Stowey Castle, Nether Stowey

Much-loved monument cleared of damaging vegetation thanks to a dedicated local group.

Stowey Green Spaces – Can you give your time to an annual community weekend work day to maintain the appearance of The Mount, described in this Historic England Media Release of 10 November 2022?

Video clip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Vb5Xq24NJ6KwsXnk9 – see Stowey Castle as you’ve never seen it before. Credit: Heritage England

Stowey Castle in Somerset, nestled between the village and the foot of the Quantock Hills, represents the impressive remains of a medieval motte and bailey fortification with spectacular views across the Bristol Channel.

Motte and bailey castles were introduced into Britain by the Normans and consisted of a motte; a large mound of earth on which would have stood a defensive keep built from stone or timber, and one or more baileys; an enclosed area overlooked by the keep and usually surrounded by an earthen rampart and timber palisade. Not only are motte and baileys particularly important to the story of Norman Britain, they add character and distinctiveness to a place, and can be important community resources, often bringing a wide range of benefits to the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of individuals and communities. 

In 2018 Stowey Castle, known locally as ‘The Mount’, was added to the Heritage at Risk Register due to invasive bracken and gorse which had almost completely taken over the whole site. Bracken and scrub growth can not only cause harm to sensitive archaeological deposits, but they also obscure features from view, making places difficult to see and understand as historic monuments.

Together with help from the landowner, the Quantocks Landscape Partnership Scheme, the Stowey Green Spaces volunteers, and funding from Historic England, the bracken and gorse has been cleared, and the site has been re-fenced to allow a flock of Herdwick sheep to graze the site. The condition of the castle is now much improved, and it is well cared for by the local community and the Stowey Green Spaces Group, allowing it to be removed from the 2022 Heritage at Risk register.

Landowner Sue Aubrey said: “I had struggled over the years to control the spread of bracken and gorse. As a member of Stowey Green Spaces Group I suggested The Mount might be a worthwhile project. Group members, familiar with The Mount as a popular walk and a place where children sledged over the years, were in full agreement.”

Chairman of the Stowey Green Spaces Group, Roy Osbornesaid: “Clearing the bracken and gorse gave a greater appreciation of the sheer steepness of the motte and the difficulty those attacking would have had in even approaching the bailey. This led, in turn, to a better understanding of the importance of the castle to the village for defence and control in Norman times, and giving the village its identity today.”

Dan Broadbent, Historic Heritage Officer at the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the conservation work at Stowey Castle. The provision of new stock-proof fencing has enabled grazing of the motte and bailey site, which, together with the sterling work of volunteers from Stowey Green Spaces, will help to keep the site in good condition for future generations.” 
Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme website: https://qlps.org.

Text credit: Heritage England

New Bus timetable

Buses of Somerset have revised their timetable. Although this does not affect the services to Nether Stowey (number 14/15), it may affect other services you may use. The EDF Community timetable has not changed. A summary of local services is below, click on it to print or download it.

Links to other sites:
Buses for Somerset timetable page
EDF Community Bus timetable page

Please note: this information was checked against the websites on 8 November. Bus companies do not send us the information direct so if you find out a local bus service is changing, please let us know so that we can update our information.

The 2023 Boundary Review – Revised Proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries

The Boundary Commission for England published its revised proposals for new constituency boundaries on 8 November. The proposals and maps for the nine English regions have been published on the website at https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/. The four-week public consultation period has commenced. This will be the final chance for the public to give the Commission their views on the proposals.

For the 2023 Review, the Commission is promoting use of a specifically-designed consultation website as the primary tool for displaying our proposals, and receiving comments on them. This is available at https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/.

We have also published a Partner Pack, which I hope you find useful in publicising the 2023 Review. https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Boundary-Commission-England-Final-Consultation-Partner-Toolkit-v2-6.pdf

If you have any queries please contact my team on 020 7276 1102, or information@boundarycommissionengland.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Tim Bowden
Secretary to the Commission

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER

The meeting will be held at the Church Centre and will start at 7pm. Everyone is welcome.

