Photo of the Week: Proud Robin

Christmas Robin at Culbone Church, near Porlock Weir (taken 3rd December 2019)

Photo by Emily Woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image has broken all our previous records on Facebook: Within 18 hours from posting, 2700 people had reacted to this image by liking or sharing the photo.
While many of the photos posted on our Facebook page are very popular, this one is setting a high bar for December!

If you are not following us already, pop over to Facebook and give us a like. You also find us on Twitter and Instagram.

A Close Encounter

“A very close encounter with this healthy fox which is a resident where I go and take stag photos. I was held up a few metres from a pheasant so not to disturb it (they make a racket) and this fox came out of nowhere to catch it. It missed it by 1 metre but saw me and just stared at me. It walked off and didn’t much care I was stood there.”

Richard Cliff

It’s beginning to look a lot like….

Christmas on Exmoor….

Dunster by Candlelight will take place again on 6 and 7 December 2020.

This year, the shuttle bus will leave from Butlins, and parking at Warren car park in Minehead will be free on both Friday and Saturday.

There will also be buses running from Porlock, Williton, Watchet, Washford, Carhampton, Wheddon Cross, and Timberscombe. More information is available on the Dunster by Candlelight website.

FRIDAY 6TH – 5PM TO 9PM
SATURDAY 7TH – 4PM TO 9PM
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Late Night Shopping in Porlock – Saturday, 30 November 2020, from 5pm

(Photo by Myrtle Cottage)

Light Up Lynton – Sunday, 1 December

Ilfracombe Christmas Festival, 30 November & 1 December 2020

 

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Dulverton by Starlight – Sunday, 1 December 2020

Dulverton by Starlight is a magical event held every year, open to all. Every December the pretty Exmoor town of Dulverton is decorated with Christmas trees festooned with lights, and for one Sunday all of the shops are open for people to do some local Christmas shopping.  Festivities take place all afternoon and into the evening. Dulverton has a wealth of independent shops, businesses, organisations, restaurants, takeaways, pubs, cafes and tea rooms all of whom help to make this a special place to visit not just for Starlight but all year round.

 

Beavers to return to Exmoor

The National Trust has announced that Exmoor’s Holnicote Estate has been chosen as one of two areas in the UK where beavers will be introduced to help rivers help manage climate change.

“We’re releasing beavers at Holnicote in Somerset and Valewood on the edge of the South Downs to improve flood management and support wildlife on our rivers. The beavers will help make areas of the river more resilient to climate change and the extremes of weather it will bring. The dams they create will hold water in dry periods, help to lessen flash-flooding downstream, reduce erosion and improve water quality.”

River Aller, Exmoor in Somerset

Reconnecting our rivers and streams to the surrounding landscape guards against severe weather and attracts a greater variety of plants and animals. In what is the first project of its kind in the UK, we’re trialling groundbreaking work to protect our rivers from climate change and flooding and protect wildlife. We’ve partnered with the Environment Agency and European programme Interreg 2 Seas Co-Adapt to restore a tributary of the river Aller, which passes through the Holnicote Estate.

The waterways that flow through these confined sites in Porlock Vale respond rapidly to rainfall, and pose a flood risk to settlements downstream. We’re working to slow the flow of these streams by reconnecting them with the floodplain – allowing the wider landscape to absorb the effects of the weather. This will also improve conditions for wildlife that lives in the streams such as eels and brook lampreys, as well as otters and the resident bat population that forages and breeds nearby.

According to an article in The TelegraphBen Eardley, project manager for the National Trust at Holnicote, said: “Our aim is that the beavers become an important part of the ecology at Holnicote, developing natural processes and contributing to the health and richness of wildlife in the area.

“Their presence in our river catchments is a sustainable way to help make our landscape more resilient to climate change and the extremes of weather it will bring.”

Two families of beavers will be released into two wooded enclosures in Porlock Vale which will be fenced so the impact of the animals on the local ecology and the river can be assessed and understood with the support of Exeter University and other organisations.

The Guardian quotes Eardley: “The beavers will help us achieve a more natural flow pattern, slowing, cleaning and storing water and developing complex river habitats. The dams the beavers create will hold water in dry periods, help to lessen flash flooding downstream and reduce erosion and improve water quality by holding silt.”

The beavers will be transferred from Scotland, where they have been successfully breeding since being reintroduced in 2006. The National Trust beavers are expected to breed and when the young become mature they will need to be moved, possibly to other sites owned or run by the charity.

A footpath will run close to the pens on the Holnicote estate which will allow members of the public to catch a glimpse of the animals.

The first snow of this winter…

A week ago parts of Exmoor experienced the first snowfall of this winter.  Overnight, the moors were turned into a winter wonderland.

Richard Cliff took this photo of a snowy tree tunnel on Exmoor at Five Cross Ways, Anstey Common, on 14 November 2019. On our Facebook page this image became an instant hit: Thanks to so many people liking and sharing the photo, it reached 52,000 people in a week.