Seaton Cycle Fest Returns

Stunning coastal setting hosts fast-paced town centre races

Race Day: Sunday 7th July 2019

 

The successful Seaton Cycle Fest returns for its fourth year on Sunday 7th July. Seaton Cycle Fest is held in the beautiful Devon seaside town and includes fast and furious criterium races for all ages.

 

Race Day, on Sunday 7th July, sees some of the best riders from the region and beyond taking part in a series of fast-paced criterium races covering a 1.2km circuit following the long, flat seafront as well as a sharp ascent and tricky technical descent.  Race categories include youth, juniors, men and women, throughout the day. For the first time, this year will see the introduction of a veteran’s race for racers over 40 years old.

 

Brandon Ellis, organiser of the Race Day says, “The Cycle Fest is back for its fourth year and will be even bigger and better for 2019. All the races will be judged by chip timing this year and we have added a race for riders over 40. The race continues to attract the cream of British Cycling. Past winners have included internationals Will Tidball and Lauren Dolan, local pro rider George Fowler, and last year our main race winner was Steve Lampier one of the most experienced professional riders on the UK circuit. We are also hoping to introduce a community event in conjunction with British Cycling, our sponsors and Seaton’s local cycling club Axe Valley Pedallers.”

 

Spectators can also enjoy family entertainment, food and delicious snacks and art and crafts in the Festival Village. Seaton’s many cafés, pubs and eateries are also open for visitors to enjoy throughout Cycle Fest in addition to overnight accommodation for those enjoying the whole weekend.

 

Seaton Cycle Fest is organised by Seaton Town Council in association with 1st Chard Wheelers and British Cycling.

Race entries can be made at: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/194639/Seaton-Cycle-Fest-Town-Centre-Races-Round-5-of-the-South-West-Circuit-Series

 

To find accommodation, the best places to eat and drink and other attractions in Seaton visit www.seatondevon.org.

Seaton Freeman celebrates 90th birthday

Well-known local and Freeman of Seaton, Ted Gosling, recently celebrated his 90th birthday with a community party.

 

The party was arranged by Seaton Town Council and held at the Marshlands Centre and was attended by Ted and his wife along with friends and colleagues from Seaton Museum and Town Councillors.

 

Ted was born in Seaton and his community involvement began at the age of 12 during the Second World War when he became a messenger boy for the Air Raid Protection group. After leaving school at 14 to work in a local garage, his passion for cars started. His national service was spent in the RAF repairing instruments, primarily the Lancaster plane that after the war was being used for photographic surveillance work. After national service he returned to the motor trade and opened a garage that also restored vintage cars. Ted also worked in the insurance industry and was the top sales agent in the South West in 1978 when he worked for the London & Manchester Insurance Group.

 

Ted’s other passion, for which he is most known for in the area is history, particularly local history and he was a founding member of the Axe Valley Heritage Association that runs Seaton Museum. Ted continues to be the curator and Secretary and can be found at the Museum every open day greeting visitors and answering questions. A prolific author, Ted has written 30 history books relating to Devon and particularly East Devon.

 

Town Mayor, Cllr Ken Beer commented: “It was an honour to host Ted’s 90th birthday celebrations – Ted is an integral part of the Seaton community and has done so much for the town over the years, preserving and championing its history and of course ensuring that the town’s museum remains open. Happy birthday Ted!”

Walking through Seaton

As walking routes go, Seaton in East Devon has a lot to offer ramblers.  With a stunning mix of coastal scenery, wildlife and country views the town itself is an idyllic stop off for mid walk lunches, drinks or simply for a break.  As we get ready to embrace spring, now is the perfect time to dust off the walking boots and start planning a route.

 

A gateway to the Jurassic Coast, Seaton offers visitors some of nature’s most beautiful scenery. The town is blessed to have the Seaton wetlands nearby but also an array of independent cafes and shops offering walkers a place to refuel and relax.

 

Seaton Town Mayor Ken Beer said “nestled in a beautiful part of East Devon, it’s easy to see why Seaton comes out top in terms of walking destination or a stop off point. We have the picturesque Jurassic Coast on our doorstep, as well as impressive areas of nature at its finest at the Wetlands. Our town is proud to be home to a range of independent cafes and shops, providing walkers with all the necessities to make their day pleasant, entertaining and fun!”

 

The South West Coast Path and East Devon Way offers some fantastic walking routes for all abilities and experience. Whether you are wanting to take a short walk or stride out on the cliff tops, you’ll find outstanding views, picturesque harbours, tranquil estuaries and secret coves – all within Seaton.

 

Walkers looking for something challenging, this route starting in Sidmouth is a great way to explore the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty finishing up in Seaton. Take a look at the route here: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/180/

 

For those looking for a more leisurely walk, follow the Colyton to the Sea Linear walk. This 3.4 mile walk will take you along the Coly River through the Axe Estuary Wetlands arriving in Seaton. Return by foot, bus or the fantastic Seaton Tram. Take a look at the route here:  http://www.eastdevonway.org.uk/colyton-seaton-linear

Seaton Big Clean

A BIG THANK YOU to all those who volunteered for the BIG CLEAN on Saturday 2nd March.

We were delighted to see so many volunteers turn up o the day and everyone’s commitment and hard work has made a huge difference to the environment in Seaton for residents, businesses and visitors.  Well done.

 

OYEZ: New Town Crier Wanted for Seaton

Applications are open for a new town crier in Seaton. Following the retirement of the former crier in 2017, Seaton Town Council is looking for volunteers to take on this noisy and celebrated role.

Seaton Councillor Ken Beer explains, “Seaton’s town crier is an important and traditional role and we are keen to appoint a new crier as soon as possible. Our town holds many events throughout the year and a town crier adds ceremony and history to those as well as being a great attraction for tourists. A town crier can be any age or gender – as long as they have a loud voice, a sense of fun and a love of Seaton we would like to hear from them.”

Former Seaton Town Crier, David Craner, attended events and spread the word across the town for over six years, enjoying the voluntary role until his recent retirement. He says, “A town crier gets to meet a variety of people and be part of a community. In Seaton, holiday makers from all over the world have their photo taken with me – some of them have never seen a town crier before. It is a such an enjoyable way to represent the town.”

The Seaton Town Crier has the honour of starting the renowned annual Grizzly run setting the 2,500 runners off on the 20-mile race from Seaton seafront as well as attending up to 40 events a year including meeting residents, opening new shops and entertaining visitors at the town’s summer events. The volunteer also wears a specially made Seaton Town Crier outfit, covered in badges about the town, as part of the role.

David Craner says, “Anyone wanting to volunteer for the role should just go for it. I am happy to help with advice or take them out for a practice to make a bit of noise. If you are a forward-thinking, friendly person who loves Seaton, this is the role for you!”

Whilst this is a voluntary role, expenses are paid.  Anyone interested in volunteering for the role of Seaton Town Crier should send their CV into the Town Clerk at Seaton Town Council on townclerk@seaton.gov.uk or call 01297 21388.

World Wetlands Day – James Chubb Q&A

In respect of World Wetlands Day on 2nd February 2019 we’ve spoken to James Chubb Countryside Team Leader at East Devon District Council about the fabulous Seaton Wetlands and all that it has to offer…

 What is your role on a day to day basis?

The role of Nature Reserve Manager alters massively from day to day; its my responsibility to ensure the site is safe and welcoming for human and animal visitors! Adjusting water levels to seasonally flood areas or dry them out, looking after livestock, and monitoring wild species are all part of the daily task list.

  1. What is Seaton Wetlands?

Seaton Wetlands is an area of saltmarsh and freshwater grazing marsh on the western bank of the Axe estuary near the town of Seaton.

  1. Why are the Wetlands important?

The wetlands are important breeding grounds for many rare animals, most notably birds, but mammals too. The mosaic of lagoons, ponds, reedbed grassland and traditionally-managed hedgerows are alive with biodiversity and bring wildlife and people together for the ultimate wild experience.

  1. What can you expect to see if you visit the Wetlands? What is the standout wildlife that you have seen there?

We’ve recently reintroduced water voles, so they  should be a prominent mammal to look out for in the summer months; otters are very active this winter so will possibly breed in the nature reserve this summer, the hedgerows are home to endangered dormice and harvest mice are found in the scruffy grass margins. Our rarest mammal is probably the grey long eared bat – only a handful of sites in the UK are known to have this amazing little animal! In bird terms the site is an important breeding area for shelduck, barn owls and kestrels breed in the valley and feed on the reserve and oystercatcher breed on the islands of Black Hole Marsh todal lagoon.

  1. Are there any guided walks and talks that take place? What do these involve?   

We have regular Meet the Birds mornings, where an experienced guide is in the hide to help visitors identify what they are looking at. We have a really busy events programme which runs throughout the year and includes canoe safaris and night time bat walks, all can be found at wildeastdevon.com

  1. When is the best time of year to visit the Wetlands?

ANY TIME! There’s something to see in any month and each month is slightly different to the next!

  1. Do you encourage families with children to visit the Wetlands? Are there things for children to do/ learn?

Yes, the site is really popular with families as there are no vehicles and no dogs so it is really safe and secure. The cyclepath runs through the site and is a great place for little people to learn to ride bikes, its not all about the wildlife.

  1. How can people get involved to help protect and conserve the Wetlands?

We have a regular group of volunteers who grapple with practical tasks ever Tuesday, we’ve always keen to encourage more people to join in. Our Discovery Hut is open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday and is staffed by a loyal volunteer workforce. They extend a warm welcome to visitors, point out the daily interests, make refreshements and introduce people to our resident ‘pet’ harvest mice and estuary fish tank. Local companies donate staff time to help with conservation tasks too.

  1. How many Wetlands are in Devon?

Devon is rich in wetlands with all of the major river estuaries in the County having intertidal wetland features. However Seaton Wetlands is the largest purpose-built site for visitors and wildlife, and so I am honour bound to recommend people come here!

Seaton Wetlands has been nominated in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2019 in the ‘Best Nature Reserve’ category!

To vote for our fantastic nature reserve, click the following link:

https://countryfile.awardsplatform.com/entry/vote/XmyNDrpZ/ajwarKWP?search=9c97739b7ef12c67-4

The voting deadline is 17th February at 23:59pm.

New Seaton Mayor Appointed

Cllr Ken Beer has been appointed as Seaton’s new mayor. Cllr Beer was elected to the role with Cllr. Jack Rowland elected as deputy mayor.

The election took place following the resignation of the previous mayor, Cllr Peter Burrows earlier this month. Cllr Beer has been a town councillor since 2011.

Cllr Beer said: “As a councillor I am passionate about Seaton and all we have to offer as a thriving coastal town. Having been lucky enough to call this town home for the past 11 years, it is an honour and a privilege to be elected as mayor. I am looking forward to working with my fellow councillors to continue to drive forward the positive development of our wonderful town.”

Cllr Beer has been an active member on the Planning, Finance, Communities and Personnel Committees and will be working closely with his fellow councilors to continue to support the town.

Seaton CycleFest 2019

Seaton Town Council is pleased to confirm this year’s annual CycleFest event will take place on Sunday 7th July 2019.  Last year the event was even bigger and better with two events spread across a whole weekend, starting with the Velo Vintage Cycle procession on the Saturday followed by the professional racing on the Sunday.

This year, the two events will run on separate occasions, allowing for maximum attendance at both events.  The Vintage Cycle Day is scheduled for Saturday 22nd June 2019, where Seaton will see the return of over 100 vintage cyclists descending upon Seaton with #VeloVintage www.velovintage.co.uk.

Sunday 7th July will welcome British Cycling back to Seaton with the town centre turning into a race course and featuring some of the greatest cyclists in the South West.

Please watch this space for further updates on both events.

New Devon Air Ambulance Night Landing Site for Seaton

A cricket tea, hosted by Seaton Cricket Club, officially opened the new Devon Air Ambulance Night Landing Site on their Court Lane ground on Saturday 1st December.

Representatives of the Town Council and Devon Air Ambulance Trust attended the launch, along with members of the Club and local people who donated their time and energy to fundraising for the project.

The Seaton site joins a number of Community Landing Sites across the county which are funded by the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) and through fundraising by the local community as well as Seaton Town Council with the initial pledge of £1,000. The sites allow year-round, after dark missions to be flown to increase the life-saving capacity of DAAT.

Former Seaton Cricket Club Chairman Chris Gamwell was instrumental in bringing the landing site to the club. He said: “Seaton Cricket Club has seen the Air Ambulance land on the outfield many times over the years during daylight hours, so it seemed a logical next step to enable night landings to take place here too.”

Former Seaton Town Councillor and member of Seaton Cricket Club Martin Pigott thanked those who had raised the funds to enable the installation of the floodlighting to allow night landings to take place.  “We’d like to thank Guy Sweetman from East Devon Sports therapy and the Seaton Free Masons for their significant donations. Thanks also go to the team of runners, headed up by Amy Catley, who braved the Grizzly Run in last year’s snow to raise much needed funds.”

Other donations have been made by Seaton Probus Club, the Seaton Development Trust and the Axe Valley Runners.

The new floodlights will enable the Air Ambulance to fly after nightfall until 2am with the hope in the future to offer a 24-hour service.

New signs for Seaton

New town centre maps, brown tourist signs and town attraction signs in Seaton have been organised by Seaton Town Council.  The new signs were launched in response to requests by residents and independent businesses and as a result of an initial audit of all signs undertaken by the Town Development Team.

The new maps, displayed in and around the town centre include brief descriptions of points of interest in the town and clearly mark the shopping areas to encourage visitors to explore all parts of the town.

The brown tourist and follow-on signs on the highway and routes into Seaton have also been improved recently to encourage visitors to explore the town’s various attractions. This project was led by Seaton Town Council, working in partnership with Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Devon Wildlife Trust, Seaton Tramway and Seaton Wetlands Team, with funding from all parties.

Further new signs raise the profile of Axminster Station as a ‘gateway’ to the Jurassic Coast and surrounding countryside, following a proposal put forward by the Jurassic Coast team. The new signage is installed at Axminster Station and seeks to inspire people to visit the attractions of Seaton, Axminster and the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by catching the Jurassic Coaster bus.   This project was funded by Seaton & Axminster Town Councils, Seaton Tramway, Seaton Jurassic and East Devon District Council, and matched by South Western Railway.

A Seaton Town Council spokesperson said: “Seaton is a wonderful place offering both residents and tourists plenty of things to do. We’re very proud to work closely with local councils and attractions to help build on the town’s identity. Clear signage is a sure way to maximise a visitor’s experience and improve the town.”