Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project


The Devon Bat Survey is part of the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project ( ). The survey will help us increase our understanding of bats across the county, while giving people a new way of finding out more about their local area’s wildlife and being involved in a major conservation project.

Static bat detectors are placed outside for several nights and record every bat that passes, identifying species from their unique echo-location sound call. The data they gather provide a wealth of information on the bat life of the area. As bats are an indicator of a healthy, working landscape, this can tell us a lot about the wider environment too.

The Devon Bat Survey will use an online booking system to enable Survey Volunteers to book out a static bat detector for 5-6 days. The detectors will initially be held by 20 Host Centres around the county (rising to 40 in winter 2016/17) where they can be collected and returned. Each volunteer will be responsible for sending the data to the project for analysis. Volunteer Coordinators will be recruited to check the equipment periodically and to offer support to both Host Centres and volunteers. The Host Centres play a key role in the survey, being the ‘front of house’ and the place where volunteers will connect with the survey.

Benefits for Host Centres

 Opportunity to reach new audiences and individuals

 Regular contact with members of local community

 Playing a major part in a county-wide conservation project

 Giving something back to the local community


What does being a Host Centre involve?

 Secure storage for one Anabat Express detector together with its case, strap, batteries, charger and Survey Pack

 Face-to-face contact with Survey Volunteers while borrowing/returning detectors

 Receiving emails through semi-automated booking system notifying of bookings

 Providing some basic details about the survey to Survey Volunteers

 Staying in regular touch with the project and informing us of any issues or comments

 A commitment of at least one full season from any Host Centre


Key requirements for Host Centres:

 Open between April and October (inclusive) as a minimum

 Open 6-7 days per week

 Long opening hours (ideally beyond 9-5)

 At least one regular staff member who oversees Host Centre role and is main contact point

 Easy access from a wide area

 Well used and recognised local centre serving all members of local community


If you are interested in getting involved then please contact; Helen Parr

Community Engagement Officer

01392 279244

07572 687657

Information re NHS Patient Advice Service

NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS NEW Devon CCG) patient advice and complaints team is a service to provide patients, carers, family members, the public and staff with help, advice and support with concerns or comments relating to NHS services.

The team provides free and confidential help to investigate and resolve problems as they happen and aim to do this as quickly as possible. They can also organise in depth investigations of any problems relating to healthcare across a number of different services.

Hearing from patients helps us to make improvements and gives us early warnings of system problems. It is very important for the CCG to hear when things are going wrong.

You can contact us on the phone on 01392 267665, or 0300 123 1672 

Or text us at 07789 741099

Or email

Village Voice 18/12/15

59 Village Voice 18-12-15 edition
Next Thursday is, of course Christmas Eve. Come and join with the whole community in the square as most of the village and parish welcome what many regard as the official start to Christmas, with carols supported by the village band, followed by mulled wine and mince pies (donations welcome). A collection will be made for local charities and the Crooked Spire will be open for post sing-song thirst-quenching. Midnight Mass of the Holy Nativity will take place at 11:30 p.m. the same evening and on Christmas Day, Family Eucharist will be at 9:30 a.m.
But before that, tomorrow Ermington’s Christingle Service will take place at 4 p.m. in church; all are very welcome.
On Boxing Day, the South Hams Hash House Harriers will meet for their traditional Boxing Day run which includes an optional dip in the sea and with a tot of rum as a reward for those brave, or mad, enough to do it. All welcome, including anyone new to hashing. Meet at midday at the beach at Challaborough, if you dare, and for those who don’t have to rush back to cook a Boxing Day lunch, we will round the run off with a drink at the Journey’s End, Ringmore. See the SH4 website for more info:
And to end this busy year in our village, the annual parish Christmas walk will be on Sunday December 27th. The walk won’t be a hard trek, more a leisurely stroll with friends, both two- and four-legged ones included. Meet in the Square at 11am. (Weather permitting, if it is bad it will be postponed.)
The recent planning application for conversion of part of the Crooked Spire prompted a meeting of the Save the Crooked Spire group (ECSPAG) to discuss it. As the group sees it, there are a number of advantages to the proposed development in terms of utilisation of currently unused or redundant areas of the pub which would make for a more efficient and profitable business, especially if the capital raised was injected back into the pub. The inclusion of a kitchen to provide a pub food service was very welcome as was the provision of housing in Ermington.
However the group felt there were several concerns:
Firstly, the small size of the kitchen and lack of storage space for food and drink means that only a very limited service could be offered. The beer store is also very small, meaning that the pub would not be able to offer drinks to suit a wide range of tastes. Overall the plans seem to show that there is insufficient sized catering facilities. If the Crooked Spire was only able to provide basic sandwiches and snacks the operators would be unable to make a living.
The applicants say that one of the proposed dwellings uses the saloon bar part of the pub which is not used and which is redundant, but this is not the case, and the saloon bar is actively used by a number of community groups for socialising after an event, for group meetings and is used as a venue for coordinating a number of community events throughout the year. It is a valuable social venue for Ermington.
The Crooked Spire is now the only place in the village that has the potential to accommodate a village shop, for which there is now a heightened demand since the recent completion of The Spires housing development and resultant increase in population.
The two residential properties that are proposed do not provide any garden or amenity space for their potential owners. Also, the access has very restricted sightlines onto the road.
The view of ECSPAG is that this planning application signals the beginning of the end for the Crooked Spire pub and they intend to object strongly to the proposal. If you agree, they would encourage you to write your own objection letter to SHDC and to copy in the parish council who will be considering the matter on 5th January 2016. Of course the SHDC website also accepts supporting comments as well as objections. The group took a long time to make its decision and the last thing anyone wants is a village divided, but the loss of the pub would just be too sad to contemplate.
The Save the Crooked Spire Facebook page was taken down as there was no further need for it, but since then a ‘Residents of Ermington’ Facebook page has started up which offers a forum for discussion and the current planning application is one of the village matters on which views can be shared. You can still contact the group via email to:
The planning reference is 2659/15/FUL and a link to the application on the S Hams website is here:

