If you’re heading for South Devon this summer, be prepared for an arty time. TRAIL, or Teignbridge Recycled Art In Landscape is now in its fourth year and exhibits a series, or trail, of outdoor sculptures from the seafront at Teignmouth to Dawlish and Dawlish Warren, all fashioned from recycled materials.
TRAIL is the brainchild of Shaldon resident Liz Lockyear, former textiles teacher turned sculptor and keen environmentalist, who feels we are throwing away far too much. The result has been a series of beautifully crafted art works, with an emphasis on sculpture, which would complement any gallery. The sculpture trail starts on 20th July and runs until 7th September. Indoor gallery exhibitions will also be held from 10th August to 7th September at venues yet to be decided. For more information, log onto www.trail.org.uk.
During your holiday in Paignton, add a Caribbean touch to your holiday by dropping in at Paignton Zoo to view the three only Cuban crocodiles in the country in the new Crocodile Swamp. One of these crocs was cabin mate to a Russian sailor, who should probably count himself lucky to be still alive. The Cuban crocs, one of the world’s most threatened species of crocodile, are joined by two of their fellow creatures from the Nile. You can actually get a feel for what it might be like sharing a bath with these giant reptiles from the underwater viewing area, and after leaving the crocs behind, you will come across African, reticulated python and Indian pythons, and boa constrictors slithering through the tropical plants to cast their beady eyes upon you.
For a truly glamorous evening, take yourself to the zoo’s Flamingo Ball on 12th July, where you will be greeted to the strains of a jazz band which will play while you enjoy your buffet of salmon, cold meat and salads followed by strawberries and cream. You can take the special train running around Gibbon Island and later on, bop away at the disco. Tickets are £19.50 each to include a drink on arrival and food. All proceeds will be donated to Paignton Zoo’s important conservation projects. More information on all events at the zoo from www.paigntonzoo.net, Tel 01803 697500.
Meanwhile, over at Living Coasts in Torquay, two set designers slaved away for two weeks to hand-stick 44,000 leaves onto branches to reconstruct an underground mangrove forest, which will house stingrays, fiddler crabs, upside-down jelly fish and prehistoric dinosaur crabs in this latest exhibition, Mangroves: Roots of the Sea, which opens in July, exact date to be confirmed. Living Coasts spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “There are 43,776 injection-moulded leaves. Each leaf has to be fitted into a realistic-looking sprig complete with buds. Each sprig is then painstakingly attached to the branches by hand.” Mangroves have been described as the roots of the sea. They are found in places as diverse as Bangladesh, Florida, the Philippines, Thailand, Guyana and Sri Lanka. More information on www.livingcoasts.org.uk, Tel 01803 202470.
If dabbling in the rockpools is more your style, why not learn about the inhabitants at the same time by going on a Rockpool Ramble at Goodrington, Paignton. Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust is organising beach events throughout the school holidays. Try a Walk Through Time on Wednesday 16th July and discover where ancient deserts, volcanoes and changing sea levels have shaped the landscape of today at Goodrington, Saltern Cove and Sugarloaf Hill. Time: 9.30am to 12.30pm.
More history is on offer at the Geopark Kids events on Wednesday 30th July and Wednesday 13th August, both from 10am to 12noon. Hunt for evidence of underwater creatures that used to live in the area and for the weird and wonderful underwater creatures that live here today. Rockpool rambles at Goodrington are held on Friday 1st August and Sunday 31st August from 11am to 1pm when you can discover anemones, devil crabs, squat lobsters and blennies and on Tuesday 19th August from 1pm to 3pm to hunt for slugs and snails.
How about Beachcomber Boat Building on Tuesday 26th August from 1pm to 3pm? Beachcomb for treasure, build a boat and then race it. Be prepared to get wet! Meet at the Seashore Centre, Goodrington for all these events. You are advised to bring snacks and refreshments. More information on these and other events on www.countryside-trust.org.uk click on Events, Tel 01803 606035.
Blue Chip has properties in Teignmouth, Dawlish, Shaldon, Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.