Exploring Exmoor with our president, Caroline Quentin

This week our president Caroline Quentin took a trip to Exmoor National Park to find out about work the Authority are doing to connect people with the cultural and environmental landscape. Gemma Rogers, our campaigns and communications officer talks about the day!

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to go out with Caroline Quentin in Exmoor National Park after the Authority invited her to go on a day trip. Caroline lives close to Exmoor National Park, but seeing it from the perspective of the Authority and the people who work there was a totally different (and fantastic!) experience for both Caroline and I.

I must start by saying how absolutely spectacular Exmoor looked on a crisp autumnal day. I love National Parks but normally spend most of my time in London, often looking at photos of National Parks (by the way if you've got a spectacular one, enter our photo comp now!) Wow, the colours this week, the trees almost the full spectrum, the smells of autumn and a bit of a crunch under your feet. I can honestly say there is nowhere else in the world I would have rather have been!!

From left to right: Janette Ward - CNP, Tim Braund - ENPA, Andrea Davis - ENPA, David Huxtable - ENPA, Caroline Quentin, Penny Webber- ENPA, Rachel Thomas - Exmoor Society

We were joined on the day by Andrea Davis, chairman of Exmoor National Park Authority, Janette Ward, Penny Webber, ENPA member, our vice chair and Rachel Thomas, chairman of the Exmoor Society.

First stop was the Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning, run and owned by the National Park Authority. Pinkery is a wonderful place, and you can completely imagine why children love it there, with the freedom to explore the beautiful countryside and do lots of great activites such as a low ropes course we had the opportunity to check out! One of the things on Caroline's agenda since starting as our president is ensuring that children and young people are using National Parks.! It was fantastic to see that Exmoor are definitely doing this - especially as one of the Government's targets for the 8 Point Plan which came our earlier this year is connecting young people with nature.

After that we went to Simonsbath to learn about a community-led project in the area which was once a Royal Forest. We learnt all about the mysterious Knight family who bought the area in the 1820s, the lost gardens in Ashcombe and what the National Park Authority are going to be doing with some historical buildings. I'd never heard about this before, but since I've been doing some serious researching on the National Park Authority's website. We were all absolutely enthralled by the story!

We all had a fantastic time, so I'd like to say a huge thank you to Exmoor National Park for inviting us and of course to Caroline Quentin for joining us on such a wonderful day out in Exmoor.