Village Voice 27-11-15

The ESS Christmas fair last Saturday was a huge success and the school hall was packed with knitted and stitched goods, art, pottery, Christmas decorations, jewellery, cards, wooden crafts and a banquet of delicious locally produced festive edible goods for sale. The children were able to get their hands on some brilliant, creative, crafty activities, whilst the grown-ups enjoyed mulled wine or tea and coffee and cakes. The cold wind was a challenge to those manning stalls outside the hall, but there was warmth to be had from the braziers from where also delicious smells of roasting chestnuts and smoky BBQ wafted around.
Later the same evening the winners of the annual village quiz were the Ermebridge quiz team consisting of Roy and Gina Hartwell, Rob Cross, Nick Wilkes, Dave Hughes and Mavis Hughes. The whole evening managed to raise a brilliant £265 which will be shared between the Village Fund and Devon Air Ambulance. Grateful thanks go to Pete Davis, Scott Palethorpe and Sharon Denmead for all their hard work and to Gary and Di in the Crooked Spire for hosting the event. With nine teams from all over the village and beyond, there were more than fifty people enjoying a fun and challenging evening.
There is some exciting news regarding the possibility of a village hall for Ermington. The Parish Council has invited a number of people to form a working group to undertake a consultation with parishioners on its plans for a village hall. The group is comprised of people who had expressed an interest in working towards making a village hall a reality and represent the different interests around the parish. The members of the group are: Nicky Scutt –chairperson, Cllr Marina Auburn – vice chair, Gina Hartwell – secretary, Cllr Susan Martin, Stephanie Barker, Barbara Jones, Grant Elliot, Jill Bleiker, Cllr Di Webley and Steve Hitch – consultant architect. Consultation and communication with all the parishioners is one of the most important aspects of this project. So the first thing the group would like to do is to invite you to a meeting to present you with the findings of the feasibility study in respect of the two prospective sites and discuss plans to take the project forward. Potentially a village hall, has a use for very many parishioners, whether it is a place to meet for regular groups and activities or for a function, or to get a book or attend a shop or all of these things. The meeting will take place on the 20th January 2016 so put this date in your diary and make every effort to attend, listen and have your say. We will need your help and support to make this a hall we will use and be proud of. For further information please contact: Nicky Scutt 01548 831132 or Marina Auburn on 01752 893124
Ermington village’s Christmas lights will be switched on next Saturday the 5th December starting with Fawns Close at 5.30pm then in the square at 6pm. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a small team of volunteers and it is always a joy and delight coming into the village in the dark December evenings when the square and its approaches twinkle with hundreds of tiny lights. Grateful thanks to the unsung heroes who make this happen for us.
And finally for this week, the next meeting of the parish council will take place next Tuesday, the 1st December. All welcome to the open forum at the start of the meeting.