The Mary & Brian Chugg Conservation Award

The Mary & Brian Chugg Conservation Award, formerly the Samuel Foss Conservation Award, is presented to people who have contributed significantly to the conservation of Exmoor.  If you would like to nominate someone who has made a conservation contribution in some way that had benefitted Exmoor, please contact us by 31 May. 



The award was given to Mrs Linda Blanchard in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the discovery and protection of Exmoor’s historic environment and the Longstone Landscapes Project in particular.



The Award was given to the “Graze the Moor Project” as an exemplar of partnership-working between the owner and tenant farmer, Natural England, ENPA, Environment Agency, expert consultants and academics.  An innovative grazing project based on Molland Moor (681 hecatres) that ended in 2019. The Project Report showed that, through introducing an experimental moorland system including over-wintering of cattle, there was evidence of over 75ha of heather regeneration, increased breeding birds population, no loss of farm profitability compared with conventional upland beef and sheep farming.  However, there was an increase in heather beetle attacks contributing to ongoing heather loss.

Members of the project team: Chair: Simon Thorp, retired Director of The Heather Trust; Dr Allan Butler, Royal Agricultural University; Professor Janet Dwyer, Countryside and Community Research Institute; Dr David Boyce, independent ecologist; Mike Pearce, Natural England; Christina Williams, Molland Estate; Steve and Richard Langdon, tenant farmers at Luckworthy Farm, Dave Barrow, Moorkeeper, Julie Tucker, Farm Secretary.

Credit is also due to ENPA’s Sarah Bryan, Rob Wilson-North, Alex Farris and Heather Harley for their work on the steering committee.


Previous recipients 1989 to 2019.