Bogtastic Needs You !

Bogtastic 08

Bogtastic is based in and around Simonsbath and celebrates Exmoor’s bogs and rivers, preceded by a ‘Wild Night Out’.  This year it is being held on Sunday 17th August, with the Wild Night Out the evening before on Saturday 16th August.  Volunteers are needed to help make the day run smoothly, people to come with stalls to sell their local produce and wares, to run activities and help with the nature bio blitz. If you are unable to be there but still want to help, why not sponsor the day by featuring in our programme and publicity?! We need your support to ensure it remains a successful, free entry event. Profits will be shared between local good causes and retained to ensure the sustainability of this popular event. Interested? Please contact David Rolls on 01398 322164 or email him at or check out the face book page at  or click here for further event information, Bogtastic 2014 booking form v60214

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The Fog of Friday 14th

Originally posted on National Trust - North Devon Blog:

Hi all, thought I’d write my first blog for North Devon National Trust. I’m Nick, and currently volunteering with the West Exmoor team, a great bunch of people! Left this a bit late but had so much on the last 2-3 weeks, with off-road driving and chainsaw courses.

I enjoy countryside-walking, particularly forests and mountain/lake scenery, and the Fog of Friday 14th was something worth experiencing. The vast oak woodlands here and scenic cliff views across the channel to Wales are something certainly worth treasuring. On Friday 14th though, such dense fog had shrouded coastal North Devon, and I was to enjoy the tranquility and solitude of the forest, taking photos throughout my journey.

Here is a selection of several I took, and a photo looking out along the cliffs, taken with ‘dramatic’ effect, I thought it looked pretty cool anyway. Oh, and don’t forget to click on each image…

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Exmoor going Cuckoo?

Have you heard a cuckoo yet?  If so Exmoor National Park and the RSPB would love to know. Helen Booker from the RSPB explains more: “We are very concerned about the cuckoo; it is a bird that is very much under threat. Exmoor would appear to be an important habitat for them and we would really value any records of them.”

cuckoo-exmoornationalparkRecording your sightings could not be easier. Simply go on line to the Wildwatch website, or ring the National Park Centre in Lynmouth on 01598 752509.

Did you know the Cuckoo spends as much as nine months of the year in tropical Africa and the adult cuckoo feeds almost entirely on big hairy caterpillars!  Good places to traditionally hear cuckoos on Exmoor include Croydon Hill, Alcombe common, Ley Hill and Webber’s post, but there must be more!

Wildwatch 2014 is also supported by over 25 free wildlife and surveying training events. “Whether you are interested in butterflies, fungi or river life there is something for everyone. All the training is delivered free of charge by experts to encourage people to learn more about Exmoor’s Wildlife through surveying. Again just visit the Wildwatch Website” highlighted David Rolls, Moorland Education and Outreach Officer.

Exmoor Wildwatch is part of the New Ecologists project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor Trust and Exmoor National Park through the Heart of Exmoor scheme. For more details on this work please contact David Rolls on, 01398 322164.

Cuckoo video

Here’s one found on Exmoor by Chris Triggs (youtube video).


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Schools poster competition – Exmoor Pony Festival

The Exmoor Pony Festival is launching an exciting poster competition for schools this spring with an Exmoor Pony Experience being top prize. Artwork with an Exmoor Pony theme is wanted for this year’s festival promotion which attracts visitors from all over the country and abroad! Entry details are available online at with a FREE educational pack for teachers to download.

600_Exmoor Pony foal 4©jasonpballThere will be two age groups for the competition; 5-9 years and 10-13 years, including two categories; Exmoor (for schools within the Exmoor National Park) and Out of Exmoor (for schools throughout the country). Prizes will be on offer for the winners and runners up – the overall winning class will have the opportunity to have a real-life Exmoor Pony Experience.

Sue McGeever from the Exmoor Pony Society, a charity that has overseen the conservation of the Exmoor pony since 1921, said: “We are delighted to be running a competition to involve schools in the Exmoor Pony Festival and we are hoping for a great turnout of entries from far and wide. The competition will be running throughout the spring so that the winning artwork can be used in the promotional work for the Exmoor Pony Festival in August and a display of the posters will be available for all to see.”

Linzi Green, Pony Officer for the Heart of Exmoor Scheme said: “The Exmoor Pony Festival raises awareness of the Exmoor Pony, one of Britain’s rare native breeds which is intrinsic to the Exmoor National Park landscape. What better way than inspiring the future guardians of the ponies?”

Over the art competition age limit? Why not put yourself forward to get involved with the festival? The festival team are looking for lots of volunteers including a young local intern to help co-ordinate this year’s activities. This is a great opportunity to get experience in event management and planning. An interest in the Exmoor Pony would of course be desirable as there will be plenty of interaction with both two and four legged inhabitants of Exmoor! Please contact Linzi Green for details at ponyofficer (at)

Exmoor Pony Festival 2014 runs from Saturday 9 – Sunday 17 August, for more information visit or follow us on Facebook.


Updates on (no www.) and Twitter: @heartofexmoor Hashtag: #exmoorponyfest


The Exmoor Pony Festival 9 – 17 August 2014

The festival aims to foster an appreciation of the breed, promote the famous moorland herds and to attract visitors and pony buyers to Exmoor National Park. Over 1300 people attended the Exmoor Pony Festival in 2013. The Festival, first run in 2012, was created as part of the Promoting Exmoor’s Ponies project through the Heritage Lottery Funded Heart of Exmoor Scheme.

Exmoor Ponies are excellent for riding, often winning competition prizes, and with a talent for Horse Agility, their high intelligence apparently linked to life in the wild as free-roaming herds. Exmoor National Park is the home of the Exmoor Pony, an ancient and hardy breed perfectly adapted to the moorland landscape. Behind the picturesque scenes of Exmoor Ponies on moorland is an army of farmers, volunteers, inspectors and rangers who all work to secure the future of the free-roaming Exmoor Pony.

As the moor gets ready for summer so does the planning start for the much anticipated Exmoor Pony Festival. This year’s dates have now been set and we look forward to welcoming people from all walks of life to Exmoor from Saturday 9 August to Sunday 17 August when lots of different activities will take place. The free-living herds of Exmoor ponies are a beautiful sight in all seasons and we would encourage as many people as possible to get close to the breed throughout the year.

The moorland herds will be bringing in youngstock from the moor in the Autumn and we would appeal to those interested in acquiring a foal to get in touch with the Exmoor Pony Society.

Exmoor Pony Festival organisers are also calling for anyone with time to give during the busy August period to get in touch and become involved both in the preparation for and during the festival.

The Festival is jointly coordinated by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership, The Exmoor Pony Society and The Moorland Mousie Trust working closely with moorland herd owners and tourism providers across Exmoor National Park. For all enquiries please contact the festival manager: Linzi Green (Exmoor Pony Officer) email: ponyofficer (at) tel: 01398 323093.

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Haddon Hill Big Adventure – FREE EASTER HOLIDAY FUN

 A free, family friendly grand day out is on offer at the BIG Adventure Day at Haddon Hill, Exmoor National Park, on Wednesday 16 April.

AdventureDay18_jpg_displayThere will be a chance to discover the hidden history and get some fresh air with games and activities all day from 10am-4pm.  Activities on offer include wonderful Wild Wellies Story Walks, getting batty with the Bat Box building team, making dormouse boxes, getting adventurous on the 1610 Orienteering Challenge, learning bush-craft skills, taking part in the  famous ‘Exmoor Beast Hunt’ – and more.

National Park ranger Adam Vasey says: “We’ve got some great events happening at Haddon Hill and it will be a fantastic day out for families who want come and learn about wildlife and the National Park in a really stunning location.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone and would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the groups who are coming to run activities and also to our amazing volunteer team.”

Exmoor National Park welcomed families to Haddon HillThere is car parking and toilet facilities on site – for more information please contact the National Park Centre at Dulverton, phone 01398 323841.

Details of hundreds of events being held by a variety of organisations across Exmoor this year are available by visiting:

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The National Park Centre in Dunster is now open  from 10am to 5pm, with new exhibits. Together with the National Park Centres at Dulverton and Lynmouth which are open year-round, all three will be now be open daily for the season.

In addition to the much loved exhibits such as Fred the Exmoor Horn sheep, the National Park Centre at Dunster will be hosting the Views of Exmoor exhibition: a chance to rediscover the moorland past and present. The lottery-funded exhibition looks at how archaeologists are piecing together an amazing story of human resilience. The story begins around 8,000 years ago when hunter gatherer groups first walked across Exmoor‘s uplands and continues with the emergence of farming, the building of unique miniature standing stones – to the 19th century when Victorian landowners tried to ‘improve’ tracts of the moors.

Also in the Centre for the first time people will be able to watch the much-acclaimed, short film that was specially commissioned for the Lynmouth Pavilion.

There are plans to install a giant interactive table that will provide a range of fascinating facts and information on Exmoor’s wildlife and landscapes at people’s fingertips. The table will supplement the video microscope that was installed last year providing modern facilities in this digital age.

Tim Braund, Head of Information and Communication at Exmoor National Park said: “In an increasingly competitive market, we are delighted that we have been able to invest in new information and exhibits to attract visitors to Exmoor which we hope will benefit tourism businesses on Exmoor.”

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Easter fun at Heddon Valley, 10 and 17 April.

Originally posted on National Trust - North Devon Blog:

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Come and enjoy the Exmoor rangers for two hours of outdoor fun to keep the kids busy during the Easter holidays. Follow the woodland trail, searching for wildlife clues and then enjoy your chocolate egg as a reward. There will also be other fun filled activities to enjoy.

11am-1pm. £2 per child. Booking preferred, but not essential. For more information call 01598 763402.

Find us half way between Combe Martin and Lynmouth, just off the A39 near Parracombe, signposted Hunters Inn. EX31 4PY.

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