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MP Gary Streeter on his favourite things about Devon

MP Gary Streeter
MP Gary Streeter

Beautiful landscapes, a gentle way of life and the chance of a pasty at Buckfast Abbey are just some of the things MP Gary Streeter loves about his home county

Tell us briefly about yourself and what you do in the county.

I am the Member of Parliament for South West Devon and have been serving my constituents for over 30 years! I have been married to Jan for 45 years and we have two adult children and five grandchildren, all living locally. My wife has horses, so I am very poor.

Where in Devon do you live?

We live in the South Hams, in between Plympton and the mining village of Hemerdon, on the edge of Dartmoor. We have lived here for over 25 years.

How long have you been here and what brought you here?

My parents moved from Portsmouth to Devon in the 1960s to buy a small dairy farm near Hatherleigh. I grew up with five brothers and no sisters and we spent most of our time either helping on the farm or playing wild games around the fields and hedgerows. A great childhood, from which my love of nature sprang. I have lived here ever since.

What’s the best thing about living in Devon?

I love the landscape and gentle way of life. It compares favourably with the three or four days a week I spend scurrying around hot and sticky Westminster. It’s always a great feeling to be on the train coming home again.

And the worst?

We are a long way from anywhere. This is both a blessing and a curse. The distance keeps us from being over-developed, but it does mean that travelling to other parts of the UK and our major cities can be a real effort.

Describe your ideal day out in Devon?

I am a home bird, so my ideal day out is when I return from Westminster and spend the first hour or so of the day having a coffee with Jan in our stable yard catching up on the week. For a real treat, and if I can escape the office, we potter up the A38 to Buckfast Abbey and have a pasty and cup of tea and enjoy the tranquillity of this special place. We sometimes take the youngest grandchildren to Pennywell Farm, which is a brilliant day out but from which it now takes me several days to recover.

READ MORE: Why you should visit in Buckfastleigh in south Devon

What is your favourite Devon journey, by any mode of transport?

For many years Jan competed on her show horses all around the region and I used to enjoy trundling along the Devon Expressway driving our ancient horse lorry. It is great being up high and seeing over the hedges at what our farmers are up to. I also have a deep love of the A377 from Exeter to North Devon (although I am not sure why) and we sometimes take weekend breaks at hotels along that road.

What is your favourite view in the county?

This is our great advantage: we have both sea and moor. It is hard to beat looking across the moor on the road from Two Bridges back to Tavistock. There are some spectacular views of a far-flung patchwork landscape there. Jan is from North Devon and some of the coastline up there is breath-taking.

What is your favourite month to be in Devon?

May. I love the spring when the hedgerows are in full wildflower mode. It doesn’t last long, so we try to appreciate the stunning colours while we can.

What gift from Devon would you give to a friend?

Every summer some of my MP friends come to stay with us and always appreciate the peace and authenticity of our part of the world, although locally sourced food and drink never seems to go amiss. They also love our rural pubs and so do I.

What three words best describe Devon?

Authentic. Gentle. Wonderful.


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