The Exmoor Radio Show – Episode 10

Artist papers being hand-made in Roadwater on Exmoor | The story of the Exmoor flag | Identifying Exmoor’s trees in winter | Exford’s blueberry farmer | The special qualities of Exmoor horn sheep wool

The Exmoor Radio Show shares stories and conversations with the people who work and play in Britain’s most magical national park. The programme is recorded on location in Exmoor and produced in Lynton by Keri Jones. In this episode of The Exmoor Radio Show:

Papermaking is in Jim Patterson’s Blood. He moved to West Somerset to work at Watchet’s paper mill and, when he was made redundant, he bought Roadwater’s 400-year-old former corn mill, Pitt Mill, as a base for his Two Rivers Paper Company. Jim and his three colleagues produce hand made paper for artists from deep within this wooded Exmoor valley. Exmoor Radio paid Jim a visit and discovered how he’s using traditional methods to create a unique artisan product, which is in great demand. (00:50)

Edward Christian dreamed up the idea for an Exmoor flag. Keri Jones went to meet Edward in his Brushford hotel and discovered that there are many rules and regulations to consider when deciding upon a regional flag. The winning design has been highly popular. You’ll see it fluttering on flagpoles and in sticker form on car windscreens all over the moor and beyond. In fact, you might be surprised just how far the Exmoor flag has travelled! (13:15)

If you think that it is difficult to identify Exmoor’s broad leaf trees in the middle of winter, think again. Exmoor National Park’s Robin Offer will reveal how wildlife and fungi can help nature lovers recognise the different species of trees in Exmoor’s woodlands. Robin is leading a party into the ancient Burridge Woods, above Dulverton, on 17th January. And he previews some of the sights and woodland stories he’ll share with his group. (20:00)

Most Exmoor locals and Exmoor lovers will have tasted the local fruit, Whortleberries. But Exford farmer Simon Keily decide to grow their relative – the blueberry – as a commercial crop. The project has been through tough times but Simon’s decision to attain organic status and to become a pick-your-own destination means that his blueberry business is facing a rosy future. Exmoor Radio went to visit Simon and learned that he grows many different blueberry varieties, including one that tastes like the childhood sweet cola cubes! (25:39)

If you had to live outdoors on Exmoor, and in all weathers, you’d become quite hardy. And that’s certainly one of the qualities of Exmoor horn sheep. Exmoor Radio spoke with farmer Lindy Head about this unique breed and how she’s spearheaded an initiative to promote Exmoor horn sheep wool produce. Lindy explains why jumpers knitted from the breed’s wool are so special. And she tells Exmoor Radio how the view inland from Bossington has inspired the wool producers’ colour palette. (31:32)