What's on in pictures

Nick Andrew’s virtual First Saturdays

ARTISTS Nick Andrew and Tanya Hinton are unable to hold their regular First Saturday open studios at Bull Mill Studio, Crockerton, near Warminster, until the autumn at the earliest, but you can still see their latest work at their website www.bullmillarts.co.uk/OpenStudio.htm Nick says: “Even though galleries are closed and arts events are cancelled, hugely reducing…

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Springhead looks ahead

THE coronavirus pandemic arrived at a bad time for everyone and every business, including Springhead, the environmental education and cultural centre at Fontmell Magna. Springhead has been closed like so many businesses, unfortunately, says director Edward Parker, coinciding “with our busiest and most important time of the year – a time when there are usually school…

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Lighthouse commissions lockdown song

A SONG commissioned by Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre to celebrate the part that music has played in the history of the arts centre is a tribute to the famous “bouncing floor” in the concert hall. The multi-use centre hosts drama, dance and all forms of visual art but its beating heart has been popular music….

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Dorset Artists Emergency Fund launched

THE arts are essential for our morale, our mental health, our wellbeing and for bringing us together and are needed now more than ever. A group of Dorset arts organisations has set up an emergency fund to help freelance artists who are facing the complete collapse of their income as a direct result of the…

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Splendid isolation

WILTSHIRE photographer Nigel Hudson is using his skill as a professional photographer with more than 40 years experience to support Swindon’s Great Western Hospital charity, Brighter Futures. Nigel’s personal lockdown photographic project, Splendid Isolation, has developed into a fund-raising project. The collection includes studies of flowers, clouds, and ordinary domestic objects in extraordinary light and…

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Stars support Theatre Royal Bath fundraising campaign

TWO of Theatre Royal Bath’s most popular visitors, actor David Suchet and comedian and panto star Jon Monie, are supporting the theatre’s fundraising campaign, during the Coronavirus closure. David Suchet starred in the acclaimed TRB production of Arthur Miller’s The Price, which transferred to the West End, as well as delighting millions of television viewers…

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Gardens Group social distancing

THE Gardens Group has announced plans to manage social distancing at its three garden centres in Sherborne, Poundbury and Yeovil, when the business reopens on Wednesday 13th May. Among the measures to keep shoppers and staff safe are separate entrance and exit doors, one-way systems and a limit on the number of customers on site…

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Prince Charles supports cheesemakers campaign

THE Prince of Wales has backed a campaign calling for the public to support small cheesemakers, as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens the futures of many of the country’s most celebrated farmhouse and artisan cheeses. This message of support, which was accompanied by one of the Prince’s favourite recipes – for Cheesy Baked Eggs using British…

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From Dorset with love

THE new online exhibition from Sladers Yard at West Bay is From Dorset With Love, a collection of paintings, sculpture, carvings and ceramics by some of Dorset’s leading artists, on view until 21st June. The work in this selling exhibition includes recent paintings by Julian Bailey, Martyn Brewster, Vanessa Gardiner, Anthony Garratt,  Frances Hatch and…

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Blue sky thinking with Pound Arts

POUND Arts, based at Corsham, can’t hold the annual Blue Sky Festival but the arts centre has come up with an exciting digital alternative – Blue Sky and Beyond, which will run online from 8th to 14th June. The festival line-up includes comedy, music, theatre, spoken word, workshops and visual artists, which the organisers hope…

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Joy around the world

SURROUNDED as we are by grim statistics and constant reports of death from coronavirus – not to mention the currently under-reported tragedies in Syria and the Yemen – it is easy to forget how much joy there is in simple pleasures. To mark the launch of this year’s international photographic awards, CEWE, the Warwick-based photograph…

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Found from the Ship of Fools

THE new Art Work of the Week featured by the New Art Centre at Roche Court near Salisbury, is this clever and thought-provoking work by Bill Woodrow. What you see is not what you think it is. Endeavour (Cannon Dredged from the First Wreck of the Ship of Fools) is the tenth sculpture in Woodrow’s…

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Chutney cheers for the Cathedral

SALISBURY Cathedral celebrates its 800th anniversary this year. The celebrations began with a special service on the actual anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone on 28th April 1220 – online because of Covid-19 – and the launch of a remarkable art exhibition in the Cathedral and in the Close. They continued, the following…

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And then there were four!

