Five new community projects set to benefit Exmoor and its special qualities are the latest to receive grants from the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund*.
All the schemes have been awarded funding of up to £2,500 in recognition of their contribution to National Park purposes to conserve and enhance the wildlife, natural beauty and cultural heritage of the area, and promote opportunities for people to enjoy them.
Successful bids included money towards a unique poetry project, jointly funded with the Exmoor Society, looking to raise awareness of the benefits of pasture-fed livestock. Poet Adam Horovitz will be staying with two Exmoor Hill Farming Network farmers who are championing the approach, and turning his experiences into a collection of poetry encapsulating how they work in harmony with nature to raise their animals. They will be published later this year as an addition to ‘The Soil Never Sleeps’ – an earlier collection inspired by shadowing farmers throughout the seasons.
The project is the brainwave of John Meadley, President of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association – an alliance of certified farms committed to feeding their livestock on 100% pasture throughout life. He said: “There aren’t many farming organisations who can say they have a poet in residence, but thanks to this grant we’re delighted to be working with Adam to help promote the many benefits of raising livestock in the way nature intended. We hope that through his unique talent for capturing the passions and beliefs that drive farmers, we’ll be able to convince more people why pasture-fed is best for their health, the planet, the welfare of the animals and even the farmer’s purse.”
Philip Kiberd, Funding Officer at Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “The Partnership Fund exists for the benefit of everyone who lives in, visits and cares about the National Park. We can offer match funding of up to £2,500 in return for either cash or in-kind contributions, such as volunteer time, making it really accessible for anyone with a great idea to get help with funding. It’s great to see so many innovative projects going on in the National Park and we look forward to awarding the next round of funding in March.”
Funding awards are made around four times a year, and applicants have until 4 March to submit an expression of interest in time to be considered for the next funding round. Community-led projects that can enhance the landscape, help nature, investigate heritage or introduce new people to the National Park are of particular interest. 2019 is also the Year of Green Action and the 70th anniversary of the founding legislation for UK National Parks, providing further inspiration for people to put forward their ideas.
Full details, guidance notes and application forms are available on the Authority’s website at www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/partnership-fund or to discuss an idea contact the Funding Officer on 01398 322237 or email@example.com.
* Recently supported projects include:
1. A grant to help protect and conserve Brendon Hill Methodist Church, safeguarding part of Exmoor’s building heritage
2. Funding towards the development of Porlock Weir Pilot Gig Club adding to recreational activity on Exmoor’s coast
3. A contribution to a new floodgate at Western Beach, Lynmouth, allowing winter access for people, while keeping the storms out
4. A grant for a farming poetry project offering an alternative voice to Exmoor hill farming
5. Funding towards a Lorna Doone exhibition led by Dulverton Heritage Centre, celebrating 150 years, in 2019, since the publication of this Exmoor novel.
PHOTO: Exmoor hill farmer Oliver Edwards pictured with poet Adam Horovitz during a recent stay at Westermill Farm to learn about lambing.