Exmoor: Wikis

  
  
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Exmoor

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Exmoor
Protected Area
View of the Porlock Vale over toward Bossington Hill from Porlock Hill
State  United Kingdom
Constituent country  England
County Somerset, Devon
Districts West Somerset, North Devon, Mid Devon
Settlements Withypool, Exford, Simonsbath, Wheddon Cross, Lynton, Lynmouth
Highest point Dunkery Beacon
 - elevation 519 m (1,703 ft)
 - coordinates 51°09′45″N 3°35′19″W / 51.1625°N 3.58861°W / 51.1625; -3.58861
Lowest point Sea Level
 - elevation m (0 ft)
Area 692 km2 (267 sq mi)
Geology Devonian, Carboniferous
Plants Oak, Ash, Hazel, Lichens, Moss, Fern
Animals Exmoor Pony, Exmoor Horn, Whiteface Dartmoor, Cheviot sheep, Red deer, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Curlew, European Stonechat, Dipper, Dartford Warbler, Ring Ouzel
National Park of England 1954
Management Exmoor National Park Authority
 - location Dulverton
 - coordinates 51°02′27″N 3°32′54″W / 51.04083°N 3.54833°W / 51.04083; -3.54833
IUCN category II - National Park
Website: http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/

Exmoor is a National Park situated on the Bristol Channel coast of South West England. The park straddles two counties with 71% of the park located in Somerset and 29% located in Devon. The total area of the park, which includes the Brendon Hills and the Vale of Porlock, covers 692.8 square kilometres (267.5 sq mi) of hilly open moorland and includes 55 kilometres (34 mi) of coast.[1] It is primarily an upland area with a dispersed population living mainly in small villages and hamlets. The largest settlements are Porlock, Dulverton, Lynton, and Lynmouth, which together contain almost 40% of the National Park population. Lynton and Lynmouth are combined into one parish and are connected by the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway.

Before it was a park, Exmoor was a Royal Forest and hunting ground, which was sold off in 1818. Exmoor was one of the first British National Parks, designated in 1954, under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act,[2] and is named after the main river that flows out of the district, the River Exe.

Several areas of the moor have been declared a Site of Special Scientific interest due to the flora and fauna. This title earns the site some legal protection from development, damage, and neglect. In 1993 Exmoor was also designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area.

Contents

Geology

Exmoor is an upland of sedimentary rocks classified as gritstones, sandstones, slate, shale and limestone, siltstones, and mudstones depending on the particle size. They are largely from the Devonian and early Carboniferous periods (the name Devonian comes from Devon, as rocks of that age were first studied and described here). As this area of Britain was not subject to glaciation, the plateau remains as a remarkably old landform.[3][4] Quartz and iron mineralisation can be detected in outcrops and subsoil.[5] The Glenthorne area demonstrates the Trentishoe Formation of the Hangman Sandstone Group. The Hangman Sandstone represents the Middle Devonian sequence of North Devon and Somerset.[6] These unusual freshwater deposits in the Hangman Grits, were mainly formed in desert conditions.[7] The underlying rocks are covered by moors and supported by wet, acid soil.[8] The highest point on Exmoor is Dunkery Beacon; at 519 metres (1,703 ft) it is also the highest point in Somerset.[9]

Coastline

Exmoor has 55 kilometres (34 mi) of coastline, including the highest cliffs in England, which reach a height of 314 metres (1,030 ft) at Culbone Hill. However, the crest of this coastal ridge of hills is more than 1.6 km (0.99 mi) from the sea. If a cliff is defined as having a slope greater than 60 degrees, the highest cliff on mainland Britain is Great Hangman near Combe Martin at 318 metres (1,043 ft) high, with a cliff face of 250 metres (820 ft).[9] Its sister cliff is the 218 metres (715 ft) Little Hangman, which marks the edge of Exmoor.

