Fairground Flair on Porlock High Street

A third Pop-up Event will again draw attention to Porlock’s vibrant and authentic High Street and its independent Traders

Porlock.  A “Family & Circus” themed pop-up along Porlock High Street on Saturday, 4 September 2021, is the third in a series of events, animating and celebrating Porlock High Street, to aid recovery from Covid-19 lockdowns.

Funded by Somerset West & Taunton Council and organised by Porlock High Street Support Group, this event aims to draw the local community, as well as visitors, to the High Street in support of local traders.

Following the great success of the first pop-up events, the third event in the series will bring a fairground atmosphere to the High Street where children will have the opportunity to try out their circus skills. 

“Porlock High Street will experience jugglers, fortune tellers, guerilla knitters and traditional fairground games,” said Sarah Shorten who heads the Events Team. “Families are encouraged to explore the High Street and the areas beyond where they will find giant bubbles, face painting with a twist and even the odd bearded lady!”

“We want to encourage locals and visitors to rediscover a High Street and traders that are vibrant and authentic. The owners of Ted’s, for example, are styling their ice cream parlour as a circus for this event, and they will be serving their special ice cream sundaes dressed up as lioness and ringmaster.”

Any money raised during the event will go towards Homestart.

Duncan McCanlis, Chair of the Porlock High Street Support Group, explained: “We are grateful to Somerset West & Taunton Council for providing the finance. This allows us to not only organise these community events, but we are also able to provide traders with a new online platform, put out more flower planters and benches around the High Street, all in support of Porlock’s amazing range of High Street shops.”

Two further pop-up events will take place on Saturdays 4 October and 1 November with wellbeing and retail therapy themes. 

The event this Saturday 4 September 2021 will run from 12 to 4 pm.

More details about the event and Porlock traders can be found via the Porlock High Street Support Group’s Facebook Group.

Chloe is enjoying a triple scoop ice cream at Ted’s in Porlock High Street.

Roll up, roll up for the 12th Annual World Bolving Championship



This year’s World Bolving Championship takes place on Saturday 17 October at Draydon Rails, Dulverton (TA22 9QE) in Exmoor National Park starting at 6 pm and everyone is welcome.

It’s an evening with a difference as National Park Ranger Richard Eales explains:  “This is a competition to find out who can sound most like a rutting stag – can you get a real live deer to answer you across the wild deep valley?

 “This year there is a beautiful, framed stag picture that has been kindly donated by www.mikesherwinphotography.co.uk as well as the Phil Ferris Shield that will go to the winner. Mike Sherwin has also kindly donated a picture that will be presented to the best junior bolver, so get practicing kids.”

Anyone that would like to join in and test their vocal chords can just turn up on the night and enter. Entries are a minimum donation of £2 per person and all the money raised will go to Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

People can either meet up with other competitors at The Rock House Inn, Dulverton at 5pm or just turn up at Draydon Rails at 6pm. After the competition it’s back to the pub for the results and winners’ presentation, beer, food and the prize draw.

For further details please contact Richard on 07772 989737 or the Rock House, Inn on 01398 323467.

Exmoor stag, photo by Tony Piper

Exmoor stag. Photo by Tony Piper

South West National Parks essential for the region’s economy

enpaThe contribution made by Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks to the region’s economy has been highlighted in a new economic prospectus.

The two National Parks are living, working landscapes that are home to approximately 44,000 people and 3,145 businesses with an annual turnover of £770m a year.

National Parks are also world renowned brands, recognised for quality of environment and visitor experience. Dartmoor and Exmoor attract over 8 million visitor days and generate £428 million for the greater Dartmoor and Exmoor areas annually.

The prospectus highlights the high quality of the National Park environment underpins economic activity both within the National Parks and the wider Heart of the South West area. National Park Authorities bring together key players to support and enable sustainable economic growth within these deeply rural landscapes.

Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities have been at the forefront of supporting pioneering new ways to unlock economic growth within the National Parks, the prospectus highlights some of these success stories.

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, said: “Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks are key partners in the HotSW LEP, and are exemplars of the distinctive assets of our area that we so proudly promote. This prospectus shows that value of the National Parks to our area and that of the UK, and we welcome their drive to showcase their unique selling points in the national and international arena.

