Restoring Tarr Steps

The clapper bridge at Tarr Steps being restored ( should be open by the weekend) and the wonderful display of bluebells on Varle Hill. It looks to be a very delicate job putting all the stones together in the right place and at the correct angle. Well done to those involved – skill and patience required I think! Perfect working conditions for it though!”

By Pauline Richards (24 May 2023)

This is what Tarr Steps and the River Barle looked like on 14 January 2023 after the storm (thanks to Adam Galpin for the photos);

The river was a murky and tumultuous sight, with water surging well beyond the typically calm banks. Trees and shrubs lining the river’s edge were battered, with some even torn from their roots and carried downstream. Tarr Steps, a renowned prehistoric clapper bridge, was partially submerged, with only a few of its large stone slabs visible amid the rushing water. The storm’s force has shifted some of the stones. In the background, thick layers of grey clouds have obscured the surrounding hills, creating an even more ominous and foreboding atmosphere.

An Exmoor Sunset

By Becky Power

I was a bit late going up and the sky was already turning by the time I got to my middle stile.

The deer were in the wood behind me. I could hear them moving about and hoped they would make an appearance so had my camera posed to the place they leave the woods in hope.. But I suspect they knew I was in the field so it was in vain.

The swallows were flitting about the field below me. Low to the ground flying backwards and forwards.. It always amazes me that they never bump into each other, there are so many and they are so fast!

Many a time iv tried to photograph or video them but never really succeeded, so they are mine alone to enjoy!

In the distance I could hear what I suspect was a couple of fox cubs calling to each other, but no sign of them..

The sky was fast turning a beautiful deep red colour and knowing that although I was surrounded by wildlife there would be none to photograph tonight I turned my attention to the sky..

And what a beautiful sunset it was! Turning from pink, oranges to a deep red with an amazing cloud formation to enhance it.. I’l never tire of our beautiful Exmoor sunsets!

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: