TWO members of an Exmoor farm support group attended the first Royal Garden Party of the year at Buckingham Palace last week.

Exmoor Hill Farming Network (EHFN) manager Katherine Williams and chairman Ian May were among 8,000 guests invited to spend an afternoon in the palace gardens with King Charles and Queen Camilla, who were accompanied by the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

Garden Parties were established to allow the Royal family to meet a broad range of people from all walks of life who had made a positive impact in their community and to celebrate their achievements.

EHFN, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has become a respected go-to hub for farming information, training, and networking on Exmoor and surrounding areas.

It is regarded as one of the UK’s most successful and active farmer networks and has received national recognition.

Ms Williams has been involved as an officer since its inception and has seen the network evolve to support 450 farming businesses located in the Greater Exmoor area.

She said: “I feel very privileged to be part of the Exmoor Hill Farming Network and I am so passionate about the work that we deliver and seeing the difference it makes to many of our farming businesses.

“It was a huge honour to attend the Royal Garden Party acknowledging my contribution to the network.

“I will cherish the memory for many years to come.”

EHFN received the invitations from the Royal Countryside Fund, whose executive director Keith Halstead said: “The fund was delighted to nominate representatives from the Exmoor Hill Farming Network to attend the Buckingham Palace Garden Party in recognition of the terrific work they do in their community to support local farmers.

“We are proud to be a longstanding supporter of EHFN and to work with them in providing free support to small family farms through our ‘Farm for the Future’ programme.”

EHFN was established in 2014 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.