The RAF and Commando Helicopter Force recently held a special training exercise at Exmoor National Park to help a conservation project on remote moorland, airlifting heavy materials above the sensitive countryside to a rare heritage site at the heart of Exmoor.
Sarah Bryan, Head of Conservation and Access at Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “We are extremely grateful to the skilled teams from Royal Air Force and Commando Helicopter Force for tackling a hugely difficult task – their support was invaluable and such a professionally executed airlift was very impressive.
“This airlift makes possible our work to conserve a famous farmhouse ruin, Hoar Oak Cottage. We had secured funding, but we still needed help. Our challenge was to transport several tonnes of materials and yet make minimal impact to the moorland that is steeped in sensitive wildlife and historic features, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
Some of the funding to enable the work on Hoar Oak to take place is being provided by Exmoor National Park Authority with additional money supplied by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Heathcoat and Amory Trusts through the Exmoor Society.
An online archive of the history and heritage of the farmhouse is kept by the Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage who have welcomed the new conservation work. This summer saw the group’s second annual walk to the cottage. Next year the public will be able to enjoy and experience a series of events by the Moorland Partnership working closely with the Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage.