“Altogether another highly successful John Muir Award week with a moorland flavour.” said Mark Ward of the Field Studies Council at Nettlecombe Court. “Families took a moorland trek, met an Exmoor Pony, traced historic landscape features, made sound maps, created environmental art, visited a farm and camped out at Horner woods and returned home full of Exmoor inspiration.”
“Our community work is very important and thanks to Heart of Exmoor we had the benefit of Heritage Lottery Fund money and extra support for the John Muir Award summer camp.”
The John Muir Award is an educational award focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration. The Award sets 4 core challenges; discover – explore – conserve – share.
The children visited an Exmoor hill farm to see rare breeds and help the farmer with his nature area. They also rolled up their sleeves for conservation work at Dunkery with the National Trust, where archaeologists from Exmoor National Park Authority unveiled some of the mysteries of this historic moorland landscape.
Bradley Chisling, aged 10 from Williton said, “When we walked up to Dunkery Beacon we spotted 15 Red Deer. People used to burn a beacon there to warn about invasion.”
“I really enjoyed the walk at Nettlecombe. We saw loads of puffballs and I liked the ‘smoke’ that comes out when you squish them” said Joel Kaufman-Hill, aged 8 from Bideford.
Participants shared their experiences at the Somerset Wildlife Trust Family Day held at Nettlecombe Court on Thursday afternoon, where they presented video diaries posters and a big outdoor art display to show off all their achievements.
Heart of Exmoor
Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership has launched a Heritage Lottery Fund scheme that promotes moorland as the Heart of Exmoor.
Heart of Exmoor helps people to enjoy and appreciate Exmoor’s moorland and supports those who take care of it. The scheme’s fifteen projects will invest half a million pounds to benefit the landscape and community. To find out more, please visit www.heartofexmoor.org.uk or call 01398 322164.
Field Studies Council
The John Muir Week is just one of a number of initiatives which the Field Studies Council, who run Nettlecombe Court, have been involved in recently. The Field Centre was also a lead partner and organiser of the Big Green Day which hosted environmental activities for over 140 local primary school children on the 14 July and is just completing an 18-month project, funded by Exmoor National Park Sustainable Development Fund, which is aiming to get all schools within the Exmoor National Park boundary to achieve EcoSchool Green Flag status by September.
The Field Studies Council is a national environmental charity which aims to bring better environmental understanding to all. More information about Nettlecombe and what the Field Studies Council can offer is available at www.field-studies-council.org or ring 01984 640320.
The FSC is also one of the partners on the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership, helping to make their lottery-funded education projects brilliant!