Welcome to the Mend Our Mountains Exmoor appeal.
We're trying to raise £8,000 for two very different projects in Exmoor National Park. You can help us repair it by pledging today - the £8,000 we want to raise will enable us to undertake urgent work to halt the erosion in this area.
Exmoor is one of England's natural gems - a gorgeous wilderness in the heart of the South West with wild moorland, hidden valleys, gorgeous rivers and plenty more to discover. Our efforts here are a little different too.
We're supporting two projects in Exmoor. The first is a major restoration project on the High Chains Coombe, an a plateau of open moorland that contains the highest point in Exmoor. The second is a new bridge to cross the River Barle, that will connect up the Two Moors Way - a fascinating walking trail that links Exmoor and Dartmoor.
As you can see from the photos below, the Chains can become a dangerous quagmire. At times, Exmoor National Park Authority have actually had to stop horse riders from using the path, because there was a serious danger of becoming stuck in the thick mud. This has a knock-on effect too – walkers and riders have diverted away from the path into a nearby SSSI which has become eroded too as a result.
But the situation at Great Bradley, where we want to build a new bridge, is entirely different! The Two Moors Way currently follows a rough permitted path on the eastern bank of the River Barle. This is less than ideal for a number of reasons – and there is a much better, wider and more secure route on the western bank which follows a bridleway. To make matters worse, when the path gets to Great Bradley the crossing point is just a ford – impassable on foot for much of the year and off-putting for all but the most serious of walkers and riders.
The solution - and what your pledge will do
We need your help to allow us to continue important repair work along a two kilometre section of the Chains – we have a specialist, local contractor but we need him there for weeks to make a real difference. The technique involved is called soil inversion - an innovative system that will significantly improve the health of the pathway, without the need for imported materials. However, it requires heavy equipment and well-trained people to use them - your pledge will ensure we have the funds to carry out this amazing work.
At Great Bradley, we have already secured help from the landowner and a suitable bridge has been sourced from a previous project. It might sound like it’s all been sorted already… right? Wrong!
The bridge needs to be completely refurbished, then transported to the site. After that, ramps and abutments will have to be specially built and everything fixed into place. If that wasn’t complex enough, the site itself is inaccessible so specialist machinery and skilled contractors will be needed to do this.
Your pledge can help us build the bridge into the landscape - it means we can move the Two Moors Way route onto the western bank where it can be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come.
To help us reach this total (and those in our other Mend Our Mountains projects) we're working with a huge number of partners, many of whom have made incredibly kind donations - you can see some of them below.
It means we can offer an amazing range of rewards - from t-shirts and mugs to unique experiences. You can see all of these, many of which are exclusive to the Exmoor projects, on the right. We think there's something for everyone, on any kind of budget, and we've worked hard to make sure our partners are offering you something really great in return for your valuable pledge.
And it's not just about Exmoor. As you've probably guessed, Mend Our Mountains is a huge campaign, spanning the entire family of 15 UK National Parks. We've got 13 primary projects in 11 parks, and every park will benefit in some way. Crowdfunding is just part of what we're doing - we want to raise £1,000,000 in total, the most ambitious campaign of its type ever.
If you want to take a look at all the projects in the appeal, and see how close we're getting to our overall target, check out the Mend Our Mountains Crowdfunder Homepage.
Pledge today and protect Exmoor for the future.
Organic cotton Mend Our Mountain tees. Sizes shown: Men’s Medium, Women’s Small