Rural Enterprise Exmoor

Understanding and supporting Exmoor's rural economy and links to the National Park.

The Rural Enterprise Exmoor initiative was launched in the autumn of 2019  to map and review current business activities across the moor and to gain a wide range of views from businesses around the challenges they face and future opportunities. This evidence will be used in developing a revised economic model for Exmoor identifying strategic priorities, principles and opportunities to support the Exmoor economy in line with the area’s designation as a National Park, ensuring local business views are represented.

Research Report - June 2020

Next steps

The research completed to date will feed into phase two of the project , currently scheduled for Autumn 2020 to focus on the way ahead considering both Covid-19 recovery and future opportunities.

Keep in touch

If you are interested in this work, or willing to help support it, please email

You can find us on Twitter @RuralEntExmoor or request to join our Rural Enterprise Exmoor group on Facebook.


Anecdotal evidence suggested that national datasets underestimated the breadth and depth of business activity undertaken on Exmoor due to utilizing VAT And PAYE registrations and thus overlooking sole traders and many micro businesses that dominate our rural economy.

The research for Rural Enterprise Exmoor aimed to map the true extent of business activity and to engage with a range of these micro-businesses who have chosen to operate within Exmoor to report their views.

The initial research element of the project was undertaken by Wavehill,an independent research organisation.

The project is supported and funded by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, West Somerset Opportunity Area, Somerset County Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council and North Devon Council.