Explore the Coast & "Country" Side of Bideford Bay
|Next stop Fremington Quay||
stop Fremington Quay but plenty to see along the way! From Instow the Tarka
Trail continues over the old level crossing, the North Devon Cricket Club,
founded in 1823, can be seen on the left. A relaxing cycle ride or stroll
through farmland, a blend of nature and industry as cattle and sheep graze
peacefully either side of what was once the old North Devon Railway Line.
The massive electricity pylons on the skyline mark the site of the old coal-fired
East Yelland Power Station which was demolished in 1989. Beyond here is
a particularly scenic section of the trail as it goes by the Isley RSPB
Reserve. Walkers can enjoy the nature trail skirting the reserve which loops
back beside the Taw/Torridge Estuary and is popular with local bird watchers.
This area is a haven for resting birds especially the wintering flocks of
ducks and waders such as curlew, greenshank and dunlin. This also a good
vantage point to spot rarer visitors such as the little egret and spoonbill
however you will need a pair of binoculars to view the birds as they are
a long way off in the mudflats. There are grand panoramic views of Saunton
and Chivenor, Braunton Burrows Biosphere, Crow Point and the famous Bideford
Bar, Appledore and Instow. (The path loops back round to the Cricket
Ground and Instow, the tiny thatched building is the Score Box). Further
along the Tarka trail there is also access to a way-marked path around Home
Farm Marsh. Please read the information signs here as strictly no dogs are
allowed and cycling or riding is not permitted as it is important not to
disturb the birds which feed on the marshes and both sides of the bank.
The site is managed by GAIA Trust who aim to promote sustainable farming,
enhance wildlife and habitats whilst providing an area which can also be
enjoyed by people. The Marsh here is home to Shelduck, Lapwing and Moorhens.
Back on the Tarka Trail you will eventually cross the old iron bridge which
takes you across Fremington Pill before arriving at Fremington Quay. The
old station building is now a Heritage Centre and Café. The walls
are adorned with wonderful old photographs and historical information which
give insight into Fremington's past as a busy port. Unfortunately there
is no train on the platform. In fact "the last train to Fremington"
was of the battery-powered variety when James May's Toy Story World record
attempt was filmed for the BBC on location here in August 2009. Although
the record attempt just failed, many hundreds of volunteers and model railway
enthusiasts will remember the day fondly. A community came together to meet
the epic challenge of building a 10 mile Hornby model railway along the
Tarka Trail between Barnstaple and Bideford. The large vessel, pictured,
is the dredger "Severn Sands" which originally docked at Fremington
in March 2007, the dramatic photos were taken in March 2008. Later that
year it broke its moorings during storms and by January 2009 it had become
a wreck, beached beyond the Quay. You can also drive to the Quay, there
is an access road just off the B3233 at Fremington Village.
For general information about The Tarka Trail please visit Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service. - Click here for Tarka Trail Map. Visit North Devon Biosphere web site for more information on James May's Toy Story World Record Attempt
North Devon Cricket Club was the home club of the late international test umpire David Shepherd.
Severn Sands was built in Holland in 1960 and was initially based at Newport.
James May's Tarka Trail Toy Story was broadcast on BBC 2, Christmas Day 2009. Buy the James May's Toy Stories DVD
|Articles. Photographs and Illustrations ©Copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus 2011 - All rights reserved|