Awakening the magic of Exmoor in young people

Judges at this year’s Exmoor Society Literary Competition praised the exceptionally high standard and from a huge entry of poems received, at the Society’s recent Spring Conference, Sir Antony Acland presented the prize winners with their awards. First prize in the senior category went to Edward Taylor, 13 years, from Stoke Rivers and a pupil at West Buckland School, and first prize in the junior category went to Hattie Harley, 10 years, from Yeo Mill, West Anstey and a pupil at North Molton Primary School for her poem entitled “Life on Exmoor”.

The Exmoor Society is delighted to announce that this Award, held each year for children writing about Exmoor, has a new sponsor. The award will now be known as the “Lucy Perry Literary Award” in memory of Lucy Perry who died last year. Her family felt it most appropriate that the bequest to the Society is in the form of a legacy to fund the award, so that the Society can continue with this way of awakening the magic of Exmoor in young people.

This annual competition is open to young people between the ages of 8 and 14 years and the Society offers literary awards for a piece of poetry or prose inspired by Exmoor – its landscape, its wildlife and cultural heritage and people’s enjoyment of it. Closing date for this year’s competition is 31 December 2011 and entries to be sent to: The Exmoor Society, Parish Rooms, Dulverton, Som TA22 9DP.

The Society continues to financially support the Exmoor Curriculum at Dulverton Middle School which gives local children the opportunity to learn about Exmoor and allows them to participate in a wide variety of activities.

The Society now wishes to extend the curriculum to other schools in the area and has set up an Education Fund for this purpose. It is the Society’s intention to help young people to know more about Exmoor and to understand how it copes with the many pressures from modern living. For more detail and to find out how to help please contact the Society –

Lucy Perry Literary Award 2010 Senior Group – 1st place

The water gargles and giggles
As it makes its way down the
delicate shallows of the Barle spring
The light shines off it like a halo.
A river is born.

It grows and learns, becomes wiser
and wider, picking up pieces of the sad modern world. It
Deepens and darkens gets murkier
and mysterious with the sad truth of the world;

It harbours secrets and lies but lets no one
know for it would be too sad. On the top it
is a shining and beautiful it has to be it is a phenomenon of

It is a single blue thread woven into the green
quilt of Exmoor It reaches barriers and
troubles but finds the solution and carries on
It reaches a dead end but won’t stop, it carries
on down with a roar and a crash.

Now it’s in its prime racing faster and faster the wonder of
Exmoor. Then it meets its goal. The sea, perhaps the end of
the beginning or maybe the beginning of the end. We shall
never know

Edward Taylor
Aged 13 years
West Buckland School

Lucy Perry Literary Award 2010 Junior Group – 1st place

Life on Exmoor

Smooth little streams made from last night’s rain
Thin winding paths, puddle here and there
Small tummy button toadstools, grouped in patches
Curving hills sloping in the distance making silhouettes against the cloudy sky

Thick long hedges with tangled twigs
Golden, orange, brown leaves scattered all over the ground
Dark chestnut ponies with deep brown manes
Galloping on the muddy ground

Finger pricking gorse bushes protecting the dainty yellow flowers
Big groups of rusty brown bracken, crunching under people’s feet
A soft breeze brushing the hay coloured grass
In the distance, you see clumps of towering beech trees with bright orange leaves, slowly becoming bare

Hattie Harley
Aged 10 years
North Molton Primary School