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October 2006

MINUTES for the Meeting held on Monday, 16th October 2006 at 7.00p.m. at the Civic Centre, Barnstaple.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mrs. R. Day, Chairman, (CPRE and Instow PC), Mr.T.Pratt, Vice-Chairman, (NDYC), Mr.S.C. Squire, (ND Water Ski Club), Mrs. M. Cox, (Northam TC.), Mr. J. Breeds, (Education Warden), Mr. J. Lee, (NDDC.), Mrs M. Shapland, (Braunton PC.), Mr. C. Hassall, (Rolle Canal), Mr. M. Davies, (RSPB.), Mr. A. Bell, (NDCCS, UNESCO BR), Mr. P Mullen, Mr. P. Hocken, (Fremington PC), Mr. l. Oldham, (ND Wildfowling Club), Mr. J. Daniel, (TT Nets), Capt. P Fronteras, (Westleigh PC), Lt Col M.B. Portman, (Fremington Training Camp), Mr. R. Knight, (Barnstaple TC), Ms. C Manning, (TTEF Br. Marsh Project Officer), Mr. S Corbett, (EA), Mrs. A. Humphris, (Hon Sec).

APOLOGIES for ABSENCE: Mrs. W Dale, (RNLI), Dr. P. Beale, (Gaia Trust), Mr. J. Diamond, (Natural England), Mr. N. Davies, (NDPWC), Mr. R McCormack, (TDC), Mr. S. Ambler, (Bid. Canoe Club), Mr. H. Barton, (Bideford TC), Mr. D. Graham, (ATTURM), Mr. A. Atkinson, (Appledore SFC), Miss C. Roberts, (DWT), Mr. S. McKay, (EA).

The Chairman welcomed:-
- Brian Hocken, Fremington PC. to his first meeting.
- Barry Greasley MOD Training Area Supervisor.
- Andrew Moulton former Slipway Manager, at Appledore Churchfield Slip.
Also Mrs. Sarah Hendel-Blackford of the South West Climate Change Impacts Partnership.

2. Presentation: “The Impacts of Climate Change” by Sarah Hendel – Blackford:

Sarah Hendel – Blackford introduced herself as the Manager of S W Climate Change Impacts Partnership (SWCCIP) based with the Environment Agency in Exeter.
She began by explaining that if all greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes ceased forthwith, there would still be the inevitable and unavoidable climate change. Her task with the presentation was to talk about climate change that is already being experienced in the South West and the need to adapt to that.
Mrs Hendel – Blackford said that she hoped to cover the global changes and the impact they have locally, also what scientists suggest we shall experience in the next 50 years and what the implications are for the South West Region.
She showed a series of graphs showing the increase that has been recorded over the last 100 years, with a marked average temperature change of 0.8 – 0.9 in the last year in the S W., 2005 being the hottest year on record. These changes have an impact on migration and the flora as the seasons change; these average temperatures also bring extremes in weather patterns such as heatwaves or flash flooding in areas that have not seen such extremes before. In the South West, sea levels are constantly being recorded and changes in wave heights are being monitored.
The SWCCIP’s mission is to investigate, inform and advise on the impacts of climate change in the S W England. It was established in 2001, chaired jointly by the EA. and Government Office South West, a partnership formed between key regional stakeholders such as the Met Office, National Trust, the Association of British Insurers, SW Water, National, Regional, Local Authorities, in both public and private sector. The emphasis of the Partnership is on Adaptation and in 2003 a study was set up “Warming to the Idea” which was to study S.W. Climate Change Impacts to 2080. From this it is predicted one of the biggest changes will be a sea level rise of between 20 – 80cm. The S W is to experience the biggest rise in the country. The S W will also experience longer, drier summers and milder, wetter winters, with rainfall patterns changing, also heatwaves will be prevalent.
Mrs. Hendel – Blackford went on to explain that the SWCCIP has actually set up six Sector Groups to deal with changes and adaptation in:-
- Agricultural – helping farmers to cope and adapt with changes.
- Biodiversity – Natural England has produced a Nature Map indicating various changes in habitats and offering help to create opportunities for others.
- Housing and Construction – providing help in producing buildings resilient to future climate changes, such as flooding and heatwave.
- Local Government – Local Government Officers are given guidance as to how they can adapt to local climate changes through the Local Authority.
- Tourism – help is provided in coping with the efficient use of water resources etc.
- Utilities – work with all other utilities to inform them how to deal with the changes in supply and demand.
In conclusion Mrs. Hendel - Blackford appealed to everyone to get involved as Climate Change is a “now” issue in the S W and it requires adaptation and mitigation.
The Chairman thanked Mrs. Hendel – Blackford for her very informative talk.

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting: Monday, 17th. July 2006.

Skern Lodge asked that a correction be made to the item 4a Hinks’ Boatyard. “Skern Lodge does not own or have any financial interest in Hinks boatyard. The Application turned down by TDC was nothing to do with us”.
Paul Fronteras proposed and Peter Mullen seconded the adoption of the minutes, and members voted unanimously to adopt them.

4. Matters Arising from the Minutes:
(a) Estuary Report:
TTEF Newsletter – 6th. August 2006.
TTEF Newsletter – 2nd October 2006. Both Newsletters were circulated, all items were for information or were covered on the Agenda.
Coastal Project Officer:
Andy Bell (NDCCS) reported on the Marine Litter Transnational Project, which has taken place on several beaches. He also said that a new Coastal Project Officer has been appointed and she is working on several projects including the Floodplain and Grazing Marsh Project.
Hovercraft looking to operate out of Taw Torridge Estuary: A Ferry owner is looking at the feasibility of the operation but there is no further news at the moment.

Harbour Master’s Report:
Captain Roger Hoad reported that the port of Bideford has had its normal number of large vessel visits during the summer. Additionally there have been several medium sizes work type vessels calling from time to time, including one visit from the motor vessel Balmoral with over 200 passengers. The general public has welcomed the activity on the Quay with the visiting ships and smaller craft. Other shore-based activities have been held on the Quay, eg. Farmers markets, car rallies and the usual regatta and rowing events in the river.
The berths at Bideford have been partly dredged, making the operation of ships much safer in the estuary. One further berth urgently needs to be dredged to accommodate the seasonal increase in shipping during the autumn and winter.
At present it is being determined, in co-operation with the Environment Agency and Natural England etc., whether the port can exercise its 1925 Act of Parliament rights and obligations, without falling foul of other legislation, and sell the sand to pay for the dredging and harbour funds.
The welcome rains seem to have helped clear some of the channels, or at least prevented further build up of silt and sand.
Trinity House is to do a site survey for the new navigation lights at the entrance to the estuary that was requested in August 2005. The new lights should appear next year.
This report can be seen in full on the TTEF website: 

Clay pigeon shooting at Fremington:
The Chairman had met with Lt. Col Portman and Peter Mullen at the camp to talk the matter through. It was left that Lt. Col Portman would review the times, days and frequency that this activity was taking place, and Peter Mullen was to consult with Fremington Parish Council.
Lt Col Portman said that he was looking into purchasing biodegradable cartridges, but so far had been unable to get them. He also said that on the safety aspect, sentries were posted on both sides of the area when shooting was taking place.
Les Oldham offered information where biodegradable cartridges could be obtained. He also pointed out that there was a voluntary ban on shooting on the estuary on a Sunday.
Referring to the previous minutes, Lt. Col Portman pointed out that power kiting had not taken place on Saunton Sands.
The Chairman had been in contact with Mr. Jury from Fremington Parish Council to update him on the discussions.

Knapp House:
The EA reported that they (the agency) is currently in discussions with Mr. Clements, Knapp House and is attempting to persuade Mr. Clements to undertake the breach repair whilst considering / limiting the impact it may have on the saltmarsh.
The Chairman had received two communications from Peter Hames of Northam Town Council, expressing his concerns on the matter. These were passed on to the EA who said that they were in touch with Mr. Hames and keeping him informed.
It was resolved that the Chairman should write to the Environment Agency from the Forum to emphasize the importance of the saltmarsh to the estuary.

Crab Tiling at Broadsands:
Andy Bell reported that he had had discussions with a crab tiler about the siting of the crab tiles. He proposed a solution, which involved siting the traps amongst the series of weirs, starting from the first stone weir 200 metres to the east of the White House. The presence of the weirs means that the watercraft should not be passing over the area when the tide is in, and this area is far enough away from Broadsands for the traps not to be disturbed. Andy Bell said that he had not heard from the crab tiler yet in return.
Tim Squire, on behalf of the Water-skiers, had contacted the Chairman to say that he was happy with this solution.
The Chairman thanked Andy Bell for affecting a compromise to assist the water-skiers.

Barnstaple’s Riverside Development:
There had been an Exhibition at the Leisure Centre in Barnstaple.
Also, in the ND Gazette, there had been information about a new £1.75 million development
The Chairman said that the forum had not been consulted.
Mrs. Shapland assured the members that it had been a private exhibition by the developer and there had not been a formal planning application yet.
Ricky Knight promised to keep the forum informed.
The Chairman is to write to the NDDC to ensure that the forum is on the list of consultees.

Fremington Quay:
£32,000 has been set aside by NDDC to do the necessary maintenance work to the eastern bank wall at Fremington Quay.

Instow Ferry: For various reasons the Instow Ferry has ceased. This is regretted.

The RNLI have been asked to promote the use of sun creams on the beaches next year and to ensure beach users particularly children are covered against the sun.

Free CoastNet conference on ICZM in Paris on 8th. December 2006. The Chairman has details if required.

TTEF Website:
Paul Fronteras has done a lot of work on revamping the website, and in putting on new material. There is also now a weather chart. Visits to the site are increasing.

b) Braunton Burrows UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve:
Andy Bell (Biosphere co-ordinator, NDCCS Services Manager) reported that about 1500 letters had been sent out to the local food network about using the biosphere labels for food. There had been a good return with a deal of interest in using the Biosphere Food Labels.

James Diamond was on Lundy but he had sent the Grazing Report, which was sent out with the Newsletter.
English Nature is now Natural England with a new website: 
John Breeds (Education Warden) Braunton Burrows Core Area Report.
Management Grazing: 64 cattle have grazed The Flats, to the east of the American Road.
Scrub Clearance has taken place on two islands in Venner’s Pond
Litter clearance from the beach and foredunes was carried out on September 24th.
Flora and Fauna (i) Rare Species. The rare moss reintroduced in October 2005 by Dr. Holyoak, has been found in 2 of the 6 locations and it has spread significantly in one of these. Dr. Holyoak also reported that Sand bowl amber snail is prospering on the nearby excavations that recreated a suitable habitat. Water Germander was surveyed by counting individual stems; there was an overall increase of 20.074 stems on 9 sites
(ii) Flora: This year has been exceptionally dry and sites that were excavated for rare plants and dried out ponds have shown impressive colonisation of scarce species such as lesser centaury, knotted pearlwort and brook weed, especially on the damp shallows.
(iii) Fauna. The Devon branch of the British Dragonfly Society carried out a survey of the rare Red Darter, which was found in three of the ponds. It was an exceptional year for the migrant clouded yellow butterfly, which bred successfully on the Burrows.
Research and Monitoring: The lowest water table readings ever were recorded at the beginning of October.
Undesirable Activities: (i) Illegal parking of vehicles on the Crow Point area has continued through out the summer. There is some resulting damage to the salt marsh vegetation.
(ii)Dogs. Many dog walkers and their pets enjoy the Braunton Burrows, however, many uncontrolled dogs are allowed to roam the Burrows causing serious disturbance to the wildlife especially birds and mammals.
Publicity: Manned display boards and exhibits were erected at Georgeham and Croyde show, U3A conference at Filleigh and ‘Our Coast’ at Watermouth Castle.
Display boards will also be erected in the Barnstaple Library Foyer for 2 weeks beginning 28th. October.
A public information meeting about the Burrows is to be held in Braunton Parish Hall on Thursday, 16th. November at 7.30.p.m.
Educational Groups This summer’s programme of 22 guided walks and other educational activities has ended with most events being well supported.
This report can be seen in full on the TTEF website: 

( c). Management Study for Braunton Marsh:
Clare Manning (Project Officer) reported that she had been in contact with a number of farmers in the area, who had farmed there for as many as 70 years. She had also been in touch with the local authorities and other agencies in order to gain information on the flora and fauna there. She had searched the archives in Barnstaple, Exeter and Braunton for all past records, and had found people most helpful.
The Chairman said that a Management Group consisting of Richard Butler, Richard Dyer and herself are monitoring Clare and meet her once a month for her reports.

(d) North Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty:
AONB “It’s our Coast” at Watermouth Castle on 8th October 2006. The Chairman thanked Tony Pratt , Clare Manning and Chris Hassall for all their had work for the Forum at this very successful event.
AONB SDF – all of the funding for 2006 has now been allocated, and the projects underway.
The next AONB Partnership meeting will be on 20th, October 2006 at Westward Ho! this will be followed by a site visit to Kipling Tors, the coast path and Abbotsham Cliffs.

(e). Fast Leisure Craft in the Taw Torridge Estuary:
Simon Toon, the Car Parks Manager, had spoken to the Chairman about the Slipway Warden scheme. He said that he was writing his report on the success of the Wardens, and would explore the options available for next year.
The Chairman had sent Simon Toon information on the FLC public meetings, Joint Working Party Meetings etc. He seemed unaware of the history of this issue.
Andrew Moulton’s Report (Former Slipway Manager at the Appledore Churchfield Slip): He said that he had been there on the slip for July, August and September as part of a job share with a colleague. They had to check insurance of watercraft users, advise on insurance and collect launch fees and police the slipway.
He said that local skiers did not provide a problem but those from away, (From Bristol and Glos.) did provide some problems.
He suggested that there needs to be advance publicity about registration, code of conduct and charges. The launching fee of £4 and the added carparking fees, meant that charges could be £9 a day.
The Chairman thanked Andrew Moulton for his report and said she would find it useful if he would record the lists of comments and findings and pass a copy to her and TDC.
Registration Scheme: Report from Ben Totterdell: A copy of this report was handed out to members at the meeting.
In his report Ben Totterdell said that there had been a sharp increase in the number of people registering their craft with the introduction of contols and charging for use of the slipway at Appledore.
There are Issues that should be considered:-
- Protocols for registering day visitors.
- Monitoring of other slipways
- Further promotion of the scheme for 2007.
- Expansion of the scheme to all access points.
- Working with TDC to develop protocols for enforcement of code of conduct for registered users.
Mr. Squire pointed out that due to an upgrade in security there was to be no social membership launching from RMB Chivenor slipway from April 1st 2007.
The Chairman is to write to TDC, commenting upon the success of this year’s action at Appledore, and encouraging them to put wardens on the slip next year and in the following years.

(f). Moorings in the Fairway / Trinity House Survey: Moorings Code of Practice and Report:
The Moorings Code of Practice, prepared by the sub-group, has now been completed and circulated to all member organisations of the TTEF. The sub-committee ask that it be passed on to any organisations or individuals that have an interest in moorings.
This is Stage 1 of the exercise. There is a need to work towards preparing a detailed Moorings Code of Practice for the whole Estuary, identifying where moorings should or should not take place, and what local conditions permit.
Copies of the Moorings Code of Practice was handed out to members. 
Feedback is awaited, then Stage ll can begin.

(g).Shoreline Management Plan ll: Update on the Estuary Modeling Survey.
Andy Bell circulated the Study Brief from the Taw Torridge Estuary and Approaches Coastal Management Study Brief at the last meeting
He reported that the geomorphological survey is on going and the Draft Report is expected in January 2007.

(h). District Council Liaison:
Bridges Project – An invitation to attend between 4pm and 8pm on Thursday, 18th October at South Molton Town Hall for anyone who would like to know more about Parish Plans.
Copies of this invitation were handed out to members.
North Devon District:
ND Community Alliance meeting: There was a presentation about a proposed ferry link from Ilfracombe to Swansea and from Minehead to Barry.
The draft of the ND Community Strategy has been circulated for comments, and will now be amended and printed.
There was also a presentation on the NDDC Planning Improvement Plan, following the Audit Commission Inspection in July 2006.
Torridge District:
The Chairman attended the Torridge Together LSP on 28th. September.
The Torridge Community Strategy is to be rewritten next year, and Torridge has been identified by DCC as a priority area.
(i). Annual Visit 2006. No further forward with the arrangements.

