Oysetercatchers and Mars landing are topics of the week

Sidmouth sunrise

Oystercatchers at Sidmouth seafront - Credit: Alex Walton

By the time you read this article you will be aware of the way out of lockdown that was announced by the Prime Minister. 

The figures have been dropping over the past few weeks and with the fantastic vaccination program in full flow I hope we will soon be back to some sort of normality. The government seems determined that this will be the last lockdown and therefore are likely to have been very cautious.

On the nature front the bird that seems to have been spotted a lot over the past few weeks is the oystercatcher. These birds have been regularly seen over the years in Sidmouth and they often frequent the cricket ground on rough weather days. Apparently, they have recently been spotted on the rugby ground. With the current pandemic they are unlikely to be disturbed at either venue for a while!

The walk I’m recommending this week starts on Sidmouth seafront. Travel eastward over Alma Bridge and go up Salcombe Hill along the South West coastal path. Continue over the hills to Dunscombe and then back in land via the caravan park joining the road by the park entrance. Turn left and continue along the lane into Salcombe Regis. Go through the village and then proceed up the hill coming out by the War Memorial. Turn left and continue along the road. Look out for the footpath on the right back into Sidmouth coming back into town via Milltown Lane. Just over six miles in total.

I hope everyone is enjoying the coverage from the cameras on Mars. What fantastic photos and videos. It was great to see Heathcoats of Tiverton had provided the lightweight material for the parachute that was used for the landing. Back in my school days I did the Young Enterprise scheme there. As enjoyable as the work was, it was the bag of chips on the way home every week that was even more memorable!

Did anyone notice the size of some of the pebbles that were catapulted onto The Esplanade during the recent storms? They were huge! It just goes to show the power of the sea. However, an interesting fact is that I didn’t notice any on the road so the sea wall did its job. This is good news for those who are concerned that the sea wall may be raised at a later date.

Did anyone watch the Exeter Chiefs game versus Northampton recently? Ignoring the fact that Exeter were not at their best, and the pitch was like a vegetable garden, it was a very dramatic finale. Exeter were six points behind going into the last few minutes and managed to score a try in the corner. A successful conversion was required to seal victory. Joe Simmonds was about to take the kick and the Northampton players ran towards him thinking he had moved to start his run up. I don’t know if he did or didn’t but the referee adjudged he did. What got my goat was the TV referee wasn’t consulted and BT Sport didn’t even show a replay. All very strange. Finally credit to Rob Baxter whose after-match interview was calm and considered especially given the circumstances.

On the horse racing front, I was personally delighted that Dashel Drasher won the Grade One Ascot Chase. He is trained by Jeremy Scott up on Exmoor. He and his wife also bred the horse. This was only his second Grade One success. My connection with Jeremy is that we were at school together in the 1970s. When I see him at the races it is hard to get any information about his horses but I think I’m still in profit after Demon Feu won at Taunton at 50/1! One of our party that day got 100/1 so it shows that doing the rounds of the bookmakers pays off!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter