Welcome. This is a community web site for the villages of Exbourne and Jacobstowe in Devon, England, along with the nearby villages of Meeth, and town of Hatherleigh. Anything related to these places can find a home here free of charge, thanks to our sponsors. Please take time to read their pages (left, or see home)
Things are stirring in Exbourne! A small group of residents is helping the Parish Council put together a Neighbourhood Plan. Why? Unprecedented development pressure is being placed on the rural areas of England. You will have seen the changes in Okehampton and surrounding market towns. Exbourne has been designated a ‘main village’ by the Borough Council in their emerging Strategic Plan and land will be allocated for development. By putting together our own Neighbourhood Plan we can: –
• determine our vision for the future of Exbourne and how to achieve it;
• specify where new development is located and influence its design;
• identify and protect important local green spaces;
• say what would enhance Exbourne and the surrounding area; and
• plan for the future sustainability of our lovely village and ensure it remains an enjoyable place to live.
We are lucky to live in this beautiful area with its unique character and stunning countryside setting, so please get involved and help secure a positive future.
Members of the group will be visiting every household in the Parish of Exbourne with a simple questionnaire in September, and this will be collected after a couple of weeks. You will have a chance to say what you like about Exbourne and what you would change about it. If you are interested in helping or joining the Parish Council’s working group, then contact the Project Leader, Cllr Adam Hedley on 851648 or tell us on your questionnaire.
Minutes of the July meeting of the Exbourne Neighbourhood Plan Group are HERE.
Agenda for next Council Meeting
The next meeting is on Wednesday August 26th 2015 at 20.00 in The Village Hall, Exbourne. Find the agenda HERE.
Parish Council News
The final AGM minutes are now online, starting with the original (adjourned meeting) minutes from May 13 HERE and the finalised minutes from the 27th May HERE
You'll also find online Minutes for Parish Council Meetings held:
Writes Adam Hedley:I am leading a group of volunteers in Exbourne that is beginning the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan. Neighbourhood Plans provide an opportunity for communities to shape the development and conservation of an area in a form that has statutory weight. Although a Neighbourhood Plan is community led, the Parish Council needs to take the first formal steps in the process of producing it. This includes deciding on the area to be covered by the Neighbourhood Plan. It is currently proposed that the Exbourne Parish boundary will define the appropriate Neighbourhood Area, excluding Jacobstowe principally on the basis that West Devon Borough Council’s current draft of its Strategic Plan (‘Our Plan’) does not allocate any "minimum planned requirement" of new dwellings to it. Your engagement and views are essential for the success of this project and there will be active consultation with the community throughout. If any members of the communities of Exbourne or Jacobstowe have any comments on the proposed Neighbourhood Area, or would like to volunteer to join the group hoping to co-ordinate the process of producing the Neighbourhood Plan, then please contact the Parish Clerk (email@example.com).
Minutes of the first meeting of the Exbourne Neighbourhood Plan Group held on 21 May 2015 are HERE.
Minutes of a subsequent meeting held on 9 July 2015 are HERE. The next meeting will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 30 July 2015 in the Exbourne Village Hall and is open to the public.
Dotting the Council's I's etc.
Final documents relating to the Council's annual audit can be found HERE and HERE.
Road verges are one of the most important, best loved and frequently viewed habitats in the country, according to the latest Plantlife study.
So why are they still being destroyed? The study shows that Britain’s road verges are home to 703 species of wild plants. It adds a flurry of statistics too: 87 threatened with extinction; 88% provide nectar and pollen for bees and other insects; bird’s-foot trefoil is food for 132 species of insect; 21 of the nation's 25 favourite wildflowers grow on road verges. If you're one of the 30 million drivers in the UK, you'll know verges are the most frequently viewed habitat too. Trouble is, road verges are still being needlessly cut down in full flower. greatly reducing one of the most important food banks for our bees and other pollinators. Plantlife has produced new management guidelines and is urging the public to sign a petition asking local councils to adopt them. For more information VISIT THIS SITE or READ THIS DOCUMENT
Help save the bees
Want to BEE INVOLVED during the summer holidays? Plantlife’s hugely successful ‘Bee Scene’ survey has been rescued by family-owned cereal maker Nature’s Path, after its original funding ended. Over 30,000 children have already taken part in the wild flower survey since its launch in 2010. Now thousands more will have the opportunity to explore the nature on their doorstep and learn about the wild flowers growing there. Families can discover whether their local area is good for bumblebees by looking for bee-friendly wild flowers such as foxgloves, dandelions and clovers in their local green spaces. The results are then uploaded onto a virtual meadow map of the UK.To help with the survey VISIT THIS PAGE
Want to be kept up to date with Council stuff? Here's how to join their email list.
Do you use the North Tawton NHS medical centre? HERE'S a Community Bulleting poster with some new information following the reorganisation.
You can help shape how things develop by contacting the addresses in the poster.
Council's response to Our Plan
The Council has considered the ideas put forward and have issued THIS FORMAL RESPONSE. Please take a moment to read it, particularly with regard to car parking and possible road improvements.
Proud to be last!
Exbourne Sampford Courtenay and Jacobstowe Skittle Team (aka the Tarka Tarts) have won a major skittling trophy. At the recent Annual Dinner of the Women's Institute Skittles League, Exbourne, Sampford Courtenay and Jacobstowe WI were pleased to receive the Wooden Spoon Trophy for coming LAST!!
2014/15 was their very first season and after some very hard won matches they were delighted with their success. They had had fun, laughter and great competition we hear, and they travelled through wind, rain and storm to meet their challengers ... at times even being victorious. The team looks forward to another challenging season in 2015/16 and hopes that fun, laughter and camaraderie prevails: if they win it's a bonus, says our intrepid reporter.
Some members had never played before. Pili Garvey, Vice Captain for this season added: "We did our best, had fun, learnt a lot and met many other WI members from Devon. It's the taking part that matters, not the winning!"
Rosemary Lowe was Captain for 2014/15. For 2015/16, Pili has been promoted to Captain and Liz Hoyle takes over as Vice Captain. Watch this space next May for the results of next season!
Pictured: Liz Hoyle, Jane Stewart, Anne Hollis, Ethel Nancekivell, Margaret Hawkins, Pili Garvey (VC), Doris Piper, Rosemary Lowe (C), Ruth Summers, Hilary Winter.
Agendae, Minutes and a Call for New Councillors
The Parish Council seems to be beefing up its presence, with a flurry of missives arriving here recently to indicate that a fresh approach is being taken to making sure villagers are better informed about the Council's work. There are four new documents available. Firstly, there are the Minutes of the March Parish Council meeting: an interesting item therein is an update to the Our Plan discussions, involving suggestions for developing certain tracts of land and improving the roads. Remember, the planners now have a duty to respond to the considered views of residents and Our Plan is designed to give everyone in the village a chance to have their views taken into account. Minutes HERE.
Next, there are Agendae for, and Invitations to, the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Parish Council Meeting. They are on the same evening (though at different times). Annual Parish Meeting HERE. Annual Parish Council Meeting HERE.
There are also two vacancies for Councillors. Interested parties should READ THIS.
Agenda for April 29th Council Meeting
The next Exbourne Parish Council Clerk takes place on April 29th and an agenda has been published! You can find the AGENDA HERE. Note that members of the public are invited to address the Council at the start of the meeting.
Public Meeting on Exbourne Plan
Notes of the meeting are now available online HERE
Council Minutes - Catch up
View the List of Your Councillors too
Time flies! We've just received three sets of meeting minutes from our Parish Clerk to bring our records up to date. See the full list HERE. Marilyn's also sent us a list of current Councillors.
National Plant Monitoring Scheme
Marilyn Weekes, Parish Clerk, asked us to bring the above to your attention. It's a project by a group of charitable organisations to record plant life in a collection of 1km square areas countrywide. Volunteers are sought to undertake counting and recording of plantlife in a square local to them twice a year. The scheme will enable the group to explore how plants in different habitats are responding to changes in the environment. A fuller explanation is HERE.
So that you don't have to, we underwent the task of logging in to www.npms.org.uk to find out what was involved, in particular what squares are available within a 30 mile radius around Exbourne. There are around 20 in Devon and the majority are still up for grabs, so if you're interested in joining this project we recommend you respond immediately. Volunteers may be individuals or small groups so it might suit a school
for example. Click the image above to log in or go to www.nmps.org.uk.
Neighbourhood Plan Option puts Planning Decisions into YOUR Hands
Debbie Bird from the Borough Council Planning Team spoke at length last night (Wednesday 18th Feb) in the Village Hall
to explain the far-reaching implications of the new West Devon Draft Plan, now officially called "Our Plan". (That's her above with Council leader Mike Luxton, who chaired the meeting). Taking some earlier planning decisions into account, Our Plan makes "localism" a reality by putting many planning decisions into OUR HANDS! Make no mistake - this is a serious proposition and it means YOU as an Exbourne resident have the opportunity to shape Exbourne's future by helping create our own "Neighbourhood Plan." And not just housing would be involved; as one resident asked last night: "does it mean we could seek to build a village green too, just as an example?" Yes, said, Debbie, it really does offer that possibility.
But some major issues need to be addressed first:
An initial Draft Plan for WDBC as a whole will be published next Thursday 26th Feb. It will be online then, and your comments are needed to shape its ongoing progress. You'll have 6 weeks to do this and Debbie really wants your input. "Comments count," she said.
Any resident can take part in creating the Neighbourhood Plan. The Parish Council
must endorse the project
but does not necessarily have to be directly involved.
Notice of intention to produce a Plan must be in by December this year.
Mike Luxton called for volunteers, and several villagers agreed to help. He invited all interested parties to attend the next Parish Meeting (Wednesday 25th) to discuss the implications in more detail. Debbie emphasised that the Plan would carry legal weight. However, it could involve 2-3 years work and it would be subject to a local referendum (simple majority needed) once complete.
There are some centrally-defined requirements based on demographics, heritage, transport, jobs and the like: for example, 20+ new houses are pencilled in for Exbourne (over and above those already in the system) as our contribution to overall county requirements. This could change (in either direction) but the key thing is we could define where and how these would be built (as well as any other ideas we might have). Full support throughout the process will be provided by WDBC, Debbie promised.
She was coy about what might happen if the Plan were to be rejected at referendum and agreed that WDBC might then have to enforce solutions in order for progress to be made. So, this could be a critical moment in Exbourne's history. Don't let it pass if you're serious about contributing. Go to that Council meeting or make your interest known to someone on the Council immediately. And don't forget to read the Draft Plan and comment.
PS: some land has been put forward by local landowners for consideration as housing plots. These were displayed on a map of the village, as partly shown in our picture. Approximately 300 houses COULD be built IF all this land was accepted. BUT, and it's a big BUT, WDBC think the village could not support such numbers (for roads, drains, schools, etc. reasons). Debbie said about 25 additional houses might be accommodated in total on those spaces. In other words, nothing is set in stone; all is to play for.
About Turbines, Turbines and more Turbines
With arrival of the New Year it's time for reality to kick in. One of the issues for 2015 is the fast-growing impact of Wind Turbines hereabouts.
JACEX has drawn our attention particularly to the Hawkdown project, turned down last year by TDC but now at appeal. The inspector is visiting the site Monday 5th so a decision for or against is approaching. The poster refers to a newsletter called the Turbine Times
- click the pic to download a copy. It's packed with good stuff and it draws further attention to the accelerating rate at which these projects are arriving. A full listing of current projects is given. A wind farm of 9 (yes NINE) turbines is in planning (and being fought strongly) at Den Brook, just 1¼ miles south east of North Tawton. These nine machines will be 120 metres (394ft) high. More about them at www.denbrookvalley.co.uk. Download Turbine Times HERE or click the pic.
Exbourne Carnival History
The advertised speaker for the November 19 meeting, who had been due to talk about Red Ruby Cattle, was unable to come. At short notice Dave Weeks gave an interesting talk on Exbourne Carnivals during the 1950s and 1960s. He spoke about the hard work which went into organising the event, which would start in April for the carnival in November. It involved a large committee which had to advertise for girls to put up for carnival queen. The queen was chosen by how many lucky tickets she could sell at 6d each. Nearer the day there was a lot of secrecy about the building of the floats. Because of the narrow streets, the floats had to be in position early. A torchlight procession, which started at the bottom of the village, included bands and around 30 floats, including local and visiting participants. The History group will be meeting for their Christmas Dinner in the Red Lion in December. The next meeting will be on Tuesday January 20, in the village hall at 7.30pm, when the speaker will be John Smith on Metal Detection. He has a collection of artefacts which will be on view. All welcome – £2 to include tea and biscuits.
St. Mary's Church looked resplendent on Sunday 26th October for its Community Service. The theme was a reflection on the World Wars and how it affected both the local community and the world.
The children of the school had made fields of poppies and the church was decorated beautifully. We were very lucky to have had on loan some interesting items from the War Horse Valley Museum at Iddesleigh. By kind permission of Mr. Graham Ward there were helmets, a gas mask, compass and a view finder to name just a few. Our thanks for his generosity in letting us borrow these valuable items.
There were poems, bible readings, prayers and hymns, with refreshments at the close. Those children present received a replica copy of the St. John's Gospel which was presented to all Servicemen during the First World War. Thank you Dr. M. Winter for the thoughtful content of the Service.
Visiting the Western Front
The October meeting of the Exbourne Local History Group was addressed by Dennis Bater on 'Our Visit to the Western Front'. He showed slides of many War Grave Cemetaries as well trenches which have been retained, and other interesting artefacts. He also recounted about some of the men who came from this area and fought in the war. There was a small display of the research made by Exbourne Primary School and members of the group, about the Exbourne War Memorial and the war in Exbourne. He was thanked by Rose Williams. The next meeting will be on Tuesday November 18 in the village hall at 7.30. Andrew Lane's talk will be called 'The History of the Red Rubies'. He has been associated with the Devon Cattle Breeders Society and has great knowledge of the breed and its development through the years. Non members always welcome - £2 to include tea and coffee.
Jacobstowe Turbine: Application Imminent?
Opponents of wind turbines be warned! A letter (not the one left) has been sent to many local residents by Holistic, the agent for the proposed Aeolus wind turbine at West Down Farm in Jacobstowe. It 'ticks some boxes' but seems not to have a clear objective. However, it's probably an indication that a formal Planning Application is about to go ahead. The Jacobstowe and Exbourne Wind Turbine Action Group have provided the response (left), from which you can pick up the main points of the Holistic letter. It also raises some other issues, especially the growth in turbine applications in this area. Click the image or read the JACEX letter here.
Separately we learn that if a public meeting is called by Exbourne and Jacobstowe Parish Council to discuss the application (should it go ahead) then that meeting will be held in Hatherleigh Community Centre. This makes sense given that the West Down project would affect people over a much wider area than just Exbourne and Jacobstowe e.g. the views from Hatherleigh Moor, Inwardleigh and elsewhere.
Council Minutes Finally Up to Date
We're delighted to report that our file of Council Minutes is now fully up to date so if you've been wondering what's been going on in political Exbourne here's your chance to catch up with February - August news. The minutes are actually well worth a read, not just to ensure that 'something's being done' but also to catch up on how your chosen councillors are performing. Wind Turbine Public Meetings, Playing Field changes, Boundary Reviews in 2015, Lengthsman news and Planning issues are among the topics. August is here and the rest are indexed here.
To the Manor Born
At the recent meeting of the Exbourne Local History Group, Sue Rose gave an extremely interesting talk on ‘The Manor of Exbourne', to 25 members and visitors. A system of tenure known s a ‘Feudal Estate' was introduced as early as AD 700 and abolished in 1660. Rent paying tenant farmers were known as ‘Freemen' and ‘Villeins' were restricted tenants and a ‘Bordar' occupied a cottage and enough land to feed his family. There were at least 3 manors covering the Exbourne parish – Dornaford, Coxhall and the Manor of Exbourne. The latter is mentioned in Domesday and the settlement dates back to before the Norman Conquest. The then Lord of the Manor – the Roger de Meulle family held the title for the next 300 years. In 1410 the title was owned by Thomas Prous, who was MP for Plympton and who was indicted in Devon for Felony and tried before the King's bench. Sue listed subsequent Lords of the Manor and in some cases, their family tree. The last known Lord of the Manor was Col.Kemball in 1919. Sue had spent a tremendous amount of time researching, but space does not permit me to report much of the history given. She was thanked by Nick Kenealy. The next meeting is on Tuesday October 21 in the village hall at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Dennis Bater. His subject will be ‘Our Visit to the Western Front', an illustrated talk with photographs of places of interest, including many War Grave Cemeteries. All are welcome.
ToB - More Pix
Thanks to Rod Stewart (yes, 'tis he of Exbourne) for the following nice long shots. From top: the Race Controller; the Race Leaders + details; Cars; Peloton
ToB in Exbourne
A very bright day welcomed the Tour of Britain to Exbourne on Thursday. Crowds gathered at the cross roads in advance of the race to watch the action. First came the police bikes, then came more police bikes, and then still more again. Never has Exbourne seen so many police bikes. Some waited, most went on in a well-oiled process that ensured the rolling road closure needed for the race was put into effect. Every single one delighted the growing number of spectators with various beeps, perps and siren sounds. School kids on the verge had cheered every passing vehicle for the 45 minutes or so we waited for the peloton to arrive but the biggest cheer was reserved for the policebike which was engulfed in a flurry of arms as it arrived, it's rider hugged in the middle of the road by a lady who ran from the crowd. "I haven't see her for 10 days" he shouted before riding off towards Crediton! Further dramas erupted minutes before the racers arrived when a tractor and trailer, and a flatbed truck, having managed to evade the police cordon somehow, arrived at the crossroads shortly before the riders did. They were soon seen off by irate policemen! Important looking cars came through soon after, followed by the Race Controller's car itself, singalling the imminent arrival of the racers. A helicopter chopped overhead as the breakaway four came through (second picture). Then came more cars, and motorbikes with cameras, and still more cars and then the peloton itself, some 2 minutes behind the leaders (third and fourth picture). Seemingly hundreds of support vehicles followed, all covered in bikes and wheels and logos. Then, suddenly, it was all over! Phew!
Thanks go to Richard (left) for accomodating so many spectators, and getting all his customers' cars off the road for the day.
Tour of Britain in Exbourne - Proper Job!
Little yellow signs by the roadside confirm that the Friends Life Tour of Britain cycle race is coming to Exbourne next Thursday, 11th September! After leaving Exmouth and traversing south Devon via atmospheric Starcross, massive Hay Tor, dark Princetown, sunny Tavistock, and local Okehampton, the peloton faces its most difficult challenge yet - the Brightley road from Okehampton to Exbourne Cross Garage! Exbourne Garage owner Richard Brock tells us he lobbied hard for the race to come to Exbourne by offering to provide the riders with free coffee, MoTs and puncture repairs. "We are renowned for the excellence of our automotive services, particularly tyre repairs, and this seemed ideal," he said. Proper Job! However, the the race schedule shows the peloton immediately scooting off on the A3072 to Bow and Crediton and thence to the finishing line in Exeter. Never mind Richard, it's the thought that counts! Richard has agreed to let us park our car on his forecourt to take photos. The Tour starts Sunday. Web site HERE. Stage 5 race route and expected timings HERE. From Exmouth to Exeter via Exbourne! Excellent! Expect road closures though!
OR ... tell us what's happening in your own club, group or even road and we'll upload it for the world to read. email us or call 01837 851253
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Visitor Report: Nearly September, and we're pushing up towards 72,000 visitors annually, which is not bad for the smallest town in Devon and surrounding communities! Why not advertise your business here?
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