Read about rescues, events and crime news in our round-up from across East Devon – including stories from Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Exeter, Axminster, Seaton, Honiton, Beer and Sidmouth

Dog rescues from fire and flood, events, and crime news are among the roundup from across East Devon – including stories from Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Exeter, Axminster, Seaton, Honiton, Beer and Sidmouth.

East Devon

Council car parks in East Devon now have a winter discount of £2 to leave vehicles all day.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) launched its winter parking deal on November 1, until the end of March 2004, in a bid to encourage people to shop local and boost trade during the quieter winter months.

All EDDC car parks are included, apart from Sideshore, in Exmouth, Otter Estuary Nature Reserve, in Budleigh Salterton, and Lyme Street, in Axminster, because they are owned privately.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “Residents and visitors can enjoy a full day out this winter, exploring what East Devon has to offer, without having to rush back to their car.

“It is hoped that reduced car park charges will help to boost trade throughout the season, especially during the typically quieter months of January and February.”


Large cracks have appeared in the seawall at Exmouth prompting the district council into repair action.

Cracks appeared in the seawall in front of Sideshore in October, which was made worse by the recent stormy weather and high tides – creating additional breaks and damage to the promenade.


The photo shows one of the cracks in the seawall.
Photo: EDDC.


The sea wall has cracked.
Photo: EDDC

Ahead of Storm Ciaran, machinery was moved in and compacted sand, wrapped in geotextile – a protective fabric – to create a temporary barrier, alongside concrete blocks, in a bid to reduce the impact of the waves.

The district council said it has employed a marine contractor to asses the damage before repairs are carried out, saying ‘medium and long-term solutions will be proposed’.

And fencing has been erected to keep people away from the wall damage. The district council said it would look to temporarily close the pavement and cycle path if further action was needed.


The sea wall damage.
Photo: EDDC.

Ottery St Mary

Ottery tar barrels’ fans turned out in their hundreds as the annual event rolled around again.

East Devon

Photo: Andy Bennett.


Photo: Andy Bennett.


Photo: Andy Bennett.

Reader Andy Bennett captured these photos from the night, showing the town’s annual tar barrel tradition – where throughout the day children, men and women ran through the streets carrying flaming barrels – which scores of people flocked to watch.

East Devon

Photo: Andy Bennett.

East Devon

Andy Bennett’s photo of the bonfire.

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Hospiscare’s Men’s Walk returns in 2024, setting off from the Double Locks, in Exeter, on Saturday, March 9.

The event is celebrating its 13th year of walk fun, and those entering before midnight on Wednesday, January 1, 2024,  are in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to watch the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

The annual fundraising event invites men to walk seven miles to raise funds for local people living with terminal illness.


Photo: Naomi Stolow

Participants can also take part from afar with Men’s Walk: Your Way, where walkers choose their own location, route and distance.

For more information, and to take part, see here.


A trio of boys spotted pushing each other in a shopping trolley and swearing at a passer-by in Exmouth were pursued by police.

Police community support officers on November 2 went to have a ‘chat’ with three boys seen in Carter Avenue park, in Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth, but the youngsters ran off, dumping the supermarket trolley and two skateboards.

Police said the boys can collect their skateboards from Exmouth Police Station.

An Exmouth police spokesperson said: “PCSOs from Exmouth neighbourhood policing team, went to have a chat with three boys who had used foul language to a member of the public and were pushing each other in a Marks and Spencer trolley in Carter Avenue park.

“All three boys ran off when they saw police and abandoned the trolley and two skateboards.

“The skateboards have been recovered as found property to Exmouth police station and can be returned to the owners, accompanied by a parent or guardian.”


Dogs and people were last week rescued from vehicles stuck in flood water near Axminster.

Firefighters from Axminster and Colyton fire stations were on November 2 called to Whitford Road, Kilmington, after police reported a vehicle was stuck in floodwater.


One of the dogs rescued by firefighters.
Photo: Axminster fire station.

When the fire crews arrived they found a car and HGV lorry at the scene,  and helped two people to safety.

An Axminster fire station spokesperson said: “Our crew successfully made contact with the occupiers of the HGV and walked them to safety, crews also removed two dogs from the vehicles involved.

“After another check of the area crews confirmed that all persons from all vehicles had been removed from floodwater, the scene was left in the hands of the police to enforce a road closure.”


A dog and her litter of six puppies trapped inside a house on fire in Exeter were rescued by firefighters.

Crews from Danes Castle and Middlemoor fire stations were on October 31 called to a home in Elmside, Exeter, where they found smoke pouring from a first-floor window.

East Devon

Puppies and their mum were rescued from a house fire in Exeter. Photo: Middlemoor fire station.


Photo: Middlemoor fire station.

Firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, immediately entered the property and found the kitchen ablaze.

