The story about the ‘money tree’ at Tarr Steps

The money tree on Exmoor at Tarr Steps is well-known, and over the years many people have asked what it is all about.

Yesterday evening, quite late, Cathy McCulloch told the story on Twitter how it all started 54 years ago with her dad:

54 years ago an 8 yr old daughter of a barrister threw a strop. She refused to walk further on a trek around Tarr Steps. She wanted a pony. Her father, who had the most amazing brain & imagination – who’d battled this order for a long time – stopped, pulled a 3d piece out of His trouser pocket & said to his stroppy 8 yr old “Darling it’s not fir me to decide if u can have a pony in Ealing Broadway It’s for the log fairies.” With that, he hammered that 3d coin into a log by the Barle. Wishes were made. A pony never lived in Ealing Bdwy. But what did happen was far greater than that. Coins from all 4 corners of the world were hammered into that log. For 54 years that child has revisited & brought her children & they’ve brought theirs. Today, on the eve of my 62nd birthday I stood & touched the 3d that my father had Touched. I felt him in my soul as I stood there touching his 3d, that his hands had clumsily but deftly held. I miss Dad so much. If you go to Tarr Steps walk to the logs, & make your own wish. My wish is ~ well I can’t tell you because it’s only the log that knows. I miss him.

Cathy McCulloch, 3 July 2022 via Twitter

So next time you are at Tarr Steps, add your own coin and make a wish. If you can, take a photo and share it with us and Cathy on Twitter.

Here are the photos Cathy posted with her text:

Date for your Diary: “The Guardians” at Stogumber Cinema

Date of Event: Friday, 1st March 2019

Location of Event: Stogumber Village Hall, Stogumber, Taunton, TA4 3TG


The Guardians (Certificate 15) is the next film presented by Stogumber Cinema. It is directed by Xavier Beauvois and concentrates on those left behind rather than the battles being fought at the Front.

It is an affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience. The women of the Paridier farm, under the deft hand of Hortense, the family’s matriarch (Nathalie Baye,) grapple with the workload while the men are off at the front. Hortense reluctantly brings in an outsider, a teenage orphan, Francine (Iris Bry), to help her daughter Solange (Laura Smet). Newfound independence is acquired, yet emotions are stirred especially when the men return from the front on short leaves. French with English subtitles.

Doors open at 7pm when a short film or trailer for the next film, Bohemian Rhapsody showing on Friday 5th April, will be screened with the main feature film starting at 7:30pm. Refreshments will be available including Styles ice-creams, tea, coffee and a range of drinks from the bar. Tickets are available from or on the door, £5 adults, £3 accompanied under 16s.

Dig this! What’s afoot at The Luttrell Arms Hotel, Dunster?

Visitors to the medieval village of Dunster might well be wondering what on earth is going on in the garden at The Luttrell Arms Hotel.  For whilst the award winning hotel carries on its daily business, hundreds of years of history are being uncovered on their back lawn. And if you are quick you might be able to see it! 

South West Archaeology Ltd, specialists in recording sites of historic interest are working with the Luttrell’s owners Nigel and Anne Way, ahead of a £2million investment in the hotel. The significance of the finds beneath the aptly named ‘Secret Garden’ is such that essential development work for a new service tunnel, laundry and conversion to the existing buildings set to go ahead in the spring have been halted whilst a full archaeological survey is carried out some 15 feet beneath the garden. 

This has presented a rare opportunity for archaeologists to see what is underneath one of the ancient buildings in the village. And they have not been disappointed. Bryn Morris, Project Manager for South West Archaeology said: “This is indeed a surprise, the remains are pretty impressive. The owners have been generous in enabling us to carry out the work even though they need to get on with the building project.” So far the remains of an 18th century pottery cottage, medieval plots, a kitchen, 16th or 17th century malting kiln, stables and a cobbled track connecting the High Street to the parkland at Dunster Castle, have been uncovered behind the hotel on the High Street and its getting more exciting by the day. For a short time at least we are able to see the archaeology work from the Secret Garden but it is set to finish soon so check with the hotel if you would like to see it.  

IMGP3755Items of interest derived from the site of the cottage leading to the Pottery Kiln, built by Henry Fownes Luttrell in the 18th century to improve the landscape around Dunster Castle, are among finds being examined and recorded. The new buildings to improve facilities at the hotel are probably the largest construction project along the ancient street of Dunster for hundreds of years.  

The village on Exmoor National Park is one of the best preserved medieval villages in England and throughout its history of poverty and prosperity from the dark ages to the 21st century, some buildings inevitably became derelict, plots were infilled and buildings reshaped as land owners adapted with the times. It is perhaps fascinating that Nigel and Anne Way, who have been restoring the 28 bedroom Luttrell Arms Hotel since rescuing it from administration in 2013, are doing the same. 

The ‘house’ that is now the Luttrell Arms Hotel once had stabling for 30 horses and was thought to be a base for the visiting Abbot of nearby Cleeve Abbey. Today the 28 bedroom hotel is an award winning business in the village of Dunster, employing 40 full and part time staff. Nigel and Anne Way are south west hoteliers and own The Luttrell Arms Hotel, Dunster, The Royal Seven Stars, Totnes and The Royal Castle Hotel, Dartmouth.

The Pottery Kiln commissioned by Henry Fownes Luttrell of Dunster Castle in the mid eighteen century to landscape the valley of Avill, still survives and is a rare example of a domestic pottery kiln, which is visible from the hotel’s garden.  The occupants of the Pottery Cottage were John and Ruth Mogg of Bristol. After John’s death in 1760 Ruth advertised the pottery but there were no takers so it was subsequently closed down. 

Dig Photos: courtesy of South West Archaeology

A letter from the Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club – Can you help?

banner (1)The Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club is world famous for its spectacular location in the Valley of Rocks and every year many visitors to Lynton & Lynmouth enjoy a lazy summer afternoon watching a game being played in this beautiful setting. However maintaining the ground to a high standard and complying with the ever increasing health and safety and legal requirements requires substantial funding. As a small club we rely solely on volunteers and fundraising to keep operating.

rightI’m writing to ask if you might be able to support the Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club.  All money raised will go towards essential equipment which this year is a replacement roller and safety helmets for the batsmen, wicket keepers and junior club members any additional funds will help cover ground maintenance / insurance costs.

We have various ways for you to support the Club:

By making a small donation – £5.00

Ball sponsorship for a league game – £10.00

Sponsor a team shirt – £15.00

A web entry on the Club’s website – £18.00

Sponsor a cricket helmet – £20.00

A quarter page display advert in the Cricket Club Fixture Card and a web entry, The entry will be displayed on all pages of the Club’s website  – £25.00

Match Tea – either supply the tea or sponsor the cost to supply – £50.00

Payments can be made via the web site or by cheque made payable to L&LCC and sent c/o Lynton Tourist Information Centre Town Hall Lynton EX35 6BT

The club issues the fixture card to all members and supporters and they refer to it regularly throughout the season (April to September) to check on forthcoming games as well as the web site for up to date information about games, results and contact details for the club.

This year’s programme will see more than 20 teams visiting the Valley of Rocks ground for league and friendly fixtures.  Supporters of these visiting teams travel to watch the games and often come into Lynton & Lynmouth to have a look around while they are here or stay for the weekend.

I do hope you will consider supporting the club either through advertising your business or by making a personal donation.  We are a registered charity focused on our community role and our aim is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take up the sport.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


Susan Bingham
Secretary, L&LCC


Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club ● The Valley Of Rocks Ground ● Lynton ● North Devon ● EX35 6JH

Registered Charity No. 1111630

The latest from Exmoor4all: 16 November 2015


This photo of a majestic stag by Liz Mitchell was the most popular on our Facebook page last week.

Greetings from Exmoor

Even though we are well into November now, the weather is still very mild here on Exmoor. Last week’s storms and heavy rainfalls have given way to autumnal sunshine while I’m typing this.

Thank you to all the traders who have been in touch so far with regard to our Exmoor Markets. We are going to get back to you as soon as possible – hopefully we have a full list of venues and dates by the end of this week.  If you know of or own a venue where you would like to host an Exmoor Market, please get in touch with us.

If you are looking for unique presents which are not available on the Highstreet, then our limited edition Exmoor4all calendar might be something for you.  We will also shortly be launching tickets for our celebrity charity ball in February as well as a number of “pop-up restaurant” events which will all take place during the Exmoor Food Fest in February 2016.
We are currently working on an eCommerce website where you will be able to order canvasses of the calendar images.  A portfolio with photographs by some of our Exmoor4all contributors is being built. You will also be able to book activities and events directly through us.  All websites will be accessible via

We are very lucky to live in this part of the world, and we hope that, wherever you are reading this newsletter, you are well and safe.

