Friends of Quantock to care for land sold by SCC

Friends of Quantock are delighted to announce that they are taking over nearly 400 acres of the Quantock Hills from Somerset County Council.

Last year the Council declared the land surplus deciding instead to concentrate its limited resources on protecting essential frontline services. Following this, there was much anxiety about the future of the hills. Now charity Friends of Quantock will hold the areas known as Over Stowey Custom Common and Thorncombe Hill as custodians in perpetuity, on behalf of the people of Somerset and the many visitors from further afield.

This well-loved heathland is enjoyed by many for its bracing fresh air and magnificent views from Exmoor to the Mendips and across the Bristol Channel to the mountains of Wales. It will continue now to have free public access and people will still be able to range across the open landscape, as they have done for hundreds of years without restriction or concern, enjoying the peace and birdsong.
David Huxtable, SCC Cabinet Member for Resources, said: "We are delighted to transfer these lands to the Friends of the Quantock who satisfy all our very high criteria for management and stewardship of the land. It was always our intention to transfer our ownership to those who can invest their time and money, enabling us to concentrate our limited resources on protecting essential frontline services. We know these lands will be in good hands now and for future generations to enjoy as they always have."

The takeover has only been possible because of Friends of Quantock's long involvement with the Hills, their willingness to take responsibility for managing the sites and the support of their members: private individuals and local companies. They were so concerned for the beauty and welfare of the Quantocks that they were determined to find a way to keep them safe for posterity.

Alan Hughes, Chairman-elect of the charity said, "We are delighted to be able to take on the challenge of managing the land; but it will be a challenge as it will cost up to £5,000 a year to maintain it and we will need the support of more members. Work will be needed to its paths, car parks and woodland, as well as to protect its rare plants, birds and ancient monuments. This is a wonderful opportunity to involve local people in their heritage. We are grateful to Somerset County Council for making this takeover possible."

Friends of Quantock look forward to carry on working closely with the AONB service, local landowners, Quantock Commoners (who have grazed their sheep and ponies there since Saxon times) and others to protect this very special heathland for both visitors and wildlife.

Alan went on, "If you care about your environment and would like to help, please join us as an individual or business member and you will be very welcome at our local events, talks and walks."

To join Friends of Quantocks, or to give a donation to their special fund for Saving the Quantocks, download a form from the website at or contact the Secretary on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 01984 656633.


Katy Coate - February 2013


Stay in the loop

Annual Reports

View Annual reports from the Quantock AONB Service

Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund

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.

Information leaflets

Find out more about the geology of the Quantock Hills AONB, why the heathland is so important for birds, the red deer on the Quantocks and why the history of the landscape is so special.

Other organisations and activities in the Quantocks

A few things you might find interesting from organisations we work with in the Quantocks

Photography Competition Entry Form

Please down load and return with your fabulous entries

Policys and Codes of Conduct

Everyone enjoys spending their time on the hills doing different activities. Below are some guidance and policy documents to ensure they are carried out safely and that wider regulations are followed.

Quantock Deer Count Results

Annual deer count results for 2010 to 2017

Quantock Hills and Planning

Downloadable documents for you to better understand the Quantock AONB and planning processes

Quantock Hills Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) Papers 2014 - 2017

Papers from the partnership committee the Joint Advisory Committee

Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019

This is the the Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019. It will guide work carried out to protect and enhance the Quantock Hills by the AONB team and all our partners. It has been agreed by the Secretary of State for the Environment and adopted by Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Recreation Leaflets

a full range of leaflets from circular walks to event guides and leaflets to allow you to enjoy the best of the hills

Terms and Conditions for Quantock Hills Facebook page

Terms and Conditions for

Tick Leaflet

Ticks are becoming more common and a bite from this spider-like parasite could lead to Lyme Disease. This is a treatable infection caused by bacterium transmitted by ticks when they bite. Not every tick carries Lyme Disease and it is important to realise that the disease is relatively rare.


Useful Contacts

Quantock AONB Service
Tel: 01823 451 884

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01823 652 400

National Trust
Tel: 01823 451 814

Forestry Commission
Tel: 01278 732 319