Well done all – Bonfires, Baked Potatoes and Butterflies

It took more than a bit of mud to deter the more than 120 keen volunteers from joining in the recent Bonfire, Baked Potatoes and Butterflies day. The event was organised by Exmoor National Park Authority and supported by other organisations across Exmoor including the National Trust and The Crown Estate who own part of the site.

Well done to Janet Dixon and the Somerset Wildlife Trust volunteer team who were part of the team who supported over 120 people to take part in vital conservation work over half term at the ‘Bonfires, Baked Potatoes and Butterflies’ event at Hopcott. Just one of the many practical events lined up for 2014.

Janet Dixon and the Somerset Wildlife Trust volunteers.

Janet Dixon and the Somerset Wildlife Trust volunteers.

 

Jenny Placket, Butterfly Conservation, Barny Simmons, Mosaic, and Pat Watts Mabbot, Exmoor National Park.

Taking a well-earned break: Jenny Placket of Butterfly Conservation, Barny Simmons of Mosaic, and Patrick Watts-Mabbot of Exmoor National Park Authority.

The volunteers, who came from all over Somerset and Devon, helped remove silver birch trees from moorland in order to improve the habitat for butterflies, nightjars and glow worms and stop the area becoming dominated by trees. The trees were then burnt which gave an opportunity to cook some baked potatoes for a well earned lunch and a chance to relax and explore the hills.

Regular volunteers, family groups and a number of youth groups took part in the event, including; South Molton Scouts Group, Cheeky Cherubs Nursery, Langport Youth Club and Exmoor Cub Group. Experts there on the day included Jenny Placket, Butterfly Conservation, Barny Simmons, Mosaic and Pat Watts-Mabbott, Exmoor National Park Authority.

David Rolls, Education and Outreach Officer for the Heart of Exmoor, with volunteers Brian and Caroline Seward and a family group.

David Rolls, Education and Outreach Officer for the Heart of Exmoor, with volunteers Brian and Caroline Seward and a family group.

Somerset Wildlife Trust volunteer Janet Dixon said: “It was wonderful to see so many people of all ages out working together, there must have been people there from 7 – 75 years of age.”

Richard Scott from the South Molton Scout group said: “We all really enjoyed it – it’s great to be out working in the fresh air in such a wonderful location.”

Head-chef Pat Watts-Mabbott adding baked potatoes to the bonfire.

Head-chef Pat Watts-Mabbott adding baked potatoes to the bonfire.

David Rolls (Moorland Education Officer for the Heart of Exmoor Scheme) commented “We were really pleased to support this event through the Changing Moorland Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund. It all augurs well for the next big event, the Big Adventure day at Haddon Hill, overlooking Wimbleball Reservoir on Wednesday 16 April during the school holidays. Another free event and everyone is welcome.”

photo by Aggz Waywell

photo by Aggz Waywell

South Molton Scouts looking for a pot a gold whilst lopping invasive birch trees.

South Molton Scouts looking for a pot a gold whilst lopping invasive birch trees.

A great day was had by all! A big thank you once again to all who take part, including our dedicated team of volunteers, the Crown Estate team and the National Trust team.

Some of the 120 people who turned up at the 'Bonfires, Baked Potatoes and Butterflies' event.

Some of the 120 people who turned up at the ‘Bonfires, Baked Potatoes and Butterflies’ event.

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