Bogtastic accommodation list released !

If you are planning on coming along to the Wild Night Out in Simonsbath on Saturday 16th August and attending Bogtastic the following day on Sunday 17th August, or just want to enjoy a few extra ‘wildlife’ pints, you can easily spend a night on Exmoor and make a boggy weekend out of it.
With different types of  available – varying from camping, dorms, B&B to self-catering, there is plenty to choose from, whatever your budget. To help give you a few ideas of places to stay, we’ve compiled a list of local places.
A big thank you to the  Exmoor Holiday Group for their generous sponsership of the guide and for Porlock Vistor Centre for handling bookings.  Please check them both out !

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Wildlife training success.

The New Ecologist Wildlife Training programme continues to go from success, with over 18 training sessions delivered in just over 6 months. One such course was a
a Wild flower identification workshop led by the Exmoor National Park’s Conservation Officers (Wildlife) at Simonsbath Sawmill. Wild flower surveying is important as they are an crucial part of the ecosystem with many different species of mammal, birds and insects relying on them.

Bea, Conservation Officers (Wildlife) commented “We were blessed with fine weather and keen volunteers. There is a wonderful variety of species around Simonsbath that can be enjoyed though the summer months”.

The sessions started with an introduction on how to identify some of the species of wild flowers, including the wild strawberry and the tormentil that is found on Exmoor. The volunteers then got the chance to test their skills in the habitat.

Ruth, a volunteer for the Exmoor Natural History Society highlighted how the course was “ A great opportunity to increase your identification skills. As a member of the Natural History Society I was pleased to take part on this training day”.

The Wild flower identification training day was a free training day that was part of Exmoor Wild Watch 2014, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor Trust and Exmoor National Park though the Heart of Exmoor. For more information on future training days visit the website at: or to see Simonsbath wildflowers at first hand with local experts come along to Bogtastic on August 17th in Simonsbath.

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The Great Exmoor Welly Boot Show 2014

Welly Boot Show Poster

Jessica Robertson, the show organiser says: “All you need to do is decorate an old pair of wellies or shoes with a wildlife or boggy theme and bring them along to Simonsbath to claim your prize. The finale will be the announcement of ‘Best in Shoe’ with prizes given to the best decorated pair of wellies and shoes.

“Why not go one step further and turn your decorated shoes or wellies into gardens? By filling them with soil and planting seeds or flowers in them, you can make your very own welly garden.”

The Show is open to everyone of all ages and is wonderful opportunity to be creative and reuse old wellies or shoes. Rain or shine, everyone is welcome to come along to celebrate the good old welly at Bogtastic 2014; entries from schools and youth clubs will be particularly welcome.

Jess Robertson and Emma Wake  from the Bogtastic team along with Elliot Prior  of Masons Kings Country Store,  exclusive sponsors of the Exmoor Welly Boot Show

Jess Robertson and Emma Wake from the Bogtastic team along with Elliot Prior of Masons Kings Country Store, exclusive sponsors of the Exmoor Welly Boot Show.

The Show has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Masons Kings Country Store “It’s a pleasure to be the sole sponsor of the Exmoor Welly Boot Show, at Bogtastic 2014. As proud residents of Exmoor, we take pride in supporting the local community and events” says Elliot Prior from Masons Kings Country Store.

Entries open at 10am in Simonsbath and the winners and runners up will be announced at 2.30pm. For more details on the show ring 01398 322164 or visit the Bogtastic Web pages on the Exmoor National Park website 01398 322164.

Free Welly Boot Show Poster!

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Try Fly Fishing

Are you aged 11 to 16? Try Fly Fishing!

For a second year, the River Exe and Tributaries Association (RETA) is offering the opportunity for you to try your hand at fly fishing. You will learn the basics of fly casting under the supervision of experienced and fully qualified instructors registered with the Angling Trust.

Thanks to a bequest from Robin Bailey, a founding supporter of RETA, we are able to provide the opportunity to young people

Free of charge, and you can keep any fish that you catch!

This event is being held at the Exe Valley Fishery, Exebridge, on
Monday 4 August 2014. It is important to register and return your confirmation details as soon as possible as numbers are limited. For further information, or to register, phone Richard Horrocks on 01884 820865 or email:

Download the FREE Poster!

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Exmoor’s aflutter – 3 Orange Butterflies Wanted!

Exmoor National Park is home to several of Britain’s rarest butterflies – but when it comes to monitoring, it is not only the endangered species that count.

The 3 target species are Heath Fritillary, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and, surprisingly, the Comma. Despite Commas being considered common, Exmoor National Park’s records are short of data on this little beauty. So please keep your eyes peeled during the summer months.


Paul Camp, National Trust Ranger explained, “June and July are the best times to spot some of the UK’s rarest and most endangered butterflies.”

“The extremely rare Heath fritillary is found in many of the steep sided combes around Dunkery, Alcombe Common, Grabbist Hill Giant’s Chair and Haddon Hill – 90% of these Exmoor locations are on National Trust land. Commas could be almost anywhere on Exmoor – so please help us map where they are.”

Small pearl-bordered fritillaryExmoor Wild Watch 2014 needs your help to learn more about 3 special orange and brown butterflies, so pick up a FREE photo guide to help you identify them, from the 3 National Park Centres or on the Exmoor Wild Watch website. ( )
Through the work of organisations such as Butterfly Conservation we now know Exmoor is a vitally important location for these species, particularly the Fritillaries, which are only found at very few sites in the British Isles.

Exmoor Wild Watch 2014 relies on local expertise from volunteers and officers of Butterfly Conservation, Exmoor Natural History Society and the National Trust. The project is supported by the Exmoor National Park and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Heart of Exmoor Scheme.

Reporting sightings couldn’t be easier. Just visit or ring 01598 752509.

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Safaris, rides and shows in 2014 Exmoor Pony Festival week

The 2014 Exmoor Pony Festival
Saturday 9 – Sunday 17 August

This year’s Exmoor Pony Festival (Saturday 9 – Sunday 17 August) looks set to be better than ever with safaris, pony shows, rides, walks and special herd open days – with something on each day it’s the ideal way to discover the unique Exmoor Pony breed and those famous free-running herds in their native landscape, Exmoor National Park.


The Exmoor Pony Festival is now in its third year, supported by volunteers and herd owners and by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Heart of Exmoor scheme. The Festival is timed to coincide with the Exmoor Pony Society’s annual Breed Show on Wednesday 13 August at the Exford Show, which this year has HOYS qualifiers (Horse of the Year Show) and features a Moorland Herds Exhibition Area.

Linzi Green, festival manager and Exmoor Pony Officer for the Heart of Exmoor scheme said: “As always the Exmoor Pony Festival has something for everyone’s interest. Test your camera skills on safari, spend the day at a country show, take the family for up-close pony experiences, do the Fun Ride and join the BBQ quiz. These nine days showcase the breed at its best, because you’ll see Exmoor herds out on the open moors, watch equestrian talents at the shows and hear first-hand from the breeders behind the herds.

Everyone enjoys watching these fascinating free-roaming herds on Exmoor National Park, and thousands come each year to see them. Exmoor Pony Festival helps you to rediscover this rare native breed, renowned for its intelligence and an ability to withstand the harsh conditions of Exmoor’s beautiful upland.”

Over 1300 people attended the Exmoor Pony Festival in 2013. With events happening every day, the organisers hope that this year’s Festival will attract even more visitors to the area during the summer holidays. Now in its third year, the Festival brings together a combination of events and activities at various locations around Exmoor National Park.

Whether you aim to buy a pony bred on Exmoor, wish to learn more about the breed, or simply feel fascinated by them, the variety of events in this festival has something to offer everyone.

For all the details please visit call 01398 323841 or follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter. (Please note: some events require booking in advance.)

Please tweet this.

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Butterfly bonanza!

Originally posted on National Trust - North Devon Blog:

It is butterfly season and what a brilliant lot of weather we have had to go with it. Yesterday I accompanied a guided walk with Jenny Plackett of Butterfly Conservation on some of our butterfly sites here in the Heddon Valley. Some 32 people attended the walk on a glorious summer’s day walking along Ladies mile and completing a loop though Parsonage Wood.

In the Heddon valley the National Trust and Butterfly conservation have worked over many years to preserve and enhance the conditions for High brown Fritillary a rapidly declining butterfly species which has a stronghold here at Heddon. On our walk we saw many High Browns this being a very good year for them here and Dark green fritillary which we learnt to tell the difference between.

We also saw speckled wood, ringlets, skippers and red admirals among others along our walk. The whole group thoroughly enjoyed the…

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