Local families braved the changeable June weather to discover moorland wildlife and heritage on the ‘Go Wild on Grabbist’ event at Exmoor National Park recently.
From base camp at Dunster National Park Centre, everyone walked up Grabbist Hill and on the way met a storyteller, rangers, Exmoor ponies and heath fritillary butterflies – and finally battled to retake the Iron Age hillfort from ancient Britons!
Activities at the National Park Centre included face painting, bug safaris with Wild Wellies, and fun discoveries with RSPB, Nettlecombe Wildlife Watch Club and Butterfly Conservation.
David Rolls, organiser from the Heart of Exmoor scheme said: “Thanks to all our event partners, outstanding volunteers and the Heritage Lottery Fund, Caremoor and the Exmoor National Park Sustainable Development Fund for making this possible.”
Paul Camp, ranger for the National Trust, led families on nature walks. He said: “Amazingly the children actually found heath fritillary butterflies, a lizard, bumblebees and warblers on a rainy day. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and we look forward to next year.”
Grabbist Ridge is part of the very special coastal heath and moorland around Dunster and Minehead where Heart of Exmoor will soon sponsor a local Moorkeeper. The moorland is important for its hill farming, public access, Exmoor ponies (on North Hill) and wildlife such as buzzard, Dartford warbler, common lizard, badger, foxgloves, whortleberry, glow-worm beetles and the very rare heath fritillary butterfly.
Event partners included the National Trust, the Crown Estate, Exmoor National Park Authority, RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, Dumnonika re-enactors, the Moorland Mousie Trust, Nettlecombe Wildlife Watch Club and Wild Wellies.
Places are now available on the Coast and Moor Discovery Week for families, 13 – 17 August, a fun-packed week of learning and discovery in the Minehead area. More information and events at www.heartofexmoor.org.uk or call 01398 322164.