Exmoor's woodlands sometimes reach the shoreline,[1] especially between Porlock and The Foreland, where they form the single longest stretch of coastal woodland in England and Wales.[10] The Exmoor Coastal Heaths have been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the diversity of plant species present.[11]

The scenery of rocky headlands, ravines, waterfalls and towering cliffs gained the Exmoor coast recognition as a Heritage Coast in 1991.[12] With its huge waterfalls and caves, this dramatic coastline has become an adventure playground for both climbers and explorers. The cliffs provide one of the longest and most isolated seacliff traverses in the UK.[13] The South West Coast Path, at 1,014 kilometres (630 mi) the longest National Trail in England and Wales, starts at Minehead and runs along all of Exmoor's coast.[14][15] There are small harbours at Lynmouth, Porlock Weir, and Combe Martin. Once crucial to coastal trade, the harbours are now primarily used for pleasure; individually owned sail boats and non-commercial fishing boats are often found in the harbours.[16]

Rivers

The high ground forms the catchment area for numerous rivers and streams. There are about 483 kilometres (300 mi) of named rivers on Exmoor.[17] The River Exe, for which Exmoor is named,[18][19] rises at Exe Head near the village of Simonsbath, close to the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria (estuary) on the south (English Channel) coast of Devon. Historically, its lowest bridging point was at Exeter, though there is now a viaduct for the M5 motorway about 3 kilometres (2 mi) south of the city centre. It has several tributaries which arise on Exmoor. The River Barle runs from northern Exmoor to join the River Exe at Exebridge, Devon. The river and the Barle Valley are both designated as biological sites of Special Scientific Interest. Another tributary, the River Haddeo, flows from the Wimbleball Lake.

The other rivers arising on Exmoor flow north to the Bristol Channel. These include the River Heddon which runs along the western edges of Exmoor, reaching the North Devon coast at Heddon's Mouth,[20] and the East and West Lyn which meet at Lynmouth. Hoar Oak Water is a moorland tributary of the East Lyn River the confluence being at Watersmeet.[21] The River Horner, which is also known as Horner Water, rises near Luccombe and flows into Porlock Bay near Hurlestone point.

Climate

A thin covering of white snow with rocks poking through it, covering sloping hillsides.
Horner Woods, Exmoor, in winter

Along with the rest of South West England, Exmoor has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than the rest of England. The mean annual temperature at Simonsbath is 8.3 °C (46.9 °F) with a seasonal and diurnal variation, but due to the modifying effect of the sea the range is less than in most other parts of the UK. January is the coldest month, with mean minimum temperatures between 1 and 2 °C (34 and 36 °F). July and August are the warmest months in the region, with mean daily maxima around 21 °C (70 °F). In general, December is the month with the least sunshine and June the month with the most sun. The south west of England has a favoured location with regard to the Azores high pressure when it extends its influence north-eastwards towards the UK, particularly in summer.[22]

Cloud often forms inland, especially near hills, and reduce the amount of sunshine that reaches the park. The average annual sunshine is about 1,600 hours. Rainfall tends to be associated with Atlantic depressions or with convection. In summer, convection, caused by the sun heating the land surface more than the sea, sometimes forms rain clouds and at that time of year a large proportion of the rainfall comes from showers and thunderstorms. Annual precipitation varies from 800 mm (31 in) in the east of the park to over 2,000 mm (79 in) at The Chains.[23] However in the 24-hours of 16 August 1952, more than 225 mm (8.9 in) of rain fell at The Chains. This rainfall, which followed an exceptionally wet summer led to the flooding in Lynmouth.[23][24]

Snowfall is very variable from year to year and ranges from 23 days on the high moors to about 6 on coastal areas.[25] November to March have the highest mean wind speeds, with June to August having the lightest winds. The wind comes mostly from the south west.[22]

History

Ricky peaks and cliffs topped by greenery, with a small section of blue see visible to the left.
The Exmoor Coastline

There is evidence of occupation of the area by people from Mesolithic times, onward. In the Neolithic period, people started to manage animals and grow crops on farms cleared from the woodland, rather than act purely as hunters and as gatherers.[26] It is also likely that extraction and smelting of mineral ores to make metal tools, weapons, containers and ornaments started in the late Neolithic, and continued into the bronze and Iron Ages.[27] An earthen ring at Parracombe is believed to be a Neolithic henge dating from 5000–4000 BC, and "Cow Castle", which is where White Water meets the River Barle, is an Iron Age fort at the top of a conical hill.[28] Tarr Steps are a prehistoric (circa 1000 BC) clapper bridge across the River Barle, about 4 km (2.5 mi) south east of Withypool and 6 km (3.7 mi) north west of Dulverton. The stone slabs weigh up to 5 tonnes apiece and the bridge has been designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building,[29] to recognise its special architectural, historical or cultural significance. There is little evidence of Roman occupation apart from two fortlets on the coast.[27]

