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July 2008

MINUTES for the meeting held on Monday 21st April 2008 at the Civic Centre, Barnstaple.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. R. Day, Chairman,(Instow PC, CPRE), Mr. S. McKay, (EA), Mr. J. Hartnoll, (Braunton Marsh Inspector), LT Col M. Portman, (Fremington Training Camp), Cllr. W. Silver,(Fremington PC), Mr. L. Oldham, (TT Wildfowling Club), Mr. P. Fronteras, (Westleigh PC and MVS), Mr. S. Brown, (MVS), Mr. A. Atkinson, (ND Sea Anglers), Mr. S.C.Squire, (ND Waterski Club), Mr. C.P.Hassall, (Rolle Canal Society), Mr. A. Bell, (ND Biosphere Reserve), Dr. M. Moser, (Biosphere Reserve Partnership), Mr. R. K. Butler, MBE, (UKMAB), Mr. D. Graham, (RM Instow), Mr. S Shambrook, (RMB Chivenor), Mr. G. Cox, (Bideford ARC), Mrs. A. Humphris, Hon. Sec.

1. APOLOGIES for ABSENCE: Mr. T. Pratt, Vice-Chairman, (NDYC), Mrs. W. Dale, (RNLI), Cllr. Mrs, M. Shapland, (Braunton PC), Cllr T. Johns, (Bideford TC), Mr. J. Gillet / Ms. C. Guthrie, (NE), Mr. J. Lee, (NDDC), Cllr. P. Hames, (Northam TC), Cllr. G. Holder, (Ashford PC), Ms. C. Jones, (DWT), Mr. J. Breeds, MBE, (Br Burrows Education Officer), Ms. K. James, (Explore Braunton), Mr. A. Gladwin, (Devon Birds).

2. MINUTES of PREVIOUS MEETING: Monday, 21st. January, 2008.
Richard Butler proposed and David Graham seconded the adoption of the minutes, and members voted unanimously to adopt them. 

3. MATTERS ARISING from the Minutes:

(a) Estuary Report: Including:
 TTEF Newsletter – 17th. February 2008.

Review of Shoreline Management Plan Review:
Andy Bell informed the Forum that the Review would begin in September and that all Member Organisations will be consulted in due course.

Enhancement of Velator Quay at Braunton:
There is nothing further to report at the moment. Cllr. Mrs. Palmer of Braunton Parish Council will notify the Forum when she has heard more about the funding
Westleigh, Instow and West Yelland Community on Show Day: Saturday, 5th. July 2008:
The TTEF had been asked to run a stand at this event. As there were no offers of help, the Forum will not be exhibiting. Devon Birdwatching and Preservation Society and The MVS will be there, so maybe they would put some literature from the TTEF on their stands.

 TTEF Newsletter – 29th. March 2008.

Devon Maritime Forum – Spring Forum Meeting – 15th. May 2008 at Royal William Yard, Plymouth:
This will be a very interesting conference, as it will provide an early opportunity to discuss and explore the Draft Marine Bill. The Chairman will be attending the conference. If members want to attend, please contact Jim Masters of Devon Maritime Forum – details are in the March Newsletter.

Devon Maritime Forum – Consultation on Estuary Partnerships – Options and Future Funding:
Information about the report had been sent out to everyone. Members were asked to let the Chairman have any comments.
A copy of the Pre-consultation response on behalf of the TTEF and the Joint Devon Estuary Officers’ response were handed out to members.

Bideford 500 – A Unique Maritime Inheritance: Public Meeting on Saturday, 12th. April 2008.
David Graham representing the TTEF at this meeting reported that the presentation was given by Pauline Smith, whose work on this project was funded by an offshoot of the Bideford Regeneration Initiative. Pauline Smith’s contention was that the Maritime History of Bideford was both unique and important. So much so that it could form a focus for local development and the basis of a strategy for marketing the town nationally and internationally.
Pauline Smith sought support for further research and ideas to take the concept further. Members were asked to contact Pauline Smith if they had any ideas.
A copy of the report of the meeting was handed out to members at the meeting.
The Chairman thanked David Graham for his report.

 TTEF Newsletter and Estuary Report – 21st. April, 2008. including:

A Marine Current Turbine is to be installed in Ireland:
The world’s first turbine to create commercial amounts of electricity from tidal energy is to be installed in Northern Ireland. The installation of the SeaGen commercial energy system will begin in August at the mouth of Strangford Lough, which is one of the fastest tidal rivers in the world.

Gaia Trust: Home Farm Marsh approved as Devon County Wildlife Site:
In addition the Gaia Trust has launched a website.
Copies of the existing Gaia Trust Leaflet, showing what there is to see at Home Farm Marsh, will be delivered to the Fremington Quay Café in a couple of weeks.

