Heart of Exmoor

Excavations at Hawkcombe Head in July 2013 as part of 'Dig Porlock'; © ENPA 2013

(Excavations at Hawkcombe Head in July 2013 as part of Dig Porlock, © ENPA 2013)

Heart of Exmoor LogoThe Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and was launched in 2011 to promote moorland as the Heart of Exmoor. The Heart of Exmoor project helped people to enjoy and appreciate moorlands, and supported those who take care of them.

The partnership was formed by a group of organisations, societies, government agencies and educational and voluntary bodies, led by Exmoor National Park Authority.

The scheme was funded for three years to work with schools, volunteers, moorland managers and members of the public on Exmoor and its surrounding areas with the aims of:

  • Reconditioning Moorland
  • Reconnecting Livelihoods
  • Reconnecting People

Fifteen projects made up the Heart of Exmoor scheme, four of which focused specifically on Exmoor’s historic environment. These aimed to promote a greater understanding of Exmoor’s prehistoric past and the former Royal Forest of Exmoor by involving school children, local residents and members of the public in the conservation of monuments, recording the histories of people who have lived and worked on Exmoor and learning about the historic landscape of the moor. Through the scheme a series of prehistoric loan boxes has been created and made available for anyone to borrow from the Exmoor National Park Authority Historic Environment team, free of charge (please visit our teaching resources page for further information). A number of publications have also been produced, including ‘A field guide to the Royal Forest of Exmoor’ and an archaeology walk card series.  These are now available in National Park Centres. A further learning resource for Key Stage 2 or 3 teaching has also been developed for North Hill in World War 2.

The Heart of Exmoor scheme has promoted greater involvement in archaeology, in particular, through running Dig Porlock, a community project investigating the origins of Porlock Parish by archaeological fieldwork, excavation and research in 2013. For more information about this project, you can download the Dig Porlock book, Porlock's Moorland Archaeology, by following the link to the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Publications page.

Dig Porlock project logoThe Heart of Exmoor continued to promote moorland through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other local partners and funders until 2015. This included the development of educational resources, community projects, events, activities and resources with a focus on both the natural and historic environments, continuing to support those that live on and around Exmoor to understand and appreciate this unique upland environment. For more information about the Heart of Exmoor visit https://heartofexmoor.wordpress.com/.

Faye Balmond

Further Information

SEM8233 Balmond, F. and Wilson-North, R. 2014. 'Porlock's moorland archaeology: The DIG Porlock Project 2013'. Exmoor National Park Authority.

Heart of Exmoor project sponsors