The Exmoor4all calendar costs £7.50 plus p&p. You can order it online on our website – click here

The Exmoor4all calendar costs £7.50 plus p&p.
You can order it online on our website – click here

For our 2016 Exmoor Food Fest we have teamed up with Claire Lynch of Claire’s Kitchen for a number of fun events. These include pop-up restaurants in rather unusual locations.
On 10 February 2016 we will be in a barn on the grounds of the Exmoor Falconry in Allerford.  Join us for an Owl Display followed by a delicious meal.
Two weeks later it’s time to visit the Exmoor Pony Whisperer, Dawn Westcott, at her farm at Holt Ball in Luccombe.  Dawn has recently published a book about Exmoor Ponies and was seen a few days ago on ITV This Morning.  Following a talk about Exmoor Ponies we will sit down and eat a fabulous meal.

West Country Food and Farm Tours will be running a number of tours to Exmoor farms in cooperation with the Luttrell Arms in Dunster and The Culbone near Porlock. Dates to be announced very sooon!

These are just a few events to take place during February 2016.  We are currently finalising the list of restaurants offering 2 courses for £10/ 3 courses for £15 during the Exmoor Food Fest across Exmoor.

If you have a venue or an idea how to get involved, please get in touch! Just email us at

A big thank you to our head sponsor Arthur David without whom the Exmoor Food Fest would not be possible.
All restaurants and events will be listed on the Exmoor Food Fest website.

Coming up:
6 December 2015:       Exmoor Christmas Market at Kentisbury Grange
February 2016:            Exmoor Food Fest all over Exmoor
10 February 2016:       Pop-up Restaurant at the Exmoor Owl Centre, Allerford
27/28 February 2016:  Dunster Food Festival

We are waiting to confirm the dates for “Exmoor Stars”, our Celebrity Charity Ball, as well as a number of other pop-up restaurants at various barns on Exmoor which will all take place during the Exmoor Food Fest in February 2016.

In 2016 we are launching Exmoor Markets – events at a number of locations across Exmoor featuring local produce and crafts.  We are currently working on a website while finalising the dates and venues.
If you are a local food producer or know of someone who makes arts and crafts
or sells home made food products, please send us an email to
Exmoor Markets coming up:
06 December 2015            Exmoor Christmas Market at Kentisbury Grange
27&28 February 2016:      Exmoor Market at the Dunster Food Festival
10 March 2016:                  Exmoor Market at the Exmoor Falconry, Allerford
12 June 2016:                     Exmoor Market at the Exmoor Falconry, Allerford
16 October 2016:              Exmoor Market at the Exmoor Falconry, Allerford


Local business donates scholarship for West Somerset College’s hospitality student

Rosemary Overall and Tony O'Shaughnassy from The Culbone.  Photo by Steve Quantick

Rosemary Overall and Tony O’Shaughnassy from The Culbone.
Photo by Steve Quantick

Last week, West Somerset College’s hospitality student Rosemary Overall was presented with the inaugural The Culbone Scholarship for Hospitality Student of the Year.

Rosemary, who is in her last year at The Combe training restaurant in Minehead, was chosen for her commitment and keen interest, both in the kitchen and front of house.
A few months ago, Tony O’Shaughnassy, the owner of The Culbone on Porlock Hill, had contacted the The Combe to find a way to support outstanding students in the hospitality sector, to help develop young people in an industry which is so vital to Exmoor.  Finally, the idea for the scholarship was born, a suitable student found and the scholarship’s finer details developed.
“We think that the College’s hospitality course is outstanding. The food prepared by the students is amazing.  We see The Culbone as at the heart of the community, and helping young people excel is very close to our heart,” explained Tony. “Rosemary is a very worthy recipient of our scholarship, and we look forward to catching up with Rosemary in London in September.”
Tony presented Rosemary with a certificate in The Combe in the presence of Paul Gibbs, Acting Faculty Leader, and Werner Hartholt, Chef Lecturer.  The scholarship will take her to the London School for Wine and Spirits in September to do a two-week WSET Level 3 course.  It also covers travel, accommodation, pocket money and dinner with Somerset Life’s Food Editor, Susan Clark, in one of London’s top restaurants.