THE day after the Bishop, Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral celebrated the 800th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone, there was more good news with the hatching of the first peregrine chick in the nest high up on the Cathedral roof – and then a second later in the day. By the…

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Lockdown Salisbury – Covid-19 project

THE Salisbury Museum, based in the historic Kings House in Salisbury Cathedral Close, is launching its first oral history project, Covid-19: Diaries for Salisbury, to capture the impact that the pandemic is having on the city and its residents. The museum is approaching key workers (including NHS staff, carers and teachers), asking them to keep…

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A taste of the help at hand

Updated Tuesday 28th April 6pm ONE of the joys of living in a rural area, particularly in villages or small towns, is the sense of community that you are likely to find in a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The majority of locals will know each other, and news travels fast. Most people are…

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Salisbury Cathedral 800th anniversary

SALISBURY Cathedral this year celebrates the 800th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone in its position on the flood plain. But the coronavirus lockdown has forced the Dean and Chapter to make very different plans from those originally envisaged. As a result of the Covid-19 guidelines regarding public worship, services marking the 800th…

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BookBound breaks the viral bonds

YOU may be stuck at home, in Covid-19 bondage, but there are exciting literary adventures to be found at an imaginative new virtual literary festival founded by Somerset-born writer Georgie Codd, the author of the critically acclaimed, newly published We Swim To The Shark. Georgie, with writer friends and book-lovers, and the support of  Wasafari magazine,…

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Ceramics at Sladers Yard

A NEW collection of ceramics is now on view online at Sladers Yard gallery at West Bay. The work by Mike Dodd, Akiko Hirai, Adela Power, Franny Owen and Paul Wearing, is being shown alongside Land Use, recent paintings by Alex Lowery. The gallery is showing a selection of domestic ware by Mike Dodd, a…

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Screen Bites support for food producers

THERE won’t be a Screen Bites Second Slice food film festival this year – thanks Covid-19 for another loss from our cultural calendar – but organiser Susanne Harding is still doing her best to support local food producers. “Obviously the Screen Bites Festival is not taking place this year (unless things miraculously change for the…

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Food Aid Support Service at Shaftesbury

SHAFTESBURY Support Group has launched a Food Aid support service to supply food boxes for people who are in urgent need. More than 100 volunteers have joined the group, including the Shaftesbury-based private chef and food writer Philippa Davis, who is providing professional help and advice. The support group has teams in place to meet…

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Shakespeare’s birthday box set

THE Royal Shakespeare Company has released a “box set” of six plays to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 456th birthday on 23rd April. Each will be available on the site for several weeks, so that viewers can see them all. The scheme marks a new collaboration between BBC Arts and the RSC, as part of a “Culture…

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Get crafting with Devon Guild

DEVON Guild of Craftsmen has gone virtual and the team is busy putting lots of exciting things to see and do onto the website, www.crafts.org.uk Members have started to film “How to’ videos so you can get crafting. The Guild has launched an online shop selling craft kits to keep you creative while staying at…

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Spring dreams from Knoll Gardens

A NEW ornamental grass from Wimborne-based grass specialist Knoll Gardens, Sesleria Spring Dream is a compact plant described as particularly good as dependable ground cover. Growing in compact mounds, durable and attractive, they require little maintenance, can thrive in a variety of conditions and are useful to soften edges of hard landscaping as well as…

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Mender Alert – Coward in Bath

WHO better to shine light at the end of the tunnel than Noel Coward, and that’s what Nigel Havers has in store for Bath audiences in October. In the fervent hope that theatres will be open for business by the time 1st October comes, Wiltshire resident Havers intends to launch his new company with a…

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Virtual tours of Sculpture by the Lakes

SCULPTURE by the Lakes, near Dorchester, is one of the many sculpture parks across the UK that are closed until further notice during the coronavirus pandemic. But to enable people to share the beauty of the park and lakes, the owners, international sculptor Simon Gudgeon and his wife and head gardener Monique Gudgeon, have started…

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Community foundation’s Covid-19 help

TWO weeks after launching its Wiltshire and Swindon Coronavirus Appeal on 20th March, with an initial aim to raise £100,000, Wiltshire Community Foundation has reported that the fund had received £250,000 in donations. Within the first nine days the foundation had made grants of £125,454 to 32 community groups, providing immediate relief in Wiltshire communities….

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Enjoy David Marl at the JCA Gallery

THE Dorset-based artist David Marl, who is best known for his beautiful, pastoral and often mystical paintings is the featured artist at the JCA Gallery at East Knoyle. He studied stained glass at the Royal College, a background that explains the delicate stained glass feel of his small windows, which seem to be lit from…

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Farming charity’s guide to coping with Covid-19 stress

YELLOW Wellies – officially the Farm Safety Foundation – is one of the charities boosted by cash from a £32 million support package announced by NFU Mutual, to help customers, communities, employees and agencies during the Covid-19 crisis. The Farm Safety Foundation, which is affectionately known as Yellow Wellies, is a small independent charity founded and…

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Keep culturally connected with Artsreach

THIS year is the 30th anniversary of Dorset’s rural touring arts charity Artsreach – and there were some interesting and exciting birthday plans, including what would have been the first visit to Dorset by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on Tour. But, rather than doing what it does best, bringing communities, audiences, professional artists and volunteers together,…

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Some news from Frome

FROME, one of the most vibrant towns in our region, is predictably taking some exciting steps to help businesses and the community during the Covid-19 crisis. We heard from Tina at Hunting Raven Bookshop in Frome’s picturesque Cheap Street about her shop’s recent success and about the new website with information on shopping options. Hunting…

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FaB news from Bath

BATH’s alternative Fringe Art Festival is moving online for 2020 with events running as planned from 22nd May to 7th June. A spokesperson for Fringe Art Bath said they would not be able to have the festival “as we know it this year, as part of the sacrifices we are all making in response to…

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More help in the pandemic

SMALL towns and villages often have a tight-knit sense of community that comes into its own at times of crisis – but Covid-19 is not like anything that any of us have experienced. If you are in quarantine with coronavirus or are vulnerable from age or health problems the people you normally rely on may not…

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Shaftesbury Community Radio emergency programme

SHAFTESBURY’s community radio station, Alfred, is due to start FM broadcasting next year, but the volunteers behind this not-for-profit service have started producing a 30-minute programme of Shaftesbury area news and information, seven days-a-week. “Things are changing by the minute, particularly concerning business operating hours and the support services available for self-isolating residents in Shaftesbury…

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Cheesemaker helps struggling milk supplier

THE pandemic produces some truly touching stories, alongside the fears and horrors. This story, which reached us via the Dorset-based Guild of Fine Food’s on-line Fine Food Digest, is really heart-warming. Yorkshire cheesemaker Caroline Bell of Shepherds Purse Cheeses has escalated production of one of its cheeses to help save a sheep’s milk supplier in…

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Herbal heritage at Lytes Cary

MUGWORT doesn’t have the most appealing name in English, but its scientific name “artemisia” will be familiar to anyone interested in the history of herbs. Its medical uses included preventing weariness on a journey, according to a 16th-century medical text that is the inspiration behind a herbal border at the National Trust’s Lytes Cary Manor…

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Peter Ursem exhibition on-line

JUST a month ago, print-maker and artist Peter Ursem was looking forward to an exhibition with The Arborealists, at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. Now, with the exhibition cancelled, because of Covid-19, in common with all visual and performing arts events, the Dutch-born artist, who lived in Dorset for many years and is now…

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Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show update

JAMES Cox, show secretary of the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show, currently scheduled for 19th August, has sent out a reminder that the closing date to book trading stands is 1st April. He says: “At this time plans continue as normal for what is expected to be a fantastic and successful Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show, with…

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Photographer returns to first love

WILTSHIRE photographer Nigel Hudson has recently retired after 35 years of professional film and photography for clients, and has returned to his first love, the printed image. He first picked up a camera when he was a student at St Martin’s School of Art in London in the mid 70s.  It is a tool that…

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Shop of the year win for Bristol deli

BRISTOL delicatessen Papadeli, in Alma Road, Clifton, has won the Delicatessen and Grocer category of the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year 2020 competition. The judges were charmed with its “general ambience” and range of homemade cakes. The winners were announced at the Fodder Farm Shop and Café in Harrogate. The awards are…

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We Swim To The Shark – Dorset writer conquers her phobia

IF you were born with the name Codd, raised by a loving, close-knit circle of family and friends, grew up by the sea on the Dorset coast and swam like a mermaid, the last thing you would expect is to develop an all-consuming fear of the creatures that live in the ocean. What are the…

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Quicke’s brings joy to food lovers

DEVON-based clothbound cheddar-maker Quicke’s, based near Crediton, has launched two food parcels with a difference – Joy Boxes, Devon-sent selections of award-winning food and drink, providing everything needed for a memorable meal in the garden or that long-awaited picnic in the park. Designed to spread some much-needed joy, whether sent as gifts, enjoyed al fresco with…

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New wines at Melbury Vale

MELBURY Vale, the vineyard and winery just south of Shaftesbury, has been busy during the coronavirus lockdown, producing new wines, and helping customers by offering contactless pick-up at the winery. The vineyard is run by brother and sister Glynn and Clare, Clare’s husband Joseph and Glynn’s partner Sarah. They are urging wine-lovers to follow the…

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Fingers crossed as Wells LitFest reveals first big name

THE future of any performing arts events or arts of literary festivals taking place this year is hanging in the balance. But the organisers of Wells Festival of Literature, are taking an optimistic view and have announced one of their big names for this year’s event, scheduled to take place from 16th to 24th October….

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Common Thread at Roche Court

THE spring exhibition at the New Art Centre at Roche Court, Winterslow, is Common Thread, celebrating the diversity of contemporary textile art The exhibition – online at www.sculpture.uk.com – examines the cultural and technological expression of culture through woven and dyed fibres throughout history and today. The artists with work on show are Jodie Carey,…

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David Hall launches crowdfunding appeal

THE David Hall at South Petherton, one of the region’s finest live music venues, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help it through the Covid-19 lockdown crisis. In common with arts and entertainment venues across the UK, the David Hall is closed and it is not clear when it will be able to re-open. The…

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A virtual anthem for the Cathedral

SALISBURY Cathedral has launched a special 2020 community project, inviting people to take part in the virtual premiere of The Salisbury Anthem, an online choral event marking the 800th anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral. The Salisbury Anthem is a song for the Cathedral and the city of Salisbury and the aim, says a…

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The art of eventing

STURMINSTER Newton equestrian artist Katie Scorgie is one of the artists taking part in a lockdown project called #artistssupportpledge and is also exhibiting in the new Virtual Eventing competition which starts on Wednesday 6th May. The pledge project is an artists’ self help scheme – when an artist has sold five works, each for no…

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Top ten frozen foods

THERE has been a huge increase in sales of frozen food during the Covid-19 lockdown. That’s not really unexpected as people shop for a week or more, but what is quite surprising is the top item in the list of ten products which have seen the biggest year-on-year increase, according to the frozen food specialists…

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Mill grinds flour again

THE ancient mill on the Stour at Sturminster Newton is grinding flour commercially for the first time in 50 years, in response to the demand from home bakers during the Covid-19 crisis. Sturminster Mill, beloved of painters and photographers, dates back to the Domesday Book and was a working mill until 1970. Since then it…

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Global award for Somerset artist

SOMERSET artist Fiona Campbell from West Cranmore has won a global arts award from Red Line Art Works, a UK-based arts project, which recognises art works dealing with major global concerns, such as the climate and ecological emergency, inequality, poverty and bad leadership. Artworks from around 45 countries can be seen on the Red Line…

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Creative connections at Salisbury

