EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK PARTNER

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It is an honour and privilege to announce we are now an Exmoor National Park Partner. As a partner we continue to to work within our ethos and showcase our commitment to the 5 core themes set to ensure Exmoor is kept special for generations to come.

Who are we

We are a humble family run business. We offer all aspects of tree work, forestry, woodland management, sawmilling and re-planting thus providing the people of Exmoor a cyclical service for their trees or woodland space.

Three Atop has been trading as a partnership since 2019 and 2 years previous to this a sole trader. As of September 2022, Three Atop changed entity and became a limited company.

We took over a licence to work from the historic Simonsbath Sawmill in July of 2019 with such passion and grand ideas as to how we could ensure it was used for its intended purpose, provide employment opportunities and ensure the history lives on through experiential tourism. The company currently employs 5 people and collaborates with other local business to work in keeping with our landscape.

Supporting a thriving landscape

Our passion is to encourage a culture of using purpose grown trees as the crop they were intended for and in turn promoting healthy, working woodlands. A working, and inherently financially viable, woodland is a sustainable one and in turn more likely to survive in the future. A well-managed/coppiced woodland, working on rotation, can act as a successful carbon sink as well as producing materials/products that will sequester carbon in their dormancy.

Most importantly these woodlands provide employment for the people of Exmoor, increase biodiversity, act as ecological corridors and combat climate change in its ferocity. When talking about the Exmoor landscape, we emphasize the relationship it has with those of us that live here. A symbiosis that has been lost in recent times, with the vast reduction in a culture of working woodlands. Exmoor is a working place through and through so one of our main goals is to create employment opportunities for the current and future generations. Our population is declining to an unsustainable level as our young people move further away from the area seeking employment. Without the next generation, how are we to pass on and teach our working culture, our heritage and skills?

Connecting people and places

Simonsbath Sawmill is steeped in legacy and history. The story of James Bovey and the Knight family is so important to this pocket of Exmoor. Without John Knight and his elaborate plans, Simonsbath wouldn’t be what it is today. Simonsbath really is the gateway between the boarders and such an important part of our culture, communities and landscape. We need our history and culture to survive. It is our responsibility to make sure it survives.

We took over a licence to work from the sawmill in July of 2019 with such passion and grand ideas as to how we could ensure it was used for its intended purpose, provide employment opportunities and ensure the history lives on through experiential tourism. We currently host Exmoor Heritage Sawmill tours. A half day tour, connecting visitors to the vast cultural heritage of Simonsbath and understanding the importance of managing our woodlands whilst conserving and preserving the beauty of our National Park. Including a uniquely Exmoor inspired lunch featuring wonderful produce from local businesses right here on the Moor. These tours are a part of the National Parks Experience collection. Exmoor Heritage Sawmill Experience – Three Atop

Working towards a sustainable future

One issue we have on Exmoor is that a lot of the timber available to process has outgrown its original intended size. This certainly exceeds the capabilities of the heritage mill at Simonsbath. We proposed a project that facilitated the purchase of a bandsaw that could not only process at a far greater efficiency but also on a larger dimensional scale. With 40% funding from the FiPl grant we increased our ability to process timber up to 3 foot wide, double the size that we can process currently. A perfect mix of old and new processes and skills to deliver the cyclical dream.

Our intrinsic approach to sourcing and distributing timber is to mitigate our carbon foot print with transport of timber.

Externally sourced, tanalised timber is not only poor quality, but could have been harvested hundreds to thousands of miles away. It has then been treated chemically and transported to its destination. By harnessing the naturally rot resistant characteristics of oak, chestnut, larch and Douglas fir we remove the treatment process and reduce the transport of the timber. Feasibly an oak gate post could travel a mere fragment of the distance of an outsourced piece of timber.

Other products consist of owl, bat and bird boxes (with the obvious benefits to biodiversity and habitat creation/mitigation). The results of this project are set to benefit the greater Exmoor community and with increased demand, will promote and carry out a cyclical process of woodland/timber products having positive effects on the woodlands of Exmoor. With the addition of an intern project, facilitated by the increased output and demands, the skills shared will hopefully contribute to the livelihood of not just one individual but many people in the years to come.

Working together for Exmoor

Working together is the crutch that holds up the community of Exmoor. Without collaboration Exmoor businesses and communities wouldn’t thrive.

We carry out charitable works that consist of a monetary or time donation. Over the past 2 years Kerrie has been freelancing for the Rural Enterprise Exmoor project. Much of this work has been to facilitate business to business interaction and collaborations pushing the “support local” messaging. This has translated into our own business as we are both extremely passionate about supporting the local economy of Exmoor. 

We collaborated on projects such as the My favourite tree competition – Three Atop! This will relaunch January 2023, encouraging the next generation to really think about what their landscape means to them.

We have donated time to local businesses completing F.O.C tree works and business support.

The team have joined ENPA on community planting projects for Bye Hill to assist with the management of volunteers.

We arrange networking events from Simonsbath Sawmill. This is an opportunity for local businesses to promote and sell their products/services to local communities. All donations going to Caremoor for Exmoor.

We spend a lot of our time linking up with businesses from different sectors across Exmoor. Enlisting their services or offering ours should they require it.

Without the agricultural community, our business would not be where it is today. As a small family run growing business we do not have the capital for larger machinery whereas the farming community do. We have collaborated with them on many contracts and their assistance has been paid in kind, swapping service for service. We work very closely with Exmoor National Park across different departments to ensure Exmoor and its people is the very best it can be.

Communicating the message

Not only are we committed to creating a better future for Exmoor, we ensure we shout about it as well. We continually encourage others to get involved and support their local businesses and communities.

We donate monthly to CareMoor – Welcome (exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk) and share all donations across our social media channels. Any donations to the community or ENPA projects are shared across social media channels. This includes important and relevant messaging or projects we may not be directly involved with.

We use Exmoor Branding material on our website and across our e-comms inclusive of the #weareexmoor across social media channels. We use our blog and social media to educate on the importance of certain works across our landscape. Including conservation projects and squirrel management. Both of which can be a controversial subject on occasion. Three Atop Woodland Services (@threeatop) • Instagram photos and videos

Exmoor – Park Partners (exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk)