Archive for October, 2011


Following the popularity in February of the Oyster Shack as a venue for a reunion, we have arranged for a repeat performance on 25th November.  We shall be taking advantage of the excellent 3 courses for £12 offer again, as per the details below.  If you would like  oysters (instead of the starter)  or a side dish (as an extra) please include this in your advance order as we are trying to simplify the procedure on the day in order to serve everybody promptly.

Click here to see the menu – Oyster Shack 251111

This will be a members only event.


ORDER DETAILS:-  Please place your orders with Ros Brousson (01548 550792 or by 18th November.   Payment for whatever you consume should be made direct to the Shack, on the day.  Any cancellations after 18th November will incur the full cost of the order.


To help you work up an appetite, there will be an ACA beach clean on Cockleridge, Bigbury on Sea,  on Saturday 19th November, 2.00-3.30pm.  High tide will be around 12.30pm.  These clean ups are always an enjoyable social event, usually in fine weather (!), and provide a warming sense of righteousness – well worth the effort!  Please bring your friends along.

An important message to owners of boats in the Avon Estuary

An important message from Aveton Gifford Parish Council (AGPC) to boat owners:

The appearance of Bridge End creek and access to the Avon Estuary from the creek has been increasingly limited by abandoned and neglected boats, kayaks and canoes.  Some items may have been fly-tipped, whilst others have come to an end of their useful life.   The best way of dealing with this situation has been the topic of several discussions over a long period of time between AGPC, the Aune Conservation Association and the Duchy of Cornwall; all are agreed on the course of action now being taken by AGPC.


Some items have been removed to Timbers Car Park in Aveton Gifford on recent tides, and can be viewed there until October 31st.  If you wish to identify and claim an item please call 01548 550301  or 01548 550907.  Arrangements have been made after that date for disposal of unclaimed items.


The salmon poaching season has started already it seems and these single-minded criminals are again compromising the wellbeing of the river and its wildlife.  REMINDER:- fishing with nets or from a boat is illegal on the Avon; SHDC byelaws).

A local person out kayaking on the Avon this morning (2nd October 2011) at 9.15am (yes – broad daylight!) saw two 40(-ish!)- year old men putting out a 150’ net just upstream of Milburn Orchard on the incoming tide.  Presumably, they were after salmon which have started their seasonal run upriver.  The Environment Agency were informed via their 24/7 hotline.
The poachers’ open boat was bright blue, outboard-driven, of unknown origin and it is not known whether the men left the river via Bantham or Aveton Gifford (Timbers car park).

It seems likely that we shall have more of the same if the salmon are running  so please  keep an eye open and if you see anything suspicious – day or night, report it to both the EA on 0800 807060 (Freephone, 24 hour service) and the police on 08452 777 444.

Please note:  we have been warned not to approach these people under any circumstances; they often operate in highly professional criminal gangs and may be violent.

Your observations of the river are our biggest asset in trying to stop
this sort of illegal activity.  Any information you can provide will be
treated in confidence but will be of tremendous help.  Thank you.



A mere 8 of us set out at 11.30am on 28th September from near old Loddiswell Station in brilliant sunshine for a relaxed 90 min stroll, upstream along the Avon as far as Topsham Bridge.  There, we enjoyed our picnic lunches in the sun, gazing at several Brown Trout as the Avon burbled beneath our feet, before returning for tea at Avon Mill Garden Centre.

The walk is beautiful at any time of year but in the unexpectedly warm autumn sunshine it was a delight to spot a Kingfisher’s blue flash as it shot upstream from a perch beneath one of the old railway bridges spanning the river and to watch a Dipper, probing in the shallow river water.    In a few weeks’ time, the autumn colours will be a spectacular sight.

The walk follows the old rail bed of the Kingsbridge to South Brent line, the original Primrose Line named after the spring flowers which lined its route, most of which followed the River Avon.  The journey must have been a wonderful experience! The line terminated at Kingsbridge Railway Station — now part of the Union Road industrial estate — and travellers could carry on by coach to Dartmouth if they so chose.   The line was a victim of Dr Beeching’s cuts in 1963 when uneconomical branch lines across the West country and elsewhere were savagely axed from British Rail’s system.  Other lines axed in similar circumstances, such as the Totnes to Buckfastleigh and the Paignton to Kingswear lines, were later saved and continue to be run privately as popular steam railways.  However, between Kingsbridge and South Brent the lines were ripped up and many of the bridges were torn down making it virtually impossible for the line to ever reopen. What a shame!  Unfortunately the few remaining bridges carry no information about their history or construction (which must have been a major undertaking, so massive are some of the building stones).  However, some interesting background information and historical photographs of the Primrose Line stations are available by clicking on the following link:-