EXCLUSIVE interview with Rupert Hardy and the most haunted house in England. Probably.


Another exclusive interview just for podcast listeners this week – Terry has a fascinating conversation with Rupert Hardy from the CPRE about the ‘rooftop vs. field’ solar panels debate. Then in Roger Guttridge’s column we hear the brilliant story behind the most haunted house in England (allegedly), Sandford Orcas manor. And to finish off we have the wildife and farming sections – the ones everybody asks for 🙂

  • Rupert Hardy, chairman of the North Dorset CPRE, takes a long look into the case for solar panels on roofs or in fields – and says ‘do not be deceived by the frequently misleading data issued by solar trade associations, whose members are unsurprisingly more concerned with profit than saving the planet.’
  • In this month’s Looking Back column, Roger Guttridge questions the spooky stories that have long been associated with a Dorset Manor. Mid-16th century Sandford Orcas Manor near Sherborne is among the most exquisite in the county. Google it, however, and it’s not its fine Tudor architecture that makes the headlines but its reputation as a haven for ghosts and poltergeists.
  • This winter, Dorset Wildlife Trust has been deliberately installing dead trees in a valley near Ansty, says conservation officer Stephen Oliver. ‘This exciting partnership project involved two kilometres of river restoration work on Devil’s Brook, a long watercourse rising in the chalk hills near Higher Ansty and flowing south to join the River Piddle near Athelhampton.’
  • Wildlife writer Jane Adams is trying hard not to be stuck in the January gloom, and instead to look for the signs of new life ‘When I stumble in through the back door and my husband asks if I’ve seen anything on my walk, it’s really no surprise he gets a glare from under my sopping wet fringe.’
  • Blandford farmer George Hosford abandons the stats and checks his crystal ball to see if his profit calculations will be accurate this year ‘It depends on when you sell the grain and when you buy the fertiliser, and whether you have to borrow the money to do so … A fair bit of number crunching and crystal ball gazing then needs to happen in order to decide the right approach for next season. We have already committed to buy next year’s fertiliser, at eye-watering prices. To leave it longer would have been reckless …’
  • Lastly – here’s a horrific notion to get you started for 2023 – should Dorset have a motorway? Farmer Andrew Livingston thinks the unthinkable…


  1. Rupert Hardy is right in general, but we do need a good mix of solar and wind-power, so I am broadly in favour of wind farms, if only as a temporary measure, but roof-tops should always come first. One thing no-one seems to have investigated is combining some form of arable or meat production with solar panels. Grass will grow on all the margins round and between panels, even though the solar radiation is understandably much weaker than normal. Rabbit breeding perhaps?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

More like this

It’s the official Spring Countryside Show Magazine 2024!

Race you to the Spring Countryside Show! Celebrate rural...

The BV Magazine wins prestigious NMA’s Regional Publication of the Year 2024

We are thrilled to announce that The BV has...

Seb the 13 year old pig breeder and Jess on balancing books and bridles

As always we kick off the month with the...

Royal Bath & West pre-show magazine 2024

Introducing the Royal Bath & West Show Pre Show...