The agenda is available here

Draft minutes: Minutes of the previous Parish Council meeting on 10 October are here.
You can find earlier minutes at Previous minutes

Playing Field Climbing Frame: details available here. Please note the consultation is now closed.

Boundary Commission Review of Constituency Boundaries: The consultation is open to members of the public until 5 December. Read more here or visit the website at www.bcereviews.org.uk/

Planning applications:
Links to planning applications on the agenda are below (opens the  application in the Sedgemoor Planning website):


Parish Council meetings are open for the public to attend but are not public meetings. In order to facilitate contributions by members of the public there is a public session at the beginning of the formal meeting. 
During the public session, members of the public are welcome to address the Council on any matter relating to the agenda or on any other matter that they would like the Parish Council to consider at a future date. It is helpful if you inform the Chairman or the Clerk beforehand of any matter you wish to raise. This is so that the Clerk can have to hand any necessary information. Further details are available on page 2 of the agenda.
The Council is not required to give a response to a matter raised during the public session but may do so. Alternatively, the Chairman may direct the Clerk to follow the matter up or give a written response at a later date.
Please note that no decisions can be made and no expenditure approved on any item raised during the public session unless the matter has been legally notified on the agenda in advance.

At the end of the public participation session, the Chairman will resume the formal meeting under standing orders. Members of the public are asked to respect the fact that this is a meeting of the Council to conduct Council business. They are not permitted to enter into the debate of agenda items unless invited to do so by the Chairman. In this case, he will temporarily adjourn the meeting to allow that person (only) to speak.

The conduct of Parish Council meetings are governed by the Code of Conduct (adopted 16 May 2022) and the Parish Council’s Standing Orders (reviewed and re-adopted on 16 May 2022). These are available from the Clerk (collect from the office or by e-mail on request) or on the Council’s website by clicking the document name above.

Avian Flu information

Avian Influenza has been in the country for over a year and since 1 October 2022 there has been 90 confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in England alone.  Which brings the total number to 222 cases since the H5N1 outbreak started on 27 October 2021.  As you may know this strain of the AI is what they call zoonotic in that Humans can catch it, although very treatable people have died from it.  13 of the AI outbreaks have been in Devon/Somerset and this effects our economic trade as well. More information here

The risk to public health from the virus is very low, however it is important that people don’t pick up sick or dead birds. You should call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 if you find: 

  • one or more dead bird of prey or owl
  • 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks) 
  • 5 or more dead birds of any species

The Food Standards Agency advice remains unchanged, that avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Hinkley Point B Power Station Decommissioning Consultation

Public Consultation and Drop-in Events – 10 October to 21 November 2022

Hinkley Point B stopped generating electricity in August 2022 after 46 years of service. Over the next few years, EDF will be working closely with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Magnox to develop proposals for decommissioning. Decommissioning will involve dismantling and demolition of plant and buildings on the Hinkley Point B site.

EDF are holding a public consultation from 10 October to 21 November 2022, seeking your views to help inform the decommissioning proposals. These proposals will require the approval Office for Nuclear Regulation before decommissioning can proceed.

Public exhibitions providing information about the decommissioning proposals will be held as follows:

  • Sat 15 October, 9.30-4.30 – Wembdon Village Hall, Homberg Way, TA6 7BY
  • Fri 21 October, 1.30-7.30pm – Cannington Court, Church St, Cannington, TA5 2HA
  • Wed 2 November, 1.30-7.30pm – Stogursey Victory Hall, Stogursey, TA5 1PR

There is a virtual exhibition for those who may not be able to attend one of our events that will be accessible from EDF’s website at www.edfenergy.com/hinkley-point-b

You can provide feedback to the consultation through the following channels:

  • Online using the feedback form on our website www.edfenergy.com/hinkley-point-b
  • Completing a paper feedback form, available at events and document deposit locations or on request using the contact details on this letter
  • Emailing us at HPBDecommissioning@edf-energy.com  
  • Write to EDF at Freepost HINKLEY POINT B DECOMMISSIONING CONSULTATION

Please ensure that you have provided your feedback by 11:59pm on 21 November 2022

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING MONDAY 10 OCTOBER

The meeting will be held at the Church Centre and will start at 7pm. Everyone is welcome.