Trinity House: Two new buoys laid and outer pulleys light buoys moved:
Captain Roger Hoad, Bideford Harbour Master has notified the forum that Trinity House has recently laid two new buoys in the Taw Torridge Estuary:- Greysand Light Buoy,, Crow Point S Light Buoy and Outer Pulley Light Buoy.

Braunton Marsh: BBC Countryfile – Roland Dibble interviewed:
Under the title “Sluice Man Video Diary”, Braunton Marsh Inspector Roland Dibble has been interviewed for the BBC‘s Countryfile Programme, broadcast on Sunday, 20th April at 11a.m.
The Chairman had been contacted by Countryfile a week ago, as they wanted background information about the TTEF Management Study for Braunton Marsh.
A copy of the Newsletter was handed out to members. 
An updated version of the Newsletter 21.4.08 would be sent out by eml after the meeting
All Newsletters can be seen in full on the TTEF website – 

Taw Torridge Estuary as a Wildlife Corridor:
The Chairman had been contacted by Miranda Cox of Northam TC, pointing out that the Estuary is not noted in the TDC plans as a wildlife corridor. It was decided that the Chairman should write to support Northam TC when they put the matter forward to TDC.

Report from Bideford Harbour Master and Taw Torridge Estuary Pilot:
As the Harbour Master was not present at the meeting, there was no report. The Chairman suggested that as soon as a report was received, she would place it on the website.

(b) North Devon’s UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve: Reports:
• Dr. Mike Moser, Chairman of the Biosphere Reserve Partnership.
Dr. Moser came along to the meeting to explain his role, since becoming Chairman of the Biosphere Reserve Partnership 12 months ago. He wished to point out the progress that had been made, and the challenges for the future. 
He began by praising the TTEF for what they had achieved within the Biosphere Reserve Partnership Group, also being the only voluntary led group, working successfully within the estuary partnership of this very important area.
He went on to explain his own very varied working background especially his connections with biosphere reserves. His international and national work raised 4 particular issues, which led to his particular interest in the Braunton Burrows Biosphere Reserve:
1. Biodiversity 
2. Issues and impacts on protected areas 
3. Management – most of the issues are about managing people rather than biodiversity.
4. Government priorities – they usually put biodiversity at the bottom of the pile.
He has become interested in how sites are designated, taking into account both the catchments behind which are impacting the core biodiversity areas, also taking account of the marine areas offshore and the linkages between all of those areas. The estuary, our particular interest, is a designation well ahead of its time. 
There are one or two adjustments to be made, but after a slow start, the Partnership Group are beginning to move forward and the Partnership is working really well.
A Strategy has been published recently with a 5-year Action Plan – copies of that will be distributed shortly. Three working groups have been established:-
1. Outreach – Communication and Education.
2. Environmental Quality – which includes marine areas.
3. Evidence and Assessment.
The Partnership Group are also looking at how they work with existing funding bodies in the area to bring together a more concerted effort to fund the Action Plan.
The Strategy has 8 aims:-
1. Enhance biodiversity.
2. Cultural Heritage and Landscapes.
3. Sustainable use of resources.
4. Climate Change – Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies.
5. The environmental economy.
6. Safe, strong and healthy communities.
7. Education and Learning.
8. Government Issues and International Relations for the Biosphere Reserve.
In implementing the Strategy, the Action Plan is to be carried out by many local bodies. The Partnership has 30+ high- level projects which it wants to carry out in the next 5 years.
Local projects include the completion of the Lundy survey. Little is known about off-shore marine landscapes and habitats.
Priorities for the next 12 months are:-
1. Raising Awareness – this a crucial issue so an outreach group has been established to provide information on what the Biosphere Reserve is, what it means and what it can do for North Devon. This is a high priority project.
2. Relationships with partners in relation to the Action Plan.
3. Funding Opportunities – so far untouched, there are many opportunities in areas nationally and internationally, which can bring money into the area to finance different organisations to do different work.
In answer to a query from a member, Dr. Moser reported on the Handy Gas Site, the BP owned storage Depot which BP have shown willing to hand over to the Biosphere Reserve. There has been a feasibility study, to convert the site to an Outreach Centre. Negotiations are still ongoing.

• John Breeds MBE, Braunton Burrows Education Warden. – Core Area Report:
As John Breeds was not present there was no report.
Mary Breeds had contacted ht e Chairman as she was concerned about the closure of Sandy Lane Car Park as many of the guided walks start from there.
It was also reported that Paul Tamlyn had now withdrawn his Planning Application, regarding the 2 containers in the Car Park.

• Richard Butler MBE, (UK MAB).
Richard Butler informed the meeting that there were reports of new Biosphere Reserves, so that Braunton Burrows would no longer be alone:
the Dovey Estuary in Wales was going very well, their draft submissions to DEFRA and UNESCO is in place.
the submission from the Galloway Hills is also showing very positive signs.

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

• Richard Butler MBE, Chairman of the North Devon AONB Partnership:
Richard Butler reported on a very successful ‘Discovery Day’ which was held at The Milky Way on the 16th of March 2008.
He said that the TTEF stand was very successful. There had been 4,000+ visitors to the Discovery Day and there were many varied events during the day.
It is the 50th Anniversary of the AONB next year.
The AONB has prepared 8 new cultural trails, which are almost ready to be downloaded from the website.
The Sustainable Development Grant for last year is all spent.
He handed out copies of the AONB latest Newsletter which covered the Discovery Day events and other items.

• Explore Braunton Project:
The commentary for the two guided walks – one about Braunton Burrows and Marshes called ‘Shifting Sands’ and the other about the Great Field called ‘Braunton on the Move’ – have now been recorded.
Katie James was now working on the marketing the product and setting up a website.

(d) Estuary Registration Scheme and Leaflet. Update:
(i) Registration Scheme: Report from Ben Totterdell.
He reported that he will be sending out a letter to all registered users with regard to this season’s registration over the next couple of weeks. He will be issuing stickers for craft as well. In the meantime, all registrations from last year will be valid.
(ii) Update of Estuary Leaflet:
A small group of TTEF members met with Ben Totterdell to discuss updating the Leaflet. As the designers were very busy, there was insufficient time to get the leaflet amended and printed, and get the account paid, before 31st March – the end of the financial year for the NDCCS and DCC.
Slipway Wardens started on April 7th. They are working 3 hours before and 1 hour after the high tide.

(e) Knapp House: Update – Nothing to report.

(f) Estuary Ferry Project: Update. Now Tarka Country Ferries: Instow to Appledore Ferry:
This company has now been formed under the charitable banner of Tarka Country Trust. It will operate and develop the North Devon Ferry Project as soon as funding is in place. These negotiations continue and, hopefully will enable the ferry to commence operations next year.

(g) Proposal for Barrage in the Taw Torridge Estuary: The Chairman had given a full report of Mr.Apps’ talk at the Bideford Chamber of Commerce AGM in the March Newsletter.
A copy of the 1997 leaflet was handed to members for information.
The Chairman had written to NDDC and TDC to ask that the TTEF be placed on the list of consultees should this become a formal application.

(h) Sandy Lane Car Park, Braunton Burrows: Already covered in Item 3(b)

(i) Erosion on Northam Burrows: Update.
Report from Adrian Middlewick, Senior Waste Management Officer, Devon County Council:
“The site investigation at Northam Burrows is now being managed by the Council’s partner consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff. They have staff with considerable experience in investigating potentially hazardous waste sites in sensitive areas and producing recommendations for management of the risks associated with them. They are currently researching historic and environmental information regarding the burrows in general and the landfill in particular.
They will as part of their brief be preparing a communications strategy to keep the numerous interested parties informed of planned works.
We are aiming to carry out the works on site on August and September this year. This will allow sufficient time to identify the most appropriate locations for trial pits and obtain the necessary permissions to dig into the burrows. It will also take advantage of the period when the burrows are dry minimising the damage caused to the surface by vehicle movements. We recognise that this coincides with the holiday season and will seek to minimise the impact, by excavating and completing each trial pit, one at a time, ensuring work is taking place on only a small area at any one time.”
A detailed project timetable is expected shortly.

Report from Adrian Rushworth, Area Flood Risk Manager, Environment Agency:
He reported that he would be attending the meeting set up by Andy Bell of the various organisations, but reminded that the Environment Agency has a limited role on the Pebble Ridge but would let the forum know the results of the meeting.
Andy Bell promised to keep the TTEF informed and to send an e-copy of Professor Pethick’s Geomorphology Study of the Taw Torridge Estuary for the TTEF Website.

(j) Devon Area Officers’ Group: 
o Devon Maritime Forum Consultation on Estuary Partnerships in Devon. Covered in 3(a).
The Chairman said that any input from members would be welcomed.

o Coastal Zone Management and the Local Area Agreement:
The Devon Area Estuary Officers met at Topsham on 2nd. March to put together the case for coastal /estuary issues in the Local Area Agreement.
Copies of a summary of responses from this meeting was handed out to members.

(k) Joint NDC/TDC Local Strategic Partnership Delivery Board:
• Local Area Agreement and Sustainable Community Strategy.
The Chairman attended the Devon Strategic Partnership Conference in Exeter on the Local Area Agreement. The ND and Torridge LSP Delivery Board is also putting together its joint response.

(l) District Council Liaison: There were no reports.

4. TTEF Steering Group: 
Richard Butler MBE (in the absence of Group Chairman, Tony Pratt) briefly explained the progress to date. 
Copies of the Minutes of the two meetings had been circulated to members with the Agenda.
Andrew Atkinson proposed and Paul Fronteras seconded the adoption of the Steering Group Minutes of the Meeting on 12th. March and the members voted unanimously to adopt them.
Les Oldham proposed and Andrew Atkinson seconded the adoption of the Minutes of the Meeting of 31st. March, and the members voted unanimously to adopt them.
The next meeting of the Steering Group is on 6th. May.

5. New Draft Marine Bill Consultation: e-mail: 

Devon Maritime Forum: Summary of the Draft Marine Bill: 21 pages long – available from Jim Masters of DMF or from the Chairman.
The Chairman suggested that a subcommittee should be set up to discuss a Consultation Response. She will send out suitable dates. 
6. Other Consultations: (See Newsletters for full details)
NDC: Flood Defence at RMB Chivenor
A copy of the TTEF letter of response was handed out to members.
NDC: Draft Guidance on Use of On-Site Renewable Technologies:
No response made.
NDC: Draft Development Brief for North Devon College Site:
No response made as outside TTEF’s remit.

Devon Maritime Forum: Devon Partnerships – Review of Funding and Future Options.
DEFRA: Draft Marine Bill.
DEFRA: Draft Heritage Protection Bill.
DEFRA: EA Coastal Strategic Overview.
NDC: Manufacturing/Warehouse Unit at Fishleigh Rd./Brannam Cresc., Roundswell. Not within TTEF remit.
BERR: Prosperous Places: Taking Forward the Review of Sub-national Economic Development and Regeneration.
TDC: Reconsultation on Planning Obligations SPD.
TDC: Reconsultation on Planning Obligations SPD Sustainability Appraisal.

7. Urgent Matters brought forward by the Chairman: None

8.Correspondence Received:
Appledore Moorings and Boat Owners’ Association:
The Chairman had been contacted by Mr. Peter Reveley of the Appledore Moorings and Boat Owners’ Association:
He said that last year a number of local moorings owners in Appledore had formed an association to protect their ancient rights. He added that the Association would like to be represented on the TTEF.
It was decided by members to ask Mr. Reveley for the Articles of their Association and then bring the matter back to the Forum to discuss.

ND Waterski Club:
The Secretary had received a letter from John Brooks that he will be retiring as one of the club’s representatives on the TTEF.
The Chairman is to write to John to thank him for his long-standing support of the TTEF.

9. Any Agenda Items proposed for the next Meeting in July:

MCA and General Areas of Navigation.

10. Any Other Business:
 Claude Squire (ND Waterski Club) – He asked if there was any further progress being made with Atlantic Array. Nothing further to report.
 John Hartnoll (Marsh Inspectors) – There was to be no charge at the White House only the charge on the Toll Road. Also they were to liaise with the MVS to help on the water.
 Simon Brown (MVS) – The MVS now has a second boat on the water.
 Andrew Atkinson (ND Sea Anglers) – information on the production of the Draft Recreational Sea Angling Strategy on 31st. March. More information is to be provided by Mr Atkinson.
 Paul Fronteras (MVS - Westleigh PC) – had attended a meeting of TDC to discuss the Kathleen & May site on Brunswick Wharf. TDC say that they propose to sell the site or have something else done with it, in order to gain revenue from the site. No decision was made.
 Les Oldham (ND Wildfowling Club) informed members that there was to be a river clean in May. It was hoped that someone would provide a skip as last year. He also reported sightings of a Hen Marsh Harrier, Eider Duck (in February) and a pair of Short eared Owls on the Estuary.
 It was announced that David Graham (RM Instow) had been appointed an Independent Member of the Bideford Harbour Board.
 The Secretary reminded the members that there were still some outstanding Subscriptions.

11. Dates and Venues of Meetings for the Forthcoming Year:
Monday, 21st. July, 2008 at the Civic Centre, Barnstaple at 7.00p.m.
Monday, 20th October, 2008 at the Civic Centre, Barnstaple at 7.00p.m.
Monday, 19th. January, 2009 at Bideford Town Hall (AGM) at 7.00p.m.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.05p.m.