Join the Team, Train to be a Ranger.

Programme Manager:

Your chance to become an Exmoor Ranger!!!

Originally posted on National Trust - North Devon Blog:

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A paid, full time placement for 2½ years with the team here at West Exmoor.

Whether you’re leaving school or looking for a change of direction, our award-winning NT Academy scheme will set you on the path to a career as a Ranger. You’ll learn on-the-job skills at West Exmoor based in the Heddon Valley near Parracombe. You’ll work with experts too; experts who’ll happily and enthusiastically pass on their know-how and expertise. Meanwhile, you’ll spend time at college (roughly ten weeks, in blocks, not all at once) gaining a recognised BTEC qualification. And because the scheme’s a healthy mix of college theory, hands-on work and technical training, you’ll find your knowledge, skills and expertise growing in no time at all.
Love of the great outdoors is a must.

We’d like you to have a keen interest in coast/countryside conservation and management and be inspired by the concept of making…

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The saviour of the North Devon Coast by Julian Gurney

Originally posted on National Trust - North Devon Blog:


“Some of my earliest memories revolve around our fantastic and varied coastline; it feels like it is part of me, in my blood as it were. As a boy my Father would take me out in his small fishing boat, we would even sleep on it from time to time which was very exciting and quite an adventure, I remember well falling to sleep with the waves gentle lapping at the sides the boat. I learnt to swim in the sea and vividly remember my Father explaining to my younger sister and I that it was so much easier than swimming in a pool as the salt would help us float, he was right.

Later, when I was old enough to explore, my best mate Jock and I would often ride our bikes or beg lifts to get the few miles from our village on the edge of Exmoor to…

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Exmoor Society 2015 Spring Conference – ‘Visit Exmoor’ Friday 24 April

Exmoor Society logo

Exmoor Society Spring conference – ‘Visit Exmoor’

Friday 24 April

In association with Exmoor National Park Authority

National Parks were set up just after the second world war, not only to conserve and enhance special landscapes but also to promote people’s enjoyment of them.

How sustainable is tourism in these fragile landscapes and can protection and prosperity go hand-in-hand? Can Exmoor, one of the smallest national parks, attract more people with so much visitor choice in the South West? Could Visit England do more to encourage rural tourism? What do the visiting public desire from Exmoor? These are some of the questions that will be explored and debated at the Conference.

The Exmoor Society’s 11th Annual Spring Conference aims to raise important issues and influence the debate on how to manage this complex landscape. We are delighted that a range of speakers will be dealing with the questions raised, with plenty of opportunity for delegates to open up the debate. Speakers will represent Visit England, Exmoor National Park Authority, Exmoor Tourism, Visit Cornwall and include experts from Bournemouth University and Viper Marketing.

Places are limited and cost £15 per person including lunch, bookable direct with the Exmoor Society no later than 17 April 2015. Cheques payable, please, to “The Exmoor Society”. 

Download full details of the SPRING CONFERENCE and booking form here!

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FIRST DEADLINE TODAY – Exmoor Awareness workshops for businesses

The first, Wonderful Woodlands, is scheduled for next Wednesday 15 April. If you are intending to book for this please email with the number of places you will be booking by midday TODAY (Friday 9th April).

Download full details of EXMOOR AWARENESS and booking form here!

Exmoor Awareness 2015
Wednesday 15 & 29 April
Join us for the 12th series of Exmoor Awareness to learn more about the unique qualities of the National Park in order to develop your business.

See below for full course details. Advanced booking is essential on a first come, first served basis. Each seminar costs just £10 per person including talks, field trip lunch and refreshments.
• Discover more about Exmoor’s special qualities
• Explore Exmoor first hand with expert guides
• Deepen your visitors’ experience of Exmoor
• Promote your business with the area to keep one step ahead.

Download full details of EXMOOR AWARENESS and booking form here!

Wednesday 15 April 2015
Wonderful woodlands
Exmoor House, Dulverton

Exmoor’s woodlands are a precious resource for people and wildlife. We’ll be considering what is involved in the management of our woodlands resources and learning about some of the special wildlife found in our woodlands. Plantlife will be demonstrating how the small things count with a look at the important role that lichens and mosses play in our everyday lives and we will also be looking at evidence of the past found in our woodland with the historic environment team. In the afternoon we’ll be exploring Burridge Woods, one of the woodlands owned and managed by the National Park Authority.

