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Barnstaple Station end of the Tarka Line photo copyright Brett D Adams Next 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
Barnstaple Town photo copyright Pat Adams
Fremington Quay Lime Kiln  photo copyright Pat Adams Tarka Inn  from Fremington Quay photo copyright Pat Adams
Fremington Pill photo copyright Pat Adams Fremington Station Cafe photo copyright Pat Adams
Blackbird at home by Fremington Quay photo copyright Pat Adams Fremington Quay Robin photo copyright Pat Adams
Fremington Quay Heritage Centre photo copyright Pat Adams Chivenor acroos the Taw Estuary, Fremington Quay photo copyright Pat Adams
Fremington Quay Redshank photo copyright Pat Adams Fremington Quay Lapwing photo copyright Pat Adams
Tarka Trail walkers photo copyright Pat Adams
Red dinghy photo copyright Pat Adams Severn Sands photo copyright Pat Adams Fremington Qauy digging for bait in the mud photo copyright Pat Adams
Fremington Pill photo copyright Pat Adams Home Farm Marsh Sign
Home Farm Marsh path photo copyright Pat Adams Home Farm Marsh phoo copyright Pat Adams
Tarka Trail Wooden Art Sculpture photo copyright Pat Adams Fremington Quay photo copyright Pat Adams Tarka Trail Picnic Area photo copyright Pat Adams
Tarka Trail Cycleway photo copyright Pat Adams Tarka Trail Cycleway Isley Marsh Gate photo copyright Pat Adams
Farmland beside the Tarka Trail photo copyright Pat Adams First footing - Coldsfoot flowering beside Isley Marsh photo copyright Pat Adams
North Devon Cricket Club Scoreboard photo copyright Pat Adams Iron Bridge Fremington Quay photo copyright Pat Adams Tarka Trail Instow Tunnel photo copyright Pat Adams
Tarka Trail Yelland photo copyright Pat Adams
Celebrating 150 years of the Bideford North Devon Railway 1855-2005 photo copyright Pat Adams Tarka Trail Railway Crossing Instow  photo copyright Pat Adams
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