Wild Herd Whispering: New book out about Exmoor Ponies

The latest book in Dawn Westcott’s series about Exmoor Ponies is now available, just in time for Christmas!

Wild Herd Whispering is about the incredible Exmoor ponies as they reveal their true natures through the world of herd energy and dynamics.

“Starting with the dramatic winter arrival from the moor of a tiny five week old wild-born foal who faces the bleakest future, it is the big herd at Holt Ball Farm that decides how she will survive and thrive. The book follows the adventures of the ponies, revealing characters and behaviours that take you on a heart-rending, thought-provoking and enriching journey of equine enlightenment. This is an opportunity to catch up with adorable orphan Monsieur Chapeau and his friends and majestic stallion Bear, as their lives evolve and entwine with the wild herds of Exmoor. It follows the endearing, exciting and at times perilous experiences of the ponies – including unwelcome night time adventures, the quest to find foals lost in the wilderness and an entire moorland herd in jeopardy. With an expanding herd and challenges to face, author Dawn Westcott looks to the ponies themselves for help and inspiration: they in turn respond in a way that offers magical insights into what is going on in their hearts and minds.
This book is an invaluable reference for people interested in better understanding and winning the trust and friendship of ponies. It also highlights the challenges of safeguarding the endangered Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park.”

You can order your copy here: Wild Herd Whispering: How the enigmatic Exmoor ponies reveal what is in their hearts and minds

The first two volumes in the series are:


Dates for the Diary: The Walking Book Club

Love walking, love reading?​ Then this could be the book club for you.

Our next walk is on Saturday 11th April and we are reading WAKE by ANNA HOPE. Copies available direct from Number Seven priced at £6.00 RRP £7.99. Joining the book club is free and we look forward to welcoming new members and meeting up with our regular two and four legged friends this year. Postage can be arranged if you would like to join us whilst on your holidays here on Exmoor – simply call the shop to make payment 01398 324457

This year we plan to meet every second Saturday of the Month – see dates below. Our May walk will be part of the 2015 North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival and we shall be reading H IS FOR HAWK BY HELEN MACDONALD Copies available from Number Seven priced at £6.00 RRP £8.99

DATES FOR 2015: 11th  April, 9th May, 13th June, 11th July,

12th September, 10th October, 14th  November & 12th  December.

*Please note a level of walking fitness is required and walkers must be comfortable around dogs

*there will be no walk in August

For further information about upcoming book selections, please go to the website of Number Seven in Dulverton.

Letter from Exmoor: THE OLD WAYS – Exmoor Walking Festival 2014

This post was originally published by Davina Jelley on the Number 7 Dulverton blog.

On Friday I led a walking book club special as part of the North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival which is now in it’s fourteenth year. Walkers were asked to read The Old Ways – A Journey On foot by Robert Macfarlane, which seemed a very apt choice for a walking festival, particularly as the route I had chosen would include two beautiful holloway tracks.
The weather was perfect for walking, bright, a slight breeze, not too warm and dry and so I guided the group to Dulverton’s alternative venue, our favourite book club spot, the den that is situated on the site of an old hill fort in Burridge woods.

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There were plenty of fallen logs for us all to find a spot to sit amidst the emerging bluebells. The book met with a mixed response, some found it far too in depth and intellectual, others thoroughly enjoyed his style of writing and sense of place. Personally I loved it. I tend to steer away from non fiction, so was a little tentative about starting this book. What if here was the first book club choice that I would be not be able to finish. My fears were immediately alleviated as I was lost in his magical description of a nighttime walk in hushed snow and keen to read on.
Discussion over it was time to continue on a walk and chat in smaller groups about the book, had it inspired our walkers to walk on their own, plan longer walks, walk in different countries or perhaps write about their own journeys on foot.

Not all the group were keen to tackle the steep climb that leads to Court Down, so we said our farewells at Marsh Bridge and they walked along Northmoor Road with the River Barle to accompany them back into town – leaving the keener walkers to continue on the advertised route.

Reading The Old Ways has sparked an inclination to read other non fiction nature writings. Although why I was perturbed I don’t know, as I loved Roger Deakin’s Waterlog, sometimes it’s good to be gently  reminded and nudged back into forgotten territory, surely that is the beauty of a book club. On my list are a couple of proofs that look interesting including Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel and just published Dip by Andrew Fusek Peters.

Thank you to all who joined us on The Old Ways walk, our regular book club members and those who were discovering the woods around Dulverton for the first time.

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If you’d like to find out more about Number 7 Dulverton and join their Walking Book Club, then please pop over to their website. The next walk will take place on 31 May 2014.

Exmoor Literally: All around the year

AATY Front cover




Liz Shakespeare 022The name of Liz Shakespeare has become well-known in the South-West as an author who brings to life the people and landscapes of Devon. Her first three books, The Turning of the Tide, Fever: A Story from a Devon Village and The Memory Be Green: An Oral History of a Devon Village are still selling well and she has now written a fourth book.

All Around The Year’ is a collection of twelve poignant stories, deeply rooted in the Devon landscape, and each linked to a month of the year from January through to December. The reader is transported from a sleepy village square to the wilds of Exmoor and from a summer beach to the narrow streets of a small Devon town, and introduced to a variety of memorable characters.

In January, a young Croyde surfer tries to come to terms with her uncertain future. As signs of spring appear in the hedgerows, a farmer’s wife starts a new venture. In August, a bereaved woman is deeply affected by an unexpected sight on Lynmouth beach. A Bideford man searches for a special Christmas present.
All are at a moment of reckoning in their lives as they experience the subtle but significant events that make up everyday experience. These stories of love and loss, of separation and reconciliation, stay with you throughout the year.

Liz has previously concentrated on historical research for inspiration, but this new collection is set in present-day Devon and brings to life characters that are so convincing, the reader soon feels that they are personal friends. Liz was born and brought up in Bideford and has a long Devon ancestry; she feels that the sense of being deeply rooted in the area has given her a good understanding of Devon and its people. For each story, she has created a character whose life is influenced by the landscape around them. With stories set in North, South and Mid-Devon, All Around The Year is sure to be popular throughout the South-West and beyond.

Liz will be signing copies of her books at the Appledore Summer Festival on August 3rd, at Everything Westward in Westward Ho! on Sunday August 4th, in the Crafts and Gifts Marquee at the North Devon Show on August 7th, and at Waterstones, Barnstaple on Saturday August 24th from 11.00 – 2.00. She will be giving readings at a special evening event at Walter Henry’s Bookshop, Bideford (booking essential as space is limited) on August 15th.

Readers can buy Liz’s books from their local bookshop, from www.lizshakespeare.co.uk or post-free by sending their name, address and a cheque for £8.99 made payable to Letterbox Books at The Old Post Office, Littleham, Bideford EX39 5HW.


Title: All Around The Year

Author: Liz Shakespeare

Publisher: Letterbox Books

ISBN: 978-0951687932

Pages: 144

Price: £8.99

Publication date: 01-08-2013

Available from: www.lizshakespeare.co.uk and from bookshops.

Contact Liz Shakespeare on 01237 471165, 07944507005 or liz.shakespeare@virgin.net

Follow Liz on Twitter @LizShakespeare



Exmoor Club: It’s your story

We are delighted to welcome Itsyourstory as a partner to Exmoor Club which will be launched next week with brilliant offers and deals across Exmoor.

IYS logo small

Itsyourstory, based in the Exmoor village of Selworthy, would be delighted to offer Exmoor Club members a 15% discount across its range of books, clothes and cards. The company sells high-quality photo-personalised gifts for children. There are over twenty books to choose from for children aged one up to ten, each incorporating the child’s face into the illustrations and weaving information about them into the storyline. Check out the popular Dressing Up Box books, where the child is transformed into different characters or the SuperSox book for budding Superheroes of the Fairy Girl book for all fairy lovers. Visit www.itsyourstory.co.uk to find out more.

Club Card holders please email info@itsyourstory.co.uk for your unique voucher code entitling you to a 15% discount (excluding postage).