In memory of Bet Wilde

Bet was born and raised on Exmoor. She tragically and unexpectedly passed away on the night of the 21 May 2024. She had been an Information Advisor at our Lynmouth Centre for over 6 years, having previously volunteered with the National Park at the Centre and at numerous public events, helping people to discover more of what makes Exmoor special.

Bet Wilde with her husband Dave volunteering on ExmoorIn that time, she has met thousands of residents and visitors to Exmoor from near and far. With everyone she would share her infectious passion for the history and wildlife of Exmoor, encouraging people to discover more of this very special landscape. We sometimes refer to our Centre teams as ‘Exmoor Experts’. Bet would always modestly deny being an expert, but anyone who has learnt anything about Exmoor from her will testify to her in-depth knowledge.

Bet would like nothing more than walking the moors in search of opportunities to discover and photograph wildflowers, insects, red deer, sunsets and general views. She was also fond of collecting animal skulls and researching Exmoor’s rich history to share with others. She was a particular fan of our popular Sea Shore Safaris and would love the opportunity to work alongside our Rangers helping people identify various critters and creatures found in the rock pools in front of our Centre.

Bet had also worked at the Lynton Tourist Information Centre and for almost 30 years was secretary to the village school in Lynton. Throughout her life she was actively involved in a huge array of community activities and continued to volunteer for various local events and projects on her days off. She would also generously help us proof read key publications like our annual Exmoor publication – a discreet but invaluable role!

It is testament to her that her family, friends and colleagues know that she’d be both honoured with the outpouring shown for her, but also mortified that people would have nowhere to come for information on the day of her funeral (19 June), as we close the Centres in a mark of respect and to allow colleagues to say goodbye. We can hear her saying “Well, what have you done that for?”.

Bet always had time for everyone and was always interested in the lives of others. Our thoughts remain with her own family and friends. In due course it is planned to honour Bet’s contribution to our Centre, and Exmoor at large, dedicating the film theatre at the Lynmouth Pavilion in her memory.

Rest in peace Bet, you will be much missed.

Dan James
Enterprise & Communications Manager

Image: The Exmoor coast in N Devon by Bet Wilde.

The Exmoor coast in N Devon by Bet Wilde