March issue out now! Grab a coffee and settle in for your favourite half hour of the month… (don’t forget, we’re not a printed paper, and we never have been. The only way to read us is right here online each month!)
Top stories this month:
In the aftermath of Storm Eunice, one small hamlet was left without power for six days, struggling to stay warm, and lambing by head torch with no light or heat. Rachael Rowe spoke to the residents of Bagber about their struggle to get anyone to listen. P.4
Andrew Livingston looked at the debate raging around the upsetting BBC Panorama documentary ‘A Cow’s Life: The true cost of milk’. Local farmers are understandably upset, but the vegan society has a say too. P.6
A 400 year old Trust is still helping young people in North Dorset, and yet no one knows who William Williams actually was. However, thanks to his actions in 1623, there’s a multi-million pound fund waiting to assist people in need; *IF* they live within the ancient parish boundaries of Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton and Blandford Forum. P.9
Valerie Singleton braved the Random 19 questions this month. Yes. THE Valerie Singleton lives here in Dorset, and considers her favourite comfort meal to be chocolate. Like you needed another excuse to love her more… She’s on p.16.
#Sherborne‘s Taff Martin shares his ‘Dorset Island Discs’. He’s a Falklands veteran who has had a lifelong ‘side hustle’ as a successful gigging musician. The unexpectedly shy welshman talks about his work in the town, and reveals a deeply romantic streak as he shares his eight songs, an eclectic mix of all-time classics. P.20
Self-sufficient Carl Mintern, our own Dorset Forager columnist, is the subject of this month’s A Country Living from Tracie Beardsley. He discusses his self-sufficient lifestyle, which is far more than just veg growing. He makes his own cheese and ice cream from the 20 pints of milk a day he gets from his goats, and he slaughters and butchers his own pigs (having learned how from books and Youtube…) P.42
In local history, Roger Guttridge shares the tale of two pubs at Fiddleford, and shows a ‘Then & Now’ of the old school house in #SturminsterNewton. Paul Birbeck discusses the rise (and fall) of cinema in Dorset – do you remember going to the Savoy on #Shaftesbury? Starts on p.45
In the Trethowans‘ farming section, James Cossins also touches on the Panorama documentary, rightfully declaring it’s ‘not all farmers’, and also expresses concerns over the governments drive for rewilding. Andrew Livingston has been suffering from egg theft, and discusses the constant pressure on small scale family farms. P.54
This month’s #DorsetWalk is a beautiful six mile circuit from Lower Ansty, taking in the views from Hog Hill and the Dorsetshire Gap P.64
Letters to the editor: this month’s pages are a downscaled version of an inbox filled with messages around Chris Loder MP’s comments on the death of the white-tailed eagle, plus a concerned Sherborne resident fails to understand the town council’s £130,000 quote for CCTV, and there was masses of admiration for Cllr Nocturin Lacey-Clarke ‘s frank honesty last month. P.30
Reader’s Photography starts on p.36 – and it’s gorgeous as always.