Exmoor Pony Festival 2014 – Schools Poster Competition

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 athttp://exmoorponyfestival.org.uk with a FREE educational pack for teachers to download.

There 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 theHeart 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 atponyofficer@moorlandmousietrust.org.uk

Exmoor Pony Festival 2014 runs from Saturday 9- Sunday 17August, for more information visithttp://exmoorponyfestival.org.uk, or follow us on Facebook.

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The Exmoor Moorland Classroom Springs into action with new sites, free resources and school travel bursary

The Moorland Classroom has now engaged with over 6,000 pupils and this spring sees the launch of two new Moorland Classroom sites. Grabbist, overlooking Dunster, and Winsford Hill, above Tarr Steps. Dulverton Middle School has recently returned from Winsford Hill as teacher Sophie Hanson from the school highlights “Winsford Hill is a great resource. It is covers many curriculum areas and is very hands on with The punchbowl, burial mounds and Tarr steps all with easy walking distance of each other”.

Dave Weatherly, Curriculum Advisor,  with local children exploring Moorland Classroom sites.

Dave Weatherly, Curriculum Advisor, with local children exploring Moorland Classroom sites.

Grabbist and Dunster also provides a great package and with plenty of wet weather options. Curriculum Advisor for the Moorland Classroom, David Weatherly stresses how the ‘Moorland Classroom is an ideal mechanism for delivering the new curriculum for 2014 – cross-curricular, engaging and challenging. It provides a real context for meaningful outdoor learning linked to places and issues that will inspire children and young people. Throughout there is an emphasis on enquiry based investigative learning and teaching which encourages children and young people to take responsibility for their own learning’.

To get your local school involved just google ‘Moorland Classroom’ and remember thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund ,Exmoor Trust and the Exmoor’s Partnership Fund our travel bursary can help schools with travel costs. For information on this and the Moorland Classroom contact David Rolls at DRolls@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk, 01398 322164. And finally from David, ‘A big thank you to all the schools that have helped us develop these resources for use in both the classroom and out in the National Park’.

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The Sounds of the Exe: An audio – visual journey of discovery along one of England’s most intriguing rivers

Please join us for the first public showing of the ‘Sounds of the Exe’ at the Lynmouth Pavilion on Thursday April 3rd commencing at 7 o’clock.

The project entitled ‘The Sounds of the Exe: An audio – visual journey of discovery along one of England’s most intriguing rivers’ has been lovingly filmed and recorded by Martin Prothero with local schools and community members. The work has only been made possible through the wonderful support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor Trust , Exmoor National Park Authority and the local community. Martin is kindly going to join us on the evening and talk through the high and lows; of which there were many !

We very much hope you can join us. Places are limited please book by emailing NPCLynmouth@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or by ringing 01598752509

To download the PDF poster for this event please click here.

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Goodbye Exmoor

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Originally posted on National Trust – North Devon Blog:
[gallery type="slideshow" ids="2501,2502,2503,2504,2505,2506,2507,2508,2509,2510,2511,2512" orderby="rand"] My time as a residential volunteer with the Watersmeet and West Exmoor team based at Heddon has been a fantastic experience. I applied when I was coming…

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BBC Countryfile discovers Exmoor’s legendary Hope Bourne


Countryfile Discovers Exmoor’s Hope Bourne

 Well-known and colourful author and countrywoman, Hope Bourne, who died aged 91 in 2010, is featured in Countryfile on Sunday, 16th March.  Famous for living in a small caravan in a remote spot on Exmoor for over two decades, Hope attracted national attention in the way of life she followed that was almost self- sufficient.  She grew her own food, collected wood and armed with a 12 bore shotgun or a .22 rifle, shot for the pot.  In addition to helping farming friends across the moor, she earned her living as a writer, publishing four books on the Exmoor countryside and rural life, as well as writing a popular weekly column for a local newspaper. 

Wherever she went on Exmoor, Hope sketched and painted the living landscape around her, annotating many of her drawings and giving some of them to people she visited as a thank you for feeding her.  She loved Exmoor’s wildness, its solitude and beauty, changing through all the seasons, and was passionate about hill farming and hunting.

Hope was a founder subscriber to the Exmoor Society, a conservation charity set up to fight proposals for afforesting The Chains, the heart of the moorland.  She soon became a Trustee at a time when the Society was fighting against the continual loss of moorland.  She wrote regular erudite articles for the Society’s annual Exmoor Review ranging from wildlife to farming activities.  She left her whole Estate to the Exmoor Society which included a large collection of over 2000 drawings and paintings, letters, manuscripts, memorabilia and 700 books. 

With some of her financial legacy the Society has put on two exhibitions and commissioned a DVD and a book, “Eloquence through Art”.  Her lasting legacy will be part of the Exmoor Society’s archives that are about to be set up in new premises at 34 High Street, Dulverton after operating for 46 years in Parish Rooms.

Countryfile filmed with television presenter, Ellie Harrison, at two places – first at Fernyball with Exmoor Society Trustee John Burgess who knew and interviewed her, and second at Parish Rooms in Dulverton where Hope’s collection of material is housed, and Chairman Rachel Thomas shows some of the documents left to the Society.

Photos:                Countryfile at Fernyball with John Burgess & Ellie Harrison

                              Countryfile at Parish Rooms with Rachel Thomas & Ellie Harrison

Press Contact:

Rachel Thomas – 01271 375686 or the Exmoor Society Offices 01398 323335.

The Exmoor Society exists to promote and organise action for the conservation and enjoyment of the landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of Exmoor national park. It was established in 1958 and successfully fought proposals to afforest the Chains, the central moorland of Exmoor. It has continued to campaign against adverse changes and searches for solutions and encourages people’s understanding of the park’s special qualities. It acts as an independent watchdog and champion for Exmoor’s status as a national park.

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Walk this way – session for Exmoor tourism providers


1024_Pat-leat-walkWalking is the theme of the next Exmoor Awareness session which takes place on Wednesday 19 March 2014 at Lynmouth Pavilion. Aimed at tourism providers, but open to anyone with an interest in discovering more about Exmoor National Park, the day will focus on walking as one of the most popular activities undertaken by visitors to the area.

The day will include an overview of the many walking opportunities available within the National Park from short easy access trails to multi day-long distant routes and information on ‘Walkers are Welcome’. Mark Owen, National Trail Officer for the South West Coast Path will talk about England’s longest trail, which starts by traversing the dramatic Exmoor coastline, and will highlight new resources available for businesses to make the most of the National Trail. Attendees will be introduced to the new Coleridge Way extension opening later this year highlighting how businesses can gear up to take advantage of the extended 51 mile route from Nether Stowey to Lynmouth following in the footsteps of the romantic poets and Elizabeth McLaughlin will be talking about the importance of the romantic poets to Exmoor.

Exmoor National Park Authority’s Access and Recreation Manger, Dan Barnett, will lead a field trip in the afternoon exploring the Valley of Rocks. Delegates will see a new access path being developed to provide access to the beach at Wringcliff Bay along with a range of landscape improvements completed within the Valley of Rocks.

“This will be a great opportunity to learn more about Exmoor’s fantastic walking offer” said Dan James,  Sustainable Economy Manager for Exmoor National Park Authority. “Research tells us this is one of the most important attractors for people visiting Exmoor and one of the most popular activities undertaken and so we hope the day will help to equip accommodation, information and activity providers to make the most of the opportunities available.”

A final session of Exmoor Awareness for 2014 takes place on the 2 April considering Exmoor’s Coast including Exmoor’s unique coastal woodlands, seashore wildlife and new ideas to make the most of Porlock Marsh. Advanced booking is essential on a first come, first served basis. The cost is £15 a session, or £27.50 if attending both including all talks, lunch and refreshments and the field trip. To book download a booking form from http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/communities/tourism-trade/Events-and-training.

For further details call Exmoor National Park on 01398 323665.

The event is supported by the COOL Tourism EU Interreg Channel project and the Lynmouth Pavilion Project with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Looking forward to Simonsbath Festival 2014

The countdown to Simonsbath Festival 2014 has begun: the website is live, tickets are on sale and the printed colour programme is on its way.

May Day celebrations on Bank Holiday Monday May 5 will launch this year’s festival with traditional music and maypole dancing by local children. And top brass ensemble Westcombe Brass will carry out a series of workshops in local schools during the first week, working towards a concert with the children on May 9.

This year’s festival programme includes the premiere of a film by Chris Chapman; a concert of sacred and operatic songs by vocal trio Alaudiae; a virtuoso violin performance by top British artist Tamsin Waley-Cohen; world music from a 10-piece Cuban band and Gypsy Swing ensemble; a high-energy and fun-filled drumming workshop; a poetry evening; a talk by Lord Douglas Hurd. And larger than life actor and baritone opera singer Karl Daymond will be resolutely Lowering the Tone.

There will also be some very Exmoor focused events such as a presentation by popular children’s author Victoria Eveleigh; Tom and Barbara’s ‘An Exmoor Garland’ and ‘Voices from the Moor’ featuring interviews of local people presented by John Burgess.

During the six-week festival period there will be lots more on, including an art exhibition, a jazz concert, guided walks and family activities, ending on Friday June 20 with a family and community concert at St Luke’s featuring top folk musician James Findlay, the La-La Voices Community Choir of Ilfracombe and local children.

Full details of the programme are available on the website www.simonsbathfestival.co.uk and you can follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to receive a free copy of the 32-page full colour printed programme, please contact Victoria Thomas on 01643 831343.

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