Welcome to Belstone
Welcome to the Community Website for Belstone - a village on the northern edge of Dartmoor in Devon. If you have something to contribute please contact the editors Edwina & Robin Hill editor@belstonevillage.net

Last updated 22-apr-15


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The Belstone Friends of the Children’s Hospice South West are, once again, hosting their annual Jazz in the Garden at St Anthony’s Close, Skaigh Lane, Belstone (courtesy of Haldon & Pepe).
As usual, bring your own picnic and, once again, we’ll be listening to music from the Hogsnort – a popular Devon 6-piece band who specialise in playing Jolly Jazz from the 1920s.
Slightly earlier start this time - doors open at 6.00pm to allow picnics to start and the music begins at 7.00pm. Hot drinks on sale during the evening and undercover space provided in case of inclement weather! Car parking in nearby field – well signed. Bring rugs/chairs/tables, as you wish. (If weather is really bad, we will decamp into the village hall). Tickets £10 from Angela on 01837 840234 – all profits to The Children’s Hospice South West.





Over the last few weeks residents & visitors to the picturesque village of Belstone will have seen the old telephone box in the centre of the village transformed into a new home for a defibrillator.
Twelve months ago the Village Hall Committee started the process of fundraising to bring a defibrillator to the village and the telephone box seemed to be a perfect home for it, as BT had offered it to the community for just £1 as part of their ‘Adopt a Kiosk Scheme.
Recently there has been a significant drive to increase the number of defibrillators available in rural locations, where medical treatment is more than 5 minutes away, as following a cardiac arrest the chances of survival drop dramatically after each minute. The national charity ‘Community Heartbeat Trust’ has been established to support communities wanting to install their own equipment.
Belstone is a very active community, hosting many events and is popular with walkers so it was felt that having a defibrillator readily to hand would be a great asset, although of course it is hoped that it will never be needed.
The main fundraising effort came at the Village Fair last July, when all records were broken and over £2,000 was raised towards the costs. Since then, with the support of ‘Community Heartbeat Trust’ the telephone kiosk has been adopted by the Parish Council and over the last few weeks the phone has been removed, the box stripped back, repainted and undergone a complete transformation with paint provided free by the British Coatings Federation, including new gold paint for the crowns on the top of the box..
The defibrillator has now been fitted and is available for anyone to use should it be needed. The lightweight unit, once opened, guides the user with step by step voice instructions through the actions that are needed, identifying if a shock is required and ensuring it can be used effectively in any situation.
Rona Gundry, Chair of Belstone Village Hall Committee said ‘ Of course we hope it is never needed, but having a defibrillator in the village means that should anyone suffer a cardiac arrest we have the equipment available to give them the best possible chance of survival. Thanks to BT’s Adopt a Kiosk Scheme we have been able to retain and make good use of the phone-box for the community and with its new paintwork it looks great and we retain this heritage box for the future
Any community considering whether they may be able to fit their own defibrillator can get support from http://www.communityheartbeat.org.uk/
And www.payphones.bt.com/adopt_a_kiosk/HTML/payphone/index.htm


. . . a treat is in store! On 22nd May Belstone Village Hall is hosting The Belstone Grub Club - a three course meal provided by Pickleshack, a 'pop-up' restaurant. Josh McDonald-Johnson is a Michelin-trained chef and uses only ingredients which are locally, ethically and sustainably resourced, to provide a three-course meal in venues around the county.
On Friday 22nd May they will be providing one of their sumptuous dining experiences at Belstone Village Hall. 730-10.30pm; £23 per head; BYO drinks.

Booking is essential so, to find out more about Pickleshack visit http://www.pickleshack.co.uk/
or to book your tickets http://www.belstone.eventbrite.co.uk


On last year’s early morning walk we heard a cuckoo calling over towards Cullever Steps.  After our hearty Village Hall breakfast I went home and entered the details on the cuckoo page of the Devon Birds website (www.devonbirds.org/birdwatching/recording/cuckoos) and immediately saw my report appear as a little red dot on the interactive online map.  It was the first of several reports I made as the moor around Belstone became a ‘hot-spot’ for cuckoos with at least three birds in residence.  In all 728 reports were made of cuckoos in Devon, with about 600 of them from their Dartmoor stronghold, the first on 5 April and the last on 25 June.  Now they will be on their way back again from the Congo rainforest – so far to travel, Mike_Jones_Cuckooso many dangers to face, all for just two months on the moor.  Let’s hope we see or hear them on this year’s dawn chorus walk which sets off from Belstone Village Hall at 5.30am on Saturday 25 April. Can we improve on the 37 species we saw or heard last year, which included an unexpected sparrowhawk, stock dove and herring gull?  Will we ever see a dipper at Chapel Ford? 
Wear your walking boots for the rough bits and bring your binoculars, but please leave your dog at home.  We should be back at the Hall for cereals, toast, bacon rolls, cheese scones and hot drinks by 8am.  Suggested donations of £2 for the walk or £5 for the walk and breakfast will be gratefully received for Hall funds.
Chris Walpole    27/3/15  (Cuckoo photo courtesy of Mike Jones)


GARDEN OPENAndrews_Corner_Garden
Andrrews_Corner_GardenAndrews Corner Garden begins its 43rd NGS opening season, with the large collection of erythroniums in full bloom (pictured left: Erythronium hendersonii, right: Erythronium Minnehaha) . Also, a wide variety of trees, shrubs and other plants.

Join us for cream teas, cakes, hot and cold beverages in a beautiful setting on the northern edge of Dartmoor. Chickens, veg garden, children's playhouse, fairy doors and a family quiz sheet - plenty to amuse all ages! Click to see more info and pics of Andrews Corner.



