<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Northam Burrows

 

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HISTORY COMMON RIGHTS EROSION BYELAWS SSSI

 

The Albino Rook
Young Wheatear
THE ALBINO ROOK
YOUNG WHEATEAR

 

Northam Burrows, now a Country Park, lies at the western edge of the Taw Torridge Estuary and lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Burrows forms an integral part of the newly designated United Nations Biosphere Reserve. It had its origins in Saxon times, when it was the Manorial Wasteland.

It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is about 253 hectares of grassy coastal plain with salt marsh, sand dunes and generally unimproved grasslands. It is also a Grazing Common, with the Residents of the Old Manor of Northam having grazing rights. It is also the site on which the oldest Golf Club in England, still playing on its original Course (founded 1864), has its "Links". The Clubhouse being on private land outside the Common.

The Burrows  provides a major access point for the one and a half miles of the Westward Ho! Beach thus combining the best of opportunities for land and marine leisure activities. It is now owned by Torridge District Council, they having purchased the Freehold from Devon County Council. The Town Council, are still the Lords of the Manor, and are the Trustees's of the Grazing Rights. These "Grazing Rights" were managed by the old Burrows Committee until 1973, this being done by the delegated powers of the Lords of the Manor. Without the full "Right of Common" the Burrows would revert to being a privately owned piece of land and noone would have any rights to use it without the Landowners permission. As the current owners are the Local Authority they would probably encourage more tourism and local people would possibly end up paying far more to enter the Burrows and be charged similar amounts as TDC now charge for Parking, the current charge is a "Toll Fee", as parking is not allowed on Common Land. Parking has been continued on the Burrows because it has been happening for such along time! These comments may well put to rest that the idea that the Burrows is owned by the people of the old Manor. It is in fact now owned by TDC, having been handed to them by DCC who compusorily purchased it in the early 1970's. The only rights they have is, if the land remains under a "Right of Common"  and that animals are allowed to graze, if these rights are eroded then the people of Northam will have no more rights than anyone else. Everyone who lives in the "Old Manor" have the rights to graze animals(this is approved by the Lords of the Manor, who are Northam Town Council) and to light air and exercise. Noone has the right to drive a Motor Vehicle or ride a Bicycle nor to light a Fire on the Burrows.