“HotSW LEP is supporting programmes to aid the 3,000 businesses in the National Parks, that have a turnover of £770m, through our work on improved connectivity in transport and broadband and the roll-out of our Growth Hub business support service.”

Peter Harper, Chair of Dartmoor National Park Authority said: “We work hard to support and promote sustainable development within our National Parks. We also know that these economic assets are important to wider regional growth through the visitor economy, quality of life, health and recreational offer as well as providing valuable carbon and water catchment.

“Our National Parks are national and regional assets; this prospectus shares the innovative work we have undertaken to help support growth within our boundaries and beyond.”

Andrea Davis, Chairman of Exmoor National Park Authority agreed: “We are keen to play a pro-active role with partners across the area to secure sustainable economic growth within some of the most rural areas. Within the prospectus we highlight our aspirations for what economic potential can be unlocked with additional investment and are already working up more detailed proposals with a range of partners to turn these aspirations intra reality.” 

Both National Park Authorities are keen to continue to build on their successes in contributing to regional growth and have identified four key areas for investment to release future growth potential:

  • Improving connectivity – through superfast broadband and better mobile coverage to deliver 4G service to all settlements
  • Promoting the place and product – recognising the value of the National Park and local supply chains, including food and drink, as quality destination ‘brands’ and the unique distinctive product they offer to the region
  • Support key sectors – such as farming, forestry, food and tourism. The creation of rural growth hubs, to increase productivity and develop rural skills
  • Sustain the resource – There is a need for continued investment managing the National Park resource: The environment; Access to it and; Promotion. Without this the resource will degrade and opportunities for sustainable rural growth lost.

The Economic Prospect can be read here: http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/living-and-working/business-and-economy

Celebrating Exmoor’s 60th Anniversary


A special Conference called ‘Discovering Exmoor : People and Place’ to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Exmoor’s designation as a National Park is to be held in Dulverton Town Hall on Friday, 11April from 10am to 3 pm approximately and all are welcome. The Exmoor Society in partnership with Exmoor National Park Authority has teamed up with Exeter University and the Centre for Rural Policy Research to raise some of the important issues about Exmoor, to discover what has been found out about them, and to influence the debate on how to manage this complex landscape.

Sixty years ago Exmoor was designated a National Park because of its dramatic coastline, extensive tracts of moorland inter-mixed with ancient woodland and upland farmland, the whole establishing a mosaic of contrasts providing recreational opportunities for walking and riding in particular. The Hobhouse Report stated that “here is a potential national park which is happily free from problems”. This statement could not have been further from the truth.

From the beginning there was fierce opposition to the designation and robust debate over loss of moorland, afforestation proposals, changing hill farming practices, dealing with extreme weather conditions, and with little known  about the archaeology, other local businesses, and an only embryo tourist industry. These issues are very relevant today in different ways, and underline the need to discover more about Exmoor, its people and the place.

 The Society is delighted that a range of speakers from Exeter University will be dealing with these aspects, with plenty of opportunity for delegates who are concerned about the different demands we put on Exmoor, to join in the debate. Academics from Exeter University and their research will be covering the following topics:

· Dr Lee Bray – New archaeological discoveries on Exmoor

· Professor Richard Brazier – Can we create resilient landscapes? Understanding the effects

· of moorland restoration on the Exmoor Mires project

· Dr Matt Lobley – Exmoor farming in a changing policy environment

· Dr Stewart Barr – Flooding and Communities

· Discussion with panel : Dr Nigel Stone, Dr Helen Blackman, Meriel Martin & Professor Chris Binnie

· Dr Keith Howe – will conclude on the day’s presentations and debate

A place at the Spring Conference costs £15 per person including refreshments.  To book and for further details contact: info@exmoorsociety.com. Tel: 01398 323335.

National Park Centres open for the Season

DunsterThe National Park Centre in Dunster opens with new exhibits this Saturday 29 March from 10am to 5pm. Together with the National Park Centres at Dulverton and Lynmouth which are open year-round, all three will be now be open daily for the season.

In addition to the much loved exhibits such as Fred the Exmoor Horn sheep, the National Park Centre at Dunster will be hosting the Views of Exmoor Exhibition: a chance to rediscover the moorland past and present. The exhibition looks at how archaeologists are piecing together an amazing story of human resilience. The story begins around 8,000 years ago when hunter gatherer groups first walked across Exmoor‘s uplands and continues with the emergence of farming, the building of unique miniature standing stones – to the 19th century when Victorian landowners tried to ‘improve’ tracts of the moors.

Also in the Centre for the first time people will be able to watch the much-acclaimed, short film that was specially commissioned for the Lynmouth Pavilion.

There are plans to install a giant interactive table that will provide a range of fascinating facts and information on Exmoor’s wildlife and landscapes at people’s fingertips. The table will supplement the video microscope that was installed last year providing modern facilities in this digital age.

Tim Braund, Head of Information and Communication at Exmoor National Park said: “In an increasingly competitive market, we are delighted that we have been able to invest in new information and exhibits to attract visitors to Exmoor which we hope will benefit tourism businesses on Exmoor.”

Film Premiere: “The Journey of the Louisa”

Plans are steaming ahead for the premiere showing of the new film “The Journey of the Louisa” – a story of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary deeds. In 1899 during a fierce storm, the Lynmouth lifeboat ‘Louisa’ had to be hauled 13 miles, which included going over the Countisbury Hill and down the infamous 1 in 4 Porlock Hill, to launch in the more sheltered harbour of Porlock to go to the aid of a ship in distress.

This powerful new film has been produced by Ken Blakey of Lynton, using state-of-the-art computer graphics mixed with real-time footage along the route as well as narration. The premiere of the film will be shown to a full house at Lynmouth Pavilion on Friday 11 April, which coincides exactly with the 160th birthday of Jack Crocombe (coxswain of the Louisa). Copies of the film will be available to buy from Saturday 12 April.

In addition to members of the RNLI, as many descendants of the original team as possible have been invited as special guests to the evening celebration, including the great granddaughter and great grandson of Jack Crocombe, together with the re-enactment crew who dragged and pushed the sister lifeboat one hundred years later. The granddaughter of the telegraph boy who ran the message from Porlock Weir to Porlock post office for transmission to Lynmouth has just been discovered and will join the grandson of the man who received that telegram which instigated the haul.

For further information please contact Jo Backhouse on 01598 753562 or jobackhouse@btinternet.com
The event is supported by the Heritage Lottery Funded Lynmouth Pavilion Project.

In addition to this Flat-Broke Films Ltd, in association with Next Dimension Entertainment, is delighted to announce that the filming of “Louisa”, the feature film, will commence on location in Lynton & Lynmouth, Exmoor and Porlock Weir this Autumn 2014.

Directed by Simon J Miller and with Academy Award Nominated Alexandra Bekiaris and David & Maralyn Reynolds producing, this motion picture will capture the dramatic and heroic account of the 1899 “Overland Launch” of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) “Louisa” lifeboat.

For further information please visit the Flat-Broke Films Ltd website.

Captain Jack Crocombe and crew and their beloved LOUISA lifeboat at Lynmouth Lifeboat Station in the early 1900s

Captain Jack Crocombe and crew and their beloved LOUISA lifeboat at Lynmouth Lifeboat Station
in the early 1900s

The Coleridge Way Moves On…

Photo by Tony Mann/ENPA

 Work is underway to extend The Coleridge Way, funded primarily by the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund with additional support from Lyn Community Development Trust, Lyn Valley Society, Lynton and Lynmouth Town Council and Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall Fund.

Currently 36 miles long, work has started to extend the route by an extra 14 miles further to Lynmouth. From Porlock the extended route, way marked with distinctive quill signage (produced by the National Park’s field services team) will head up through Worthy Woods and pass Ash Farm, where Coleridge once stayed, before dropping down into the Doone Valley and on to Watersmeet and Lynmouth. The new route will be ready to use this summer.

Originally opened in 2005, The Coleridge Way walking route links sites and locations associated with the Romantic Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge during his stay in Somerset. The route begins at Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey and wends its way through the Quantocks to the coast, finishing in Porlock.

Phil Taylor, Director of the Lyn Community Development Trust says: “Coleridge’s favourite walk was from Nether Stowey to Lynmouth and the Valley of Rocks and we are delighted that the Coleridge Way is being extended to incorporate more of Exmoor’s spectacular scenery. This will make a wonderful walk even more enjoyable and will be ideal for those wanting to try hiking for the first time as well as rewarding for experienced walkers.

“There are many places to stay along the way for anyone who wishes to extend their stay in the area.”

From Lynmouth an additional spur follows the South West Coast Path into the Valley of Rocks and Poets Corner. The total route will be a satisfying 50 miles long and the new extension will be completed by early summer. Full information will be available at www.coleridgeway.co.uk

Raising some of Exmoor’s Rare Trees


whitebeam2 - ENPAThe number of Exmoor’s  whitebeam trees is set to increase if a new project by National Park Authority succeeds in raising some rare whitebeam or Sorbus tree varieties from seed from its own woodlands.

Woodland Projects Support Officer Loren Eldred commented:  “This autumn has been such an excellent season for tree fruit and nuts that we hoped that we might be lucky with finding some fruit on some of the rare Sorbus trees this year, so we were delighted when we came across a good number of fruit from Sorbus margaretae trees at Culbone Wood and even more fruit from several Sorbus devoniensis trees at Timberscombe Woods.”

The National Park Authority is working with Tim Greenland from local tree nursery, Exmoor Trees in Exford who will be attempting to germinate some of the Sorbus seeds extracted from the fruits this winter. If this proves successful and the trees can be raised, they will be planted back into the Authority’s  woodlands when they are a few years old in order to help the species to grow strongly in future.

Tim Greenland said:  “I am pleased to be working with Exmoor National Park Authority on this project.  Although it can be difficult to germinateTim Greenland, Exmoor Trees Exford - ENPA the Sorbus seeds, I am hopeful that by spring next year, we will have been able to raise a number of the tree seedlings.”

Some of the Sorbus species are extremely rare in the UK, numbering just a few hundred trees or less.   Exmoor National Park is fortunate to contain several of the rare Sorbus species, particularly along the steep, rocky coastal woodlands and valleys, which grow nowhere else in the world. They can be difficult to tell apart and identification in the field has to rely on subtle differences between leaves, flowers and berries. Sorbus devoniensis is slightly more widespread than some of the other rare Sorbus species and tends to grow along woodland edges and in old hedges in the west country of England, but it is still not a common tree.

Exmoor National Park Authority has more information about the rare Sorbus varieties in the Trees and Woodlands pages on their website: www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

It’s official: More Exmoor for less money

The Exmoor Club Card scheme has officially launched.  The media release has just gone out!  Feel free to spread the word – and if you are interested in becoming an agent or a partner, please get in touch. Click here to order your card!


More Exmoor for less – New Scheme launched

Exmoor Club Card offers great deals across Exmoor 


Exmoor.–  The Exmoor Club Card has been launched with great deals across Exmoor for locals and visitors alike.  Offers range from discounted entry at local attractions through to deals on accommodation, cookery classes and locally based online stores and even web design.

Exmoor Club Cards cost £25.00 per year. 10% of the amount raised will go into a special fund which will be used to pay for a special project or event on Exmoor.  Cards are available online at www.exmoorclub.co.uk and at a growing number of local outlets.

The card scheme is part of Exmoor4all which was set up by local events & PR company CultureLine earlier this year. Exmoor4all serves as platform where the public can share their photos, stories and experiences of Exmoor. So far, the website www.exmoor4all.com has had 13,000 hits and is being followed by people from all over the world, including a number of travel blogger who engage regularly with Exmoor4all.

“We are very grateful to all our partners for joining this very exciting scheme”, explained Elke Winzer, director of CultureLine Events & Publicity Ltd. “The response to Exmoor4all has been overwhelming, and we hope that the new card will help visitors and locals to make the most of what this beautiful part of the world has to offer.”

The National Trust’s Holnicote Estate is one of many Exmoor Club Card partners, offering 20% discount on purchases in the Selworthy Tea Room and NT shop. NT Knightshayes has come on board with a 2 for 1 offer on admission.  Exmoor Zoo is another local attraction involved; local providers like Exmoor Adventure and Experience Exmoor have also joined the scheme.  A regularly updated list of offers and deals is available at www.exmoorclub.co.uk.

For more information, please contact Elke at Cultureline Events&Publicity Ltd
on 0788 1504863 or send an email to

Card design1