The Unexpected Garden - 12 months on.
Well, I can't believe that it has been 12 months since we first looked at the Knights Ashcombe Gardens in Simonsbath with a band of very keen ENPA Volunteers. These fantastic garden enthusiasts started with the snowdrop planting in February and March 2019 followed by filming when BBC Countryfile joined us for a day. During the year the volunteers cleared, cut, trimmed, cleaned and planted their way around the first area of the garden, while the cottage and school were being restored. The Knight's buildings are now looking resplendent in several layers of white wash, while the white rocks either side of Ashcombe Stream reflect back the glow. They took some cleaning and will need to be regularly managed but they are very impressive and stand like sentinels, guarding the cottage and stream. 

Sadly, due to funding, we have not been able to do the paths this year, but the plan is to get them repaired so that people can walk safely up the West Path, cross a bridge (the evidence for the original bridge is very easy to see) and then re-join the Two Moors Way and return to the car park. The East Path needs a lot of work, this will be a future project.
Now that The Simonsbath and Exmoor Trust is about to be formed, we hope that we can start looking at grants to help with this. ENPA CareMoor for Exmoor has been a fantastic supporter of the project and the Trust will work alongside them in 2020 to do some much-needed fund raising. The interest in the project is growing and it was wonderful to talk to HRH The Prince of Wales about it at the ENPA Big Picnic in July 2019. He was very interested in our plans for a fernery and next year we plan to create this in the quarry. 

Garden Tours
New for 2020, on the third  Monday of each month 
Ashcombe Garden Tour Mon 18th May 11am - 12pm & 2pm - 3pm
Tours of the garden landscape begin from Ashcombe car park in Simonsbath (TA24 7SH where there are also public toilets) and will be led by volunteers working on the gardens. 01598 752509 to book your space.

The support and interest throughout 2019 was wonderful and we are all looking forward to a very special 2020, as this is 200 years since John Knight made his final purchase on the Royal Forest of Exmoor and began The Year of Change for the area.
For all the latest news please go to:
Website: www.whiterocksimonsbath.org   Facebook: Exmoor1820     Twitter: @exmoor1820     Email: exmoor1820@gmail.com     Snail Mail: c/o Hunt House, Honeymead, Simonsbath, TA24 7JX


Community Coffee Mornings
There is nothing like getting a group of like minded people together over a cuppa. Our relaxed coffee mornings with Jess, give you the opportunity to catch up on volunteering projects, share ideas and keep involved with Get Involved! They take place on the second Tuesday of every month. Next one is Tuesday 11th February from 10:30am in the upstairs office of Lynmouth Pavilion. The venue will be rotated between Lynmouth, Porlock and Dunster. Please phone Jess for more details on 01598 751065. 
Celebrate Volunteering at Wells Cathedral - an invitation from Johnnie Halliday, High Sheriff of Somerset
During my year as High Sheriff it has been a great honour to meet many wonderful charities and kind people who give their time freely to support others and those who provide much needed financial help and emotional encouragement too. With the kind collaboration of The Dean and Chapter at Wells Cathedral we wanted to recognise and say thank you to all those unsung heroes in our local Somerset communities.To celebrate Somerset volunteering we wish to invite you  with family and friends to a multi faith service at Wells Cathedral on Sunday 9th February at 3pm with wonderful music from the Cathedral and other local choirs. 

Have some FUN!
The FUN Project - Families United through Nature - is now into it's second year. Last year ENPA's FUN delivered, with the help of some fantastic volunteers, 46 family activity sessions, attended by over 120 families, with 50 families being regular participants. We did a variety of activities in locations  across Exmoor including family games and beach art on Minehead Beach and butterfly and bug hunts at Horner Woods.
 
This year Lucy McQuillan, FUN Project Coordinator has another 45 activity sessions planned. The activities are aimed mainly at families who need some extra support to get out enjoying Exmoor and the natural world. We keep the numbers low, with on average 5 to 10 families at each activity so that we can give them our time to fully explore and enjoy the experience of being out on Exmoor, or local to where they live, and learning about nature. It's the time of our volunteers that allows us to give families a deeper experience- to guide them through an activity, spend time and sharing the wonder of nature and Exmoor with them.
 
The activity sessions are now up on Better Impact for you to sign up to, please click here If you have any questions about the activities and what you'd be doing, please don't hesitate to contact Lucy McQuillan, FUN Coordinator, on 07966 515580 or email lmcquillan@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk   
Take a walk back in time...
2020 another exciting year for our volunteer led guided walks,  including Bat's Castle, Dunster village, Porlock Marsh, Porlock village, Bossington, North Hill (Minehead and Porlock end of hill) Lynmouth and North Molton.

A full programme of each walk can be found on our website calendar, as well as the diary pages of the Exmoor Visitor magazine. We would thoroughly recommend you take the opportunity to go on these walks, each one offers different scenery, history and hidden parts of Exmoor. Thank you to the continued support of our guided walk leaders.

NEW role...
Back marker for North Hill guided walk. We are looking for a regular back marker to support these walks alongside the walk leader. The role involves meeting and greeting the public, then walking at the back of the group to ensure they stay on the paths and stick together. Please email Jess on jtwydall@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or phone 01598 751065 for further information, deadline to apply for this role is end of February 2020.
 
Keep Britain Tidy 2020
 
The Great British Spring Clean 2020 runs from 20th March until 13th April. It's one of the country's biggest mass action environmental campaigns and last year more than 560,000 people took part. This year Keep Britain Tidy are aiming to get 600,000 #LitterHeroes out there! With micro volunteering you can be part of something great! 
 
Why not join Exmoor's Keep Britain Tidy Ambassador, Keith Hunt on North Hill and help give this popular site a Spring clean. It's an ideal event for friends and families.
 
Saturday 21st March North Hill (meet at entrance to the old tank training grounds) 10:30 - 12:30
Saturday 4th April - Porlock Weir (meet at the main car park) 10:30 - 12:30
Saturday 11th April - Lynmouth - check out our online events diary nearer time for full details
 
Looking for something closer to where you live?  Search the KBT website  for more information.
 
Current Volunteer Opportunities   
Please always check on the  the Get Involved section  of our website, volunteer roles are updated regularly here. Alternatively, please contact Jess, Jackie or Pat who will only be too glad to help you find the most suitable role for your interests and skills.
 
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 Would you like to contribute to the next e-bulletin? Send us your stories and photos of volunteering on Exmoor getinvolved@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
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