The Heart of Exmoor Scheme – in a nutshell

It’s not easy to write a concise summary of a 5-year programme, but here goes!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2pagesummary_Heart_of_Exmoor_feb16f

More information at heartofexmoor.org.uk and exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Moorland - the Heart of ExmoorThe Heart of Exmoor Scheme championed Exmoor National Park’s moorland landscape heritage for 5 years (Jan2011-Dec2015).

This was a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Scheme with a budget of £1.2 million managed by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership (EMLP) comprising 12 organisations with Exmoor National Park Authority as lead partner. Arabella Amory from The Exmoor Society chaired the group. A small staff team delivered the projects: 

  • Scheme Manager     Jason Ball. MCMI (Dip Mgt), MCIEEM.
  • Moorland Heritage Officer     Faye Balmond. MA.
  • Exmoor Pony Officer               Linzi Green.
  • Moorland Education Officer     David Rolls. MSc.

The Partnership

EMLP-partnerlogos

Summary Notes

We ran 19 projects across 3 themed programmes:

  • Programme 1: Reconnecting People with Moorland Heritage
  • Programme 2: Reconnecting Livelihoods to the Moorland
  • Programme 3: Reconditioning the Moorland Landscape

The Heart of Exmoor Scheme helped thousands of people to enjoy and appreciate the moorland, and supported those who take care of this precious landscape – farmers and commoners, landowners, rangers and volunteers. Thanks to everyone involved, we were able to inspire visitors, create exciting educational resources, research the moorland’s natural and cultural heritage and help to conserve it for future generations.

More than 5,000 volunteer days contributed to the scheme’s success, valued at over £400,000! A small army of people worked in partnership with the staff team, drawing upon immense expertise and energy from not just within the Partner organisations but also volunteers from all walks of life – the farming community, local businesses, researchers, ecologists, archaeologists, artists, storytellers, students and the retired – all sharing their enthusiasm for the moorland. 

The Heart of Exmoor Scheme engaged more than 14,000 visitors at events and over 7,000 on school visits.  The scheme contributed significantly to events such as the Exmoor Archaeology Forum and the Exmoor National Park’s family-friendly Big Adventure Days. We established major new events such as Bogtastic, the Exmoor Wildlife Forum and the Exmoor Pony Festival

The Partnership helped more than 560 trainees develop their moorland management skills, employed 3 farmers as Moorkeepers, funded 3 moorland apprenticeships, and supported moorland managers to organise 26 practical demonstrations and 31 workshops about issues important to them – sharing experience and knowledge of livestock, scrub, bracken, burning, etc. 

The scheme invested £1.2 million in Exmoor’s moorland landscape and the local community, including: £130,000 in landscape grants, £11,000 for Scheduled Ancient Monuments, £20,000 in moorland management equipment and over £32,000 to help Exmoor’s free-roaming moorland pony herds (including £16,000 in Exmoor Pony Grants).

  • Hailed as a success by HLF:  a relatively low-cost scheme punching above its weight.
  • The most striking aspect of this Heritage Lottery Funded scheme was undoubtedly its immense capacity to foster active partnership working and participation.
  • Massive impact with community engagement – not just in Exmoor National Park but also through outreach far beyond its boundaries and to river valley communities downstream.
  • Brought volunteers and professionals together to work on groundbreaking investigative and interpretive moorland archaeology in our Community Archaeology project.
  • Provided 52 wildlife skills workshops, and supported major wildlife surveys and campaigns e.g. RSPB Moorland Bird Survey, Exmoor Wild Watch, the Exmoor Crayfish Project.
  • Created the online Moorland Classroom with educational resources for 10 moorland sites, and the River Lyn. Produced a World War II teaching pack and 4 Archaeology Loan Boxes, all backed by outreach work, hundreds of school visits, and inspirational teacher training.
  • Moorland management was a key aspect. Pilot projects such as Moorkeepers and Demonstration Moors led onto innovations such as Graze the Moor demonstrative study on Molland Moor.
  • Added new data and resources to Exmoor National Park’s Historic Environment Record (HER) including finds, geophysics data, drawings, photographs and more than 20 archaeology reports.
  • Delivered 5 major landscape character projects and 10 small landscape projects.
  • Published the Moorland Birds of Exmoor guide, A Field Guide to the Royal Forest of Exmoor, accessible route Photo Trails, 4 Archaeology Walks, 9 digital reconstructions of landscape scenes, and 8 Sounds of the Exe films – enchanting audiovisual snapshots of the Exe Valley.