Don’t worry, we’re not going to be climbing to the top of Cosdon.  The main objective of this latest Secrets walk is to investigate some intriguing man-made structures not far up the slope opposite Belstone.  Why are they there?  Who built them?  How long ago?  And why is there a Belstone boundary stone nowhere near the parish boundary?  Down in the valley we will also uncover evidence of past mining activity from well-defined leats and mysterious adits to ruined buildings and important stones.  How many bits of old iron can we find embedded, Excalibur-like, in the granite, and what do they mean?
Join walk leader Chris Walpole for the two hour expedition which leaves Belstone Village Hall at 1.30pm on Saturday 9 May.  Refreshments will be served in the Hall when we return.  Walking boots required.  Dogs must be kept under close control and on a lead near livestock.  Donations will be accepted for Hall funds (suggested donation for the walk £2; for the walk and grub £5.


Many thanks to all our Vice Presidents for once again helping the Club last season – generous support from around 75 families and businesses raised £1415 which went a long way towards keeping us financially sound. The Club’s fundraising events were also successful, with over £1700 made from two car boot sales, a cream tea afternoon, the ever-popular Race Night and the C&G All Stars match. 
So to this season. Joyce Woods is our new chairwoman, taking over from Andy Paterson. The good news is she will be continuing to organise the tea rota as well.  There is just one home game in April, on Sunday 26th, against touring side Verwood from Dorset. The following Sunday, 3rd May, we begin life in Division One of the North Devon League with a home game against Sandford starting at 1.30pm.  With the best standard of cricket ever seen at Rew Meadow about to start this is a great opportunity for any cricketers new to the area to come and join us – give captain Richard Drake a call on 01363 82463 or Team Secretary Matty Dennis on 07813 898863 or contact us via our website www.pitchero.com/clubs/belstonecricketclub. Welcome news for older members of the side who tire easily – League rules have been altered so games will now be 40 overs a side, instead of 45 a side.    
Chris Walpole 27/3/15

If you couldn’t get into Belstone Village Hall for the sell-out ‘Cash for Khazi’ concert last month, or if you were there and would like to see and hear it again, then why not snap up the DVD version, which is now available for £5 as a further fund-raiser for Belstone Church.  Among the highlights are songs from Cats, Les Misérables and Showboat performed by talented local group Concordia, old favourites Super Trouper and Chatanooga Choo Choo, a sing-a-long to Pharrell Williams’ Happy, and a return to the disco days of Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees as the Belstone Dance Troupe strut their stuff to Stayin’ Alive.  Call 01837 840498 or email chris.walpole@mypostoffice.co.uk if you’d like a copy.

West Devon Borough Council have introduced new dog control orders across the Borough. There are four Orders as follows:

1. DOG FOULING. It will be an offence for a person in charge of a dog who fails to remove any dog fouling. This applies on all land open to the air in the Borough, to which the public have access with or without payment. There is an exception on Forestry Commission land.
2. DOGS ON LEADS. Dogs will be required to be on a lead across the Borough in all car parks, near retail premises and in cemeteries, churchyards and war memorials. Leads will also be required in all fenced, hedged or walled ponds, areas of water or nature reserves, together with all marked sports fields whilst organised sport is in progress . Other locations have been listed on the Schedules by some Town and Parish Councils. On Open Access Land  (Dartmoor) across the Borough, dogs are required to be on short fixed leads (2 metres or less) as required under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, between 1st March and 31st July and at all times near livestock.
3. DOG EXCLUSIONS. Dogs will be banned from fenced, hedged, walled children’s play areas, bowling greens, tennis courts, skateboard/BMX parks and putting greens. Also dogs will be excluded from sporting or recreational facility pitches when sport is in play.  Other locations have been listed on the Schedules by some Town and Parish Council’s.
4. DOGS ON LEADS BY DIRECTION. Any officer authorised by SHDC (including certain external officers) can request a dog owner place their dog on a lead in any open public land, to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other person. This also applies to prevent the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.
Full details of these Orders can be found on the West Devon Borough Council website: http://www.westdevon.gov.uk/dogorde

A rich crop of local and national artists will headline at the 38th Dartmoor Folk Festival, which will be held at South Zeal, near Okehampton, on August 7, 8 and 9.
Artists booked, to date, are Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, Huw Williams and Maartin Allcock, Alistair Anderson, Jeff Warner (USA), The Dovetail Trio, Liam Robinson Dance Band and Kestor Stringband.
Other artists attending include The Dartmoor Pixie Band (Friday and Sunday night), Tony Beard, Entertainingly Different, Dave Wills, various morris and dance teams, plus more to be confirmed.
The festival will include a packed programme of concerts, a ramble on Dartmoor, a ceilidh, folk service, craft displays, dances, a Children's Festival, a Dartmoor Fayre, music hall, pub sessions and music, song and dance workshops.
Competitions include the Dartmoor Broom Dance championships and Dartmoor Stepdance Championships.
It was 38 years ago that the festival was founded by the late Bob Cann, who lived in the parish of South Zeal.  He had the dream of a folk event on his doorstep that would help to revive and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor.
It was the traditional music, dance, song and crafts of the area that formed the basis for the first festival and they still remain for the association which runs the festival today.
Since it was founded it has grown so that it can invite some of the best folk artists around, whilst maintaining its reputation for being a relaxed, friendly and traditional festival.
For further details, visit the website:www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk .
To enquire about booking tickets, telephone 01837 840102

Results of the Photographic Competition 2014 can be found by clicking here for winners or here for highly commended.


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