A spokesperson for Middlemoor fire station urged people to check their smoke alarms, adding: “The 999 call came in just before 2pm, reporting that seven dogs were trapped inside the property.

“We arrived in three-and-a half minutes to find smoke issuing from the first-floor window. “Crews immediately entered the property wearing breathing apparatus to find the kitchen well alight.

“The fire was quickly extinguished using a hose reel jet and all of the six puppies and the puppies’ mum were rescued. They are all safe and well.”

East Devon

Some of the pups with the crew who rescued them from a house fire in Exeter.
Photo: Middlemoor fire station.


This photo shows how large waves breaking over the seawall at Seaton caused ‘serious flooding’ amid the recent storm.

The police and Beer Coastguard were on November 2 called to patrol Seaton seafront, and keep storm watchers away, after pebbles and ripped-up road surface was flung onto the highway.


Photo: Beer Coastguard Rescue Team.

The emergency services stayed on the seafront until the tide turned and the waves were no longer breaking over the sea wall.


A lone dog seen in a ‘distressed state’ near a remote beauty spot in East Devon on Sunday night (November 5) has since been reunited with its owner.

When it was noticed the pet was still wearing its lead – and fearing the dog’s owner may have fallen, or was lying injured – Coastguards from Beer and Lyme Regis were tasked to search the coast path in the Beer Head area.

East Devon

The dog was reunited with its owner. Photo: with permission Beer Coastguard Rescue Team.

Setting off shortly after midnight, crews searched the area from Seaton Hole to Branscombe mouth, and stood down at 3.30am after and no one was found.

A spokesperson for Bear Coastguard said: “A dog in a distressed state was found still with lead attached. Concerns were raised that the owner may have fallen or was lying injured in the area.

“The dog had been taken to a local vet to be checked. The animal was chipped but there were no details on the chip.

“Coastguards from Beer and Lyme were tasked to search the coast path while Lyme lifeboat did a shoreline search and the Coastguard rescue helicopter searched from the air using their thermal imaging camera.

“Police also checked a car that was parked in Beer Head car park. The car owner was not the person who we were looking for.

“With the area from Seaton hole to Branscombe mouth searched and nobody found, all units were stood down.”


Police are appealing for witnesses after it was reported an 11-year-old child was hit by a car while walking to school in Exmouth.

Exmouth police, investigating, say a light blue SUV was involved in a crash involving a child walking to school in Withycombe Village Road, between 8am and 8.15am on Tuesday, October 31.

A man driving the car got out to speak to the child and drove off in the direction of the Pound Lane roundabout, said police.

An Exmouth police spokesperson said: “The male driver got out of the vehicle and spoke to the child, but then drove off without leaving any details.

“Unfortunately, police do not have any registration details for the vehicle.”

If you have information to help police, email quoting 50230291096.


East Devon police are warning residents to be aware that people seen begging in Honiton could be linked to organised crime gangs.

The rural East Devon neighbourhood police team said it was likely the offenders had deliberately travelled to the town to persuade people to part with their cash.

Police said begging was a criminal offence, and urged residents to report it if seen happening in East Devon.

A spokesperson for the policing team said: “The rural East Devon neighbourhood team are aware of recent begging in the area, specifically Honiton.

“It is a criminal offence to beg in a public place and evidence of this may include signs, hats with money, or directly asking for money.

“It has been identified that offenders have paid to travel to East Devon to beg from other areas. Begging can be linked to organised crime groups, so the people involved may not be genuine and others may be at risk of exploitation.”

They added: “The rural East Devon neighbourhood team would like to reassure our communities that we are aware of this issue and would encourage people to come forward with information about where and when this is taking place.”


Business Ebb Tides Seaweeds, based in Sidmouth, struck gold at the Food Drink Devon awards, in recognition of its seaweed-based beer Ladram Bay Bitter.


Company directors John Hammond and Tony Coulson were presented with a gold award. Photo: with permission.

Company directors John Hammond and Tony Coulson, pictured here, accepted the gold award at a ceremony held at Sandy Park, in Exeter.

Ladram Bay Bitter joins Ebb Tides’ other gold-winning seaweed-based beer, Danger Point Red Ale.


Police who recently seized drugs from an address in Honiton are working to identify the owners of car and bike parts also found at the property.

Officers searched the property in mid-October, finding drugs and what police have described as ‘items suspected to be stolen’.

The property was raided on October 16, with police this week launching an appeal for information.

A police spokesperson said: “A warrant was executed at an address in Honiton. Drugs and items suspected to be stolen were seized from the premises.

“The seized items include car parts, catalytic converters, copper wire, and bike parts.

“Further enquiries are ongoing to identify possible owners.”


VIDEO: Brown bear saved from certain death arrives at East Devon wildlife centre


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