Start 2022 by doing conservation work with Northam Burrows Rangers

North Devon Gazette

With the Christmas decorations being packed away for another year conservation projects on Northam Burrows and in neighbouring nature reserves are already in full swing as we head towards spring.Â

As before, and vital to their success, the Torridge Rangers are reaching out for volunteers to help with this important work. The varied projects are aimed at protecting and giving nature and wildlife a helping hand, improving access for the less able and working to uncover local WWII history, for residents and visitors to enjoy.Â

Most activities take place on a Wednesday between 10am and 4pm and are a chance to get outdoors, get fit at your own pace, learn new skills and feel good about your contribution to the environment.

The next events are as scheduled below:Â

  • Wednesday 12th January – Installing Wooden Bridges to improve accessÂ
  • Wednesday 26th January – Kenwith Valley – Footpath ImprovementsÂ
  • Wednesday 9th February – Uncovering sections of the WWII Radar StationÂ
  • Wednesday 23rd February – Kenwith Valley – Clearing Willow from the Reed BedsÂ
  • Wednesday 9th March – Dry Stone Walling (Sorry Fully Booked)Â
  • Wednesday 23rd March – Big Burrows Spring Clean (12 – 4pm)Â

The rangers particularly need help with the tasks at Kenwith Valley Nature Reserve in Bideford. The lake and surrounding area are one of Torridge’s hidden gems and people can learn more about the area and its abundant wildlife by taking part in the two events planned at this location.Â

All events are free to take part in but pre-booking is essential and tools and gloves will be provided. Please bring your own suitable weather appropriate clothing and a packed lunch or refreshments. Â

People can also attend for part of the sessions if they cannot attend for the full day as any support is most welcome. Please contact or telephone 01237 479708 to book your place or find out more.Â

Torridge District Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin - Lead Member for Community Culture and Leisure said: “Our Ranger team have already been busy during the winter months installing some of the new bridges to make the walk between Westward Ho! and Appledore more accessible and with dryer feet! But they also need volunteers to help with further maintenance and practical conservation and even uncover and help preserve the WWII past of RAF Northam.Â

“Please get in touch if you can spare a few hours to help out, it’s a fantastic way to exercise, learn new skills and knowledge and any support will be very welcome.”Â

The New Burrows centre will also be the location for some great talks and workshops that will be hosted in the new education room at the visitor centre. The light and bright, well-ventilated space is perfect for small groups to come together and learn new skills against the backdrop of the beach and dunes.Â

The first exciting class available in the new year will be painting en plien air with Debs Last.Â

This six-week course begins on Monday 10th January and places can be booked viaÂ

Learn to become the artist you want to be and also the skills and resources for keeping comfortable while painting out in all weathers!Â

Next will be the first in a series of lunchtime talks by reconciliation ecologist and plant writer Pete Yeo - An Evergreen and Pleasant Land?Â

January 18th, 1-2pm. This illustrated talk will consider Britain's ecology through the lens of William Blake's poem 'And did those feet in ancient times’. To reserve your place, please either call Pete on 07813 798073 or email him at

Due to current restrictions only the first nine people can be accepted, with a waiting list should more spaces become available. The £5 event charge will be taken on the door for similar reasons. There is no toll road charge at this time of year. You can find out more about Pete at

Throughout the coming months the centre will also be welcoming Annabel Hill from Appledore Print Studios whose previous beginner’s classes on Northam Burrows have produced some amazing artwork.Â

Beginning on Saturday 22nd January, Annabel’s fantastic range of print workshops are suitable for beginners and cover topics such as dry point, block printing on fabric and gelliplate printing cards. Full details of workshop dates and topics can be found on as well as examples of the beautiful artwork created by past groups at the Burrows.Â

The rangers have also been looking back through photographs of the last year and have put together an infographic with some of the fun and fascinating facts and figures from their work on Northam Burrows in 2021. Check out the link for their roundup: