Quantock Hills Blog

My Quantocks

- Ranger Owen tells us what he loves about the Quantock Hills

Katy Coate

Posted by Katy Coate on 11 August 2013

My Quantocks I think my favourite thing about the Quantock Hills has to be all the different landscapes that are in such a small area. The fact you can walk from combe to sea in a day and find new places that are away from the crowds. It’s also great because of the wildlife but also because I can explore it by bike or on foot or with the mutt!

I’ve only known the Quantocks for about 3 years, although I did visit with my middle school when I was about 9 and spent the day walking here but I don’t think that counts. I’m still discovering new areas but have a good overall understanding of the Hills mainly thanks to the constant need to walk the four legged friend.


My favourite bits are up Hodders and Holford combes, they are easily accessible but feel a million miles away once you’ve gone more than a couple of hundred metres.  I also love Cothelstone Hill, I work up there a lot as the AONB Service manages Cothelstone Hill on behalf of Somerset County Council, I never get bored of those views and all the changes season to season.

I am really proud of the work we are doing to conserve and enhance the beauty of the Quantocks.  The Commons are looking fantastic (thanks to everyone’s efforts) and all the other habitats are thriving. I also work for the Forestry Commission as their Quantock Ranger (I have a joint post).  I would have loved to have seen Great Wood 100 years ago when more than 100 people worked in the forest as I think it must have been a simpler time and that really interests me. My job as a Ranger gets me out on the ground, meeting all sorts of people who live in the Quantocks and work the land. Farmers, landowners, visitors. Part of my job is to ensure that we are all working towards the same goal, but it’s good to share stories and learn from local knowledge.  Most days I have my day pretty much planned out with talking to event organisers or removing scrub with volunteers at Cothelstone Hill or talking to landowners about a new trail; and then just when I think it’s all calm there’ll be a tree down somewhere, or a sick Exmoor pony or an incident at Ramscombe that needs to be dealt with, so life is always very busy - but that’s what I like about it!

If I was to recommend one of our circular walks I’d say it’s got to be Kilve to East Quantoxhead and back. Stunning views back across the Channel or up to the Hills…...on a good day anyways. A lovely walk in beautiful surroundings and the chance of finding a fossil or two and as much drift wood as you can carry!  If you haven’t walked it yet, try it, it’s one of my favourites! click here




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The Quantock Hills AONB Service now has a Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund providing grants of up to £20,000 to local communities, farmers, landowners and individuals. The fund has been provided by EDF Energy and is part of the mitigation measures associated with the Hinkley Point C development.

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Useful Contacts

Quantock AONB Service
Tel: 01823 451 884

Somerset Wildlife Trust
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National Trust
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