Paul Gibbs commented: “We are very grateful to The Culbone for their generous support for Rosemary.  Rosemary has impressed us with her dedication and hard work, both in the kitchen and front of house. This course will be of great benefit to her future career.”
The Combe students will join The Culbone team for a special event later this year.


Werner Hartholz (Chef Lecturer), Paul Gibbs (Acting Faculty Leader), Rosemary Overall, Tony O’Shaughnassy (The Culbone)



The wait is nearly over to find out which design has won the Exmoor Flag design competition and earned its place in history as the first area encompassing a national park to have its own flag. The official Exmoor Flag will be unveiled on Wednesday the 29th of October during a ceremony at West Somerset Railway’s Minehead Station with the new flag arriving on a majestic steam locomotive into Platform One at 11.42am.

Following presentations of flags to the Mayors of Minehead, Watchet and South Molton, and of commemorative gifts to all five finalists and the grand prize to the winning designer by wildlife presenter Johnny Kingdom, the Exmoor Flag will embark on a tour of the region in a beautiful vintage bus provided by Quantock Heritage and proudly sponsored by local businesses.

Give a wave and a cheer as the bright yellow bus, adorned with the new Exmoor Flag, passes through Minehead town centre and calls in at Porlock around 12.45. The tour will continue on to Lynton where there will be a presentation to Mayor Tony Meakin outside the Town Hall at 1.30pm. The Exmoor Flag will then make its way across country to Parracombe (2.05pm), then on to Simonsbath for 2.40pm.

There will then be a raising of the Exmoor Flag by Mike Ellicott, Chairman of Exford Parish Council at the Village green at 3pm. The Exmoor Flag tour will then head down the Barle Valley to Dulverton where the town will celebrate with a ceremony to present Deputy Mayor Judy Ernest and Rev Andrew Thomas with our new flag outside the Town Hall at 3.30pm.

The final leg of the tour takes the vintage bus up the Exe Valley to Wheddon Cross where the flag-loving Landlords of the Rest and Be Thankful will greet the party at 4.20pm and enjoy a short celebration to welcome Exmoor’s new flag to the highest village on Exmoor. And finally as the shops and businesses close for the evening at 4.45pm, everyone can gather outside the Yarn Market in Dunster to truly say ‘hello and welcome’ to the Exmoor Flag – registered by The Flag Institute as an official United Kingdom flag and the only area encompassing a national park to have its own flag! The flag will represent and celebrate the greater area of Exmoor, beyond the National Park boundaries. It will be for everyone who loves living in and visiting this most uniquely beautiful corner of England.

Exmoor Flags and a small range of other gifts will be available shortly to purchase online at For each purchase made a donation will be given to the Devon Air Ambulance and Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance charities. Pre orders can be made via the website and an announcement will be made shortly with a list of local stockists across the region, wholesale enquiries welcome.

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The flag launch day is kindly being sponsored by local organisations and firms, including: West Somerset Railway, Minehead Town Council, Active Signs, Bampton Game, Butlin’s, Dark Sky Telescope Hire, Exe Valley Fishery, Exmoor Farmers Livestock Auctions, Exmoor Printers, Exmoor Stoves/GJ Strong Builders, Exmoor Trim, Minehead Marquees, Minehead & West Somerset Golf Club, Stags Estate Agents Dulverton, Stuarts Home Furnishers and Des & Vicky Belam. The creation of the official flag for Exmoor has been planned to coincide with Exmoor National Park’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Exmoor will be the first area that encompasses a national park to have its very own flag! The 5 finalist’s designs were shortlisted from 261 competition entries to go through to the public vote by a panel of judges, which included wildlife enthusiast Johnny Kingdom. Designs came from all over the world, from community groups and schools to individuals as young as 2 and as old as 93. A gallery displaying all the wonderful original designs is expanding daily on the Exmoor Flag website 858 members of the public voted for their favourite Exmoor Flag design, with 446 votes cast online and 412 received in the post .

As well as the honour of going down in history as being the designer of the new Exmoor Flag (Registered by the Flag Institute as an official United Kingdom Flag), the winner will be presented with the very first hand-sewn Exmoor Flag, made in Exford by Robin Ashburner, ex-president of the Flag Institute. In addition they will receive a beautiful wicker hamper, especially made by Paul Tuck at Exmoor Baskets & Hurdles, overflowing with Exmoor produce, products, an Exmoor Magazine subscription, vouchers for shops, visitor attractions and meals out. The prizes have all kindly been donated by local businesses keen to support Exmoor’s new flag (for the full list see


GENERAL INFORMATION / CONTACTS The Exmoor Flag Project is funded by the EFP Team – Edward & Julie Christian and Tony & Ceri Keene, along with a small financial grant from The Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund. The Exmoor Flag is registered with The Flag Institute as an official United Kingdom flag. The Exmoor Flag is free to fly by all as there is no copyright restriction on its use.

Exmoor Flag Project Julie or Edward Christian Tel: 01398 323948 Email: c/o Three Acres Country House B&B Brushford, Dulverton Somerset, TA22 9AR


Porlock Fire Victims – How you can help

Porlock fire David Orr

In the recent house fire in Porlock two families had to leave their burning house with only the clothes they were wearing.

We are still looking for men’s clothes – 34/34 trousers, shorts, large tops (shirts/jumpers) and some good quality shoes/trainers size 10 1/2.

We are also looking for a cooker – if you can help, please get in touch via FB, Twitter, the Contact Us page on this website or send an email to

Yellow money collection boxes are located throughout Porlock and at the Coop and Tesco’s in Minehead.

We are in the process of organising an online auction in aid of the victims. Look out for the hashtag #PorlockFireAuction on Facebook and Twitter. Details will also be available on this website closer to the date.

You can also donate online via Paypal:







Exmoor might be soggy and rather damp at the moment, but on the whole we can count ourselves lucky and open for business, despite the awful weather which has hit the UK in the past weeks.

However, only about 30 miles from here the story is completely different.  Acres and acres of land are under water in the Somerset levels, homes and businesses are flooded out.  Farmers have worked relentlessly day and night to save their farms from flooding. However, they have lost the fight.  But while many have found shelter for their animals, they desperately need fodder, straw and silage.

Whole villages have been evacuated, and it might be weeks before people can return to their homes.

*** The Somerset Levels flood victims need all our help ***

You can donate feed, forage or animal bedding through Sedgemoor Auction Centre, at J24 of the M5. Please call 01278 410 278 first to arrange a delivery time.

* * *

Well-wishers without fodder who still want to help can make donations via the Farming Community Network webpage at Just Giving.  Donations should be marked “For Somerset Farmers”. The web address to donate is .

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flood relief SQ

You can also donate via the Somerset Emergency Flood Relief Fund which has been set up by the CLA:


Communities on the Somerset Levels have reached a crisis point as they cope with extensive and long-term flooding. For many it is the second time in two years they have been affected, and whole communities have been cut off for weeks.The response within the communities themselves has been magnificent but there is only so much they can do for themselves. As part of our Surviving Winter campaign Somerset Community Foundation is urgently appealing for donations to relieve the immediate hardship people are facing and support their recovery over the coming weeks and months. With your help, we will help families and communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Donations can be made in the following ways:

  • You can donate online

  • You can donate by calling us on 01749 344949.
  • You can donate by sending a cheque made payable to Somerset Community Foundation and write Flood Relief on the back of the cheque. Please send it to us at Yeoman House, Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN.

If you are a UK Taxpayer, please also use this gift aid form to add 25% to your donation.

Our target is to raise £150,000.

We will use funds raised to:

  • Provide emergency relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded to meet the immediate financial burdens of moving out, pumping and drying, and emergency repairs. These are £250 and usually awarded within 48 hours of receipt of an eligible application.
  • Help those who face additional financial burdens as a result of the flooding, for example though loss of earnings, extended daily commutes and school runs.
  • Support local micro-businesses to ensure their survival and swift recovery as an essential part of the local community and economy through grants and, where applicable, loans.
  • Support counselling and other support services to help people cope with the emotional stress caused by the flooding in the short and medium term.

If donations exceed the immediate need outlined above we will use donations to help communities on the Levels increase their resilience, or retain for future episodes of flooding. As far as possible the cost of administering the fund will be taken from gift aid receipts, and no more than 10% will be taken from non-gift aided donations for administration.

Telephone: 01749 344949


Somerset Community Foundation, Yeoman House, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN