Brentor & Moor Compassionate Neighbours scheme

Would you like to become a volunteer for your own local Compassionate Neighbours Scheme?
Do you have experience in Health/Social Care or similar? If so, can you spare up to 2-3 hours a week?
We are now actively recruiting members of our community who feel able to help support individuals suffering from a long-term condition, a life-limiting illness, or approaching the end of life. The area covered will initially include Brentor, Mary Tavy, Lydford, Lewdown, and Chillaton – and everywhere in between. For an informal chat, call Mark Alderson (Co-ordinator) on 860799, or email:    Website:

Click here to go to the Brentor & Moor Compassionate Neighbours page on this website

Villages in Action to close

Villages in Action (VIA), the organisation that has provided entertainment events for villages throughout Devon, is sadly going to close due to lack of funding. 
In the past the organisation was funded by the Arts Council, County Councils and District Councils in the county, but gradually these organisations have ceased to support the project financially.  West Devon has been one of the last District Councils to provide funds, but even they are also now finding it necessary to reduce their funding.  In Brentor VIA events have included music, from jazz to folk and classical, comedy, dance, drama and much more.  These events have been one of the high spots on the Village Hall calendar – click here to find out more and to see photographs of some of the past events.  What will probably be the last VIA event in Brentor was on Sunday 12th March, when we hosted the wonderful Kit Holmes with Al Greenwood  blues performance.

Tomasso Starace Quartet, 2010

Villages in Action events in Brentor have been arranged through the Brentor Community Trust and excess ticket sales income has provided valuable income for this organisation over the years.  This has enabled the Trust to arrange other events in the village and has even subsidised the cost of the Brentor News.  The Trust will be meeting to discuss the implications of the closure of VIA.  It will now be down to us as a village to organise similar entertainment events in the Village Hall in the future, but this will take considerable organisation and effort, as well as financial risk. 

Brentor is one of the villages that has signed up for the VIA-organised ‘Unearth’ community project that, thanks to Lottery funding, will still go ahead – click here to find out more.

Roger Werner, the Director of Villages in Action, writes in a letter to the Brentor Community Trust…..

I am very sorry to tell you that the current season of Villages in Action performances will be the last in the present format.  


As you will know from the May 2016 menu launch event, we have been struggling financially; within the last five years we have lost in the region of 80% of our funding.  Despite the valiant efforts of the volunteers, staff and Board of Trustees, we have been unsuccessful in our recent attempts to secure further long term substantial funding (although East Devon, Teignbridge and West Devon Councils have continued to fund us).  We are pleased that we could run a spring programme but this has significantly eaten into our financial reserves and the Board have therefore decided to cease the rural touring scheme as it is structured at present while ViA is still solvent and can meet its commitments and costs.  As it is separately funded, the Board hopes that the “Unearth” project can continue.


The Board is very sad to have to do this and I know that you too will be upset to see the end of the current rural touring scheme.  All staff will be made redundant and the office closed; please therefore direct all enquiries and comments to Catherine Devenish, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, on  We will continue to support those promoters who still have events taking place during this season. I will be in touch with you about arrangements for this but please bear with us at this distressing time.  Some of you already operate an events programme in tandem with ViA performances and I hope that others may feel able to ‘go it alone’ using the experience and advice you have gained from ViA.


The Board will be spending the next few months considering how the ViA legacy can continue and if there is some way we can sustain this service to villages, albeit in a different format, whilst seeking other potential funding.


I am so very grateful to everyone who has supported Villages in Action but especially to you, the promoters, because without you, none of the fantastic events we have enjoyed would have been possible.


With very best wishes

Roger Werner

Director, Villages in Action

Registered Charity No. 1086138    Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England & Wales No. 4171822

Keeping our roads clear of water

A cleared gulley in Burn Lane

Walking around Brentor you may have noticed that many of our roadside ditches and watercourses have been cleared of debris that has been building up for some time. Water can now drain off the roads more easily, avoiding the formation of puddles that can be a danger to traffic and pedestrians. This is thanks to the work of the local Parish lengthsman, whose recent work has been funded by a grant obtained by the Parish Council.

A cleared ditch in Burn Lane


The County Council also employs their own lengthsmen who are scheduled to work for four days a year in Brentor.  In addition if there is flooding or large puddles on a road the County Council will, 24 hours after the rain has stopped, take action if:

    • the road is impassable
    • the water is forcing vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians away from the nearside of the road by more than one metre
    • vehicles have to cross the centreline marking

They undertake to attempt to clear the standing water if appropriate. If unable to clear the water, they will set up a flood sign, guard the area or close the road to make the location safe and then investigate a permanent solution.
To find out more click here to visit the County Council’s highways website.

You can notify the County Council of flooding, potholes and other road problems by clicking here and following the links.

