Browsing: Ottery St Mary

Worsening staff shortages mean a lifeline service helping elderly and vulnerable East Devon residents in emergencies will be run by a private company for a year.  The districts council’s cabinet unanimously backed the night-time move for Home Safeguard after the number of vacant call-handler positions tripled to six. Members previously backed handing part of the service – which receives an average of 21 calls a night – to firm Night Owl for an initial four months in September 2021. I’m extremely reassured that this doesn’t represent any thin end of the wedge towards this happening in perpetuity… Now officers say staff shortages are…

A total of 70 English oak trees are to be planted across East Devon to marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year. District council chiefs are celebrating the landmark – a first for any British monarch – by gifting saplings and commemorative plaques to every town and parish. They hope planting can begin this month. After two years of difficulty and challenge, we now have an opportunity to boost the wellbeing of all… East Devon District Council (EDDC) says it is working with councillors and local councils ‘to find suitable locations’ for the trees. Oaks are renowned for their longevity,…

Trees have toppled, waves have battered the coast and tiles have been ripped from roofs by gale-force winds as Storm Eunice battered East Devon today (Friday, February 18).  A number of schools were shut and rail services suspended as the Met Office issued an Amber Wind Warning for the area. Warnings were also issued for people to stay away from the coastline and to only travel if absolutely necessary. Fallen trees blocked several roads. In a joint statement, South Western Railway and Network Rail said: “Gusts of more than 90mph wind have caused multiple incidents across the SWR network today, with 30…

East Devon residents have been warned to stay away from seafronts with winds of up to 100mph expected when Storm Eunice blows in on Friday, February 18. A number of schools across the district and in Exeter have also announced they will shut for the day due to the conditions. They currently include Exmouth Community College and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in the town, along with primary schools in Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Honiton, and Axminster. A full list can be found here. The South West is set to be battered by gale-force gusts – the worst of them happening between…

An appeal has been launched to raise £9,000 in a bid to refurbish a wooden walkway in East Devon to view rare red squirrels. British wildlife conservation charity Wildwood Trust is raising funds through an online page to help restore the timber walkway through the red squirrel enclosure at its park at Escot, near Ottery St Mary. The charity said the walkway, built 11 years ago, was in ‘desperate need of repair’ and the only one of its kind in Devon allowing the red squirrel to be seen in its natural habitat. Restoring the squirrels’ home will also help the…

There is a new opportunity for children in Exeter and East Devon to enjoy outdoor learning and play as The Outdoors Group launches its latest forest school at Escot Estate, near Ottery. Opening just after February half term ‘The Forest School at Escot’ is located near Ottery St Mary in a section of Black Aller Woods, a stunning plot of mixed woodland with an ever-changing setting including carpets of bluebells throughout spring. Head of Forest Schools, Nick Murphy explains how the new site came about. He said: “We’d been looking for a suitable plot of woodland for a while and when…

The first Saturday of February was not a particularly profitable one for local football clubs in East Devon playing at step five and six, writes Stephen Birley. Exmouth Town let a 2-1 lead slip to end up losing 3-2 on their visit to Cadbury Heath for their latest Toolstation Western League (step five) game. The Southern Road men remain second in the table, but this defeat may well prove to be fatal in terms of their title aspirations. Town were 2-1 to the good thanks to goals from Arron Denny, who netted in the very first minute, and Nathan Cooper,…

A mystery thief stealing Koi Carp under the cover of darkness from a garden centre in Ottery St Mary has been identified by eagle-eyed staff. A brazen otter has been twice spotted dashing away in the dark from the crime scene at Otter Garden Centres, where three Koi Carp have gone missing from a pond. The remaining fish have been removed by staff and the pond drained, in a bid to curb the otter’s night-time antics. Jim Walker, the garden centre’s fish expert, who spotted otter prints in mud near near the pond, said: “We couldn’t believe that an otter…

East Devon residents recycled 48,000 tonnes of rubbish last year as waste crews made six million collections. The whopping weight – equivalent to 4,000 double-decker buses or 98 jumbo jets – was taken from kerbsides as part of six million collections. Council contractors carried out 4.5million recycling, 1.5million waste, and 300,000 green waste collections. A massive thank-you to the team who continue to provide our kerbsides collections and a massive thank-you to every single resident who recycles each week…East Devon District Council (EDDC) introduced a new recycling and waste system in 2017 – rated in 2021 as the ninth best…

A host of fundraising events held over 2021 by garden centre staff in Ottery St Mary has raised more than £14,000 for Hospiscare. The business this week thanked all who had supported the events to raise much-needed funds for the charity, totalling £14,700. It was the third  consecutive year the garden centre in Ottery has backed Hospiscare through fundraising. Jacqui Taylor, Otter Garden Centres managing director, said: “This is, quite simply, a brilliant total. It shows just how much this local charity means to our team and customers. “We are so incredibly grateful for the ongoing support and enthusiasm shown…

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