Funding

The Heart of Exmoor Scheme was financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor National Park Authority and many local partners and funders. Programme 2, Reconnecting Livelihoods was RDPE funded by WSLA (Western Somerset Local Action) and L4TND (Leader for Torridge and North Devon) and by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Other major funders included the Heathcoat and Amory Trusts through The Exmoor Society, The Exmoor Trust, The Environment Agency and English Heritage.

Contributions in cash and in kind from project partners and Scheme Partners helped immeasurably. The vast contribution of volunteer time effectively increased scheme value from £1.2m to £1.6m!

The Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and our local partners and funders. Part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013: Europe investing in rural areas.

Helping people to enjoy and appreciate Exmoor National Park’s moorland landscape, and supporting those who take care of it.

More information at heartofexmoor.org.uk and exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Posted in Exmoor National Park, Heart of Exmoor, Moorland the Heart of Exmoor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Exmoor’s Big Adventures + Family Wildlife Events 2016

Layout 1

Big Adventures 2016…

Join the adventure! With family games and activities lasting all day in some of the most amazing locations on Exmoor. There is no charge for these events but donations to CareMoor for Exmoor are requested. All events run from 10am – 4pm except the Camp Outs which start at 4pm. Camping charges apply for overnight events.

The Big Moorland Adventure @ Haddon Hill

Wednesday 6th April.  Read more 

 

 

 

Family Wildlife Days…

Porlock Marsh BioBlitz 
Sat 9 July
Wildlife Adventure Day. A programme of events throughout the day and night to survey the wildlife of Porlock Marsh and beach. Whether you are a beginner or expert, there will be something for everyone to get involved with. More details to follow nearer the event. For times and locations or contact Mel Worman on 01643 862452.

Bogtastic:
Tue 26th Jul 10am-4pm

This year’s ‘drop in’ event will feature the Bogstacle Course, stream dipping, wildlife walks, Bog safaris, the opportunity to visit one of the South West’s last remaining operational water powered sawmills, and lots more all-weather and undercover activities. Meet at Simonsbath Sawmill, TA24 7SH. For further information and a free event poster please phone 01598 752509 or see our Bogtastic facebook page.

Tarr Steps Family Wildlife Day: 
Sat 23rd July 11am-3pm 

Discover what amazing bugs and beasties live in the streams and woodlands of Exmoor as we river dip and bug hunt down at Tarr Steps. Please wear outdoor clothing and suitable footwear. Tarr Steps Meadow. TA22 9PY. 01398 323841.

Lynmouth Green Family Wildlife Day: 
Wed 3rd Aug 11am-4pm
Discover what amazing bugs and beasties live in the rivers and woodlands of Exmoor as we stream dip and bug hunt down at Lynmouth Green. EX35 6EN. 01398 323841.

Posted in events, Exmoor National Park, moorland, Moorland the Heart of Exmoor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Landscape Partnerships | Heritage Lottery Fund

 

 

 

HLF has announced their Landscape Partnership programme is open for a new round of funding with up to £25m to spend in 2016.

Source: Landscape Partnerships | Heritage Lottery Fund

Posted in Moorland the Heart of Exmoor | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Celebration for Heart of Exmoor Scheme

Moorland - the Heart of Exmoor

Volunteers, farmers, funders and supporters joined the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership to celebrate the success of the Heart of Exmoor Scheme last week. Pupils from Dunster School provided a special highlight with a reading of moorland-inspired poetry.