The agenda is available here

Draft minutes: Minutes of the previous Parish Council meeting on 26 September are here.
You can find earlier minutes at Previous minutes

Playing Field Climbing Frame: details available here

Consultation – Local Community Networks: The consultation is run by Somerset County Council and is open to all residents – details at https://newsomersetcouncil.org.uk/local-community-networks-consultation/ (please note you need to register to get to the survey)

Consultation – Local Community Networks: The consultation is run by Devon and Somerset Fire Service and is open to all residents – survey at DS Fire Service survey

Planning applications:
Links to planning applications on the agenda are below (opens the  application in the Sedgemoor Planning website):


Parish Council meetings are open for the public to attend but are not public meetings. In order to facilitate contributions by members of the public there is a public session at the beginning of the formal meeting. 
During the public session, members of the public are welcome to address the Council on any matter relating to the agenda or on any other matter that they would like the Parish Council to consider at a future date. It is helpful if you inform the Chairman or the Clerk beforehand of any matter you wish to raise. This is so that the Clerk can have to hand any necessary information. Further details are available on page 2 of the agenda.
The Council is not required to give a response to a matter raised during the public session but may do so. Alternatively, the Chairman may direct the Clerk to follow the matter up or give a written response at a later date.
Please note that no decisions can be made and no expenditure approved on any item raised during the public session unless the matter has been legally notified on the agenda in advance.

At the end of the public participation session, the Chairman will resume the formal meeting under standing orders. Members of the public are asked to respect the fact that this is a meeting of the Council to conduct Council business. They are not permitted to enter into the debate of agenda items unless invited to do so by the Chairman. In this case, he will temporarily adjourn the meeting to allow that person (only) to speak.

The conduct of Parish Council meetings are governed by the Code of Conduct (adopted 16 May 2022) and the Parish Council’s Standing Orders (reviewed and re-adopted on 16 May 2022). These are available from the Clerk (by e-mail on request) or on the Council’s website by clicking the document name above.

Proposed Combwich to Hinkley Point Shared Use Cycle Path

Public Consultation and Drop-in Events – 27th September (today) and 6th October 2022

Hinkley Point C has been considering a proposal for the development of a shared use cycle path running from Combwich to Hinkley Point. It would provide a sustainable commuting route for all Hinkley Point workers whilst also providing wider local value – offering an enjoyable route for leisure purposes. The route would further connect the existing cycle route along the C182 from Combwich towards Cannington and Bridgwater.

Before the application is submitted, we would like to invite you to join us at a public consultation event to discuss the proposal and provide your views. Two public consultation events are to be held in separate locations to cover the two key local communities on the proposed route.

  • 27th September 2022, Otterhampton Village Hall, 1pm – 8pm.
  • 6th October 2022, Stogursey Victory Hall, 3pm – 7pm.

As these are drop in events, please do come along at any point that is convenient to you within the event opening times.

Project Background

The proposed shared user cycle path covers approximately 9.3 km covering the following five sections (C-G): Environment Agency Bridleway to Stert Drove (Section C); Stert Drove (Section D); Stert Drove to Gorpit Lane Car Park (Section E); Gorpit Lane Carpark to the approach to Hinkley Point Complex (Section F); and Hinkley Point Northern Perimeter (Section G). The proposed path follows an existing rural highway and Public Rights of Way (PRoW). It starts just north of the village of Combwich and ends at the northern perimeter of the Hinkley Point complex.

The proposed path crosses agricultural and coastal land, covering a variety of existing rural land uses including a bridleway, a section of rural highway (Stert Drove), Common Land, the England Coast Path National Trail, and the northern perimeter of the Hinkley Point complex which includes a short section of woodland.

Full details of the proposal, a Q&A and the consultation questionnaire are also available to view online via www.edfenergy.com/cycleway