LORD de Mauley, minister for Natural Environment and Science was greeted by Exmoor Horn Sheep and Exmoor Ponies at the launch of the Exmoor Hill Farming Network.

During his visit to Exmoor National Park, the minister joined upland farmers and heard about the Network's plans to support farming families and farm businesses.

The event was hosted by Oliver and Jill Edwards at Westermill Farm, who led two farm tours during the afternoon to explain their approach to livestock, forestry and land management.

Helen Aldis, newly appointed manager of the Prince's Countryside Fund who are funding the Network, also attended the launch.

“The launch was an opportunity for farming families to discuss what they want from the Network, to find out what we are doing and to spend time together celebrating changes and opportunities for Exmoor farming,” said Network chairman Dave Knight.

“As an independent farmer led network, we want to increase farming incomes by supporting the next generation and improving livestock and land management.”

Network officer Katherine Williams added: “The Network is an information and coordination service to ensure Exmoor's upland farmers get access to the training, knowledge and new opportunities available from national schemes.

“Over the spring we have organised sprayer operative courses, information events on the new sheep movement requirements, farm visits and talks targeting particular issues and groups across Exmoor.

“It's free to join the Network, so get in touch and let us know what you want, and we will organise it.”