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The Annual World Bolving Championships on Exmoor

Video by Martin Hesp.

A very strange tradition

Each year on Exmoor there is a tournament that draws out the primeval in all who take part. As the sun sets in an autumn sky, a crowd of people follow an Exmoor National Park ranger to a hillside - and roar like stags!

Bolving is the name for the calls that Red Deer stags make in the rutting season. The bolvers try to imitate the deer, and get points for style, authenticity and how successful they are at getting a real stag to answer their roar!

For many years the championship has been dominated by the talents of Elvis Afanasenko. Pictured on the right with the trophy for 2012 (Photo by Beccie Clarkson).

Richard Eales, a ranger for Exmoor National Park, is the organiser. Each year it is hosted by the Rock House Inn at Dulverton and where they hold an auction and raffle. Funds raised from the event go to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, an essential service for Exmoor's countryside. Next year is the 10th Anniversary of the competition, which will be held on 19th October 2013.

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The Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and our local partners and funders. Part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013: Europe investing in rural areas.

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