. URGENT MATTERS brought forward by the Chairman: None.


7. CONSULTATIONS:  Torridge and Hartland Streams CAMS – Deadline 30th July.

                               Defra: Improving Access to the English Coast – Deadline 11th. September.

A sub committee would be arranged to meet to discuss responses to these consultations.

Following the sub- committee held on April 17th, copies of the letters of response to the following consultations were circulated:

bulletDCC: Yelland Power Station – Completion of Capping of Ashbeds
bulletEnlargement and continuation of Use of Transfer Station.
bulletRMB Chivenor: Notice of Application for Variation of Consent .


8. CORRESPONDENCE: A list of Correspondence received is at the end of the Minutes.


9. AGENDA ITEMS proposed for the next Meeting:

                                                      Atlantic Array – The World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm.



                        Andrew Atkinson expressed concern on behalf of boat owners in the Estuary, about the possible charges to be made by new lease holders of the foreshore.


11. Dates and Venues of Meetings for the Forthcoming Year:

Monday, 15th. October 2007 at Barnstaple Civic Centre at 7.00 p.m.

Monday, 21st January 2008 at Bideford Town Hall AGM, at 7.00p.m.


There being no other business, the meeting closed at 9.22.p.m.






Ilfracombe Ferry Proposals:

DCC Devon Minerals Update:

Newsletter Issue 4: 4th. May, 2007

Available from:

Environment, Economy and Culture Directorate

Devon County Council

Lucombe House, County Hall, Exeter. EX2 4QW


Telephone: 01392 383510

Mineral Core Strategy Page of DCC Website:

Workshop Website: DCC Consultant Adams Hendry:

Integrated Coastal Zone Management:

A Summary of Responses to the consultation:

‘Promoting an integrated approach to management of

the coastal zone (ICZM) in England’

is available on:

Ilfracombe Ferry Proposals:

DCC Devon Minerals Update:

Newsletter Issue 4: 4th. May, 2007

Available from:

Environment, Economy and Culture Directorate

Devon County Council, Lucombe House, County Hall ,Exeter. EX2 4QW


Telephone: 01392 383510

Mineral Core Strategy Page of DCC Website:

Workshop Website: DCC Consultant Adams Hendry:

Integrated Coastal Zone Management:

A Summary of Responses to the consultation:

‘Promoting an integrated approach to management of the coastal zone (ICZM) in England’ is available on:

or a printed copy is available upon request to:

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Marine Environment Division

Marine Planning and Coastal Integration

Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Room 2C, 3-8, Whitehall Place, LONDON. SW1A 2HH.

Consultation Paper on:

Improving Access to the English Coast

(issued 19th. June 2007)


or obtained by post from Stephen Collins at the Defra address above

Response Deadline: Tuesday, 11th. September 2007


North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty:

State of the Environment: Project News – June 2007


National Trust: North Devon Coast – Events 2007:

or Telephone: (01271) 850887

Biosphere Reserve  Field Seminars 2007: Hallsannery Field Centre

Westward Ho! Coastal Management: Sunday, 29th. July:10am to 4pm

Telephone: (01237) 472135

South West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme:

Plymouth Coastal Observatory News:

Environment Agency: River Basin Planning Newsletter:


NDDC Barnstaple Conservation Area Appraisal:

Historic developments and documents

Officer: Mr. Richard Bland – Telephone: (01271) 388352


Devon Area Estuary Officers’ Meeting – 19th. June, 2007:

Minutes of meeting – 19th. December, 2006

·          Durlstone Head to Rame Head Shoreline Management Plan:

What does it mean to you? – Leaflet x4

·          Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum – Update

·          Devon Wildlife Trust Update

·          Avon Estuary and Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary

CPRE: Countryside Voice – Magazine

North Devon Group – Newsletter July 2007


Environment Agency: Your Environment Supplement

Could this save us from flooding? – Magazine


EROCIPS: Project Final Conference Registration Form

6th. and 7th. September 2007

EROCIPS Project Management Team, Room A226, County Hall,Topsham Road, Exeter. EX2 4QW


telephone: 01392 383875

North Devon AONB Partnership Minutes and Papers

National Association of AONBs: National Conference Notes and Papers


Torridge Together, Torridge Local Strategic Partnership – Minutes and Papers

North Devon Alliance, North Devon Local Strategic Partnership – Minutes and Papers


Environment Agency: Torridge and Hartland Streams Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy:

Consultation Document: May 2007

Karen Gowlett,

Technical Officer (CAMS),

Exminster House, Exminster, Devon. EX6 8AS

Telephone: 01392 316214


Deadline: 30th. July, 2007