Summer on Exmoor

Summer on Exmoor

The long days of summer are a busy time for Exmoor’s wildlife with lots to do before the nights begin to draw in.

Beech trees come into leaf In early summer the brilliant translucent green of the new beech leaves are a welcome sight in Exmoor’s high hedges and woods. For more information see our pocket guide to Exmoor’s Woodlands

Exmoor ponies are born between April and August - after a gestation period of 11 months. You can often see them on the higher parts of the moor where they graze with their mothers, building up fat reserves and condition for the winter ahead.

The stonechat is one of the few insectivorous birds to tough it out through the British winters. They make a call that sounds like two pebbles being struck together, which perhaps explains their name. Adults are relatively easy to spot with their conspicuous collars and rusty breasts usually perched on top of a gorse bush. For more information see our Moorland Birds pocket guide.

For many species of butterfly high summer is their flight season when they need to find a mate and lay eggs. Exmoor supports good numbers of fritillary butterflies including the stunning dark green and silver washed fritillary and the rare heath and high brown fritillaries. For more information see our pocket guide to Exmoor’s Butterflies.

By late summer the high moorlands are transformed into the “purple headed mountains” made famous in the popular hymn. Bee keepers move their hives up onto the moors where the bees can produce the famous Exmoor heather honey.

Summer Highlights on Exmoor

Exmoor Big Family Campouts

There are 3 more Big Family Campouts on Exmoor this summer Join the adventure! Come along and camp in some of the most amazing locations on Exmoor. Set your camp, cook your dinner and enjoy our communal campfire, storytelling, and a night walk. Find more information here:

Exmoor's rivers and streams

On Exmoor you are never far from the sound of water, and the rivers and streams that flow from the high ground and have cut the many deep combes are one of the defining characteristics of the National Park. Download our Rivers & Stream Pocket Guide here, or pick up a free copy in one of our National Park Centres

Dragonflies and damselflies

This summer WildWatch is focussing on dragonflies and damselflies with species such as golden-ringed dragonfly, beautiful demoiselle, broad bodied chaser and black darter being just a few that you might spot on Exmoor.
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Summer Walks on Exmoor

Summer is the perfect time for walking on Exmoor, here are some of our favourites:

Hoaroak Valley Archaeological Walk

This 5.5 mile (9km) walk taking in the remote  Hoaroak valley, reveals evidence for human occupation over many thousands of years. Full details here:

Countisbury and Brendon

This 10 mile (16 km) walk takes in the Foreland’s massive cliffs providing superb views along the Exmoor coast and a contrast between its exposed western side and sheltered, wooded eastern side. Full details here:

Combe Martin Circular

This 5.5 mile (9km) walk shows off the superb scenery around Combe Martin. Full details here:

See our walking map for more suggested walking routes

Here are some upcoming Summer events on Exmoor. Or you can browse all events here

Family Butterfly Trail
Fri 27th July - Sun 2nd Sep

Tue 31st July - Sat 18th Aug

Hidden Dunster Guided Walk
Wed 15th Aug

Open Day at Simonsbath Sawmill
Mon 20th Aug

Summer on Exmoor, recording made by Martin Prothero for the Lynmouth Pavilion Project and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (best enjoyed through headphones). Click here to listen to all