Special qualities in Exmoor

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10 reasons why Exmoor is a special place...

From wild open spaces to special wildlife habitats, high sea cliffs to a rich tapestry of history, Exmoor has many special qualities including:

  • The park includes large areas of open moorland providing a sense of remoteness, wildness and tranquillity rare in southern Britain.
  • You'll find a distinct and diverse landscape of softly rounded hills and ridges, with heather and grass moors, spectacular coastal views, deeply incised wooded valleys, high sea cliffs, fast flowing streams, traditional upland farms and characteristic beech hedgebanks.
  • It's a timeless landscape, mostly free from intrusive development, with striking views inside and out of the national park, and where the natural beauty of Exmoor and its dark skies can be appreciated.
  • You'll notice a mosaic of habitats supporting a great diversity of wildlife including herds of wild red deer, rich lichen communities, rare fritillary butterflies, bats, and other species uncommon in southern Britain.
  • A complex and rich historic landscape, it reflects how people have lived in, exploited and enjoyed Exmoor over the past 8,000 years, including burial mounds on ridges, discrete stone settings, ancient farmsteads and settlements, picturesque villages and historic estates.
  • It's home to a deeply rural community closely linked to the land with strong local traditions and ways of life.
  • The farmed landscape is where you'll find locally distinctive breeds such as Red Devon cattle, Devon Closewool and Exmoor Horn sheep, and herds of free-living Exmoor Ponies.
  • The park has an exceptional rights of way network, often rugged and narrow in character, and extensive areas of open country, providing superb opportunities for walking, riding and cycling.
  • It's a landscape that provides inspiration and enjoyment to visitors and residents alike.

Keeping it special - the role of the Authority