We might guess at what our taxes pay for, but we now know that each tax payer contributes ￡1 annually to the cost of maintaining all of our national parks, Ione Willcock, one of the four Exmoor rangers, told us at our March meeting.
Each of these rangers has a patch of 70 square miles to look after. Their role has three components – looking after Exmoor, its landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage; helping people to enjoy the moor; and working with the local community to ensure their social and economic wellbeing.
We learned a lot about the wildlife to be found on the moor, and about the current programme of swaling – burning the vegetation on the moor in carefully-controlled areas. This moorland plants, which in turn provides grazing for livestock and habitats for wildlife.
It’s easy to forget that Exmoor has a coastline, but this also falls to the rangers to maintain – Ione runs rock pooling sessions for all ages during the summer.
The WI has a reputation for an interest in domestic activities, but it isn’t all tea and cake for our members – several of them had a go at the 40 Commando Trim Trail recently, and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.
Next weekend a dozen members are having a weekend in Ilfracombe, and some are hoping to cycle along the Tarka Trail. The Book and Cinema Groups are flourishing, and the number of members going along to the quiz night at the World’s End each month is increasing. Unfortunately, the increased numbers haven’t resulted in increased success – we fielded three of the four teams present this month, and came 2nd, 3rdand 4th!
The next meeting is at the Beambridge Inn at 7.30 on Thursday 16 April, when we are hoping to pick up style tips to suit our shapes.
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