News round-up from across East Devon – community stories from Exmouth, Lympstone, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth, Seaton,  Budleigh Salterton, Budlake and Broadclyst.

All the news from East Devon – a round-up of community stories from Exmouth, Lympstone, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth, Seaton,  Budleigh Salterton, Budlake and Broadclyst.

Exmouth, Lympstone

A section of the Exe Estuary Trail near Lympstone this week closed for three months for ‘essential repairs’.

Some 74 wooden slats of boardwalk need replacing between Lympstone and Exmouth after a routine inspection found timber elements were deteriorating.

East Devon

Courtlands Boardwalk.
Photo: DCC.

The county council said the Courtlands Boardwalk needs replacing and started work on the repairs on Monday (September 18).

Devon County Council (DCC) said diversions would be in place while sections of the trail were closed for the repairs.

It said material from thousands of plastic bottles would be used to create the new reinforced trail.

A DCC spokesperson said: “This section of the trail will be closed while the scheme is carried out to replace the timber structural beams and deck planks with a more durable fibre-reinforced material.”

A signed diversion route will be in place, directing pedestrians to the footpath on Exeter Road.

Cyclists must cross over Exeter Road and follow the slightly longer route which avoids cycling on the main road, said DCC.

A temporary crossing will be located next to the petrol station to provide an additional safe crossing for this route.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highway management, said: “This an extensive scheme as the full length of boardwalk has to be taken up and replaced to ensure it does not become unsafe for use.

“We have no choice but to close this section of the trail for the duration of the scheme but every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum.

“The fibre reinforced material which is being installed is made from over 500,000 recycled bottles and has a much longer lifespan than wood, so hopefully it will mean that it won’t need another major overhaul for many, many years.”


Crime cash has caused a splash for an Exmouth charity helping to train a trio to promote water safety.

Devon and Cornwall police recently awarded £1,275 to the Exmouth Tri-Hards, funded from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) – where cash or assets seized from criminals are given to good causes across the two counties.

The money will be used to train three people to become open water safety coaches who can help others in Exmouth.

A Tri-Hards spokesperson said: “These courses will allow our swimming leaders to increase the capacity of our sea swimming activities, helping more than 400 members to be more active, stay safe in the sea, and increase their wellbeing.”


The Tri-Hards pictured here on Exmouth beach.
Photo: with permission.

Superintendent Tom Holmes, who chaired the area’s latest POCA funding panel , said: “The funding panel decided this was a very worthy cause and we feel the money will be well spent on providing courses for open water swimming and raising awareness of the potential risks.”

Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth

The lucky winner of the Sidmouth Folk Festival £1,000 grand draw top prize has been revealed as Ottery St Mary resident, Kim Brown.

Organisers hailed the grand draw ‘a great success’ saying funds raised had boosted future festival funds.

The grand draw was organised by Sidmouth FolkWeek Ltd, the charity arm of the folk festival which helps the event with fundraising.

Derek Schofield, chair of the charity, said: “We are very grateful for the support of local businesses as well as festival goers and artists who donated prizes, and of course all the people who bought tickets.

“In addition to the cash prizes of £1,000 and £200, over 35 separate prizes were donated, including an all-in-one ticket for the 2024 festival.”

Tickets went on sale in the town in the weeks leading up to the festival, and during the event.


Pictured here is Kim Brown (right) being presented with his first prize cheque by Sidmouth FolkWeek trustees Steve Vernon (left) and Tim Shardlow (centre). Photo: with permission.


A housing development in Exmouth has become a hands-on classroom for a 20-year-old apprentice keen to learn the ropes in construction and building.

Ellie Chissell, pictured here, has gained experience with McCarthy Stone at the developer’s Salterton Road build.

Bournemouth and Poole College student Ellie has a month of her apprenticeship remaining – and hopes to study on a Level 4 Associate Project Management course.

She said: “Since my final year at school, I’ve known I wanted to go into construction. Initially, I wanted to pursue a career in quantity surveying, however, I changed my mind when I started my apprenticeship.”


Photo shows: Adam Murch, Richard Courtney, Brendon O’Neil, Chas Malek, Jessie Russel, Chris Parsons, Ellie Chissell (front, centre). Photo: McCarthy Stone.

She added: “It feels fantastic to be a woman in construction. There are more and more women who are taking an interest in the industry, which is great to see, as it’s a brilliant career to get into – anyone can do it.”

Ellie said: “I have met so many new people, which has been extremely helpful in beginning my new career. They’ve provided me with a lot of support, and I’ve been involved in a variety of work that has enriched my understanding of the construction process, as well as the management side of it.”


Celebrations have been held at Seaton Wetlands after two Avocet chicks were born safely – the first occurrence of a newly-hatched family unit of the birds ever recorded in Devon.

A pair of Avocets who were seen together in late May, settled down to brood eggs on an island at the wetlands at the start of June.

The district council’s countryside team kept a close watch on the nest site and the adult birds – and staff and volunteers were sworn to secrecy until the chicks hatched.

East Devon

The Avocet chicks.
Photo: with permission.


Exmouth RNLI is appealing for sponsors for the town’s 2023 grand firework display, in November.

The event, this year in the diary for Friday, November 3, raises ‘vital’ funds for Exmouth RNLI, helping to pay for kit, equipment and training.

This year the lifesavers hope the annual event will be ‘bigger and better’, because of extra spectator capacity.

Any businesses wishing to help the town’s RNLI through sponsorship of the event, or advertising, can see here.

Ottery St Mary

Qualified massage and reflexology therapists are needed to join the FORCE Cancer Charity team in Ottery St Mary.

The charity offers regular support for East Devon patients and families at Ottery St Mary Hospital every Friday (10am – 4 pm), through counselling sessions, physiotherapy and exercise advice, complementary therapies and group support programmes – all available by appointment.

The complementary therapist role involves four hours a week of hands-on treatment for a self-employed practitioner.

Kayleigh Brown, FORCE complementary therapies coordinator, said: “It is humbling and so rewarding to be able to allow people time to forget their worries, even if it’s just for an hour. It’s an incredible privilege.”

Helen Grimwade, FORCE massage therapist, from East Devon, said: “I just enjoy being able to make others feel good. It is a massive privilege to be allowed to enter people’s lives at a really tough time for them, to get to know them, albeit for a short time.”

She added: “We offer such wonderful therapies. It’s a safe, non-medical touch when many are going through so much treatment. They come in with rounded, stooped shoulders and leave standing straighter with a positive step.”

East Devon

Pictured here is Kayleigh Brown with a client.
Photo: FORCE.

Budleigh Salterton 

A charity in East Devon is celebrating a ‘valuable grant’ from the Postcode Local Trust, thanks to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Budleigh Music Festival said the undisclosed sum will be used to ‘enable more members of the community to attend events at the festival, and to engage in music related activities’.

The charity said it was ‘particularly keen’ to attract schools, charities, care homes and marginalised members of the community to its eight-day event which takes place in Budleigh Salterton every July.

Kate Somerby, festival committee chair, said: “Our ethos at Budleigh Music Festival is to throw open the doors and to ensure that everybody feels welcome here, regardless of whether they know much about music or not.

“This fund will enable us to continue to do that, and to reach even more people in our community who would not otherwise feel able to join in.”

Ryan Mackie, People’s Postcode Lottery spokesman, said: “The opportunity for everyone to experience live music is really important and I am delighted that funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery will enable the Budleigh Music Festival to engage with even more members of the community.”

Broadclyst, Budlake, East Devon

A FIFA Women’s World Cup football signed by the team’s former captain, Jill Scott, has been won by a footie-mad youngster from Broadclyst.

‘Football-mad’ 11-year-old Kasey – pictured here – plays for Central FC Under 13s in Exeter, and won the signed ball through East Devon District Council (EDDC) Community Hubs.

East Devon

Winner Kasey with her signed football prize.
Photo: EDDC.

The runner-up prize of a signed practice football was drawn by Dorothy Rider, from Budlake, East Devon, who planned to give the ball to her granddaughter.

Dorothy Rider with the ball she won.
Photo: EDDC.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “The balls were generously donated by Jill and were put into a sweepstake run by the project leader of EDDC’s Community Hubs, Lucinda Cliff.

“Each team in the Women’s World Cup was put into the draw and visitors to the hubs were asked to draw a ticket.”

The Community Hubs, with free activities and refreshments, plus workshops with lunch provided, run across the whole district and are open to anyone who lives in East Devon. For more information, see here.


Sea-themed walkways have brightened up a Seaton care home after a local artist and carer helped residents create artwork for the walls.

East Devon artist Molly Fielder-Simpson painted underwater scenes along the hallways linking the downstairs bedrooms of The Seaton care home.


The Seaton resident Dawn Carter makes pebble art for the sea-themed hallway.
Photo: with permission.

Molly, a carer at the Southern Healthcare home who came to work on her days off to lead the two-week project, said: “The residents absolutely love it. It’s cheered the place up and it’s something to look at while you’re moving around the care home.”

“Some of the residents here are quite creative, so it’s been great to involve them.”

Molly drew the art and created a garden-themed wall with 3D flowers, bird boxes, wreaths and feathered friends along the wall.

Molly said: “Some of the items were made or collected by residents and staff.”

Police warn of ‘aggressive and intimidating’ cold-callers in Seaton and an East Devon village

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