THE arts charity Wiltshire Creative, which includes Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury International Arts Festival, has launched a free online programme of work to entertain and inspire during the current Covid-19 lockdown. Wiltshire Creative Connects offers a mix of interviews and behind-the-scenes films, family activities and support for local artists. Artistic director Gareth…

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Coronavirus £300,000 toll on rural touring

RURAL touring arts organisations, including Artsreach in Dorset, Villages in Action in Devon and Take Art! in Somerset, have together cancelled more than 1,000 performances due to the coronavirus crisis. The total value of the lost performances is estimated to be almost £300,000, according to a report from the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF). For…

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A helping of BEAF stew

THE adventurous Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival, which inevitably had to postpone its live events, is continuing to support local artists and businesses, sharing their various creative and charity efforts through its new BEAF Stew newsletter. The aim of the weekly newsletter is to report good news, creative campaigns and workshops and activities online. The first…

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Celebrating female textile artists

THE latest in the series of Materials exhibitions at Messums Wiltshire is Textiles: Modern British Female Designers, viewable online at www.messumswiltshire.com until 31st May. The exhibition has been put on in collaboration with Gray MCA, a Bath-based fashion design, illustration and textile art gallery. The collection includes work by some of the most important female…

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Pick & Mix – museum’s first online exhibition

SALISBURY Museum has joined the increasingly varied online arts scene with Pick & Mix – @pickandmixtsm – an Instagram exhibition exploring the last 800 years of Salisbury’s history through fascinating objects and with a range of community voices. This first online exhibition for the museum and gallery in Salisbury Cathedral Close begins on 23rd April….

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Independents adapt for local communities

AS part of its wide-ranging support for small retailers and producers during the Covid-19 crisis, the Guild of Fine Food has been gathering and sharing ideas from across the UK’s independent food and drink retail community. With many in the south west nimbly adapting their offerings, the Guild hopes these stories will inspire the sector…

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Cooking in isolation with White Pepper

MOST of us – whether or not we enjoy cooking – are spending a lot of time in the kitchen in these difficult times, and there are chefs and cookery schools all over the country doing their best to help with tips, hints, recipes and guidance on making the most of what you have and what…

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Covid-19 help from South Somerset

SOUTH Somerset District Council is doing its best to ensure that communities receive all the help they need during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes offering extra support to vulnerable residents. A major part of this support is the new SSDC Wellbeing Hub which has been set up to supply food parcels and other supplies to…

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Rose Bowls in 2020

Gerry Parker offers some hope for those involved in amateur theatre and musicals THE Rose Bowl Awards for Amateur Theatre – there are 21 different categories ranging from Best Musical, Drama and Youth Produc­tion, Acting Awards, Adult and Youth, Technical and Best Publicity Awards – find themselves, rather like football’s Premier League, half way through…

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DCF’s Covid-19 fund

DORSET Community Foundation has launched the Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund to support local charities and voluntary organisations that are assisting some of the county’s most vulnerable people during the crisis. Donations raised through the foundation’s Dorset Coronavirus Community Appeal, as well as funds from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal will support community and voluntary…

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House sparrow tops Big Garden Birdwatch

NEARLY half a million people across the UK, including 7,878 in Dorset, spent an hour over the last weekend in January watching the birds that visit their garden or outdoor space as part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, counting nearly eight million birds in total. The results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch show…

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Keep fit with Rachel

YOU could join millions of others and watch Joe Wicks – or you could keep it local and get fit with local trainer Rachel Carter After a career in food, Rachel, who lives in north Dorset and is a member of the Guild of Food Writers and a regular judge at the Great Taste Awards,…

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New altar at St Thomas’s

WE think our readers need a bit of good news – or at least something to admire and enjoy, so here is a picture of the elegant altar which Hindon furniture designer Matthew Burt and his team have made for Salisbury’s historic St Thomas’s Church. The altar is made from tiger oak, an oak whose…

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Apple trees provide habitats for wildlife

MORE than 50 apple trees have been planted at Montacute House, expanding orchards that provide vital habitat for wildlife in the south west. The trees are part of the Tidnor National Collection of more than 150 varieties, which was saved by the National Trust in 2016. Orchards have been planted at Barrington Court and Tintinhull…

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