Guildhall Heritage and Arts Centre

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The Exhibition Room
The Main Exhibition Room on the ground floor is the first part of the Centre visitors usually see. Just inside the entrance is the Centre's shop, a vital source of income offering a selection of locally themed gifts together with second-hand books and plants. Visitors will be greeted by one of the wonderful band of volunteers without whom the Centre could not function.

This room is the location of the Centre's main exhibition which runs throughout the season (April to October) sometimes for one year and sometimes for two seasons. See below for details of the current exhibition.

Butterflies of Exmoor
A celebration of the special butterflies and moths of Exmoor

Exmoor is home to two of the rarest butterflies in Britain; the Heath Fritillary pictured above and the High Brown Fritillary seen to the right.
Sadly, three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline. Data now shows that butterflies and moths are declining faster than most other well-documented groups of plants or animals.

Exmoor, with its diverse range of habitats, is an important place for butterflies. There are approximately 59 species of butterfly in Britain; 33 of these may be found on Exmoor, including some really special species. Butterfly Conservation, the charity dedicated to saving butterflies and moths, have been working closely with private landowners and partner organisations across Exmoor for over 10 years. In 2017 they launched a new project called ‘All the Moor Butterflies’ with help from a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant and other funders such as Exmoor National Park Authority.

The project works across three famous moorland landscapes; Exmoor, Dartmoor, and Bodmin Moor. It aims to halt and reverse the declines of six butterfly and moth species by working closely with landowners, providing advice and volunteer assistance where needed. The project also aims to raise awareness of these special species and create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to see and enjoy them.

The High Brown Fritillary is one of the project’s target species. This butterfly used to be widespread, but due to a combination of reasons, including a decline in coppicing practice, it now only occupies 5% of its former range. Exmoor is now one of the best places in Britain to see this large, brightly coloured butterfly.
To find out more about Exmoor’s special butterflies, where to see them, and the work involved in saving them please visit our Main Exhibition room on the ground floor.

For more information about the ‘All the Moor Butterflies’ project visit:

The project officers are always looking for more volunteers to help with butterfly surveying and events across all three moors. If this is something you think may interest you please contact Megan on

This exhibition is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funders including Exmoor National Park Authority, Natural England, and The Environment Agency.
Butterfly images copyright of Iain H Leach.
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