Exmoor Magazine welcomes ideas for new articles from local amateur and professional writers. If you have an idea which you would like to submit for consideration please contact us using the form below.
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Our contributors include:
The late Trevor Beer MBE was a full-time natural history writer. His work appeared in many newspapers and magazines including the Western Morning News for whom he was the natural history correspondent.
The late Hilary Binding
Hilary Binding was the former Editor of the magazine, having been at its helm since Issue 1. She was also formerly editor of the Exmoor Review, an education consultant, author, historian and lay reader.
Cindy Cowling, a self-confessed ‘horse addict’, began competing her pony with the Cowdray and Leconfold Pony Club before moving to Devon in the late ’80s. Whilst doing a Farm Business Management course at Bicton Agricultural College, Cindy took her BHS (British Horse Society) exams as well as riding for local event yards. At this time, she also began instructing with the East Devon Pony Club and then in New Zealand, as well as the UK. Cindy is currently Chief Instructor for the Devon and Somerset Pony Club.
With the arrival of her two children, Samuel and Ellen, Cindy began writing ‘In The Stableyard’ for Exmoor Magazine. She graduated through the Open University with a BA (Open) in the spring of 2015, which was the culmination of five years’ work. She is hoping to use some of her new skills including design and innovation, to bring new products to the market (equestrian-based of course!)
Victoria (Tortie) Eveleigh visited Exmoor throughout her childhood because her grandmother owned West Ilkerton Farm, near Lynton. After university (BSc in geography from St Andrews University and MSc in farm business management from Wye College), she moved to West Ilkerton and worked part time for the Exmoor National Park Authority. She married Chris in 1986, and they have been farming West Ilkerton ever since. Victoria is the author of nine children’s books (she self-published first, and was then taken on by Orion Children’s Books in 2011) and she has written for several publications, including the Bradt travel guide Slow Devon & Exmoor.
Sandy Francis lived and worked on Exmoor for 20 years and now divides her time between relaxing and writing in and around the National Park and working across the South West as a counsellor and lecturer. She has had over 500 articles published since 2000, mostly leisure related, and is particularly interested in the ‘people side of things’ and the harmony between the land and the community.
A former Fleet Street editor, Tony James is now a freelance journalist and author, writing regularly for approximately 30 magazines and newspapers worldwide, on subjects as varied as business, finance, sport, gardening, show business and the countryside. He has various monthly columns and has written over 20 books, the two most recent being Up The Creek and Yankee Jack Sails Again (Seafarer Books). Tony is also a sailor, model boat-maker and jazz musician.
Jane A. Mares
Jane Mares was born in a North Devon farmhouse tucked into a steep valley-bottom between woods and water. She now lives in a Somerset cottage on the fringe of Exmoor. She works as a gardener and has written articles on organic gardening and poetry for various magazines, including The Countryman and the Exmoor Review. She says: “Writing is a form of repayment for the luck of living in the West Country, where nightingales may still be heard if you know where to listen and bee orchids may be seen, and no doubt piskies, if you know where to look.”
Mel Roach is a semi-nomadic writer, organic gardener, woodland worker and fledgling botanist. She lives off-grid in her home county of Devon where she takes care of a large private garden, conducts botanical surveys and is finally finishing off a degree in Natural Sciences. She has lived on Exmoor and been a regular visitor to the region for over 25 years. Photography, painting, endless walking and local history are her other passions – these are occasionally crammed in after the plants and word-wrangling have been attended to.
Adrian Tierney Jones
Adrian Tierney Jones is a Dulverton-based award-winning journalist and author who specialises in beer, food, pubs and travel and how they all go together. His work has also appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Beer, All About Beer (USA), Original Gravity and the Daily Mail. Books include 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die (editor), Great British Pubs, Britain’s Beer Revolution and Brewing Champions. He has also contributed to The Oxford Companion to Beer, World Beer and 1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die.
Rosemary Lauder has written gardening articles for many years for the local press and various magazines including Country Life and Exmoor The Country Magazine. She is the author and publisher of local books about walking, topography and Exmoor and North Devon, including Vanished Houses of North Devon. She has an MA in Garden History from Bristol University.
Alison Mothersdale’s love of writing has ‘blossomed’ since moving to Somerset in the late 1990s and she attended two creative writing courses to hone her skills. After writing for the Eating Out section of the magazine she has contributed people profiles and community features. She also compiled the diary for many years and is dedicated to promoting Exmoor to as wide an audience as possible.
Frances Nicholson has lived in West Somerset for over 20 years. She was one of the team who launched Exmoor The Country Magazine in 1996, and worked closely with the first editor Hilary Binding. A Jack of all trades she has made her living as a copy editor, potter, advertising sales rep, publisher (www.harlequinpress.net), and agricultural software developer with Shearwell Data at Wheddon Cross. In 2009 she was elected to represent the Dulverton and Exmoor Division on Somerset County Council. She is also a member of the Exmoor National Park Authority.
Malcolm Rigby has been writing feature articles for the magazines and newspapers of the South West for more than 15 years. A one-time columnist and business correspondent for the Bath Chronicle and Royal College of Nursing Local Journalist of the Year, he prefers the quirky kind of subject and a personal involvement. Malcolm is also the author of five novels, which are currently in the process of being e-published.
Avril Stone moved with her parents to Barnstaple in 1950 and so she considers herself very much a Barumite. She has been in love with the scenery, architecture and wildlife of Exmoor from her very first excursions on Sunday afternoon family picnics. Her father’s interest in photography led to her passion for capturing the magic of Exmoor on film. She has written a number of local histories, including a book on High Bickington and the two-volume The Book of Barnstaple. In 2002 Avril and her husband went on an adventure and moved to the west coast of Scotland and built their dream house. Here Avril wrote her fourth book Southend, Mull of Kintyre Reunited. Returning to her West Country home and family in 2010 Avril is once again enjoying capturing the lives of local people in words and photographs. In 2014 she added The Book of Braunton to her list of published books.
Sue Viccars has written and revised many Dartmoor and Exmoor walks books, including Short Walks Exmoor and the Pathfinder Guide to Exmoor & The Quantocks (Crimson); her Pathfinder Guide to North & Mid Devon (Crimson) was published in 2012, the third edition of 20 Walks in Devon (AA) in 2013 and the revised edition of her 40 Short Walks in Devon (AA) in 2014. Her most recent book, a new guide to The Two Moors Way/Devon’s Coast to Coast Walk (Cicerone Press) was published in June 2015. She has also produced many articles on the South West for magazines such as Country Life, Country Walking and Outdoor Enthusiast. Sue is a partner in Blackingstone Publishing, and editor and part owner of Dartmoor Magazine.
Michelle Werrett is a farm consultant specialising in the integration of wildlife conservation with commercial livestock production. She advises on design and management of ponds, hedges and woodland and on pasture management for farm livestock or horses. She helps with grant applications and all farm paperwork. Michelle has lived in the Exmoor area all her life and is often seen out on the moor riding side-saddle.
Junior writer, Ellen Cowling
Ellen was probably about 48 hours old when she first sat on a horse! It was a little difficult as she was a ‘bit floppy’ and her legs weren’t long enough! She has always loved animals and horses in particular. She now enjoys Team Show Jumping for Wellington Junior School and also the Devon and Somerset Pony Club. Her other interests include hockey, netball, swimming, reading and training ducks! Ellen’s long-term goal is to be an equine vet and also to show jump to a high level. She has helped foal down mares at home and has already picked out a couple of nice youngsters for the future! Ellen will be working with our junior photographer Bee Hobbs and is pictured with her here, together with Scrumpy the dog.
Holly Wright moved to Exmoor from London seven years ago with her husband and young children after nine years in magazine journalism. She now runs her own book publishing business from Selworthy with her husband, chases after three little people and has enjoyed getting back into writing with a number of articles for Exmoor Magazine.
Jeff Cox is the great-great grandson of the printer Samuel Cox, who launched the West Somerset Free Press in 1860. Jeff reported for the Free Press in the late 1970s and for the past 25 years, has worked with BBC foreign news, based in London and travelling the world on major news stories. In 2010, his anthology of local news reports, West Somerset In The News, was published by Halsgrove.
Rosemary FitzGerald was brought up in Ireland and Scotland under the influence of Wild Flower Society friends and a gardening grandmother, so has always been fascinated by plants on both sides of the garden fence. This sustaining love was maintained through varying early jobs and eventually led to a career in professional field botany, auditing the most threatened wild species throughout the UK and Ireland. Unable to stop looking for plants at ‘retirement’, Rosemary ran a small nursery on the West Somerset coast, where she still botanises for national and local survey schemes, gardens and write and speaks about these never-ending interests. She also provides a garden consultation service.
the late Mary Bromiley
The late Mary was brought up in North Devon and moved back to Exmoor 14 years ago. As a Chartered Physiotherapist she was responsible for persuading the veterinary profession to accept the fact that animals, like humans, benefit from appropriate physiotherapy. Published by Blackwells Scientific, she wrote a number of books on animal therapy, which have sold worldwide translated into seven languages. Her latest book, an autobiography, was published privately. She passed away in September 2019 and is much missed by the magazine.
West-Somerset-born Maurice Chidgey is a keen local historian and member of the Watchet Market House Museum, serving on its committee. For 50 years Maurice was in the printing department of the West Somerset Free Press and was also involved in the production of several books and magazines, including the Exmoor Review from its inception in 1959 (then priced 1s 6d!). Since his retirement, Maurice (with help from his wife Joyce) has written four books in the Halsgrove Community History series and has also contributed to various magazines and publications. He is interested in sport, especially cricket, of which he was a keen player in his younger days. Maurice and his wife have lived in Watchet for 55 years and have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Simon Phelps is a conservationist, naturalist, photographer and writer. He currently works for Butterfly Conservation as a project development officer and has previously worked for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Lulworth Estate and BCN Wildlife Trust in roles covering reserves management, wildlife surveying and community engagement. He has a keen interest in conservation issues and has a particularly fondness for moths and butterflies.
Cerys is an Exmoor-grown architect, conservationist and triathlete. Following university in Edinburgh and Liverpool she returned to Exmoor in 2007 and now lives in Minehead with her young family. Cerys divides her professional time between her work as an architect for THREAD (‘Architects, design lab and creative consultancy supporting complex architectural and cultural projects specifically within the historic arena’) and as co-founder and co-director of XMAN Events – a family business which works in partnership with Exmoor National Park Authority to provide triathlon events and training experiences on Exmoor.
Becky Parker is a part-time groom and freelance writer based in North Devon. She is a huge mountain bike and trail running enthusiast, never happier then when out exploring the moorlands and forests of the South West accompanied by her faithful collie dog. She pens her thoughts about the outdoor adventure lifestyle and lessons learnt from her own experiences on her blog. Her work has been published on a selection of mountain biking and running websites such as Total Women’s cycling, Outdoorista and Women’s Running. Photo by Tom Bridge.