Letters to the Editor July 2023


Laura editor of the BV Magazine
Laura editor of the BV Magazine

As the mother of four adult (OK, one’s 16, so she just thinks she’s adult) children, I find myself constantly amazed and inspired by the attitudes and resilience of the next generation. They navigate a world filled with challenges, uncertainties, and pressures; yet they continue to shine brightly, trying hard to make a positive impact. At every turn they are dismissed as ‘woke snowflakes’. Lazy sensitive souls who need to get a backbone. To face ‘real life’. To suck it up, buttercup, life’s not fair. Yet from where I’m sitting, I see a generation more tolerant and more inclusive than those who have come before.
Lewis Capaldi was a headliner at Glastonbury this year, and I’m sure anyone who saw his set will always remember it. He has made no secret of his battle with Tourette’s, and through the performance, his tics became more pronounced.
Eventually his voice failed.
He simply stopped singing, his distress obvious.
What struck me was the response from the crowd. The mass of ‘the youth of today’. No one mocked or jeered – instead, the vast sea of people raised their voices and sang for him. They carried him through, filling the spaces where he faltered.
The acceptance, tolerance, understanding, empathy, and compassion exhibited by the Glastonbury crowd was beautiful. An example of the strength of unity in a world that seems so divided. It filled me with hope.
(if you missed it, click play on the short video below)
Our young people may be shouting down the intolerant voices of their elders. They may be angry at the world we are leaving them to fix.
But their resilience, search for authenticity, and their unwavering hope for a better future are a daily inspiration – and a guilty poke at my grumpy cynical self. They’re also ridiculously funny.
When I grow up, I plan to be more like them.

Rage against the mow (some more)
Referring to the letter published in June titled ‘Rage against the mow’, I can’t help but express my deep disappointment as well. I wholeheartedly agree with Sarah G’s sentiments. The council’s actions of mowing during “No Mow May,” have shown blatant disregard for the welfare of local wildlife and the ecosystem. It’s high time they revisit their policies and take our local environment seriously.
Name and address supplied

I am writing in response to the letter by Sarah G from Sturminster Newton about the premature trimming of our grass verges during “No Mow May”. Sarah’s concern resonated with me, but a public hounding – trendy though that may be now – is not the adult and mature way forward. Perhaps Sarah G should direct her enquiries to the council first? I think we need to discuss the reasons for such decisions instead of purely blaming the council. Perhaps we should invite the council to share their maintenance schedule and the rationale behind it, and open up a dialogue to avoid such issues in the future. Only then can we work together to preserve our local ecosystem.
Tom Stanton, Sherborne

On Kickboxing
I read your June 2023 editorial and couldn’t help but question your approach towards physical activity. It seems you are engaged in kickboxing to ‘spite’ your teenagers? Isn’t it crucial to undertake physical activities because they benefit us health-wise and not merely to prove a point to others? Moreover, the dismissive remark on your body not being a typical kickboxer’s may discourage other potential learners. Shouldn’t we promote body positivity and inclusivity in all aspects of life, including sports?
Brian Thorne
(Though humorous, I’m fairly sure my letter was very clear in expressing my love for kickboxing, and in the fact that I take great joy in the sport.
I am also very comfortable with being ‘an overweight middle-aged mum who kickboxes.’ and I strongly encourage everyone, no matter their body type, to get up and be more active.
I passed my grading, by the way. Three more to black belt. Thanks for asking! – Ed)

On the Swanage hike
I refer to your experience shared in June’s edition regarding your visit to the AONB near Swanage. While I appreciate your enthusiasm about the region’s stunning heathland and the peace one may find there (before the summer rush), I want to challenge your invitation to readers to explore the area. We must remember that such beautiful landscapes are delicate ecosystems that could potentially be harmed by increased foot traffic. Even with the best intentions, visitors can disrupt the local fauna and flora, inadvertently damaging these habitats. In the future, I request that you consider the potential impact on the environment before encouraging such visits.
Marian S, Blandford

In your June 2023 issue, you detailed a beautiful walk from Swanage (I did a particularly lovely seven mile version using your suggested route and short cuts, thank you!) and also very much enjoyed your editorial expressing your delight in the beauty of Dorset in early summer.
I would like to express my appreciation – the abundance of natural beauty in Dorset, from the lush hedgerows to the wildflower meadows and empty heathlands is often overlooked by those who either scoot past Dorset on their way elsewhere, or, sadly, by those so caught up in the treadmill of modern stressful life that they have no time to stop and enjoy it.
I find your magazine motivates me every month – we locals must venture outdoors and explore our surroundings more often.
Tina Gordon, Blandford

On the podcast
I am a long-time subscriber and follower of the BV and, more recently, its associated podcast. I have recently been immensely impressed by the quality of the podcast, particularly over the last few months, and I felt compelled to voice my appreciation for the hard work and dedication demonstrated by the team.
Firstly, I would like to commend the dynamic duo of Jenny Devitt and Terry Bennett. The relaxed yet insightful style of their interviews has become something I look forward to each month. Their engaging conversations provide a fresh perspective and understanding – I find even when I have already read the relevant magazine article I never fail to learn something new from the podcast.
Recent highlights for me were Jenny’s talk with Natalie Wheen on her Dorset Island Discs, Lillie Smith and her rare breed pigs, I always enjoy Jane Adams when she appears and Terry’s interview with the chap from Sherborne Antiques prompted me to visit (and I’m so glad I did!). I’ll admit I always skip Karen Geary’s nutrition articles – not my thing – but her interview this week was interesting and entertaining, and is what prompted me to write.
The podcast not only complements the magazine but adds another dimension to the stories, making them come alive in a unique way. I would encourage any BV reader who hasn’t yet dipped into the podcast to give it a try and enjoy the excellent interviews and stories that Jenny and Terry bring to us each month. Keep up the good work!
Roger B, Shaftesbury

(If you’d like to dip in and listen, you can find all episodes of the BV podcast here)

The plan was for Pet of the Month to make editor Laura feel less guilty for the pets who don’t make the Reader’s Photography pages. Instead the Facebook parade of good pets that she had to choose from made life harder!
Such brilliant pets. Would you like your pet to be featured?
Share them on Facebook or send an email to
Please be sure to include your pet’s name, age, and a couple of fun details about them.


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