The Exmoor Trust began in autumn 1998 when Major General Edwin Beckett put a notice in the local paper inviting anyone interested in the future of Exmoor to attend an open meeting in Dulverton Town Hall. He had invited the Dartmoor Trust to talk about what it does on Dartmoor and one or two others spoke as well.
A steering group was formed and following another public meeting a board of trustees was elected with Edwin Beckett as Chairman. Shortly after this the foot and mouth crises began devastating everyday life on Exmoor.
Exmoor nearly shut down over that period and The Exmoor Trust started to raise funds in order to assist the local community at this very difficult time. The government offered to match fund any monies raised in excess of £25,000 for the regeneration of Exmoor.
The Exmoor Trust managed to raise in excess of £35,000 and so received this same amount from the government on condition it was to be spent within 2 years. As well as supporting a number of Exmoor farming families who were not able to make a living due to the livestock movement restrictions following foot and mouth we also gave funds to a number of projects to help regenerate the local economy.
Once the crisis was over, our eventual aim was to be able to help those who were trying to raise funds for local projects, who had shown commitment by raising a large proportion of the required funds themselves.
The Exmoor Trust continues to support such causes today and will continue to do so in the future.