New Ranger Arrives at Woolacombe

Good morning, my names Luke, I’m the new part time Ranger based at Woolacombe.

Now on my third week on the job, I’m slowly getting my head around it all. I’ll be here helping deliver practical conservation work, events, and much more. If you see me out and about pop over and say hello.

Luke Johns


It’s our favourite time of the year again

Watersmeet House tea garden, near Lynmouth

We are open for the season on Saturday 14 March 2015.

Refuel from our cake selection accompanied by a coffee or tea.
Or for something more substantial there are also sandwiches, toasties, soup, sausage rolls and pasties.

We look forward to seeing you from 10.30am each day.




Rangers in the fast lane


Volunteers putting a Land River through its paces.

Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

Week 18 and we continued our work in Road Wood but on Wednesday the volunteers were off to Torrington for more training, we were getting behind the wheel of the National Trust Landrover and getting our 4X4 off road driving certificate. It was two days of driving over deep gullies, getting ourselves out of sticky situations and manoeuvring around tight corners and down steep slopes. It was a very fun course if a little nerve racking at times. Landrovers take a lot of getting used to and some bad habits picked up from driving cars can be potentially catastrophic in a Landrover, one that I was told off for was having my foot on the clutch when going around a steep corner. If the clutch is down that is the first step to losing control.


Getting out of a sticky spot Getting out of a sticky spot


We all passed and are hoping to get some…

View original 104 more words

Night Walkers

Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

This Saturday the National Trust West Exmoor Rangers are going to be wandering around in the darkness all in the name of charity. We’re taking part in the Ilfracombe Rotary Club’s Startrek Charity Night Walk. It’s a 16 mile hike relying on a compass and a map, and obviously our inherent oneness with the Exmoor countryside. Our team is called The Lost Rangers and we would love your support. The money we raise will go to wonderful local charities; Children’s Hospice South West, The North Devon Hospice and The Chemotherapy Appeal.

If you would like more information on the event then visit the website at

And if you would like to sponsor our efforts then make a donation through our JustGiving page at


View original

Mysteries of the Manor

Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

More strong winds this week meant there was more tidying up work to be done around the property. A huge tree uprooted and landed across in the path just down from Lyn Bridge. The root plate was massive so we enlisted the help of a digger to push it over the side, even then it was difficult to shift.



A job well done, all clear A job well done, all clear

Then it was on the Watersmeet to move a tree that had rolled onto the electric cable, we got it off using the winch.


The next day we went to Trentishoe to move a small tree off the road, it was manageable with a hand saw.


The team also had a more in depth test run of the Mountain Trike down to Heddon’s Mouth and back. It was great fun but the jury is still out on whether to get one of these or another…

View original 680 more words

Watersmeet: February half term opening

Come and visit Watersmeet house and tea garden during February half term.

We are open from Saturday 14th February to Sunday 22nd February: 11am – 3pm. 

We are running a reduced menu of lovely hot home-made soup, cakes, gluten free offer and of course hot drinks.

Borrow a blanket and sit outside to listen to the sounds of the two rivers tumbling together and keep an eye out for our resident heron.

Please call to arrange for accessible parking. Free parking available at Combe Park, or pay and display car park directly above Watersmeet House on the A39.

Telephone 01598 753348

Executive Ranger Stu signing off

Sadly this will be my last blog as I am returning back to Arlington Court from my secondment at Woolacombe- I cannot believe where the time has gone- nigh on 2 years.
Having previously spent 10 years at Arlington court as a Ranger, the opportunity here was perfect to progress my skills and knowledge and little did I know that for 7 months of last year I acted up as the Ranger in charge. Not only have I had the privilege of working with such a great National Trust team on this property, but also the wider team in North Devon. I have also very much enjoyed working alongside the other stake holders that make up both the honeypot of Woolacombe and the wider outlying areas between Croyde and Ilfracombe.

I can remember my first week here, how comfortable it was (I thought) working some ware you are familiar with but actually you are not due to the tiny details that you learn over the years such as the names of the many secluded bays and beaches, the miles of quirky footpath routes to strim and also the change of the seasons on the land. Though I live locally, what I thought I knew of the area was nothing to what knowledge the Rangers such as Rob, Jonathan and Josh have-history, passion and feelings, knowledge-these things have been passed on to me, which I will take away and cherish for a very long time.

Picture is of me-well my feet enjoying the amazing wild swimming working holidays that are held on the property each year.
Though i am sad to leave, i am very much looking forward to the new challenges that are in stall for me when return to Arlington Court on Monday and the opportunities that that lie in wait!

Executive Ranger Stu signing off.