03/26/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/26/2019 11:44
A series of free guided-walks gets underway across Exmoor next month led by an expert team of local volunteers from Exmoor National Park Authority and the Exmoor Society. Over 80 walks will take place from April to October, with the addition of some new routes as well as old favourites.
The history of Exmoor's settlements is covered in walking tours of Lynton and Lynmouth, Bossington, Porlock and Dunster, there's insight into the Knight family's estate in Exmoor's former Royal hunting Forest at Simonsbath, a chance to tread in the footsteps of Saxon soldiers along the ancient Somerset Harepath (or Herepath), tales of murder at the abandoned mine of Wheal Eliza, a walk around Lorna Doone country, and a glimpse of the evolving salt marsh habitat at Porlock Marsh.
Natural history is also included, with walks discovering Exmoor's butterflies and bats, coastal wildlife, temperate rainforests and how the heather moorlands are managed, as well as rambles looking at water quality improvement schemes and landscape restoration.
In May there will be four new walks linked to the annual Simonsbath Festival on the subjects of World War II on Exmoor, the rivers of the moor, the 150th Anniversary of R. D. Blackmore's 'Lorna Doone', and the Exmoor home of Byron's daughter Ada Lovelace, a pioneer of computer programming.
Local volunteer Alan Chattell, whose next walk around North Hill to see the Iron Age fort and World War II military base takes place on 20th April, said: 'Not many people know that there was once a top secret radar station and tank training ground on the outskirts of Minehead. It's a real pleasure to be able to help bring to life this often overlooked piece of National Park history, while also showing people the spectacular views and how to spot archaeological features they might not otherwise have noticed.'
Liz Pile, Walks Coordinator for The Exmoor Society, said: 'The wonderfully diverse walks programme is only possible through the generosity of walk leaders in sharing their time, expertise and passion for Exmoor. The Society pays tribute to all those who lead walks in all weathers and in all places.'
Jess Twydall, Exmoor National Park Authority's Get Involved Project Coordinator, commented: 'Whether you're fascinated by local history and village life, or looking for a longer moorland walk taking in the breath-taking scenery, there's truly something for everyone.'
Walks generally last 1-4 hours and there is no charge, but donations are welcomed to 'The Exmoor Society' or 'CareMoor for Exmoor' towards keeping the National Park special.The full programme of walks can be found on the Exmoor National Park Authority and Exmoor Society websites and in Exmoor Visitor magazine, available free at National Park Centres and at The Exmoor Society's Resource Centre in Dulverton, where advice can also be obtained.
Published: 26 March 2019