Out and About

Take a walk on the wild side

IF you love the natural world and walking and can spare a few hours a week, the Countryside Restoration Trust has the perfect volunteer role for you at its showcase farm at Bere Marsh near Shillingstone in Dorset. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in the transformation project which is now under way at…

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New rangers at Ham Hill Country Park

FUNDING from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage has helped South Somerset District Council appoint three rangers who will help keep Ham Hill Country Park and its heritage protected and in tip-top shape for wildlife to thrive and visitors to enjoy. The funding is a rescue package to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across England…

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Cranborne Chase Starfest 2021

CRANBORNE Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the finest areas in the country to see the stars. The AONB became a Dark Sky Reserve last year, and this year’s Starfest will be the first since that important designation. The Dark Skies Festival will take place over the February half term, with most of…

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Culture Recovery grant for Ham Hill Country Park

SOUTH Somerset’s Ham Hill Country Park was one of 445 heritage organisations in England to receive a lifeline cash grant from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund The grant of £50,500 has been made to support a winter season of works at the scheduled monument to protect the heritage site is protected and ensure that…

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Barn owls have a new roof over their heads

A TEAM of carpenters, tilers and scaffolders have rescued Bere Marsh Farm’s barn owls from winter homelessness in the nick of time. Just a few months after the Countryside Restoration Trust purchased the farm near Shillingstone, an appeal was launched to raise funds to repair the building which has been the barn owls’ home for…

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Lockdown do’s and don’ts in South Somerset

SOUTH Somerset District Council has announced steps that have been taken to comply with the government’s new lockdown which is due to run until Wednesday 2nd December. The council’s actions are intended to ensure public safety in line with the new guidelines. The website will be continually updated with any actions as further details around…

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Dame Judi to judge school poetry competition

DORSET schoolchildren, who are taking part in a poetry competition to support the appeal for the barn owl barn at Bere Marsh Farm, will have their entries judged by one of Britain’s best loved and critically acclaimed actresses, Dame Judi Dench. The Oscar and BAFTA award-winning star has thrilled youngsters and teachers at schools in…

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Amazing job at Longleat

A TEAM of gardeners is close to completing one of the biggest jobs in horticulture – cutting the giant hedge maze at Longleat. Made up of more than 16,000 English yew trees, with 2.8kms of pathways and covering an area of 0.6 hectares, the Wiltshire maze is one of the largest in the world. It…

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A private tour of Somerset’s secret gardens

THINK of gardens and Somerset and you probably picture the multi-period gardens of Hestercombe near Taunton or the Elizabethan glories of Montacute or Lytes Cary. But this beautiful and varied county also has a host of hidden private gardens, and these are the subject  of Abigail Willis’s new book Secret Gardens of Somerset: A Private…

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