MORE than 230 people from Exmoor's farming community joined the Exmoor Hill Farming Network (EHFN) and The Farming Community Network (FCN) for their first ever Carol Service.

The service, which took place at Cutcombe Market on Monday, December 18, was conducted by Rev. David Weir. 

As seen on the Exmoor Hill Farming Network Facebook, Katherine Williams, network manager, said: "We were completely humbled by the support shown from the local community in making the evening such a success with a wonderful atmosphere.

"The service brought together people of all ages across Exmoor and we were delighted to welcome school children from Cutcombe and Exford First Schools to sing in the ring’.’

During the event, local farmers and representatives from Exmoor Farmers Livestock Auctions and the Exmoor Rural Health Hub took part in readings.

At the end of the evening, attendees were able to enjoy a delicious complimentary beef stew and festive treats, which were arranged by Heywoods Cafe.

In total, £609.25 was raised between donations and a prize draw, which will be split between the FCN and Exmoor Benefice.

Local businesses and those who took part have been thanked for their support.

Posting on Facebook, a spokesperson from the Exmoor Hill Farming Network added: "The Auction Market is more than just the livestock auction playing a vital role within our farming community. The ring was turned into a Winter Wonderland preparing everyone for the Christmas spirit.

"Thank you to many local businesses for their support and members of EHFN who gave up their time preparing and on the evening. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

The company's website reads: "The Exmoor Hill Farming Network was established in 2014, as a successor to the Exmoor Hill Farming Project (2009-2013), to improve the viability and sustainability of Exmoor farming businesses through knowledge-transfer, peer-group support, training, and co-operation to safeguard upland farming, rural employment and landscape management.

"Following a review of governance in 2019, the Network Steering Group established the Exmoor Hill Farming Network Community Interest Company which took over the running of the Network from North Devon + in February 2020.

"Our Vision for the Network is to provide the Go-to-Hub for Exmoor’s farming community, providing information, skills, support and inspiration."