My wife Julie and I moved to Coburns Barn, Bishopswood in 1993 and fell in love with the Blackdown Hills as a place to raise our family.
I have spent most of my working life in retail management with M&S and Argos, before running my own small business trading on the internet as a specialist furniture dealer in the antiques trade.
Having sold my business, we moved to Malaysia in 2009, where Julie and I worked as teachers in a large international school near Kuala Lumpur, before returning home to Bishopswood in the autumn of 2014.
Now semi-retired, in my spare time I look after a flock of Jacob sheep and occasionally strum an acoustic guitar (not at the same time). I have been known to break into song. I have to break in as I can never find the right key.
I joined Otterford Parish Council in 2016 and have enjoyed playing a small part in dealing with Parish Council matters.
I have lived in Bishopswood for ten years.
Now retired, I have become involved in a number of voluntary activities – In addition to the Parish Council I am a member (and past chairman) of the Hall Committee, and a Trustee of both the Otterford Charity and the Blackdown Hills Trust.
I have also undertaken a range of projects for local organisations, and helped to run a kids club in Taunton.
I have also discovered beekeeping, Exeter Chiefs rugby, travelling, and two very good pubs in the parish.
I joined the Parish Council in 2011, and became chairman in 2015. I was – and still am – keen to see necessary works and projects undertaken (including some which the County Council can simply no longer afford) and to support social activities. I hope we have achieved that to date, and can continue to do so.
Rosie (Rosemary) Viant
I have lived in Somerset for all of my adult life, and nineteen years in The Blackdown Hills. I might therefore just qualify as a local!
As a retired teacher I have welcomed the opportunity since retiring to get involved with activities outside education. As well as serving as a parish councillor I am involved with Route1advocacy- a mentoring and advocacy service that supports young people deemed to be ‘at risk’.
I am a trustee of a charity that manages a herd of longhorn cattle which graze the open areas of the Blackdown Forest.
I work as a volunteer at Young Wood on a project that provides ‘Wild learning’ in a woodland setting for Taunton Homeless people and families from the Halcon area of Taunton.
My interests are conservation, walking, tennis and reading. Given my age and as a member of the Bishopswood Ladies I see myself particularly able to represent the views and interests of women and senior residents of the parish at Council meetings.
I come from a local farming family and have lived in the area, man and boy, for longer than I care to admit!
I am a self-employed farmer and one of the ‘Five Farmers’ who carry out estate management locally for non-farmer landowners.
I have been on the parish council for over 20 years and like to think that my local knowledge is useful in helping the council with its work.
In my limited free time, I am a keen skittler and play for a local team. I also help out every summer at the Blackdown Hills Beer and Music Festival.
Helen and I moved to the village of Bishopswood in 1999 and were married at St Leonard’s Church, Otterford. I am a Chartered Surveyor and work locally managing a large property portfolio for Somerset County Council.
I recently completed a 10-year stint on the Otterford Parish Hall committee and have been an Otterford Parish Councillor for over 10 years.
My spare time is largely taken care of watching my two sons’ show jumping exploits around the country and looking after our smallholding.
Penny Hart (Clerk)
I like to think of myself as a west country girl, having grown up in West Dorset, not so far away.
I have been a nurse, a civil servant and a library manager in the past, and Clerk here for the last 6 years. I have lived in Otterford for 10 years and I love it.
I hope I have made a difference to this community by volunteering, running a local community choir, being on the PCC at Buckland St Mary for several years and being a first aider, among other things. I am also a volunteer at Exeter prison, which I very much enjoy.