Rest and be Thankful Inn at Wheddon Cross. Photograph © Steve Guscott

Rest and be Thankful Inn at Wheddon Cross. Photograph © Steve Guscott

Solar panels on Dunster Football Club pavilion. Photograph © Steve Guscott

Solar panels on Dunster Football Club pavilion. Photograph © Steve Guscott

Porlock Bay with Hurlestone Point beyond

Porlock Bay with Hurlestone Point beyond

Exmoor ponies on North Hill. Photograph © Steve Guscott

Exmoor ponies on North Hill. Photograph © Steve Guscott

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Here you will find details of projects with which the Exmoor Trust has been involved


 Living Landmarks Bid 2006

A consolidated bid for funding from the Big Lottery Fund "Living Landmarks" was submitted by the Exmoor Trust on 5th January 2006.


The completed application form is available here. (PDF)


A supporting document was also submitted giving some background to why and how the bid was constructed. Aspirations and goals of the bid with brief outlines of the 18 projects affecting Greater Exmoor are also included. This is available here. (PDF)


Although the bid was unsuccessful it drew attention to the urgent need for greater capital investment in Exmoor.
Many proposals were therefore incorporated into the Exmoor National Park's Management Plan.


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Broadband on Exmoor Report. February 2005

BT ADSL broadband enabled exchanges on Greater Exmoor are increasing. Lynton, Timberscombe, Winsford, Exford and Parracombe are now enabled and in the next two months Dunster, Dulverton and Washford will be enabled. The last viable exchange to be enabled will be Bampton in July 2005.


Exchanges at Crowcombe and Brompton Regis remain unviable, but a recent announcement by Somerset County Council of significant funding for broadband, may bring broadband to these areas in the medium-term.


There are still problems with subscribers requiring some sort of broadband, who are outside the BT limits for even its basic service of 256 kilobits. Alternative solutions, probably wireless, could be provided but cost may be an issue.


Further thought needs to be made regarding the requirements of businesses. Synchronous broadband may be high on any list of requirements and again these may be satisfied by wireless broadband.


There is a project in its early stages, to provide training and equipment for several parishes on Exmoor. Further details will be given at a later date.


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Broadband on Exmoor Report. October 2004

There are now four telephone exchanges enabled for ADSL broadband on Exmoor: Timberscombe (covers Wootton Courtenay, Timberscombe, Cutcombe and Wheddon Cross); Winsford; Parracombe; and Lynton. In November 2004, Exford will also be enabled.

During the first three months of 2005 Dunster, Anstey Mills, Dulverton and Washford will be enabled. Unfortunately Bampton will not be enabled until July 2005. There are several exchanges that have been deemed "unviable". These include Brompton Regis and Crowcombe.


Luxborough (too far from the Washford exchange) has introduced wireless to the Moor with a wireless link to the mast at Elworthy. Please look at the Luxborough website for further details. This system may be a useful template when looking at solutions to providing broadband to places like Brompton Regis and Crowcombe.


In late July 2004, BT did away with the cable length limit of six kilometres from exchange to subscriber for its lowest level product, 512 kilobit connection. Initially go to this Availability Checker and type in your telephone number or post code to check whether you can get broadband now. If your exchange is enabled and your distance and line quality is OK, you should be able to apply to your current ISP for broadband connection.


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Cutcombe Planning Meeting 2005

Moorland Hall, Wheddon Cross, 30 August 2005.


1. The situation continues to worsen so that residents here have to raise some 15 times their household income to buy an averagely priced home. These are the latest figures from the Exmoor National Park Authority's (ENPA) eighth annual house price survey. Prices are now 82% higher than the average house in the South West and 92% higher than the average house in the UK as a whole.

2. Although the inflating rate of house costs has slowed down it could be given a further boost when the new pensions provisions kick in next April.

3. However the rate of household income is not increasing at similar rates and there are many indicators that incomes on the high moor will stagnate or reduce.


Measures which need Review
4. The keystone of the housing dilemma is the ratio between income and house price. To that end measures to improve the local economy and incomes deserve support measures particularly for environmentally acceptable, higher tech, better paying light industries.

5. The costs of communication in the countryside are accelerating - especially the direct and indirect impact of fuel costs. The revenue costs as well as capital costs of running businesses in the remote areas need to be appreciated.

6. It is important that the situation is not exacerbated by the failure of government to ensure that its own processes are complimentary. First to ensure that grants/payments to differing bodies eg RSLs and District Councils are complimentary and have adequate supervision and audit. Second to ensure that changes in taxation are thoroughly pre checked for the potential impact on housing.

7. Affordable housing grants to RSLs should be related to proven and defined local needs, preferably through independent research. This should stop grants being made in excess of local need, and to balance the provision of the type of tenure required. National Parks have only limited controls on housing.

8. Careful research is needed to define the most appropriate balance of government support given to Shared Ownership. Shared Equity, or District Council Mortgage Assisted models.

9. Design Guidance within national parks needs to be reviewed against criteria of cost and social and environmental acceptability. More open approaches are needed for new, cost effective materials. Build techniques should be examined to further help reduce overall cost of building a new home.


Some Suggestions
10. Can consideration be given to increasing the tax benefits to land given and which would be acceptable for local housing?

11. Can support be given to Councils wishing to purchase strategic land as a ' land bank' to benefit future generations in employment or housing? Such land should be tied to purpose in perpetuity.

12. Can inheritance tax be reviewed so that principal residences benefit more?

13. Can conversions of larger properties receive tax benefits if being split up into smaller homes that are sold to local buyers?

14. Could the cost advantages of leasehold/freehold be used more to benefit first time rural homebuyers?

15. One bedroomed homes need priority ( WSDC 52% need one bedroomed homes).

16. Is there any way of involving existing banks and other mortgage providers in the process of supporting or replacing RHEs in the role of following up local people who have been identified through survey as being in ' local need' of obtaining a home. (Are RHEs qualified to undertake the detail of such work and who manages failures?).

17. Are RSL's biased towards rented affordable housing? If so why and what could be done to redress the balance?

18. Should 'staircasing' of shared ownership schemes within National Parks be affected by not being allowed to be open market?

19. Benchmark best practice in resolving common problems. Incentivise innovative proposals.

20. Can the 'third sector' be better organised to help. Are RSL's the only solution?

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