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Grass Cutting

You may have noticed that throughout the summer months, we deliberately left grass and any wild plants to grow on four sites across the town.  The grass land outside Woodland Vale, the bank running parallel with Greenbank and banks around Linden Close and New road.

These areas are being cultivated to enhance the environmental and ecological aspects of the area.

As we approached autumn, we have cut back the vegetation and raked the area and have sown ‘yellow rattle’ seed ready for next year.

If the seed takes well the Yellow Rattle will not only add to the aesthetic appearance bringing yellow flowers, but it will weaken the strength of the grass, ready to plant with wild flower seed at the end of next summer for 2022 season.

The aim is to create natural environments which not only look great, but will also as increase the positive impact for birds, bees and insects.

This is an ongoing project which we hope will bring long-term environmental and ecological benefits.

If you have any thoughts about this approach, please do not hesitate to contact the Town Council.

Photo competition

The Town Council has recently taken over a subscription for Great Torrington to have a presence on the Visit North Devon website.  This website is run by the North Devon Marketing Bureau who are working closely with Visit Devon to encourage more visitors to North Devon, to stay longer and to spend more. You can access the website here: https://www.visitdevon.co.uk/northdevon

The Town Council is updating the information about Great Torrington on the Visit North Devon website and would like the community’s help in selecting 5 photos for the website to showcase our fantastic town and everything it has to offer.  Below you will find 15 photos and we would like you to choose your top 5 and let us know either by email (admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk) or by phone (01805 626135) by quoting the photograph number.  Once we have everyone’s feedback, we will choose the most popular photographs to be shown on the Visit North Devon website.

The competition will close on Friday 27th November 2020 and we hope to have the selected photographs uploaded onto the Visit Devon website in December.

The Town Council would like to thank Cllr John Insull for supplying all the photos.

1 – Town Centre Clock
2 – Town Centre, Town Hall
3 – Pannier Market
4 – Mayfair, Town Clerk
5 – Mayfair, Town Crier
6 – Castle Hill View 1
7 – Castle Hill View 2
8 – Rolle Road
9 – River Torridge 1
10 – River Torridge 2
11 – River Torridge 3
12 – Taddiport Bridge
13 – Secret Memorial Garden
14 – Tarka Valley Railway
15 – St Michaels & All Angels

TTVS Carewise: Young Carers Engagement Project (YCEP) – Sessional Workers needed.

Carewise is looking to appoint sessional workers on a zero hours contract (£11.59 per hour) to work on a 1:1 basis with young carers across North Devon.

The role will entail spending time with the young carer: offering respite from their role as a young carer and support to improve their self confidence and reducing their anxiety levels.

Applications welcomed from people who have experience of working with young people aged between 6 years to 18  years.

For further information please email: ann@carewise.org.uk or ring Ann on 07710540581.

Closing date: 6th November 2020

Post expires at 5:00pm on Friday November 6th, 2020

Great Torrington’s New Link to The Commons

A collaboration between Great Torrington Town Council, the Commons Conservators, Men’s Shed and Great Torrington School has seen a new link between town and Commons established.

A new gateway and steps from the Council’s Jubilee Wood and a restored bridge over Common Lake Stream have made the new route possible and it is already proving popular with walkers. The link was officially opened by Great Torrington’s Mayor, Cllr Keeley Allin, on 19th August.

The gate was built at Torrington’s Men’s Shed and the surrounding area has been planted up with trees and shrubs by the school. Al Mitchell, the Conservators’ Head Ranger, led the team restoring the bridge.

Jubilee Wood can be accessed from the bottom of School Lane and from Trafalgar Drive; the bridge is adjacent to Barmaid’s Path on the Commons.


from left: Mayor Cllr Keeley Allin, Ranger Al Mitchell, Conservators Andy Giles and Mandy Harrison, Great Torrington School’s Suzanne Fawcitt, Gate builder Tony Warren of Men’s Shed and Jonathan Roberts, Jubilee Wood volunteer

Mayor Cllr Keeley Allin cuts the ribbon on the new gate

Co-Option of Town Councillor

Following the resignation of Cllr Miller, we currently have a vacancy for 1 Co-Opted Councillor to join the other Council Members of Great Torrington Town Council.

This role will give you an opportunity to get involved with a number of exciting projects and interests within the community of Great Torrington.  If you are passionate about the town, prepared to roll your sleeves up and get involved, have at least one of the qualifications below we would invite you to submit a written application outlining why you are interested in becoming a Town Councillor and what you believe you can bring to the role for consideration.    

  1. I am registered as a local government elector for the parish; or
  2. I have, during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of my co-option, occupied as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish; or
  3. My principal or only place of work during those twelve months has been in the parish; or
  4. I have during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of my co-option resided in the parish or within 3 miles of it.

Applications should be no more than one side of A4 paper.

Please forward applications to Great Torrington Town Council, Castle Hill, Great Torrington, EX38 8AA or by email to admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk  to be received no later than Thursday 5th November 2020

Karen Chapman, Town Clerk

Post expires at 5:00pm on Thursday November 5th, 2020

DCC Daily Updates – Covid Cases

There have recently been a number of questions come through to the Town Council and on Facebook about whether there are any COVID-19 cases in Great Torrington and the surrounding area.  Devon County Council publishes daily updates on the number of cases in Devon down to a district level and it can be found by clicking on this link: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard and Data for Devon  This data does not drill down to the level of individual towns, but it does give clear data for the Torridge and North Devon districts.

Lloyds Mobile Banking Update

The Town Council has been advised that Lloyds Mobile Bank intends to resume sessions in Great Torrington on a trial basis to establish usage and demand.

The bank will be in Great Torrington on Monday the 14th September and thereafter every other Monday, so the 28th September, 12th October, 26th October, 9th November and so on until further notice.

The times of opening will be between 11.00am and 2.00pm – 3 hours with no break.

At some point Lloyds Bank will evaluate usage and make ongoing decisions from this data.  This approach is being undertaken nationally.

It is imperative that people use this resource during this time to ensure securing an ongoing provision of this service.

Community Orchard Grant Scheme

Community Orchards Challenge Fund Press Release

The North Devon Biosphere in partnership with Orchards Live and supported by the Devon County Council locality grants scheme and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (as part of the Pledge for Nature project) are offering small grants towards the creation and management of community orchards. Traditional orchards are in decline across Devon and are recognised for their important biodiversity and community value.

Community orchards are excellent places for people to come together to plant and cultivate local and unusual varieties of fruit trees and to use as the focal point for community activities such as Apple Day or as a green haven in which to relax and wind-down. The People’s Trust for endangered species has identified that 90% of traditional orchards have been lost since the 1950s, with 48% of the orchards surveyed in England found to be in declining condition. Devon has lost most of its traditional orchards of large ‘standard’ trees – valuable because of their beauty, history, wildlife and rich variety of local apples.

The orchards may be established in locations across the North Devon Biosphere in community spaces such as allotments, parks, around a village hall or churchyard and schools as well as private land if there is an agreement for community use. Applicants to the Challenge Fund will need to provide information on location of the orchard, who the orchards will be used by, the number and variety of trees and planned future management (see application form on our website www.biosphere.org.uk/seasonal-activities/community-orchard). Orchards should be ‘traditional’ using suitable vigorous rootstocks with a proportion of the trees being Devon varieties. The application will be reviewed by the Pledge for Nature Coordinator with advice from Orchards Live and the North Devon Biosphere team. Special consideration will be taken for applications that will be cultivating local varieties such as mazzards, a type of cherry tree local to Devon. The Fund will also be open to applicants wishing to undertake corrective pruning of existing orchards, as many orchards are currently being lost through neglect.

Simeon Day, the chair of Orchards Live put forward the following statement in support of the Challenge Fund, “Traditional orchards are a valuable component of the Devon landscape and play an important role in providing both a habitat for its wildlife as well as an income for its residents. Another aspect that has been highlighted as a result of the recent isolation and lockdown restrictions is the importance of orchards to our wellbeing and mental health, where they act as a sanctuary from the pressures of life and a place to relieve anxiety. Orchards Live believe that the joy of orchards should also be made available to those who may love or benefit from them, but do not have access to one of their own. As a charity we are focusing our efforts to help connect people and orchards; increase the availability of access to orchards; and provide training, advice and support to community orchards.

Working as a partnership, the Biosphere’s Pledge For Nature project and Orchards Live will help to create new community orchards and support the community groups into the future, providing a valuable resource that will benefit the landscape, wildlife and people of North Devon for many years to come.”

Submissions will be received from now until end of December 2020 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis, please enter your application as soon as possible. Please note if for any reason we run out of funds to support your project, we will use your application as evidence to obtain more funds therefore a response from you will be most appreciated.

If you need advice or guidance in completing the application form or in planning your community orchards please contact the Biosphere team biosphere-mailbox@devon.gov.uk.

VJ Day Commemorations

On Saturday 15th August the Mayor of Great Torrington was honoured to join a small group at the War Memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day. The Mayor and her Deputy Cllr Doug Smith, joined Nick Megson from Torrington Silver Band and the Town Council Beadle, Andy.  The last post was played followed by a two minutes silence.  After the silence was broken the Mayor laid a wreath on behalf of the Town Council and read a “Tribute to the Millions”.  The Beadle finished by saying the Kohima Epitaph and everyone present joined with “We will remember them”.  The Mayor thanks the small group who joined them at the War Memorial to ensure we remember those who selflessly gave their lives for us.