Regarding COVID-19 (updated November 2021)

3 November 2021

Latest Statement on pandemic precautions

The DA monitors advice on the SARS-CoV2 pandemic from a range of local, regional and national organisations. Our current guidelines for Branches and Sections are as follows:

  1. “In person” events can be organised at suitable venues, subject to strict adherence to all instructions provided by the venue by all attendees;
  2. The DA recommends that face masks should be worn inside venues as a courtesy to all attendees;
  3. No pressure must be placed on any person to attend an “in person” event;
  4. Organisers should carefully consider whether offering refreshments to attendees can be accomplished safely;
  5. The DA will continue to offer videoconferencing facilities to organisers of DA events and requests that Branch and Section committees consider whether each event should be delivered “in person” or as a virtual meeting;
  6. The DA’s trustees will keep the public health situation under constant review and reserve the right to cancel “in person” events at short notice if directed or advised to do so.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the Registrar – details here.

4 August 2021

Latest updates

2020/21/22 Conference

The continuing pandemic caused us to postpone our annual conference in Bideford for the second time. It is now planned to take place in 2022; details will follow.

Since our constitution requires us to hold an annual general meeting, this will take place online on Saturday 4 September 2021. The AGM will be followed by the Presidential Address, “Design, Denial, Darwin and Devon; Some Victorian Devonian reactions to scientific discovery” to be delivered by Dr Robin J. Wootton FLS, Hon. FRES. Full details are here.

2021 Symposium

This has been postponed to a date in Spring 2022. Details will follow.


The good news is that our Branches and Sections have been planning their autumn and winter talks and events. As of now there are over thirty of these – and many of them are intended to be held “in the real world”! You can see the next five upcoming events in the side panel and details of all of them are on the events list page.

20 January 2021

Latest update

At a meeting of the Executive Committee this morning it was decided that in view of the ongoing situation no face-to-face events should take place before 1 September 2021. More details will follow.

December 2020

End of year update

In view of the ongoing pandemic the Executive Committee has decided that all face-to-face DA events should be suspended until the end of April 2021. A newsletter was sent to all members in early December. Here are a few extracts:

Few of us will be sorry to wave goodbye to 2020. [… Until we can return to normality], the DA will strive to keep in contact with its members with Newsletters, DA News and with digital communication technologies such as Zoom. Our flagship publication, Transactions, edited by Prof. Malcolm Hart has recently been sent to members and we hope that this will be a source of interest and inspiration during the winter months. ‘Inspiration’ is also a theme embraced by a series of short articles on the DA’s website – to which everyone is encouraged to contribute. [See the “Inspired by Devon” page here.]

[Although] we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel all face-to-face meetings involving the DA until the end of April 2021 [our] wonderful volunteers in the DA’s Branches and Sections will continue to organise talks and other events which we will host on the Zoom platform. A list of online events scheduled for the first few weeks of 2021 is here.

A Message from our President, Clare Broom DL
It was a great honour to be invited to be President of The Devonshire Association for 2020/21. Little did I know what the year would bring. The way in which the Executive Committee and officers of the Branches and Sections have dealt with, and overcome, extraordinary challenges has deepened my respect for the Association. Hard work and creativity made the President’s Symposium available online [here] and I know that many other events have also taken place successfully. The Devonshire Association has an important role in Devon which it fills with distinction. It is in good hands and it will prevail. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to everyone concerned. May I wish you all the very best for 2021 and I hope that it will prove to be a better year for us all.

14 June 2020

Important Update

As you will be aware, back in March the DA’s Executive Committee decided to postpone all events until the end of June 2020 as a result of the UK Government’s advice on the likely progression of the coronavirus pandemic.  We have been monitoring the local, national and international situation and based on a number of factors the Executive Committee has decided that all DA events should be suspended until the end of 2020.  The decision was based on the following factors:

  • The trustees are responsible for the assessment of risk to its Officers, volunteers and members as well as to the management of the charity;
  • Social distancing guidelines are likely to remain in force for the remainder of 2020, although it seems possible that the 2m distance will be reduced in the near future;
  • There are no coherent guidelines covering the re-opening of venues, such as parish halls, school rooms and theatres for hire, and rules regarding capacity, entry/exit management, catering, cleaning etc. will have to be drawn up and implemented by the hirer;
  • The demographic of the DA’s membership means that many members fall within one or more vulnerable categories and it is anticipated that there will be a reluctance to attend events for some time to come;
  • The southwest currently has a higher ‘R-rate’ than other regions and though it has had fewer cases, this is a cause for concern, and might be elevated once travel and accommodation restrictions are relaxed.

The DA’s AGM and President’s Symposium

As a consequence of the decision, contingency plans for the Association’s 2020 Annual General Meeting and President’s Symposium are being finalised and details will be notified in due course.

The DA President

The trustees agreed that Clare Broom DL should succeed John Allan as DA President in absentia with effect from Saturday 6th June 2020 – the date of the cancelled Annual Conference.  The President’s Jewel was presented to Clare Broom and in a separate one-to-one meeting, John Allan received a parting gift to commemorate his Presidency.

We are delighted to announce Dr Robin Wootton, a long-time stalwart of the DA, as the President-elect for 2021-22.

30 March 2020

Our Registrar will continue to provide the normal services as far as is possible. Please note, though, that the phone number has changed to 07742 148 865. Details are on the Contact us page.

18 March 2020

The following letter has been sent (by email or post) to all our members today.



Statement on COVID-19 as at 17 March 2020

Dear Member

As you would expect, the Executive Committee of The Devonshire Association has been closely monitoring developments in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the current circumstances people‘s health and wellbeing is our key concern, and we have put a plan in place to ensure that we are taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of infection to our amazing volunteers, members, staff, and to those attending our meetings, while continuing to promote the aims of the Association. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will issue updates to Branches, Sections and individual members as appropriate.

As of today, we have put the following measures in place:

  • All events programmed and organised by the DA Executive and its Branches and Sections, up to and including Tuesday 30th June 2020 are to be postponed to a later date or cancelled.
  • The DA’s Conference and Annual General Meeting scheduled to take place in Bideford (5-7 June 2020) has been cancelled. We hope to convene a General Meeting in September 2020 at a venue to be confirmed to receive the Financial Statements, Reports and conduct other necessary business.
  • Branches and Sections intending to hold AGMs in the affected period should rearrange their meeting to take place before the end of the calendar year.
  • Branch and Section committees are encouraged to maintain contact with colleagues and members by telephone and/or email as often as required and at all times should be familiar with, and follow, guidelines published by the UK Government –

If you have any queries, please contact We will regularly update the DA website and social media channels, and will keep you informed of further developments via email and occasional newsletters.

With very best wishes.

Dr Sue Andrew
Chair of the Executive Committee

17 March 2020

The Executive Committee today decided to cancel or postpone all 37 DA events that were due to take place from tomorrow up to the end of June. This includes the Annual Conference in Bideford.

We will continue to post the latest news and updates on this page.

16 March 2020

One more talk has been specifically cancelled:

The Executive committee is meeting tomorrow morning, so we will provide a general update as soon as possible after that.

14 March 2020

Another talk has been cancelled:

  • 18 March: Battle of Britain (Axe Valley Branch). The Branch hopes to reschedule this meeting – which was also to include its AGM – for Wednesday 16th September 2020.

Until further information is posted, please check with the organiser of any other DA event that you are thinking of attending.

13 March 2020

Pending next week’s decision (see below), the following events have now been cancelled:

  • Tomorrow’s talk on Raised Beaches for the Geology Section in Teignmouth has been cancelled at short notice because the speaker is unavailable.
  • 20 March: Ben Mee from Dartmoor Zoo (Tavistock Branch)
  • 20 March: A Devon Jazzman, in Ottery St Mary (Music Section)
  • 28 March: Benjamin Donn Map Study Day, in Torrington (Bideford Branch) – those who have booked are being contacted.

Until further information is posted, please check with the organiser of any other DA event that you are thinking of attending.

12 March 2020

At an initial meeting yesterday, we decided that we will cancel all our upcoming events from a date yet to be determined, but likely to be next week. The Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday 17th to assess the situation and more information will be available following this meeting.

As of now, the following events have been specifically cancelled:

If you are the organiser of any DA Branch/Section event, please advise the webmaster of any relevant updates at

10 March 2020

The Devonshire Association is aware of the rapidly changing events surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

If you are booked to attend a scheduled event please check with the organiser that it is still going ahead and please be aware that decisions to cancel or postpone events may be made at short notice.

We will keep this page updated with relevant information.