Press Releases


News Release

For immediate release: 

Media contact: Helen King 07525 115 489 / Cathy Horsley 07951 154530,

Bringing the buzz back to Braunton’s road verges

Wildflowers are coming back to Braunton’s road verges! Thanks to funding from the North Devon AONB’s Nature and Climate Challenge Fund, Braunton Parish Council, and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s West Country Buzz project, Braunton Parish Council has purchased new cut and collect machinery, to collect grass cuttings from its road verges.

Bumblebees pollinate our crops and wildflowers. Road verges are potential bumblebee highways which offer a green route through our towns, helping bumblebees move from one place to another by providing valuable food for them.

Most road verges are managed by leaving grass cuttings in place due to a lack of equipment to collect them. This unfortunately raises soil fertility, and because most wildflowers need low nutrient levels, this management results in species-poor verges of little value to nature. Collecting the cuttings is a simple solution to increase wildflowers for our pollinators.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Conservation Officer Cathy Horsley said “Over 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have been lost, and many associated insects are in decline, including the Brown-banded carder bee. Braunton is a key area in Devon for this species. This new management is really exciting because it will create connected grassland habitat and help this special bumblebee survive and thrive”.

Braunton has engaged with the former Life on the Verges project, and has an enthusiastic and dedicated community of volunteers who successfully manage various verges around the town, inspiring local residents to connect with nature.

Braunton Parish Council is asking more local residents to adopt a road verge in the village, as Tracey Lovell (Parish Clerk) explains “We are keen to encourage residents and community groups to manage verges for wildlife where safe to do so. To get started managing your road verge you need to contact the Devon County Council Environmental Group to understand what is required and arrange to do an online safety awareness training course. If you are interested in becoming involved, please let the Parish Council know by emailing or telephone 01271 812131.”

Notes to editors

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a UK-based charity established because of serious concerns about the ‘plight of the bumblebee’. See

Braunton Parish Council, Chaloners Road, Braunton, Devon, EX33 2ES

Email: Tel. 01271 812131

14 June 2019 

Braunton Parish Council is joining with other organisations and institutions across the country to declare a climate emergency, reaffirming its strong and positive commitment to take action on climate change.

The Council at its meeting on Monday 10 June 2019 pledged to do everything within the Council’s power to make the Parish of Braunton carbon neutral, and the Council over its term to so as much as possible to achieve carbon neutrality by 2023.

As a result of this urgency, the Council has resolved the following:

· Working with other local authorities and bodies (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5Oc;

· Continue to work with partners to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;

· Specifically consider the mitigation of wider climate impacts on Braunton;

· Engage with surrounding parish and town councils to ascertain what other local areas are doing;

· To have a full Council Working Party to consider and implement actions identified to achieve carbon neutrality;

The Chair Councillor Elizabeth Spear says, “Calling a climate emergency highlights the urgency to reduce our carbon use in the Council. It is important that the Council works with other local authorities and organisations as it would not be possible to achieve the Councils proposed target by working alone.”

She added, “The next step would be for the Working Party to identify achievable solutions to guide the Council through the task of becoming carbon neutral.


Tracey Lovell, Clerk to the Council, 01271 812131,

13 June 2019

Michael Adrien Byrom (aka Ben Byrom) awarded MBE for services to Flood Resilience and to the community in Braunton.

Braunton Parish Council were delighted to hear in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019, that the Braunton Parish Flood Warden, Ben Byrom has been awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to Flood Resilience and to the community in Braunton.

Ben Bryrom was co-opted as the Braunton Parish Flood Warden at the Council’s meeting in March 2013. His efforts during and since the severe flooding in December 2012 have been exemplary and he deserves this MBE Award in recognition of the fantastic work he has done to improve the community of Braunton.

At the Annual Parish Council Meeting last April, the Chair Councillor Derrick Spear awarded Ben Byrom with a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ in recognition of his voluntary services to the local community (Photograph: Braunton Parish Chair in 2018, Cllr Derrick Spear and the Braunton Parish Flood Warden Ben Byrom). Braunton Parish Council wishes to congratulate Ben Byrom on his outstanding achievement and hopes that he will remain in his official role within the Council as the Braunton Parish Flood Warden, and continue his fantastic work with the community and agencies involved.


Tracey Lovell, Clerk to the Council, 01271 812131,