Over the past 5 years, this Heritage Lottery Funded programme has championed Exmoor National Park’s moorland heritage and invested £1.2 million in Exmoor’s landscape and community.

Arabella Amory, who chairs the Partnership on behalf of The Exmoor Society said: “There are so many people we have to thank – the successful 5 years is due to the enormous generosity and commitment of the Heritage Lottery Fund and we are very grateful, without them none of this would have been possible. They have been generous and encouraging and, above all, understanding and flexible – thanks go to the HLF and to all members of the partnership who contributed match funding, both in kind and with funds. Thank you, too, to the thousands of volunteers who have helped with so many of the projects.”
“The Scheme has been run by a tiny but dynamic team – Jason Ball, David Rolls and Faye Balmond, who have punched way above their weight exceeding their targets every quarter – so a huge ‘thank you’ to them. For me it has been a pleasure to have been part of such a successful project.”
JasonBall_speaking-sqbwJason Ball, the Scheme Manager said: “The celebration was our chance to show our gratitude to everyone who supported the projects. People, participation and a fantastic sense of partnership were crucial to our collective achievements.”
“Thanks to everyone involved we’ve helped thousands of people to enjoy and appreciate the moorland’s natural and cultural heritage, and support the people who take care of this precious landscape – the farmers and commoners, landowners, rangers and volunteers – to help conserve it for future generations.”
An army of people have worked as a team with the staff – not just from the Landscape Partnership but also supporters from all walks of life – the farming community, local businesses, researchers, ecologists, archaeologists, students and the retired – all sharing their enthusiasm for the moorland. More than 5,700 volunteer days have been contributed to the projects, valued at over £440,000 by HLF!
The scheme has invested £1.2 million in Exmoor’s moorland landscape and the local community, including £100,000 in landscape grants, £16,000 in Exmoor Pony Grants and £11,000 for Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The Moorland Partnership has supported apprenticeships, employed farmers as Moorkeepers, helped achieve more than 550 trainees in moorland management skills, over 7,000 school visits and attract over 14,000 visitors.

The Heart of Exmoor programmes excelled at achieving goals but the most lasting impact of this Heritage Lottery Funded scheme is undoubtedly partnership work and participation.

The scheme is run by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership comprising 12 organisations with Exmoor National Park Authority as lead partner and Arabella Amory from The Exmoor Society chairing the group. Programmes were supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Exmoor National Park Authority, Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon, Western Somerset Local Action and local partners and funders.
Visit heartofexmoor.org.uk for details.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Exmoor National Park, Heart of Exmoor, Moorland the Heart of Exmoor, news | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exmoor Horn Wool socks launched in time for cold weather!

Launch of Exmoor Horn Wool

The Exmoor Horn Wool Company recently launched their snazzy new range of woolen socks – now on sale – at the National Park Centre in Dunster. The project, supported by the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund, is a culmination of two years of hard work by a handful of Exmoor sheep farmers determined to find a way to add value to the fine fleeces produced by the indigenous Exmoor Horn sheep.

EHS SOCKS

On display was the full range of dyed wool for knitting, in five colours that reflected the Exmoor landscape such as purple for heather, yellow for gorse, and a range of socks in a variety of colour combinations, each one unique to a particular village on Exmoor. The knee length socks are designed as shooting socks, but are also perfect as wellie socks or, as one satisfied purchaser pointed out, golfing socks.

Brian Buckingham, an Exmoor Horn breeder for over 40 years, and now chairman of the Exmoor Horn Wool company, is very enthusiastic about the new enterprise, “So many of the towns and villages in the South West were built on the back of wool production, even our launch took place only a few yards from the old Dunster yarn market building, so it is great to see sheep farmers once again restoring that link between their sheep and the final wool product – and what a fine wool product it is.

“Thanks to their wool our Exmoor Horns can withstand days of blizzard out on the moor, so what better wool could there be to knit into warm outer garments such as jumpers and scarfs?”

Exmoor Horn wool project leader Lindy Head added: “The two years it has taken to get to the final product range has been an incredibly steep learning curve. With the help and guidance of John Arbon Textiles and the Wool Board, all those involved, including the Exmoor Horn Wool board, its shareholder farmers, and the Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeders Society, have had to get to grips with the intricacies of the spinning process – from deciding on yarn specifications to fibre conditioning techniques, the challenge of getting the colour mix right, and understanding the working methods of the traditional sock manufacturing industry.

“Then there has been the digital marketing element, a vital component for any new company, but not something Exmoor sheep farmers normally have to handle. I’m now delighted to say that a website, www.exmoorhornwool.co.uk, is up and running and we are hoping that lots of people will support the new venture.”

Posted in Exmoor National Park, other Exmoor things | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Exmoor Wildlife Forum

Wildlife-Forum-SGuscott

Speakers at Exmoor’s first ever Wildlife Forum, hosted by the Heart of Exmoor Scheme. Photo by Steve Guscott.

Celebrating Exmoor’s wildlife

Eighty people gathered in Dulverton Town Hall recently to celebrate the wonderful wildlife of Exmoor and the work of the numerous volunteers and organisations who help to safeguard it.

It was clear right from the outset that the work of the organisations present (including Exmoor National Park Authority, RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency​, the National Trust and Butterfly Conservation​) has been considerably enhanced by the invaluable contribution of a dedicated network of volunteers and by working together in partnership.

The event also celebrated the success of the New Ecologists project, a two year project which comes to an end this year. The Heart of Exmoor Scheme’s New Ecologists has helped to reach nearly 5,000 individuals through a programme of training and family-friendly events spanning the last two years. In addition the project has developed a series of resources for schools and engaged with over 900 school children.

Commenting on the day, Exmoor National Park Authority Member Dr Stephen Head said: “At a time when all conservation organisations are under tight financial constraints, it is really exciting to see how so much important work for Exmoor can be done with the help of our brilliant volunteers – and how much they gain from it too”.

According to one of Exmoor National Park Authority’s Wildlife Conservation Officers, Bea Davis, “We are fortunate on Exmoor to be surrounded by an amazing wealth of wildlife, and to have so many people who are dedicated to keeping it that way. It was fantastic to see people come together to celebrate a small sample of the hard work that goes on for wildlife around the National Park. The atmosphere had such a buzz and vibrancy to it and we hope the event may have inspired more people to get involved.”

If you would like to get involved with volunteering for wildlife on Exmoor please contact Patrick Watts-Mabbott or Jackie Kiberd on 01398 323665 or info@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

The Exmoor Wildlife Forum and the New Ecologists Project received generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Exmoor National Park Authority through the Heart of Exmoor scheme.

Published: 4 November 2015

Contact the press office:
Clare O-Connor
T: 01398 322244
E: CKOConnor@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Posted in Moorland the Heart of Exmoor | Leave a comment

Exmoor’s last BIG Adventure of 2015!

Exmoor Community Youth Club showing off their spooky face painting skills. Photo by Aggz Waywell

Exmoor Community Youth Club showing off their spooky face painting skills at a previous BIG ADVENTURE. Photo by Aggz Waywell

Free event, amazing location, great games and activities – it must be this year’s Big Autumn Adventure on Wednesday 28 October from 10am-4pm at Webbers Post, near Wheddon Cross in Exmoor National Park.

National Park Ranger Adam Vasey says: ““It’s the last Big Adventure of the year and, with the help of The National Trust, it’s going to be a good one. Get your wellies on, have a go at orienteering, help us make a giant den or keep warm by the campfire and toast some marshmallows.

“There will be lots to do with the usual range of fun family-friendly games and activities, so come and join us – we look forward to seeing you there!”

This is the sixth Big Adventure event this year and hundreds of people have enjoyed the free family days out courtesy of Exmoor National Park Authority, The National Trust, Heart of Exmoor and a variety of other organisations and volunteers.

There is car parking and toilet facilities on site – for more information please contact the National Park Centre at Dulverton, phone 01398 323841.

Posted in events, Exmoor National Park, Moorland the Heart of Exmoor | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment