Date for the Diary: The Big Adventure Family Camp out at Wimbleball Lake

Horner Campout1Campers will be hoping for stars in their eyes at the Big Adventure Family Camp Out on Saturday 13 August at Wimbleball Lake (TA22 9NU) in Exmoor National Park.

The event, organised by the National Park Authority, is ideal for first time campers and a chance to camp out in a wonderful location. The site opens at 4pm when there is time to set up camp and cook dinner after which there will be activities to enjoy. Tents need to be down by 11am on Sunday 14 August.

National Park ranger Adam Vasey says: “We’re really lucky to be able to offer this camping experience here on the shores of Wimbleball Lake.  Not only have we got the family camping area especially reserved for us, but we’ve got storytelling, a camp fire, guitar playing as well as a bat walk and, when it gets dark, some astronomy (weather permitting). 

“It’s a really friendly environment for first time family campers so don’t be scared, there’ll be people to help out and everyone is welcome!”

The camp site has easy access to the cafe and children’s play area, with beautiful walks and a cycle trail around the lake itself. Facilities include showers, toilet block and washing up facilities; the site is also dog friendly. Exmoor National Park is an International Dark Sky Reserve and Wimbleball Lake is a Dark Sky Discovery Site – so here’s hoping for clear skies.

Booking for the Family Camp Out is essential, for more information and to book please visit:

events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vjzs4adab&oeidk=a07ec82aef9fa6d8bc2  or telephone the National Park Centre in Dulverton 01398 323841

Charge: £20/family (two adults & two children). £10/additional adult. £5/additional child.

Images show the recent Family Camp Out at Horner Wood

Horner Campout3

Date for the Diary: Wimbleball Lake Astro Camp

101 Wimbleball Lake Event

From Saturday 1st until Saturday 8th March 2014 South West Lakes Trust would like to invite you to their Astro Camp at Wimbleball Lake as part of National Astronomy Week.

Exmoor National Park is designated as the International Dark Sky Reserve, the first place in Europe to achieve this prestigious award and only the second in the World. Wimbleball Lake was nominated as the first Dark Skies Discovery Site on Exmoor in November 2011.

The week long camp will incorporate a variety of exciting activities for all the family to enjoy including, talks and presentations, workshops, Planetarium, telescopes, stargazing opportunities, plus BBQ’s on Sat 1st, Friday 7th and Sat 8th March. People can attend for a couple of hours, or for the whole week, depending on their availability. Camping / caravanning is also available on our AA 3* rated campsite to maximize the stargazing opportunities. We also have 2 camping pods that are available to hire.

Alex Forster, South West Lakes Trust Exmoor Area Manager said, ‘South West Lakes Trust are really excited to be hosting this Astro Camp as part of National Astronomy Week. Stargazing at Wimbleball is phenomenal as there is so little light pollution, however there will be a wide variety of indoor activities each evening just in case it is cloudy!’

There are many positions at Wimbleball Lake where individual or group activities can take place with level hard surfaced areas overlooking the scenic lakeside with clear big sky views. For more information please call 01398 371116 or email aforster@swlakestrust.org.uk

South West Lakes Trust is the region’s largest combined environmental and recreational charity.  Its 50 inland water sites, encompassing 5,000 hectares of land and water spread across Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset, attract in the region of 2m visits annually.  It is listed as being in the top 3,000 of the country’s 150,000 charities. 3,112 days of assistance by volunteers were freely given in 2011, in return training was offered in relevant skills (86 days in 2011).   SWLT involved over 90,000 people in water sports activities in 2011, including 24,400 children.  It manages large tracts of moorland and significant areas of woodland, with Forest Stewardship Council accreditation.

Letter from Exmoor: Camping in the Exe Valley

Three years ago I was searching for a campsite to stay in.  My requirements were simple; peace, woodlands and a river if possible.  After hours of fruitless internet searches I found my answer, the Exe Valley camp site, and bonus of all bonuses (for me anyhow) no under 18s.  Having been to various different areas in the Southwest I’m not exactly sure how I managed to miss Exmoor for so long, the scenery is stunning, people friendly and the wildlife top notch.  Within an hour of pitching the tent that first time I was hooked, and still am.  It didn’t matter that it rained in biblical quantities, it didn’t matter the wind could have sent the tent flying like some sodden out of control hot air balloon because I loved it.  I could sit watching that River Exe all day.  I go there for the wildlife of course, and possibly the reason I can’t stay away is that I need to photograph that damned otter! I know he exists I’ve seen the footprints on the riverbank.  But, until that day comes I can fill my time with the dippers,wagtails, buzzards and elusive voles that sneak around the tent at night, not forgetting the roe deer that came bounding down the river on my last visit, or maybe even nipping into the Badgers Holt for a quick beer or 3.  All this of course is from one small area, the vast open parts of the moor up at Dunkery are great and I’ve had a lot of fun looking for deer and the odd moo or two up there.  On a last note, and one that slipped my mind until just now, is if you happen to live in a normal suburban area you’ll realise when you get home how it never really gets dark.  Exmoor gets DARK, I mean really dark, and that owl you just heard in the distance? It may be closer than you think.

Ed Brown

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Wildlife of the Exe Valley, Somerset

Wildlife of the Exe Valley, Somerset

Wildlife of the Exe Valley, Somerset

Wildlife of the Exe Valley, Somerset

Dates for the Diary: Head to Wimbleball Lake

Saturday, 3 August 2013:     VW T4 van meet

BBQ, open mic plus bands – 2pm-6pm. Free drink / bottle of beer for all performers!

Free entry, normal car parking charges apply, camping £4.50 pppn if you mention T4 forum

car-boot-saleSunday, 4 August 2013:   Car boot sale

Sellers from 9.30am, buyers from 10am

Sellers: £5 / car, buyers: normal car parking charges apply,

 

 

Sunday, 4 August 2013:

Phoenix Endurance Ride (100 horses), will be completing a 10-40 mile circuit and can be seen at Wimbleball riding from Bessoms Bridge to the campsite between 12 and 3pm. The event till be raising money for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Free entry, normal car parking charges apply