The Heart of Exmoor team has been working with Minehead Cycling Club to encourage people to explore our wonderful moorland through mountain biking. Thanks to our Heritage Lottery Funding we have been able to support training for some of the club’s ride leaders. Here one of the group, Will Wake, talks about his recent experience of undertaking the Trail Leader Award.
I have been a keen mountain bike rider for six years. It is a great way to explore Exmoor and I have hugely enjoyed the experience of traveling quietly through the woods and over the hills of this amazing National Park. Bike riding is a great way to see the wild places and animals of Exmoor and a very effective way to de-stress from our hectic lives.
I have taken a few friends on rides and was keen to do the trail cycle leader course to make me a better and more rounded leader.
The course was great, I learnt a number of new skills and refreshed some old ones – rediscovering my love of maps and navigating along the way.
Navigating the route on the mountain bike trail leader course.
I am now in the phase between training and assessment and am busy practising my bike handling skills and navigation. I have some groups to lead (accompanied by already qualified leaders to provide feedback) and I will be taking the assessment shortly.
Once qualified, we (myself and two other trail cycle leaders in Minehead Cycling Club) will be leading a programme of guided rides for new riders. We are all qualified British Cycling Coaches and the combination of cycle skills and trail leader skills will allow us to coach people to improve their cycling while they enjoy exploring Exmoor and discovering new places.
Will Wake checking his moutain bike leader kit on the training course.
I love riding on Exmoor and gaining the Trail Cycle Leader certificate will allow me to share this with more people. Since the course, I have booked three sessions of coaching with Porlock school for November plus I am leading a ride with West Somerset College, including Ugandan exchange students and leaders. To see more about the club and our events please click here
Well done to the team who recently passed their two-day emergency first aid qualification with Pat Dollard from Kernow Training!
The team deomnstrating types of bandaging.
A group photo after learning to carry casualties on a stretcher.
It was great to see so many organisations represented including, The National Trust, The Crown Estate, Somerset Wildlife Trust, The Exmoor Mires Project, The Mineral Line; Exmoor National Park Authority and the Exmoor Society.
Moorland rescue style strecher carrying.
Most of the participants will be key leaders on activities for our upcoming projects: “The Changing Moorland” and “The New Ecologist” projects. Click here to download an A4 leaflet about our new projects.
For more information on the upcoming projects or to get involved, contact David Rolls on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 12th November 2013, 4.30pm–7pm, Lynmouth.
This evening is designed for those all those involved in education with the aim of highlighting a range of innovative education opportunities currently available on Exmoor. These include:
The Lynmouth Pavilion: Splendidly rebuilt at a cost of £1.2m, come on a tour and explore its state-of-the-art interactive information and education displays
The Lynmouth Pavilion Project: Hear about the exciting 3 year HLF Project and the opportunities it offers to you and your students
The Moorland Classroom: Free online teaching materials and travel bursaries to support both classroom and outdoor learning at locations across Exmoor National Park
On the Ground Support: Meet the team who are on hand to support your visit
Curriculum links: Hear from Curriculum Advisor David Weatherly on how these opportunities are ideal for the new curriculum
Please kindly complete the attached form by Monday 4th November 2013 to enable us to provide sufficient refreshments. Click here to download the booking form.
If this date is inconvenient and you would like to know more about these opportunities please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Heart of Exmoor’s project assistant Aggz Waywell (middle), with members from the Exmoor and the Mid Devon Natural History Societies after the mornings walk.
Today, two members of the Heart of Exmoor team joined up with The Exmoor Natural History Society and the Mid Devon Natural History Society for a morning deer walk on Dunkery Hill.
David Rolls, Heart of Exmoor’s Education and Outreach Officer enjoyed the walk; “It was great to spend the morning with these two wonderful organisations and it was a really good opportunity to meet up and discuss plans and ideas for the New Ecologists project”. Download a leaflet about it here - the New Ecologists project.
Unfortunately low cloud meant that there were no deer sightings, although there were plenty of different fungi to examine! However, Aggz Waywell, Project Assistant, did manage to see a small herd of Red Deer two days before the walk on North Hill!
A playful Red Deer doe and young stag, photographed by Aggz Waywell on North Hill.
An impressive Red Deer stag, photographed on North Hill by Aggz Waywell.