A bit damper than usual

Sometimes it does get a bit rainy on Exmoor and that can make getting to and from the Exmoor Centre a little more exciting.

Usually this ford can be crossed in walking boots without getting your feet wet in fact you are less likely to get wet feet walking through the river than trying to use the wobbley stepping stones. Today though the river was nearly 3 feet deep, no problem for our modified Land Rover and military trailer though so it was service as usual. Sometimes it does get deeper and we have had the water come over the Land Rovers bonnet a few times, that is a bit deep for the trailer though!

Luckily if you are on foot there is an alternative way to get to and from the centre from the west.

Bushcraft

SneakyFox Outdoors ran our first Primary Schools Bushcraft Day of 2013 last week with Ilfracombe Primary School. You can read lead instructor Paul Blacks report on the SneakyFox website here – http://sneakyfoxoutdoors.co.uk/about-us.html

StMary Lyncombe Exmoor Trust have secured funding through Heart of Exmoor ( http://www.heartofexmoor.org.uk/ )and Ilfracombe Rotary to put these free schools days on this summer. If you are interested in your school joining future free events at The Exmoor Centre please get in touch.

2013-07-12 10.15.12 2013-07-12 10.42.51

Dark Sky

As there was nobody booked in at the centre this weekend we took the opportunity to nip out ourselves. With very little moonlight this weekend the night skies were amazing. Here are a few photographs showing the Milky Way and The Plough in all their glory, these were taken without a remote shutter release and on a wobbly tripod so they aren’t professional standard but they do give you an idea of what you can expect to see at The Exmoor Centre on a clear night.

 

Cooling off in the river

Fun at The Exmoor Centre

We don’t do Technology at The Exmoor Centre. Phones don’t work, Game Consoles and MP3 players soon run out of charge, there is no internet connection. What we do have is far better, just look at the expressions…

Wild swimming and larking about in the splash-pool upstream of the centre is a favourite, you soon get used to the chilly water. Night swimming is even better for the brave, lying in the natural hydro-therapy spa that is the white water of hoaroak water and stagazing is an experience you’ll never forget.

The zipline isn’t a permanent feature of the site, but its very popular when it is brought out to play.

The winter is the best time to be at the centre, being in a steep sided valley high on the moor we get morning frosts for 7months of the year! We don’t let bad weather get in the way of the fun though, just stoke up the woodburner and get out and play. Drying out and warming up over toasted marshmallows around the fire is part of the experience.

Outside at The Exmoor Centre

Outside the bunkhouse there is a brick built BBQ and eating area with picnic tables, this links through to the main campfire area.

At the back of the centre there is ample undercover drying space, sadly much used given Exmoor’s climate!

The main site area itself is fenced and provides a good level camping area and is ideal for games and team building activities. We have recently installed a gate giving easy access to the river as it is often used as a natural fridge or more often it seems for water-fights!

The outer site area provides additional wild camping areas and steep woodland that again can be used for team building activities, this outer area opens direct onto the moor giving access to one of the most remote and untouched valleys on Exmoor. We have recently added a temporary nature watching hide at the top of the site, this it is hoped will become a permanent feature when we have decided if its location is right.

The site is approximately a km from the nearest houses and has some of the darkest night skies in the world making stargazing an unforgettable experience for those more used to town life.