Holwell Castle, at Parracombe, was a Norman motte and bailey castle built to guard the junction of the east–west and north–south trade routes, enabling movement of people and goods and the growth of the population.[28] Alternative explanations for its construction suggest it may have been constructed to obtain taxes at the River Heddon bridging place, or to protect and supervise silver mining in the area around Combe Martin.[30] It was 40 metres (131 ft) in diameter and 6.2 metres (20 ft) high above the bottom of a rock cut ditch which is 2.7 metres (9 ft) deep.[31] It was built, in the late 11th or early 12th century, of earth with timber palisades for defence and a one or two storey wooden dwelling. It was probably built by either Martin de Tours, the first lord of Parracombe, William de Falaise (who married Martin's widow) or Robert FitzMartin, although there are no written records to validate this. The earthworks of the castle are still clearly visible from a nearby footpath, but there is no public access to them.

A small single story building with a pyramid shaped roof, to the side of a road lined with buildings. Some private small cars visible. Trees in the distance with the skyline of Dunster Castle.
Dunster Yarn Market (a covered market for the sale of local cloth, built in 1609) and Dunster Castle, Exmoor

During the Middle Ages, sheep farming for the wool trade came to dominate the economy. The wool was spun into thread on isolated farms and collected by merchants to be woven, fulled, dyed and finished in thriving towns such as Dunster. The land started to be enclosed and from the 17th century onwards larger estates developed, leading to establishment of areas of large regular shaped fields. During the 16th and 17th centuries the commons were overstocked with agisted livestock, from farmers outside the immediate area who were charged for the privilege. This led to disputes about the number of animals allowed and the enclosure of land.[32] During this period a Royal Forest and hunting ground was established, administered by a warden,[27] so that king Charles I could benefit from the fines and rents.[32]

In the mid-17th century John Boevey was the warden. The house that he built at Simonsbath was the only one in the forest for 150 years.[33] When the Royal Forest was sold off in 1818, John Knight bought the Simonsbath House and the accompanying farm for £50,000. He set about converting the Royal Forest into agricultural land.[32] He and his family also built most of the large farms in the central section of the moor as well as 35.4 km (22.0 mi) of metalled access roads to Simonsbath and a 46.7 km (29.0 mi) wall around his estate, much of which still survives.[34]

In the mid-19th century a mine was developed alongside the River Barle. The mine was originally called Wheal Maria, then changed to Wheal Eliza. It was a copper mine from 1845–54 and then an iron mine until 1857, although the first mining activity on the site may be from 1552.[35] At Simonsbath, a restored Victorian water-powered sawmill, which was damaged in the floods of 1992, has now been purchased by the National Park and returned to working order; it is now used to make the footpath signs, gates, stiles, and bridges for various sites in the park.[36]

Ecology

In addition to the Exmoor Coastal Heaths Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), two other areas are specifically designated. North Exmoor covers 12,005.3 hectares (29,666 acres)[37] and includes the Dunkery Beacon and the Holnicote and Horner Water Nature Conservation Review sites, and the Chains Geological Conservation Review site. The Chains site is nationally important for its south-western lowland heath communities and for transitions from ancient semi-natural woodland through upland heath to blanket mire.[38] The site is also of importance for its breeding bird communities, its large population of the nationally rare Heath Fritillary butterfly (Mellicta athalia),[9] an exceptional woodland lichen flora and its palynological interest of deep peat on the Chains.[38] The South Exmoor SSSI is smaller, covering 3,132.7 hectares (7,741 acres)[39] and including the River Barle and its tributaries with submerged plants such as Alternate Water-milfoil (Myriophyllum alterniflorum). There are small areas of semi-natural woodland within the site, including some which are ancient. The most abundant tree species is Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea), the shrub layer is very sparse and the ground flora includes Bracken, Bilberry and a variety of mosses. The heaths have strong breeding populations of birds, including Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) and Stonechat (Saxicola torquata). Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) are common near stone boundary walls and other stony places. Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia) breed in scrub and tall heath. Trees on the moorland edges provide nesting sites for Redpoll (Acanthis flammea), Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) and Raven (Corvus corax).[40]

Flora

Ground cover purple coloured plants, with hills in the background.
Dunkery Beacon, with heather in bloom

Uncultivated heath and moorland cover about a quarter of Exmoor landscape.[8] Some moors are covered by a variety of grasses and sedges, while others are dominated by heather. There are also cultivated areas including the Brendon Hills, which lie in the east of the National Park. There are also 8,454 hectares (20,890 acres) of woodland,[41] comprising a mixture of broad-leaved (oak, ash and hazel) and conifer trees. Horner Woodlands and Tarr Steps woodlands are prime examples. The country's highest beech tree, 350 metres (1,148 ft) above sea level, is at Birch Cleave at Simonsbath but beech in hedgebanks grow up to 490 metres (1,608 ft).[1] At least two species of whitebeam tree: Sorbus subcuneata and Sorbus 'Taxon D' are unique to Exmoor.[9] These woodlands are home to lichens, mosses and ferns. Exmoor is the only national location for the lichens Biatoridium delitescens, Rinodina fimbriata and Rinodina flavosoralifera, the latter having been found only on one individual tree.[9]

Fauna

Four small gray ponies in a grassy field.
A herd of Exmoor pony foals

Sheep have grazed on the moors for more than 3,000 years, shaping much of the Exmoor landscape by feeding on moorland grasses and heather. Traditional breeds include Exmoor Horn, Cheviot and Whiteface Dartmoor and Greyface Dartmoor sheep. Devon ruby red cattle are also farmed in the area. Exmoor ponies can be seen roaming freely on the moors. They are a landrace rather than a breed of pony, and may be the closest breed to Equus ferus remaining in Europe. The ponies are rounded up once a year to be marked and checked over. In 1818 Sir Richard Acland, the last warden of Exmoor, took thirty ponies and established the Acland Herd, now known as the Anchor Herd, whose direct descendants still roam the moor.[42] In the Second World War the moor became a training ground, and the breed was nearly killed off, with only 50 ponies surviving the war.[43] The ponies are classified as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, with only 390 breeding females left in the UK. In 2006 a Rural Enterprise Grant, administered locally by the South West Rural Development Service, was obtained to create a new Exmoor Pony Centre at Ashwick, at a disused farm with 7 hectares (17 acres) of land with a further 56 hectares (140 acres) of moorland.[44][45]

Red deer have a stronghold on the moor and can be seen on quiet hillsides in remote areas, particularly in the early morning. The moorland habitat is also home to hundreds of species of birds and insects. Birds seen on the moor include Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Curlew, European Stonechat, Dipper, Dartford Warbler and Ring Ouzel. Black Grouse and Red Grouse are now extinct on Exmoor,[46] probably as a result of a reduction in habitat management, and for the former species, an increase in visitor pressure.[47]

Beast of Exmoor

The Beast of Exmoor is a cryptozoological cat (see phantom cat) that is reported to roam Exmoor. There have been numerous reports of eyewitness sightings, however the official Exmoor National Park website lists the beast under "Traditions, Folklore, and Legends",[48] and the BBC calls it "the famous-yet-elusive beast of Exmoor. Allegedly."[49] Sightings were first reported in the 1970s, although it became notorious in 1983, when a South Molton farmer claimed to have lost over 100 sheep in the space of three months, all of them apparently killed by violent throat injuries. Descriptions of its colouration range from black to tan or dark grey. It is possibly a Cougar or Black Leopard which was released after a law was passed in 1976 making it illegal for them to be kept in captivity outside zoos. In 2006, the British Big Cats Society reported that a skull found by a Devon farmer was that of a Puma, however, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) states, "Based on the evidence, Defra does not believe that there are big cats living in the wild in England."[50]

Government and politics

The National Park, 71% of which is in Somerset and 29% in Devon,[51] has a resident population of 10,600.[9] It was designated a National Park in 1954, under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act.[2] About three quarters of the park is privately owned, made up of numerous private estates. The largest landowners are the National Trust, which owns over 10% of the land, and the National Park Authority, which owns about 7%. Other areas are owned by the Forestry Commission, Crown Estate and Water Companies. The largest private landowner is the Badgworthy Land Company, which represents hunting interests.[52]

From 1954 on, local government was the responsibility of the district and county councils, which remain responsible for the social and economic well-being of the local community. Since 1997 the Exmoor National Park Authority, which is known as a ‘single purpose’ authority, has taken over some functions to meet its aims to "conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parks" and "promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Parks by the public",[53] including responsibility for the conservation of the historic environment.[54]

The Park Authority receives 80% of its funding as a direct grant from the government. The Park Authority Committee consists of members from parish and county councils, and six appointed by the Secretary of State. The work is carried out by rangers, volunteers and a team of 13 estate workers who carry out a wide range of tasks including maintaining the many miles of rights of way, hedge-laying, fencing, swaling, walling, invasive weed control and habitat management on National Park Authority land.[53] There are ongoing debates between the authority and farmers over the biological monitoring of SSSIs, showing the need for a controlled regime of grazing and burning; farmers claim that these regimes are not practical or effective in the long term.[55]

Sport and recreation

Although the hunting of animals, particularly deer, with dogs was abolished by the Hunting Act 2004, the Exmoor hunts still meet in full regalia and there is a campaign to resurrect this rural sport.[56] During the Spring, amateur steeplechase meetings (Point to Points) are run by hunts at temporary courses such as Bratton Down and Holnicote. These, along with thoroughbred racing and pony racing, are an opportunity for farmers, huntstaff and the public to witness a day of traditional country entertainment.[57]

For others walking, climbing, and the scenery are the attractions. The Coleridge Way is a 58 km (36 mi) footpath[58] which follows the walks taken by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Porlock, starting from Coleridge Cottage at Nether Stowey, where he once lived. It starts in the Quantocks before moving onto the Brendon Hills and crosses the fringes of Exmoor National Park at Dunkery Beacon before finishing in Porlock. The Two Moors Way runs from Ivybridge in South Devon to Lynmouth on the coast of North Devon, crossing parts of both Dartmoor and Exmoor.[59] Both of these walks intersect with the South West Coast Path, Britain's longest National Trail, which starts at Minehead and follows the Exmoor coast before continuing to Poole.

Places of interest

Exmoor landscape

The attractions of Exmoor include 208 scheduled ancient monuments, 16 conservation areas, and other open access land as designated by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Exmoor receives approximately 1.4 million visitor days per year.[60] Many come to walk on the moors or along waymarked paths such as the Coleridge Way. Attractions on the coast include the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, which connects Lynton to neighbouring Lynmouth, where the East and West Lyn River meet. Woody Bay, a few miles west of Lynton, is home to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, a narrow gauge railway which connected the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth to Barnstaple, about 31 km (just over 19 miles) away.[61] Further along the coast, Porlock is a quiet coastal town with an adjacent salt marsh nature reserve and a harbour at nearby Porlock Weir. Watchet is a historic harbour town with a marina and is home to a carnival, which is held annually in July.[62][63]

Inland, many of the attractions are centred around small towns and villages or linked to the river valleys, such as the ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps and the Snowdrop Valley near Wheddon Cross, which is carpeted in snowdrops in February[64] and, later, displays bluebells. Withypool is also in the Barle Valley. The Two Moors Way passes through the village.[65] As well as Dunster Castle,[66] Dunster's other attractions include a priory,[67] dovecote, yarn market,[68] inn,[69] packhorse bridge, mill and a stop on the West Somerset Railway. Exford, lies on the River Exe.

