Letters to the Editor May 2024


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

Regular readers will have noticed the absence of election-focused content in our latest issues (to be fair, it’s probably a refreshing break given the local election results dominating every news outlet as we publish!).
It’s not that we’re anti-politics – FAR from it. In fact we strongly believe in listening, learning and building opinions.
But we’ll never partake in party politics – instead we prioritise firmly balanced, factual reporting around important local issues. For what it’s worth, though, I don’t see local elections as a mud-slinging warm-up act for general elections – they are crucial chapters in our democracy.
This month we heard we have been shortlisted in a SECOND major award – the AOP’s Grand Prix award of ‘Small Digital Publisher of the Year.’
To any business, simply being considered in the top five for a major national award – which is judged by the leaders of your industry – is a massive achievement. For our tiny team it’s like getting an invite to the cool kids party. It also tells our current clients and potential new ones that we’re among the best at what we do.
So I want to take this opportunity to encourage other small businesses to enter the Dorset Business Awards (see Ian Girling’s column on p100). Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned applicant, these awards offer a chance to showcase your hard work and creativity to your peers and your community. Don’t underestimate the value of the recognition — it can open doors to new partnerships and opportunities.
Finally, with those judges looking at us right now, it would be a really good time to leave a nice review on Google for us! It’s a small act that can make a huge difference, just by clicking this link, and leaving us some stars (whispers five happens to be my favourite number, obviously…)
Did you know that from a starting audience of zero in 2020, more than 250,000 people* every single month see something we’ve written? Over the last almost-four years The BV has grown and developed into a publication we’re incredibly proud of. Hopefully you love reading it as much as we love creating it.

Laura x

*And because we’re purely digital, there’s no guesswork in our stats!

Want to reply? Read something you feel needs commenting on? Our postbag is open! Please send emails to letters@BVmagazine.co.uk.
When writing, please include your full name and address; we will not print this, but do require it.

On the dead lamb
Should the farmer have displayed the lamb carcas? Yes. The dog’s owner should see the damage they have done, and other irresponsible owners should see what could happen. Not that we see the suffering or mental state of the ewe, or the other sheep in the field. Why protect people from the hurt they inflict on animals and the farmers? There is nothing that melts your heart more on a spring day than the baby lambs skipping, feeding and playing in in the green grass among the spring flowers. It spells out new hope, new life and gives your spirit a lift.
Shirley C, by email

I’m writing this with a fair share of frustration. As a shepherd who has faced similar ordeals with sheep worrying here in Dorset, I understand all too well the toll it takes—not just financially, but emotionally as well. Our sheep aren’t just business assets; they’re creatures we nurture and care for. The recent incidents of dogs attacking livestock highlight a dire need for greater awareness and stricter controls. We must protect our livelihood but also the animal’s welfare.
Name and address supplied

I recently visited your beautiful region (and happened across your publication via a local Facebook group. I am thoroughly impressed with the quality, and wish we had something similar in Kent). However, it was disheartening to read about the sheep worrying incidents. In a rural area where animal welfare is clearly highly prioritised, it surprises me to see such issues still rampant. While I understand that dogs will be dogs, the responsibility ultimately lies with the owners. It’s crucial for the community to foster a culture of accountability to prevent such distressing events. Well-being of all animals should be a collective concern. Well done to the farmer in question.
George Kittle, Dymchurch

I am writing to express my concern over the recent reported cases of sheep worrying by dogs. It’s incredible that such incidents STILL occur, despite ongoing discussions about animal control and responsibility. I believe more can be done to enforce leash laws and to educate dog owners about the consequences of negligence. We need to ensure our local laws are upheld not just for the safety of our livestock but for the safety of all other dogs and people using our footpaths and trailways.
Ginny Barker, Blandford

On youth and gender identity
The recent findings and decisions around gender identity treatments for minors, notably the NHS’s stance on puberty blockers, raise crucial points about medical interventions on young people. As highlighted by Chris Loder in the April BV, the increasing number of Dorset children referred to Gender Identity Clinics signals a need for us to tread thoughtfully in these sensitive areas.
While it is imperative to support and respect every individual’s journey, including the struggles of those dealing with gender dysphoria, the Cass report rightly insists on rigorous, evidence-based approaches when it comes to medical treatments, especially those as deeply consequential as hormonal interventions. The ban on puberty blockers, pending more conclusive research on their safety and efficacy, is a prudent step.
It is essential that we maintain a balanced perspective. We must provide robust psychological support and ensure that any medical treatment offered is backed by unassailable scientific evidence and is in the best interest of the children affected. We owe it to our future generations to prioritise their long-term health and well-being over immediate, irreversible decisions.
Anna Sealy, Verwood


On postcards from Thornford
(comments all from the busy discussion full of Thornford memories on Facebook):
I’ve just left Thornford for 10 miles up the road, after the family have been there for well over 100 years – I was fourth generation there. That traction engine was cut up and buried years ago at Gabes the Blacksmiths. My parents are both almost 90 and remember growing up there during the war and after.
Ian Morgan

Often walked to Thornford to go in Ellwood’s Stores, the old Mrs. Ellwood would be sat at the back of the store with her white hair up in a bun, and took time to speak to all her customers. We had a white cat from someone at Thornford, Mr. Chesterman was the vicar, Mr & Mrs. Dare ran the National garage then. We moved to Yeovil in 1970.
Margaret Rowe

My aunt Lilian Clarke lived next to, or rear of, the chapel and her husband, my uncle, was a blacksmith and ran Gabes. Spent many happy times there – everybody knew everybody then.
David White


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