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CAMPSITE

July on the campsite was busy especially once the school holidays started. The weather was marvellous and the atmosphere great. I did a photo call at the end of the weekend with a family group, (1) dismantling a trailer tent, (2) the last breakfast for a “tame” stag weekend (3) and a very cheerful group of Romanians, Polish and a Moldavian. (4) Last minute activities had to be done to get the big field ready for the campers in August (5 & 6) and pulling up the last fence posts to make easy access for caravans (7)

GARDEN

As usual I have had an abundance of blackcurrants which I have offered to campers either on the stalks as I have pruned the bush (8) or hand picked in bags. I have also been giving away my rhubarb as I still have masses from last year in my freezers. There are a few figs this year (9) and lots of loganberries, (10) which I haven’t had time to harvest so the birds are having easy pickings. The grapes are developing well although I haven’t pruned them properly yet (11). The gooseberries have been larger than usual and I have yet to finish picking them for chutney making. (12) I was very late planting my sunflowers and sweet peas this year. The first sweet pea (13) did not appear until last week.

FILMING AT BLUNTSHAY

Shirley and Lawrence Moore finally pinned me down to be filmed walking and talking about farm. (14 & 15) The weather was kind to us as we rambled around the fields. This snippet about Bluntshay will be part of a film called “The Vale” which is due to be released in 2017.

A COUNTRYSIDE SUNDAY

This was held at Denhay Farm, Broadoak on 17th July. It was organised by Amanda and George Streatfield. They wanted to give people attending the event a chance to celebrate our life in West Dorset, give thanks for our community and to understand a little of the issues facing rural life, and in particular the role of agriculture and farming in sustaining a vibrant rural society and economy.

Firstly we saw a herd of 350 cows being milked from a vantage point. (16) Each cow is electronically tagged so when it goes in for milking the computer will know how much milk it gives. The computer will also know how much “cow cake” (17) it should have according to its yield. We were shown the various ingredients that go into the food mix for the cows, which included silage, soya, molasses, rape and treated what. (18) The equipment in this photo (19) mixes the ingredients according to which animals are to eat it. (high yielders, low yielders, dry cows etc)

There were plenty of activities for children to be involved with in the yard. They could help to “calve” a cow, (20) milk a cow (21) do a jigsaw puzzle to work out where each cut of meat comes from (22) or sit on a David Brown 990 tractor dating from the 1960s which used to do lots of jobs around the yard in times past. (23) Next we did a mini farm walk which meant climbing the hill up from the dairy unit (24) to a nearby lookout point which gave us a marvellous view of some of the Marshwood Vale showing the patchwork quilt landscape, dating from the 12th century, and Pilsdon Penn on the skyline. (25) To round off a lovely afternoon the Rev Jan Delaney conducted an open air service for us. (26)

TRAINING FOR JURASSIC COAST AMBASSADORS

On 14th July we were invited to the Beer Sailing Club, in East Devon for a “Train the Trainer” session. (27) This was led by Sam Scriven who was appointed Earth Science Advisor for the Jurassic Coast Team in 2009 and promoted to Earth Science Manager in 2015. (28) He has recently published a book called “Fossils of the Jurassic Coast”. Sam took us through the standard Jurassic Coast training package – what is World Heritage, why are we a World Heritage Site and how do we manage (the Team and the Trust) manage the Site? The session was full of interaction with individuals giving talks, group work and decision making (29).

The view of the beach from the Sailing Club was typical late Cretaceous chalk cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. (30 & 31). After the session we ambled along the beach and it was interesting to note that Beer still had a fishing fleet. (32) Walking on the pebbles was made easier with the wooden paths and old conveyor belts (33) until we reached the geology which Mike Green explained to us (34) He showed us the Upper Greensand layers followed by the Beer Head Limestone (Cenomanian) and the chalk. Later we examined the pebbles on the shore and discovered that with long shore drift some red/purple ones from Budleigh Salterton had been washed up (35) from 10 miles down the coast. At Budleigh Salterton no one is allowed to collect these pebbles. They are actually 400 million years old, much older than the Triassic cliffs at Budleigh and about 300 million years older than the black ones on the beach at Beer from the Late Cretaceous.

There is a list of events taking place along the Jurassic Coast – The Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site – which can be accessed from  http://jurassiccoast.org/events/event/ which covers the period from now until 31st December 2016.

THE UNVEILING OF THE STATUE OF SIR GEORGE SOMERS

The Lyme Regis and St George’s, Bermuda Twinning Association organised several extra event this year including the unveiling of a statue of a man born in Lyme Regis in 1554. As I have mentioned before Sir George Somers was both Mayor for Lyme Regis and a local MP. In 1609 he sailed with a fleet of ships to Jamestown Virginia, but en route was shipwrecked on the islands of Bermuda. He claimed Bermuda for the British crown and after repairing his ships sailed on to Virginia. A year later, because of famine in Virginia, Somers sailed back to Bermuda to stock up on food, but unfortunately died of “surfeit of pig”. His heart was buried in Bermuda and his body brought back to England, pickled in a barrel of rum, to be buried under the Church vestry at Whitchurch Canonicorum. Somers owned a manor at Berne in the parish.

On 26th July in Langmoor Gardens, which look out over the Cobb at Lyme Regis, (36) the ceremony took place. Many people from Bermuda arrived for the event (37). The Lyme Regis town crier opened proceedings (38) and various speeches were made including one from Bob McHardy the chairman of the Twinning Association (39). Two of the dignitaries then unveiled the statue (40 & 41). Sir George Somers will now for ever look out onto the harbour from where he sailed to Virginia in 1609. Later there were various presentations including medals for children who had contributed to a competition, and a picture of St Georges, Bermuda given to the mayor of Lyme Regis, by the mayor of St Georges. (42)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you to the people who helped me with research for this newsletter: Amanda and George Streatfield, Peta Johnston, Mike Green, and Shirley and Lawrence Moore.

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