Thanks should also go to the Parish Council which recently obtained a grant to rebuild the culvert in the centre of the village – the resulting work has made a huge improvement to the water flow and will help to reduce the amount of water that spills onto the road in very wet weather.

The parish lengthsman can only do a limited amount in the time he has, so it’s worth watching out for blocked gullies and drains and helping by keeping them clear of debris!

Brentor Commons Update – March 2017

What a surprise. As we were driving across the common we saw a white rabbit with black markings looking very much like an “Old English” breed. It was there a few days later, taking cover in the bramble patch as we approached it. How long it will last against the buzzards and foxes will be interesting to see. Here’s hoping it will become an established feature for a while. When we first moved here we often saw jet black wild rabbits, but not in recent years.
When walking along the back path, I looked up to see a blackbird on the very top of the ash tree. It was extremely handsome with its glossy black feathers and bright yellow bill. It was still there when I finished my circuit twenty minutes later. As I watched it a great spotted woodpecker perched almost next to it. It was a contrast to see the woodpecker clinging to a vertical branch and the blackbird proudly perched as lord of all it surveyed.
The honeysuckle is in full leaf well ahead of other trees and shrubs with just the bramble leaves also starting to appear. Next month should produce foliage of many more varieties.
I looked for the frogspawn in Liddaton pond and was initially disappointed that it all seemed to have disappeared. On closer inspection I saw the surface of the water where it had been was a seething mass of tiny tadpoles crammed together in the same space that the frogspawn had been. As the month progresses they will spread over a much larger area.
The moles are starting to be active and their molehills are springing up in various places. Other mammals seen included a herd of at least ten deer, the most I have seen, moving away from the common over Bawcombe farm fields. I was able to watch them for at least ten minutes.

Barry Albrighton
Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton

Brenstock 2017


Brenstock, Brentor’s very own music festival, returns again this year.  It will be held on Saturday 15th July at the Village Hall, and will be bigger and better than the first festival held last year.
The festival relies on volunteers for its organisation and for help on the day for such things as stewarding, catering and decorations for the marquees.  If you would like to help this year please contact Dom Carnell on 810425.
See more information about Brenstock by clicking here.
Go to the official Brenstock website at by clicking here

Ongoing community issues

A new section has been added to this website – ‘Ongoing Community Issues’

This sets out to provide a source of information about issues which are of ongoing concern to our village.  Often these issues first appear on this home page, but require additional space to do them justice.
Click here for information about Broadband provision for Brentor
Click here for information about Affordable Housing provision in Brentor
Click here for information about the possible new railway line through Brentor

Broadband update – Airband delivery up to one year late!


Back in November 2015 we were told at a public meeting in Mary Tavy that Brentor would have a wireless broadband service by mid-2016.  Recent information from Connecting Devon and Somerset is that the transmitter planned for the Christchurch tower in the middle of the village will be installed by the end of June 2017 – a year late!  

Even when this transmitter is installed there will still be a large number of premises in Brentor that will probably not receive any service, due to hills or trees in their line of sight.  It also seems that properties currently described by Airband as being able to receive a service cannot in reality get a signal and will still be unlikely to be able to get one when the Christchurch transmitter is operational.  Some residents currently receiving a service from Airband report that, in adverse weather conditions, their signal is erratic.

At the November 2015 meeting we were told that the Airband network was an ‘open’ service that can be used by any internet service supplier. In reality only small ISPs are willing to supply a service through the Airband system.  It now seems unlikely that the larger ISPs, such as BT and Virgin, will supply their service via the Airband network as described at the meeting.

Many local villages and hamlets with overhead telephone cables are having these upgraded to fibre, but the link to Brentor is underground.  An email message from Openreach to the editor dated 16th January 2017 suggests that Brentor residents should consider part funding the cost of a fibre link to Mary Tavy themselves – although using the £20 per metre cost that Openreach quote this would cost £40,000 – £50,000 in total…….

There are plans to provide Fibre to the Customers at a distance from the Exchange (in Mary Tavy) however they are in early stages of Planning. I would request you to keep an eye on our website:,  for latest updates.

I understand that you are looking for the options to get Fibre, I can suggest you to get together with neighbours or a local community group and raising the money to help build the network yourself. We offer a community fibre partnership scheme where we work with local communities to jointly fund fibre cabinets. We can’t always guarantee this will be feasible, but we’d be willing to look at it if you are interested. To find out more, visit our website

It should be noted that some other very small local hamlets such as Hornden and Cudlipptown are now connected by Openreach to the superfast fibre network at no extra cost to their residents, despite being in the designated Airband area!  Unlike Brentor, their fibre cables are being routed on existing poles.  The Government’s policy is that it is supporting investment to provide superfast broadband coverage to 95% by December 2017 – so it looks as if much Brentor will fall into the unlucky 5%.

You can still check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).

For more information about how this issue has evolved click here

Colin Dawes, Editor

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Snowdrops near North Park, Brentor

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