• we’re thrilled to announce we have woo-ed global bestselling author Tracy Chevalier to be our Random 19 guest!

Yes, yes, she who wrote Girl With The Pearl Earring. Didn’t know she lived in north Dorset? You may have passed her in the supermarket!

Tracie has been looking into what can be done about the poor behaviour of a small group in Gillingham’s skate park, Andy spoke to award-winning local folk duo @Ninebarrow , and Rachael’s looked at the story behind the overgrown verges on our roads this year, and also discovered exactly what a ‘Social Prescriber’ does (with thanks to Liz at Gillingham Medical Practice). Tracie’s been talking to Jack & Jake about working in Dorset’s HIghest Office in the first of our new series ‘A Country Living’.

• Plus all the usual columns: Andrew from Westleaze Farm is sharing his insider thoughts on the new Clarksons Farm show on Amazon Prime. Vet’s Voice with @Damory Veterinary Clinic, Wildlife from Brigit Strawbridge and @Dorset Wildlife Trust, Local History with Roger Guttridge, and 100th birthday cards & scary bee allergies both feature in Andy Palmer’s Tales from the Vale.

• This issue *may* involve kittens. Just saying.

• Front cover this month is that magnificent hovering barn owl by Tom Belcher at Dorset Rural Photography.