Exmoor has been the setting for several novels including the 19th century Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by Richard Doddridge Blackmore, and Margaret Drabble's 1998 novel The Witch of Exmoor. The park was featured on the television programme Seven Natural Wonders twice, as one of the wonders of the West Country.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Moor Facts". Exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk. 1954-10-19. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/learning_about/moor_facts.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  2. ^ a b "Exmoor National Park Authority". Everything Exmoor. http://www.everythingexmoor.org.uk/_E/Exmoor_National_Park_Authority.php. Retrieved 2007-10-16.  
  3. ^ "Geology". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/looking_after/looking_after_landscape/geology.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  4. ^ "Exmoor and the Quantocks". Natural England. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/science/natural/NA_HAbDetails.asp?Name=Exmoor+and+the+Quantocks&N=87&H=65. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  5. ^ "Somerset Geology". Good Rock Guide. http://www.heleigh.eclipse.co.uk/Somerset_Good_Rock_Guide.doc. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  6. ^ "English Nature web side for the site". English-nature.org.uk. 2009-07-01. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/Special/sssi/sssi_details.cfm?sssi_id=1002137. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  7. ^ "Geology". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/learning_about/looking_after_landscape/geology.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-15.  
  8. ^ a b "Landscape of Exmoor National Park". Everything Exmoor. http://www.everythingexmoor.org.uk/_L/Landscape.php. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Moor Facts". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/learning_about/moor_facts.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-11.  
  10. ^ "Landscape / Rivers and the coast". Exmoor Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/looking_after/looking_after_landscape/rivers_coast_lines.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-08.  
  11. ^ "Exmoor Coastal Heaths" (PDF). English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1004152.pdf. Retrieved 2006-08-12.  
  12. ^ "Flying High". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/west/series6/exmoor.shtml. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  13. ^ "The Exmoor Coast Traverse". Exmoor Walker. http://members.madasafish.com/~exmoorwalker/page100.html. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  14. ^ "Long distance footpaths in Britain: Southwest England". Xs4all.nl. http://www.xs4all.nl/~keizee/southwest.html. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  15. ^ "South West Coast Path National Trail". Britainexpress.com. http://www.britainexpress.com/countryside/national-trails/swcp.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  16. ^ "Water On Exmoor". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/looking_after/looking_after_landscape/rivers_coast_lines.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-08.  
  17. ^ "Water on Exmoor – Filex 7" (PDF). Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/filex_07.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  18. ^ "Countryside". Vsit Exmoor. http://www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/site/about-exmoor/countryside. Retrieved 2007-12-07.  
  19. ^ "Exmoor National Park". Equine Tourism. http://www.equinetourism.co.uk/editorial/exmoorridinginfo.asp. Retrieved 2007-12-07.  
  20. ^ "Coastal walk – Heddon Valley & Woody Bay, Exmoor, North Devon Coast" (PDF). National Trust. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-walk-heddon_valley_woody_bay.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-01.  
  21. ^ "Watersmeet". National Trust. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-watersmeethouse/w-watersmeet-history_archaeology.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-01.  
  22. ^ a b "About south-west England". Met Office. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/location/southwestengland/index.html. Retrieved 2006-05-21.  
  23. ^ a b "filex_07.pdf" (PDF). http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/filex_07.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  24. ^ "Hydraulics Engineering Division Meeting" (PDF). The Institution of Civil Engineers Proceedings, Part 111, December 1953. http://www.atypon-link.com/ITELF/doi/pdf/10.1680/ipeds.1953.12369. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  25. ^ "Snow". Exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk. 1978-02-19. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/learning_about/climate/snow.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  26. ^ Fyfe, R.M.; A. G. Brown and S. J. Rippon (2003). "Mid- to late-Holocene vegetation history of Greater Exmoor, UK: estimating the spatial extent of human-induced vegetation change". Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 12 (4): 215–232. doi:10.1007/s00334-003-0018-3. http://www.springerlink.com/content/p1jl55y2r5fkn4gr/. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  27. ^ a b c "The history of Exmoor". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/the_history_of_exmoor. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  28. ^ a b "Ancient Exmoor". Holiday Exmoor. http://www.holidayexmoor.co.uk/exmoor-history.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  29. ^ "Tarr Steps". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=429207. Retrieved 2007-05-09.  
  30. ^ "Holwell Castle". North Devon Archaeological Society. http://www.ndas.org.uk/holwellcastel.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-03.  
  31. ^ "Holwell Castle, Parracombe". The Gatehouse. http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/English%20sites/862.html. Retrieved 2008-01-03.  
  32. ^ a b c Havinden, Michael (1982). The Somerset Landscape. The making of the English landscape. London: Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 126–129. ISBN 0340201169.  
  33. ^ "Simonsbath House Hotel". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=265427. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  
  34. ^ "Simonsbath". Whatsonexmoor. http://www.whatsonexmoor.co.uk/villages/simonsbath.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  
  35. ^ "Wheal Eliza mine, NE of Simonsbath, Exmoor". Somerset Historic Environment Record. http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/details.asp?prn=33007. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  
  36. ^ "Exmoor National Park: Simonsbath sawmill" (PDF). A Landscape Legacy: National Parks and the historic environment: English Heritage. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/A_Landscape_Legacy_National_Parks_and_the_historic_environment.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  37. ^ "North Exmoor". English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1006541.pdf. Retrieved 2006-08-19.  
  38. ^ a b "North Exmoor" (PDF). English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1006541.pdf. Retrieved 2006-08-19.  
  39. ^ "South Exmoor". English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002269.pdf. Retrieved 2006-08-20.  
  40. ^ "South Exmoor" (PDF). English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002269.pdf. Retrieved 2006-08-20.  
  41. ^ http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/sotp_report_chapter04_woodland.doc |accessdate=2009-07-11
  42. ^ "History of the Exmoor Pony". Exmoor Pony Centre. http://www.moorlandmousietrust.org.uk/History_Exmoor_Pony.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  43. ^ "Exmoor Ponies- a dying breed?". BBC Somerset. http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2007/08/21/exmoor_pony_feature.shtml. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  44. ^ "New pony centre to support preservation of Exmoor ponies". Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (South West). http://www.gnn.gov.uk/content/detail.asp?NewsAreaID=2&ReleaseID=219332. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  45. ^ "Pony centre raring to go". Archive.camborneredruthpacket.co.uk. 2006-08-14. http://archive.camborneredruthpacket.co.uk/2006/8/14/61288.html. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  46. ^ "Good and bad news on Exmoor's birds". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/outdoors/moors/exmoor_birds.shtml. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  47. ^ Ballance, David K. and Gibbs, Brian D. (2003) The birds of Exmoor and the Quantocks
  48. ^ "Traditions, folklore and traditions". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/print/index/learning_about/learning_publications/exmoor-bibliography/traditions-folklore-legends.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  49. ^ "Exmoor National Park". BBC Science and Nature: Animals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/wildbritain/nature_near_you/venue.shtml?vid=4031&rid=. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  50. ^ "Exclusive BBCS report reveals startling new evidence for big cats in Britain". British Big Cats Society. http://www.britishbigcats.org/. Retrieved 2008-01-01.  
  51. ^ "Somerset & Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan Review. 2000". Somerset County Council. http://www.somerset.gov.uk/enprop/strucplan/review1.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  52. ^ "Geography of Exmoor – Filex 4" (PDF). Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/filex_04.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  53. ^ a b "The Authority". Exmoor National Park. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/index/looking_after/the-authority.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  54. ^ "Exmoor National Park NMP". English Heritage. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/nav.00100200300400200300l. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  55. ^ "Moorlands at a Crossroads: The State of the Moorlands of Exmoor, 2004" (PDF). The Exmoor Society. http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/moorlands_of_exmoor_full_report.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  56. ^ O'Rourke, PJ (2007-08-17). "Goodwill Hunting". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/sep/17/ruralaffairs.hunting. Retrieved 2007-12-07.  
  57. ^ "Exmoor huntsman case delayed". Horse and Hound. http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/72478.html. Retrieved 2007-12-07.  
  58. ^ MKH Computer Services Ltd.. "Coleridge Way - LDWA Long Distance Paths". Ldwa.org.uk. http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Coleridge+Way. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  59. ^ "The Coleridge Way". The Coleridge Way. http://www.coleridgeway.co.uk/. Retrieved 2007-12-03.  
  60. ^ "National Park Facts and Figures". National Parks. http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/learningabout/factsandfigures.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-05.  
  61. ^ The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Magazine published by The L&BR Trust. Various editions
  62. ^ "Carnival is given 2006 reprieve". BBC. 2005-11-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4422008.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-21.  
  63. ^ "Watchet Carnival (Homepage)". Watchet Carnival. http://www.watchetcarnival.org.uk/. Retrieved 2007-12-08.  
  64. ^ BBC. "Exmoor's Snowdrop Valley". http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/image_galleries/snowdrop_valley_2006_gallery.shtml. Retrieved 2008-01-01.  
  65. ^ "Two Moors Way". Devon County Council. http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/transport/public_rights_of_way/where_to_walk_and_ride/two_moors_way.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-01.  
  66. ^ "Dunster Castle and gatehouse". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=264651. Retrieved 2007-09-28.  
  67. ^ "Priory Church of St George". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=264660. Retrieved 2007-09-28.  
  68. ^ "Yarn Market". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=264694. Retrieved 2007-09-28.  
  69. ^ "The Luttrell Arms Hotel". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=264681. Retrieved 2007-09-28.  

Further reading

External links

This audio file was created from a revision dated 2008-07-21, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (Audio help)
More spoken articles

Coordinates: 51°06′24″N 3°36′41″W / 51.10667°N 3.61139°W / 51.10667; -3.61139


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Exmoor National Park article)

From Wikitravel

Exmoor National Park is situated in the south west of the United Kingdom. It spreads across north coast of Devon and west Somerset and is one of Britain's first National Parks.

Understand

For many R.D. Blackmore's novel, Lorna Doone, set about Brendon in Devon and Oare in Somerset provides an extra appeal for the park - as do associations with the poet, Coleridge.

History

Exmoor earned National Park status in 1954 and is named after its main river, the River Exe, whose source is near Simonsbath, Somerset.

Landscape

Most of the 267 square miles(693 km²) of Exmoor is open heath and moorland. The highest point on Exmoor is Dunkery Beacon, at 1704 ft (519 m), also the highest point in Somerset.

Exmoor has 34 miles (55 km) of dramatic coastline including the highest sea cliffs in England. The South West Coast Path passes along these cliffs and was voted Britain's favourite trail in 2006.

Flora and fauna

Some moors are covered by a variety of grasses and sedges, while others are dominated by heather. Land is mainly used for livestock, although there are some areas which are cultivated such as the Brendon Hills.

Sheep have grazed on the moors for more than 3000 years and traditional breeds include Exmoor Horn, Cheviot and Whiteface Dartmoor and Greyface Dartmoor sheep. Devon red cattle are also farmed in the area.

Exmoor ponies can be seen roaming freely on the moors. They are a race rather than a breed of pony, and are the closest breed remaining in Europe to Wild Horses. The ponies are rounded up once a year to be marked and checked over.

Red deer have a stronghold on the moor and can be seen on quiet hillsides in remote areas, particularly in the early morning.

The famous Beast of Exmoor is reputed to haunt the moor, with many sightings since the 1960s. It is possibly a Cougar or Black Leopard which was released sometime in the 1960s or 1970s after a law passed making it illegal for them to be kept in captivity outside zoos. It has been blamed for many sheep kills over the years.

The moorland habitat is also home to hundreds of species of birds and insects. Birds seen on the moor include Merlin, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Curlew, European Stonechat, Dipper, Dartford Warbler and Ring Ouzel.

Get in

By Boat

There will be a new boat service from Swansea to nearby Ilfracombe to the west, starting in Easter 2010.

See

Villages

Villages below are in the county of Somerset unless otherwise stated.

  • Brendon' (Devon) - in 'Lorna Doone' country.
  • Dulverton - a large and attractive village on the River Barle.
  • Dunster - retains a central yarn market building and has a castle above the village.
  • Lynton and Lynmouth (Devon) - hillside and coastal villages with a funicular between them.
  • Oare - centre of 'Lorna Doone' country, where Carver Doone shot Lorna in the church on her wedding day with John Ridd.
  • Porlock - large village with picturesque houses.
  • Porlock Weir - delightful coastal village and the start of a superb 5 mile cliff walk to Culbone Church
  • Selworthy - tiny but one of the most striking. Thatched cottages around the green, a fine church and great views from Selworthy Beacon.
  • Winsford - fine inland village, where a small tributary joins the River Exe with a thatched pub and numerous bridges.
  • Dunkery Beacon
  • Doone Valley
  • Tarr Steps' - a clapper bridge on the Barle near Dulverton.
  • Valley of the Rocks (Devon) - spectacular clifftop road from Lynton - not a valley in the normal sense.
  • Watersmeet (Devon) - where the East and West Lyn meet.

Do

Exmoor is a great area for walking. [1]. To get great enjoyment from this no particular fitness level is required, although there is plenty to satisfy long distance walkers too.

  • Chough's Nest Hotel, North Walk, Lynton, Devon, EX35 6HJ, 01598 753 315 (), [2]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. £42 B&B, £62 B&B&Dinner.  edit
  • Heddon's Gate Hotel (A tranquil country house hotel set on the steep slopes of the wooded Heddon Valley), Martinhoe, Parracombe, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4PZ, 01598 763481 (), [3]. Half board £75 - £101 pppn.  edit
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Proper noun

Exmoor

  1. A national park in Devon and Somerset, southern England.

See also


Simple English

Exmoor is a national park in England. The border of two counties, Devon and Somerset, runs through it. It is an area of sandstone hills which form tall cliffs on its north coast. The high ground of Exmoor is mostly rough grassland, but there are small woodlands on its lower slopes.

It is also famous for the Exmoor Pony.

Other websites








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message