Wednesday 29 April 2015
Get involved on Exmoor
Porlock village Hall

Exmoor is more than just pretty views and this session will help us to consider how we, and our visitors, can get more involved in a huge range of ways. In addition to an overview of the myriad of opportunities we’ll find out about WildWatch and learn more about some of the important species the National Park Authority is asking for the public’s help in spotting and recording, and discover how your guests can contribute to providing photographic records of historic monuments.

We’ll also hear about the new National Park Partner scheme which recognises and rewards those businesses that operate with the National Park at heart and we’ll be hearing about new heritage guides offering guided walks in Porlock, Barbrook, Lynton and Lynmouth this year. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to join the guides on the Porlock Heritage Trail.

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High Times in Heddon Valley

Programme Manager:

#Exmoor #Butterflies

Originally posted on National Trust - North Devon Blog:

The West Exmoor Ranger team are all smiles this morning after waking up to some great news. The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (BMS) released survey results from 2014, showing that the one of nation’s rarest butterflies, the High Brown Fritillary, increased by 180% compared to 2013.High brown fritillary butterfly (Argynnis adippe) on a fern, Cumbria, UK

The High Brown Fritillary is critically endangered due to the loss of its woodland habitats. Heddon Valley is one of its few remaining strongholds thanks to the work of the National Trust and its partners. Successful conservation management combined with a warm, damp spring last year to create perfect conditions for rapid growth of the High Brown Fritillary population.

West Exmoor Lead Ranger Julian Gurney said; “After many years of extensive habitat management, surveying and partnership working with Butterfly Conservation, Natural England and Exmoor National Park, it is fantastic to see numbers increase so dramatically. Let’s hope this summer’s survey results are equally encouraging.” Read…

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Super Sexy Surveying Innit’ (SSSI) or maybe it’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest….

Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

The rangers and volunteers spent a week with Natural England regional officer Flemming in assessing the status of our heathland Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI).  Every few years the SSSI sites need to be surveyed to check grazing pressure, presence of disease or pests, age structure and health of vegetation and disturbance.  We walked roughly 100 metre transects looking out for bare ground, signs of invasive species and general vegetation characteristic, and then periodically stopped to get coverage percentages using a quadrat sampling method.

Flemming training us on how to assess the heath within the quadrat Flemming training us on how to assess the heath within the quadrat

Dan C and Dan F started to foster an intense interest in lichens Dan C and Dan F started to foster an intense interest in lichens

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It was really interesting spending time on the heath with Flemming, an incredibly knowledgeable man. I learnt how to differentiate between bell heather, cross leaved heather and ling (common heather), that tufty mosses (acrocarpous) indicate that ground has been disturbed…

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Exmoor community groups celebrating Bogtastic funding success.

Four Exmoor community groups have received donations totalling £1000 thanks to the Bogtastic Festival held at Simonsbath. The Exmoor Community Youth Club was one of the fortunate recipients. “There was so much to do at Bogtastic.  We loved being involved in the organisation and the day itself enabled our young people to further enjoy Exmoor’s wonderful moorland. We look forward to the next one!” (Cathy Nicholls, Exmoor Community Youth Club) Bogtastic was a celebration of fun and learning about Exmoor’s amazing bogs, wildlife and heritage. The 2014 event saw literally hundreds of people of all ages enjoying the activities based in and around Simonsbath. The many highlights included Bog Safari’s, tours of Simonsbath sawmill and the welly wanging competition.

Bog bouncing - a Bogtastic favourite !

Bog bouncing – a Bogtastic favourite !

The other benefiting groups were, Dulverton & District Young People’s Project,  South Molton Scouts  and  The Friends of Simonsbath Sawmill. All the groups  contributed to the organisation of the event. The Dulverton and District Young Peoples Project were just one of the many youth groups which attended. Jude Atkins, the Project leader, highlighted how the projects young people “ had learnt so much as well as having a lot of fun! Bogtastic is always a real hit with the group. Thank you for another wonderful time”. David Rolls, from the Heart of Exmoor, “It was great to see so many people out enjoying Exmoor’s wonderful wildlife and heritage. We are extremely grateful to everyone who donated on the day and to our event sponsors, especially, Exmoor National Park, South West Water and the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Bogtastic 2015 is on Wednesday 29 July.  Visit  for  further details.  Check for updates. If you would like to be involved in this year’s event please contact David on 01398 322164.

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