Chairman’s Report 2019

The Trust has been involved in a number of projects over the past year, but two, in particular, have taken most effort:

Woodside Bridge:

After a relatively slow start to fundraising in 2018, this past year has seen a massive uplift in the effort, resulting in sufficient funds having been raised to replace the iconic Woodside Bridge in the Watersmeet Valley.

My thanks must go to the members of the subcommittee who, working in partnership with the Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA) and the National Trust (NT), have ensured work will start on the replacement bridge in late April 2020.

Special mention must be made of the ENPA Caremoor fundraising scheme, which has supplied the majority of funds through the efforts of the coordinator, Philip Kiberd, and the generosity of ENPA members in allowing ENPA staff to run the Project from tendering through Planning and on to the appointment and overseeing of the successful contractor. ENPA will continue to manage the project through to completion.

Between ENPA and LCDT, over £73,000 has been raised and a special opening ceremony at a date to be arranged will be a fitting tribute to all our efforts.

At the same time, efforts have been made to improve access from the bridge to Middleham Gardens, and my thanks go to the Royal Marines Commando Engineers from Chivenor who have dismantled a two-ton boulder and fallen tree, removing them from the path just above Middleham.

Overall another very successful project which has raised the profile of the Trust considerably.

Affordable Housing:

Another major project was undertaken by the Trust, in conjunction with Wessex Community Housing, under the leadership of Chris Sleep. After initial enthusiasm and hard work from the members of this subcommittee, matters stalled somewhat following elections to the North Devon District Council (NDDC), and subsequent delays in dealing with new officers.

However, progress has been made with a number of potential sites having been identified, and discussions are underway to see if any

one site can be taken forward through the various necessary stages. This is very much a long-term project, but one which the Trust sees as vital to the needs of the local community.

Other activities:

After the successful implementation of the Air Ambulance landing site at Holman Park, the Trust is playing a monitoring role to ensure the site continues to be fit for purpose.

Under the leadership of Suzette Hibbert, the maintenance and improvement of the Middleham Gardens site continues, with the felling of dangerous trees and replacement of signage and interpretation boards being the primary aim this year.

The Market Hall premises in Lynton is a prime asset which the Trust runs, and a lot of work has been undertaken in the past year, and beyond, to maintain the fabric, put in place sound contractual leases on various parts of the site and generally manage the premises. My thanks must go to Phil Taylor for his ongoing hard work, expertise and commitment to this area of the Trust’s workload.

The Trust is both a Charity and Limited Company, and just recently a resolution was passed to move to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The intention is to maintain the charitable status of the Trust, simplify the necessary paperwork involved and protect the members’ liabilities. The conversion process is ongoing and, once again, my thanks go to Phil Taylor who is leading this work on the Trust’s behalf.

In closing, I would like to record my grateful thanks to the Directors and Officers of the Trust for their hard work and support this year, and to all local organisations and individuals who have assisted the Trust in any way.

David Wilde


Annual Report 2017

Devon Air Ambulance Night Landing Site

This project was instigated by Trevor Ley early last year when an email from him sent me headlong into what has turned out to be a most satisfying and successful project.  It is of course so important to us all that, whether through illness or accident when we need transporting quickly to a hospital this service is available to us.  We are well aware that we live in an isolated community and that transport by road may, in many emergency cases, not be fast enough and the DAA then steps in to ensure we get the help needed.  Up until now, they have not attempted night landing and so the launch of their drive to help communities install the necessary lighting in suitable areas galvanised us into action.

Toby Russell of DAA surveyed both Lynmouth Manor and Holman Park.  Unfortunately, Lynmouth Manor was not suitable but Holman Park is ideal and thanks to some very generous funding the site will be ready for the first night landing before the end of the month.  Holman Park is held in Trust by LLTC and so in partnership with the council and with the goodwill of the whole community, this project will be celebrated by LCDT with a visit from the helicopter in the very near future.

Market Hall

The extensive alterations to the Market Hall have now been completed.  The Art Studio and shop leased by Dale Bowen has brightened up Queen Street and Bowden Fitness now has an enclosed area for many different activities increasing the footfall in Market Street by some considerable amount.  The Library is now being run by Libraries Unlimited and a new lease is under negotiation. The friends of Lynton Library are working to make sure the library space is fully utilised and now the area is used for children’s clubs, book clubs, a choir and many varied activities.

The planned re-plastering of the outside wall which will mean the loss of the Mick Cawston mural has not yet been completed. We have sought even more advice from different specialists but none have been able to offer a solution. 

Middleham Gardens

The Lyn Art and Craft Society’s very generous donation of £1,000 per year towards the maintenance of the gardens has enabled the Trust to keep them up to a good standard.  

There has been some discussion about the cubs and beavers coming to help in the gardens this year and I am hoping the scouts may be able to help us conserve the benches and picnic tables.  We have also received a request to site a beehive in the gardens.

Walkers are Welcome & The Coleridge Way

This year heralds an exciting season for Lynmouth and the footpaths that converge here.  Four major routes all have had some form of improvements: the Coleridge Way has been extended; the Two Moors Way celebrates its 40th anniversary; the South West Coast Path is part of an international tourism project at the moment and the Tarka Trail because it is the 70th anniversary of the book and a new project is being initiated to boost the walking section.  Because there is so much going on we are hoping to make the unveiling of The Wire Man a special celebration of long-distance walking and the paths which converge on Lynmouth.  Our thanks go to Richard Graham who has now finished the statue and to those who have sponsored the project. 

Lyn Economic and Tourism Alliance (A town council promotional committee)

(Active members: LLTC, ENPA, L&B Railway, L&L Cliff Railway, Lynton Museum, TIC, LCDT, representatives of retailers, accommodation providers and caterers)

The Trusts promotional activities as a member on this committee have proved most productive.  It keeps us in touch with the plans of the ENPA, LLTC and the main attractions in the area.  The funding received as a Coastal Communities Team helped enormously to promote the area throughout last season. 

Suzette Hibbert

Annual Parish Meeting 2016

Lyn Community Development Trust
incorporating Lyn & Exmoor Vision

Market Hall

This year has seen many changes in the Market Hall, firstly with the arrival of “Bowden Fitness” and now with the alterations to the kitchen area to make way for Dale Bowen to rent as an art studio. This means the reception area will be altered to allow Market Hall users to have access to drinks and a rest area.  The gym will be enclosed to diminish any noise and the whole building will have a general overhaul with the replacement of some windows and re-plastering of outside walls.  This re-plastering will mean the loss of the Mick Cawston mural which I am afraid we are unable to avoid, we have sought advice from different specialists but none have been able to offer a solution. Following discussions with Dale Bowen I am hopeful we shall come up with some way of having a lasting memorial to Mick Cawston on that wall.  

The Library has also seen many changes with the retirement of Mervyn Mugford and the arrival of Emily Morgan-Russell our new librarian. Gradually the responsibilities for library services are being taken over by a charitable trust and we shall all try and work together to ensure the future of Lynton Library.  The friends of Lynton Library are working to make sure the library space is fully utilised and now the area is used for many varied activities.  It is hoped that, with the help of volunteers, the library hours may be extended.

Middleham Gardens

The Lyn Art and Crafts Society’s very generous donation of £1,000 per year towards the maintenance of the gardens has enabled the Trust to keep them up to a good standard.  There have been many compliments about the gardens during this last summer.  This spring it will be necessary to assess the benches and picnic tables and decide what extra work needs to be carried out on them and whether the upper reaches of the gardens need tending.  

Walkers are Welcome

The Walkers are Welcome network grows and spreads throughout the country and is now reaching out far and wide and even linking with a similar association in Japan. Our local network leaders have visited us this year and as members we are supported with all the other members throughout the United Kingdom.  The LCDT walkers are welcome website offers a multitude of walks, attractions, accommodation and information about Exmoor.  It is well used and provides our walking visitors with countless ideas of how to make the most of this beautiful area.

The Coleridge Way has had another successful season with many walkers registering their achievement at the ENPA centre in the pavilion. The steering group are beginning to organise a Business Event for 16th June in the Moorland Hall at Wheddon Cross. This will bring businesses together for discussion and talks on how best to promote the walk and help businesses to benefit from the added trade this should bring.  I do encourage all accommodation providers and catering businesses to attend this event.

The next big day for LCDT will be the unveiling of the “Wire Man” on Lynmouth Esplanade announcing the start or finish of the Coleridge Way and the convergence of the South West Coast Path, Two Moors Way, Samaritans Way and the Tarka Trail!  This sculpture has been commissioned and funded by the Trust and also by Andrea Davis DCC, ENPA, LLTC, Lyn Art and Crafts and the Cliff Railway. The work has been taken on by local engineer Richard Graham.

LCDT Website

The Trust has commissioned a new website which is now under construction. We are well aware this is very overdue and we look forward to having an active and informative website in the near future.

Accountable Body

The Trust still acts as the accountable body for various local projects and small associations. This year we have helped the Friends of Lynton Library and 1st Lynton Scout Group.  We are also holding money for the Lynmouth Dog Show.

West Lyn Hydro Project

As already reported the Trust entered into a partnership with Andrew Ireland, managing director of the Cliff Railway, to progress a community hydro project on the West Lyn. Unfortunately we were competing with another far bigger hydro scheme led by Matthew Oxenham and we had to concede. This is a great disappointment as there is no community element in the bigger scheme.

Lyn Economic and Tourism Alliance (A town council promotional committee)

(Active members: LLTC, ENPA, L&B Railway, L&L Cliff Railway, Lynton Museum, TIC, LCDT, representatives of retailers, accommodation providers and caterers)

The Trusts promotional activities as a member on this committee have proved most productive. The partnerships involved have produced new car park maps, promotional leaflets, local activities and entertainment for our visitors. It acts as a very helpful spring board for the Trust’s projects. Recently awarded Coastal Communities Team status the grant of £10,000 has been used to write an Economic Plan for Lynton and Lynmouth, fund a very successful business brunch and promote the area through Exmoor Tourism. 

Suzette Hibbert  (Chairman)