Can you shed any light on Barnstaple river riddle?

A WELL-respected North Devon naturalist is hoping to shed more light on a mysterious explosion that he claims rocked Barnstaple in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Trevor Beer, who lives at Sticklepath, fears a loud 5.15am bang has scared off around 400-500 Canada geese that had started to flock to the banks of the Taw Estuary at the end of August.

“It was a huge explosion and it sounded like it had come from the direction of the river,” said Mr Beer.

“I was able to hear the Trinity Street gas explosion from my house last year and it sounded closer than that. I expected to hear sirens but there was nothing. Somebody else must have heard it.”

Mr Beer said that the geese begin their annual return to the river from late August and usually stay right through winter.

“I can usually hear them going up and down the river every day but I haven’t seen them since,” he said.

Police in Barnstaple said they had no record of an explosion at that time and had received no calls about such an incident from members of the public.

Did you hear the explosion on Sunday morning? Have you seen the geese on other parts of the river? Telephone the Gazette newsdesk on (01271) 345056 or email