To all those who love Exmoor, After the trials of another lockdown, it’s a huge relief to be able to begin welcoming visitors back to Exmoor from next week (29th March). As restrictions ease this Easter and we are able to do more, it’s vital we stay aligned with the Government’s roadmap for moving out of lockdown, so as not to undermine the hard work we have all put in to suppressing the virus this winter. Your safety and wellbeing is our top priority and we would urge anyone planning a future trip to Exmoor to read the top tips on our website before you travel: www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/planyourvisit. Following this simple advice will help make a great day even better as together we take these first cautious steps out of lockdown. Perhaps not since National Parks were founded after the second world war have they been so important to our country – places for people to connect with nature and each other, to renew and restore their health and wellbeing. We know many of you have sacrificed time in the places you love, with the people you love, while others have endured losing loved ones to this dreadful disease. Last summer saw many more people out in the National Park and it was good to see them taking rubbish home, controlling and picking up after their dogs, heeding warnings not to BBQ and on the whole showing great consideration towards our communities, landscapes and wildlife. Throughout the lockdowns and re-openings, our farmers, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to help care for the landscape – signposting footpaths, removing litter, adapting infrastructure, making repairs, and putting intensive cleaning measures in place to help keep you and our communities safe. Thanks to all their efforts, you’ll find the same stunning views and historic villages here unchanged. And thanks to our amazing local businesses, who continue to go above and beyond to adapt and make visiting safe, you can expect the same warm Exmoor welcome. Please support them by booking ahead wherever possible and taking time to sample some of the delicious and skillfully made goods produced right here on the moor. Aside from the pandemic, other important forces of change are also acting on the nation’s landscapes. The ecological and climate crises have reached the global stage and are requiring us to re-evaluate the way people and nature must coexist. National Parks have a fundamental part to play and we hope your experience of Exmoor will inspire you to join us in furthering those efforts, through our Get Involved programme of events, training, and volunteering and through donations to CareMoor for Exmoor. Spending time in nature makes you feel better, it eases anxiety and promotes a sense of wellbeing. Throughout this pandemic and beyond we hope the National Park continues to be a source of sanctuary and solace, hope and sustainability – for everyone.
Exmoor National Park Authority