A change is as good as a rest.


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As some of you will already know Julian is on a sabbatical for 3 months now enjoying repairing his new cottage on the cliffs of Exmoor and no doubt enjoying the views with the odd glass of red.

In his place myself and Marcus Wilde will be filling the rather big shoes he has left behind. While Marcus experienced this last week today is my first day in my new role as I had a holiday last week. It is a challenge we are both looking forward to.

Sitting here today I realise that over the next 3 months we will find ourselves experiencing more of the view of the outside world from an office chair than normal so I thought I would share some stunning views of the coast on West Exmoor and some pictures of what we normally get up to.

Hope you all enjoy and as always don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to report any problems on the property.

Thanks

Dan Cameron
Acting up Head Ranger!

The Fog of Friday 14th


Hi all, thought I’d write my first blog for North Devon National Trust. I’m Nick, and currently volunteering with the West Exmoor team, a great bunch of people! Left this a bit late but had so much on the last 2-3 weeks, with off-road driving and chainsaw courses.

I enjoy countryside-walking, particularly forests and mountain/lake scenery, and the Fog of Friday 14th was something worth experiencing. The vast oak woodlands here and scenic cliff views across the channel to Wales are something certainly worth treasuring. On Friday 14th though, such dense fog had shrouded coastal North Devon, and I was to enjoy the tranquility and solitude of the forest, taking photos throughout my journey.

Here is a selection of several I took, and a photo looking out along the cliffs, taken with ‘dramatic’ effect, I thought it looked pretty cool anyway. Oh, and don’t forget to click on each image individually to view them in large, as viewing is much better.

Hope you enjoy!

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Baggy Point Cadbury Easter egg trail, 19 and 20 April.


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Join us at the National Trust Baggy Point car park and take part in our Cadbury Easter egg trail. The trail will take you on an adventure through the fields around Baggy headland, with stunning views, dramatic coastal scenery and spring flowers. For younger children there will be a Cadbury Easter egg trail in the sheltered tea garden at Sandleigh, which will also be open serving lots of homemade delights and drinks.

Even better if you take out National Trust membership or join our Love My Outdoors scheme at the car park kiosk, not only will you get free parking on the day but you will also receive one free trail.

10am-4pm. £2 per trail. No need to book, just turn up on the day. For more information call 01598 763402.

Find us at Moor Lane, Croyde, EX33 1PA or follow the brown tourist signs through the village.

Easter fun at Heddon Valley, 10 and 17 April.


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Come and join the Exmoor rangers for two hours of outdoor fun to keep the kids busy during the Easter holidays. Follow the woodland trail, searching for wildlife clues and then enjoy your chocolate egg as a reward. There will also be other fun filled activities to enjoy.

Thursday 10 and Thursday 17 April 11am-1pm. £2 per child. Booking preferred, but not essential. For more information call 01598 763402.

Find us half way between Combe Martin and Lynmouth, just off the A39 near Parracombe, signposted Hunters Inn. EX31 4PY.

Goodbye Exmoor


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My time as a residential volunteer with the Watersmeet and West Exmoor team based at Heddon has been a fantastic experience. I applied when I was coming to the end of a volunteer role with the Scottish Wildlife Trust in order to build on my experience with the aim of finding a paid job in conservation in the hopefully not too distant future. The ranger team here work incredibly hard and have been very patient in explaining the whys and wherefores of things as well as training us (me and fellow volunteer Nick) in the various day-to-day tasks that they carry out. We’ve had the opportunity to meet people working for other bodies within the park and see what they do, take part in workshops such as engagement, hedgelaying, and map-reading; formal training such as pesticides and chainsaw tickets; and a range of ongoing skills and work that are required of a ranger, from the glamorous weekly litter pick to track maintenance, installing benches, H&S inspections and processing wood cut for conservation purposes a useful by-product. Everyone has been very supportive in terms of achieving my main goal – a job! – by helping with interview techniques and forwarding job opportunities, and I have been lucky in getting a 5 month seasonal job with National Trust at Blakeney Point starting in April. This will be a complete change in surroundings and work. I’m excited to start, but will also be sad to leave here as I love the area and the team have been really welcoming and generally fabulous! It’s an experience I would definitely recommend to anyone trying to get into conservation.

Sarah FTV

Spring and delicious smells at Watersmeet House tea-garden.


copyright National Trust - Guy Harrop

Yay! Our favourite tea-garden is opening again seven days a week from this Saturday until the 2 November and i can’t wait. Mainly because as i type in the office above the kitchens, i can smell the delicious food that Fiona and Xenia are busy freshly baking for the weekend! Florentines, chocolate brownies, fudge cakes, vistoria sandwiches and of course those lovely scones that Watersmeet is famous for. You will also be able to buy hot and cold drinks and savoury food as well to enjoy at the picnic tables whilst you watch the birds and the rivers flowing. You may even get a glimpse of our resident Heron who must be attracted to the smells as much as i am! We are open from 10.30am until 4.30pm with the shop opening at 11am so get out the house and come and enjoy spring.

Have fun learning to navigate on Exmoor


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Exmoor Navigation Day. Saturday 22 March. 10 – 3pm

With the evenings beginning to draw out and hopefully some warmer weather on its way to North Devon, it’s time to dust off those walking boots and stride out onto the footpaths and bridleways that cross our fantastic countryside. It can sometimes feel a bit daunting heading out after the winter so to help you gain confidence we’re running a brand new event.

Our Exmoor Navigation Day will be a fun and practical training day aimed specifically at people new to map reading or at those who have some experience but are a little bit rusty and want to brush up on their skills.

The day will start at 10am at Watersmeet House near Lynton where you can enjoy a hot bacon sandwich (included in the price of the course). We’ll start by covering some basic map reading skills and then you’ll have the chance to play around with some GPS units whilst we show you the basic functions of this useful and sometimes life-saving technology.

After this theory session, we will head out of the beautiful Watersmeet valley into the more open landscape of Exmoor and put what we have learnt into practice.

The day will be run by three experienced National Trust rangers. The course would make a great present for you and a friend or for someone who has a walking event planned in 2014.

The day, including bacon sandwich, costs £10 for adults and £6 for under 14’s and places are limited to ensure everyone gets personal attention. Booking and more information is available from Karen on 01598 741101.