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Farmers, rural businesses and groups helping in isolated communities during the coronavirus crisis can apply for emergency grants of up to £2,500 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund. A total of £100,000 has been made available to rural support groups giving help to counter the effects of isolation through the pandemic. Applications close on Wednesday, April 15. With thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, groups can apply for grant funding of up to £2,500 if they: • are providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals • are providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis…

The owner of a garden centre in Exeter has ripped up an ‘unfair’ prohibition notice served for falling foul of coronavirus lockdown laws – calling the letter ‘rubbish’. Plants Galore, in Topsham Road, near Countess Wear, Exeter, became one of the first business in the UK to be served notice of an offence under new Health Protection regulations. These came into law last week to protect the public from the virus and include a ban on the sale of ‘non-essential’ items. Plants Galore was immediately told to stop selling plants, seeds, bulbs and other garden items. But owner Tony Joyner…

Personal protection equipment (PPE) has been donated to the NHS by The Donkey Sanctuary to help frontline medics dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Face masks, surgical caps, full body suits, full length surgical gowns, particulate respirators, full facemasks and spare filters, plus surgical hand disinfection and hand gel have been given by the charity to local NHS teams and social care providers. The vet team at the charity, based in Sidmouth, has also worked closely with The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to lend vital equipment to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. The Donkey Sanctuary said it has enough…

A garden centre in Exeter has been served with a prohibition notice for falling foul of coronavirus lockdown laws.  Plants Galore, in Topsham Road, near Countess Wear, Exeter, became one of the first business in the UK to be issued notice of an offence under new Health Protection regulations that came into effect this week. These aim to protect the public from coronavirus – including shutting ‘non-essential’ shops and retail outlets. The notice said the branch had continued to open to the public as a garden centre and must stop immediately. It was served after Exeter City Council said it…

An Ottery St Mary business celebrating winning four national awards for its products says it is ‘living the pie life’. Chunk of Devon has been recognised nationally, winning gold, silver and bronze at the 2020 British Pie Awards, announced earlier this month. The pie factory team, based on Finnimore Trading Estate, Ottery, scooped gold for its vegan spicy jack pie and another for its steak, stilton and mushroom pie. Silver was awarded for a vegan chunky roast veg creation and bronze for Chunk of Devon’s ultimate steak pie. Suzi Bryon-Edmond, co-founder of Chunk of Devon, said: “The team were totally…

The MP for Tiverton and Honiton has urged Boris Johnson to cut through red tape when delivering financial aid to the self-employed affected by the coronavirus crisis. Neil Parish asked the Prime Minister to ‘cut through bureaucracy’ at Prime Minister’s Questions this morning (Wednesday). The Prime Minister supported Mr Parish’s concerns, saying bureaucracy was ‘the issue’ in getting the funds to where they were needed most. Mr Johnson told the House of Commons there would be ‘all sorts of benefits’ available for those in rural and coastal industries, including the fishing industry. The Prime Minister said: “That indeed is the…

A family attraction near Ottery St Mary has announced it will stay open and continue to welcome visitors amid the coronavirus crisis. Wildwood Escot, set in around 40 acres, said staff at the outdoor animal attraction were well used to taking measures to ensure the wellbeing of public health, and the methods taken to address the coronavirus issue had been ‘relatively simple’. The family attraction said maintaining consistent staffing levels meant Wildwood Escot had to make only ‘nominal alterations’ to adhere to government advice, and continue to offer a close-to-normal service. George Hyde, general manager, said: “We’ve followed the government…

‘Lucky’ shirts sponsored by an Exeter business have been welcomed by pupils representing Budleigh Salterton at sporting events and competitions. Youngsters from St Peter’s Primary School were recently presented with the lime green tops, showing the school’s logo, thanks to Clip ‘n Climb, based at Exeter Quay. Steve Hitchcock, St Peter’s Primary School headteacher, said: “They’ve brought us good luck so far – we’ve reached three Devon finals in hockey, cross country and cyclo cross.” He added: “A big thanks to Aaron and Sally Eade of Clip ‘n Climb in Exeter for sponsoring our very fetching new sports tops. “These…

A housing developer recently announced the start of its next phase of home building for Cranbrook. Taylor Wimpey Exeter said the fifth phase of development at East Devon’s newest town, Cranbrook, was launched last month and includes two, three and four-bedroom homes. Melissa Langton, for the housing developer, said “We’re really excited to launch the fifth phase of our Cranbrook development this year. “Our site team has been working incredibly hard ahead of the launch, and we can’t wait to welcome people to site when we open our doors.” Cranbrook resident Matt Rowett – in support of the new homes…

The Devon County Show has been moved from May until August in a bid to help halt the spread of coronavirus. The Devon County Show’s 125th anniversary event has been postponed until the summer, with the event planned to go ahead over the bank holiday weekend, on August 28, 29 and 30. The board of directors of three major agricultural events in the South West – Devon County Show, The Royal Bath & West Show and The Royal Cornwall Show, today announced the postponement of the trio of events because of the COVID-19 pandemic and risk of virus spread. The…

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