Overview of the Exmoor Hill Farming Network
We are a farmer-led Network bringing information, training, demonstrations, grants and opportunities
to upland farmers across Exmoor. The Network is open to anyone farming in the Exmoor Severely Disadvantaged Area or Exmoor National Park. It is free to join the Network to receive our e-bulletin
“Agri-Update” and notice of all our activities. You can also follow us on Facebook.
This independent Network works in partnership with local farmers, local agencies and the wider Exmoor community to provide a long term information and support ‘hub’ for Exmoor’s farming community.
Celebration of Prince’s Countryside Fund Fifth Anniversary at Highgrove House, Gloucestershire
Centre: Katherine Williams Network Officer, Right: Dave Knight Network Chairman with HRH Prince of Wales
Exmoor Farmers State Their Position
Latest News & Events
Exmoor Women in Farming Group – February Meeting
Wednesday 8th February 9.15am-3pm
Healthy Stock on Exmoor with Bill Hill – Animal Health Adviser and Lin Burnell...
Is your farm exposed to business risk?
Monday 27th February 2017
Whether it’s feed and milk price volatility, disease risk, a change in political ...
EHFN JOB VACANCY ADVERTS
Over the last few months local businesses/individuals have approached the network to advertise jobs on Exmoor. We would be delighted to assist you with any marketing and able to circulate by email to over 500 members on our database . Please email adverts or copy to the Network officer. We ask for a £20 fee which includes emailing out to our members, advertised on our jobs page on our website and EHFN Facebook page.
To book or for further information please contact the office on 01643 841455 or email@example.com
Upland farmers from Exmoor have come together to state their ambitions to deliver for people and
the environment through a reshaped agricultural policy, as the UK prepares to leave the European
Union. The priorities of Exmoor farmers are twofold: firstly to keep the benefits for the public and
society from upland areas such as clean water, carbon storage, diverse wildlife, recreation and
tourism; and secondly to support viable farm businesses that also maintain the special landscape
features of the National Park whilst taking into account revised trading and support policies.
The “Exmoor Ask” is for a package of public and private investment, overseen by the National Park
Authority, together with expert advice, local monitoring, binding contracts and a focus on innovation
to develop new market opportunities. These ideas are being put forward by the Exmoor Hill Farming
Network following their ‘Brexit’ discussion meeting held in December, which was attended by over
50 people. The farmer-led steering group of the Exmoor Hill Farming Network has worked with
Professor Janet Dwyer of the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) at the University
of Gloucester to produce a position statement from these discussions.
“Exmoor is special, shown through its designation as a National Park. It has been produced
by centuries of farming and the management of its iconic landscape features such as beech
hedges, heather moorlands and ancient woodlands,” said the Exmoor HillFarming Network’s
Chairman Dave Knight. “Exmoor’s farming families care deeply for this landscape and work
closely with many partners to protect and sustain it. We have over 30 years of experience of
which policies work well for Exmoor. The key to better delivery for the public and the
environment is working to national goals and policies through a locally customised scheme,
developed and monitored by a partnership of local farmers and agencies who know what
works in our area.”
The Network members have produced their position statement to increase understanding among
the general public, agencies, policy makers and those not familiar with upland farming and Exmoor.
It explains the range of benefits delivered by farming from food, clean water and wood, to wildlife, a
beautiful countryside and features of historical and cultural interest.
” The Network will continue to refine their “Ask” as more information emerges through the
coming months, working with other partners and farmer groups,” said Dave Knight. “We
want to be at the table for the ongoing discussions to develop a new agricultural policy as
we leave the European Union.”
Annual Christmas Review 2016
Left to Right: Katherine Williams, Bryan and Liz Griffiths and Dave Knight
Over 50 farmers joined us for our Annual Christmas Review at The Music Room, Woolhanger by kind permission of Mr and Mrs G Mellstrom on Thursday 8th December. The evening was an ideal opportunity to bring the farming community together to celebrate the networks third year. We enjoyed a 3 course meal with a review of the network activities and peer support groups. The evening was rounded off with our guest speaker Bryan Griffiths who was joined by his wife Liz. They are farming beef and sheep in North Devon and more recently runners up to the British Farming Award- Sheep Innovator of the Year. We held a draw , with grateful thanks to local donations from local businesses and an auction of table decorations raising £278.50 for the network and Childrens Hospice SW.
The Exmoor Society Founders Award 2016 Winner: EHFN Chairman Dave Knight
The Exmoor Society are pleased to announce that its prestigious Founder’s Award 2016 is given to farmer Dave Knight. It is for his work, in particular, in bringing farmers together, first with the forward farming group under the Exmoor Hill Farm project during 2009-13 and then as Chairman of its successor organisation, Exmoor Hill Farming Network (EHFN), which still incorporates that group. The EHFN focuses on improving farm incomes, profitability and sustainable land management. It is open to anyone involved in farming, with free membership, and organises training courses, farm visits, study visits, presentations and farm business support. All Dave’s time is given on an entirely voluntary basis. EHFN Network Office, Katherine Williams, said: “Dave is an absolute pleasure to work with and very passionate about Exmoor farming. I have a wonderful working relationship with him often found ringing him for his expertise or sounding out possible events. Nothing is ever too much trouble!”
Dave farms on North Hill on land rented from The National Trust and, on returning home from college, his father offered him ‘either wages or sheep’. He chose sheep knowing that, with good management and hard work, he could develop the farm business. Not only has he improved the performance of his sheep but of the grassland as well. No crops are grown on the farm which includes moorland as well as permanent pasture. All the cliffs and moorland have SSSI status. “I was completely blown away to hear of the award as it came as a complete surprise. I am honoured to have been recognised by The Exmoor Society because I am passionate about the state of Exmoor and its future”, said Dave. “Farming is at the heart of Exmoor both in providing a living from food production and for looking after the wonderful Exmoor landscape.” The award will be formally presented at The Exmoor Society’s AGM in September.
The Founder’s Award is sponsored by Halsgrove Publishing and is in recognition of notable service in furthering the Society’s aims. “Upland farming plays such a crucial role in maintaining the beauty, wildlife and heritage of Exmoor and in retaining its deeply rural community”, said The Exmoor Society Chairman, Rachel Thomas, “Dave’s work has brought farmers together though a network that responds to the many issues that farming faces and encourages the importance of conserving Exmoor’s landscape. He and his family have farmed in a particularly beautiful coastal area with spectacular views for more than four generations, playing a vital role in the local community.
February 2017 - View here
January 2017 - View here
December 2016 - View here
November 2016 - View here
October 2016 - View here
September 2016 - View here
August 2016 - View here
July 2016 - View here
May 2016 - View here
April 2016 - View here
March 2016 - View here
February 2016 - View here
January 2016 - View here
Forward Farming Group – Visit to Shearwell Data (November 2016 ) - Download here
Exmoor Women in Farming Group – November 2016 - Download here
Exmoor Forward Group – December 2016 Visit to Cotley Brewery - Download here
Ewe Condition Scoring / Lamb Grading Notes - Download here
EFFG - Visit to a local buyer September 2016 - Download here
EFFG - Rotational Grazing Notes August 2016 - Download here
Over the Gate (Issue 5) - Download here
RAM MOT Evening - Download here
Micro Farming Group Sept - Download here
Hinam Farm Visit - Download here
Hilltown Farm Visit - Download here
Deer Farm Visit - Download here
Is there a future for the small family farm in the UK? - Download here
Preparing for a successful lambing - Click here to view
State of Farming on Exmoor - View report here
State of Farming on Exmoor - View feedback here
State of Farming on Exmoor - View Summary here
Cosmic Social Media Training Guide - Facebook - Download here
Cosmic Social Media Training Guide - Pinterest - Download here
Cosmic Social Media Training Guide - Twitter - Download here
Exmoor Hill Farming Network
Cutcombe Market, Wheddon Cross,
Minehead, Somerset TA24 7DT
Tel: 01643 841455
Office Hours: 9am - 1pm (Monday to Friday)
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