2.5 million shades of grey

The Grey Squirrel. We see it everywhere, all through the year, in all weathers. It’s one of the first bits of wildlife we are exposed to as children and one of the earliest ones we learn to name. But of course the grey squirrel is most definitely not a native of these shores. They were introduced in 1876 from north America as interesting features in big estates throughout the UK, and now around 150 years later there are over 2.5...

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Santa’s workshop for sale in Widecombe
Dec18

Santa’s workshop for sale in Widecombe

If you’re crazy about Christmas and have a cool £1 million spare, this Grade II listed home could be for you. This three-bedroom farmhouse boasts over twelve acres of land and even a 2000 strong Christmas tree plantation, although the new owner isn’t expected to decorate all of them. Longhouse Farm near Widecombe-in-the-Moor also features large agricultural buildings and even a studio which ‘may’ have been used as a toy factory. The...

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How the Christmas we know came to be
Dec17

How the Christmas we know came to be

As more doors on the advent calendar begin to open, you could be forgiven for thinking that Christmas was a purely commercial endeavour. But the traditions we all know, both religious and cultural, have had a curious history of their own. For centuries we have celebrated Christmas as the birthday of Jesus Christ but in truth there is no actual record of Christ’s date of birth. Throughout Europe a mid-winter festival has been...

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From moor to Christmas table
Dec16

From moor to Christmas table

At this time of year Christine and Mike Malseed can be seen herding their turkeys down the lanes near their farm with the help of their two dogs Jack and Wilf. At the same time, after a two-day coach journey from Poland via London, the seven Polish workers have arrived at Frenchbeer Farm to help pluck 3,800 turkeys bred for Christmas. Christmas time is the busiest time of year for Mike and Christine, who have worked the farm near...

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Okehampton currency proposal
Dec15

Okehampton currency proposal

Despite recent recession, austerity measures and its rural location, Okehampton is a vibrant town. The last few years has seen an increase in initiatives to boost the town – the weekend markets, new events and self-help groups have all contributed to the vibrancy. But on the other hand, businesses have found it increasingly difficult to maintain a reasonable level of economic viability. The town has seen the closure of three of its...

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