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…