5. Bathing Water Quality: Update on 2006 Season.
For the first time in living history, Instow has achieved the Imperative Standard and the Guideline Standard during the 2006 bathing season.
Westward Ho! and Saunton have passed the guideline standard.
A copy of the bathing water results for Instow, Westward Ho! and Saunton were handed out to members.

6. Maritime Volunteer Service: Captain Fronteras informed the Forum that the MVS intend to open a unit of the Service to cover the Taw Torridge Estuary Area. It is a recognised National Maritime training organisation run by civilian volunteers, which operates as a registered charity. If anyone wished for more information they were to contact Capt. Fronteras.
An information sheet and brochure on the MVS were handed out to members.

7. Urgent Matters brought forward by the Chairman: None.

8. Consultations:
o Defra: Conservation of Lobsters: Increase in Minimum Landing Size from 87mm to 90mm.
The Chairman to respond saying that it is a positive move and is to be encouraged.
Copies of the Defra Conservation of Lobsters Consultation were handed out to members.
Copies of ICZM Response were also handed out to members.

9. Correspondence Received: A full list of correspondence received at the end of the Minutes.

10. Agenda Items Proposed for the next Meeting:
 Update on Knapp House.
 Moorings Code of Practice.
 Biosphere Strategy.
11. Any Other Business:
 Marguerite Shapland (Braunton Parish Council) informed the Forum that Velator Quay is closed to traffic and vessels are not to use it for mooring as the structure is unsafe.
 John Breeds (Braunton Burrows Education Warden) informed the forum that the slipway at the White House is closed.
 Miranda Cox (Northam Town Council) reported that a planning application has been made for houses on Goodwood Park, Northam , near to the estuary.

12. Date and Venue for the next Meeting:

Monday, 15th. January 2007 (AGM) – Town Hall, Bideford at 7.00p.m.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.40.p.m.


Item 9 Correspondence Received
CPRE: Devon Countryside Matters – Newsletter – September 2006
CPRE: Appeal – Fighting for Landscapes, Wildlife and people's rights
Westcountry Rivers Trust: Cornwall Rivers Project – Final Report of Project Activities (2006)
Westcountry Rivers Trust: Confluence – Journal of the WRT – Summer 2006
Westcountry Rivers Trust: Invasive Weeds Symposium – 26th. October 2006 at the Eden Project
DCC: Draft Statement of Community Involvement – Devon County Minerals & Waste
Development Framework
Gaia Trust: Spring & Summer – Home Farm Marsh
NDDC: Adoption of North Devon Local Plan 1995 to 2011
NDDC: Code of Practice – Validation Checklist for Planning and Other Applications
NDDC: Community Action Plan for Barnstaple – 2006 to 2016
NDDC: Minutes of the ND Community Alliance available upon request
TDC Torridge Together (Local Strategic Partnership): Minutes available upon request
Environment Agency: Area Manager's Report – Summer 2006
Environment Agency: High Standards, Healthy Bathing – Magazine – Bathing water quality in England and Wales in 2005
Environment Agency: The Environment – What's in it for you? Spotlight on Business in 2005
Environment Agency: Energy Review, including renewable, nuclear, climate change, energy efficiency,
Coal, carbon capture and storage, energy security, long-term investment and EU Emissions Trading System
Environment Agency: Minutes of Devon Area Environment Group available upon request
North Devon AONB Partnership: Minutes available upon request
Natural England: Strategic Direction 2006 – 2009
Halcrow: Connections – The Edge – September 2006
Halcrow: Barnstaple Western Bypass – Newsletter 15 – June/July 2006 – 10 copies
NDDC: Fullabrook Down Windfarm Project – Notice of Public Enquiry on 28th. November 2006
Devon Wildlife Trust: North Devon Voluntary Marine Conservation Area – Newsletter – Summer 2006
Chirp Maritime: Chirp Feedback – Maritime Safety Newsletter
Defra: Access Newsletter – July 2006
Defra: Access Newsletter – August 2006
Defra: Access to the English Coast – Information Sheet