The BV: from the heart of the Blackmore Vale

Ever fancied a slice of rural Dorset life? The BV magazine is the monthly digital read from the heart of the Blackmore Vale in Dorset. A warm and chatty catch up with a splash of local news, of course, but also wildlife, art, farming, equestrian, food - and yes some veg growing and flower farming too.

Listen on:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Podbean App
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn + Alexa
  • iHeartRadio
  • PlayerFM
  • Samsung

Episodes

Monday Jul 01, 2024

Discover the Dorset seals with expert Sarah Hodgson, join terminally-ill 75-year-old Marilyn McDonald's attempt at a daring wing walk, dip into Peter Morgan's award-winning cheese, and uncover the debates around Yeovil’s Stroke Unit. Plus, discover the inspiring journey of Sarah Rampton and the work of her charity, In Jolly Good Company.
 
Encountering seals on the Dorset shore is increasingly common – Dorset Wildlife Trust's seals expert Sarah Hodgson chats to Jenny about why there is technically no Dorset population, what you should do if you see one and why certain frisbees should be avoided when on the beach.See the full article in the June issue here - https://bvmag.co.uk/DorsetSeals
 
In spite of her terminal illness, 75-year-old Marilyn McDonald planned a daring wing walk to raise funds for Dorset charity Countrymen UK. She talks with Terry about the charity, and why she decided to try standing on top of an aeroplane instead of simply having a cake sale ('Possibly not one of my better ideas! But it's about raising awareness as much as money, and you wouldn't be interviewing me if I'd just sold some cakes!'. See the full article with pictures of Marilyn in the June issue here – https://bvmag.co.uk/wingingit
 
Peter Morgan of Cranborne’s Book and Bucket Cheese Company talks to Jenny about his award-winning cheesemaking – made from very local milk which is from cow to cheese in under 24 hours. Peters talks to Jenny about setting up the business just as Covid hit, the joy of seasonal cheese, and his most recent launch of a new cheese, Stowaway – you might say it was literally launched, as the new product has been created specifically for the Queen Anne cruise ship, the latest addition to the Cunard fleet.
 
Yeovil’s Stroke Unit controversy – amid the public debate, Rachael Rowe looks at the pros and cons of NHS Somerset’s plans to centralise services (Terry reads)
 
Sarah Rampton's tenacity stood her in good stead when she was made redundant from the Alzheimer’s Society. She promptly set up her own charity, In Jolly Good Company and now supports more than 200 people (open to all, not just those with dementia) across groups in Wimborne St Giles, Wimborne, Blandford, Shaftesbury, West Moors and Kingston Lacy.  She talks to Jenny about what happens on a Jolly Day, from yoga sessions to a guided walk. See the story here https://bvmag.co.uk/InJollyGoodCompany
 

Friday Jun 21, 2024

In this episode:
William Fox-Pitt bids a quiet farewell to 5* Eventing – Jenny and Terry read Sally Cooper's interview as she talks to Dorset's own Olympian about his reasons for retiring, ('To be honest, the biggest difference in lifestyle will be accepting that perfection is no longer essential … That “pretty good” is now perfectly fine.'), his plans for training and breeding, his love for his chickens … and his thoughts on what his children may ride: 'I’m certainly not buying them in outside yaks – they can jolly well ride things that I produce at home!’
*See the full article with Williams answers to the Random 19 Questions, plus photographs of William in his yard here https://bvmag.co.uk/WilliamFoxPitt
 
This month The BV has been awarded the prestigious NMA’s Regional Publication of the Year 2024. Terry sat down with Laura and Courtenay Hitchcock to talk about award's night, and just what the award means to the pair who started the BV in 2020.*See the full article about the award win here  https://bvmag.co.uk/NMA2024 
Jenny chats to Gay Pirrie-Weir, the county's best-known, longest standing and most prolific theatre critic, who talks about this summer's open air theatre season. She shares her favourite locations, the best theatre companies to look out for, the proliferation of Shakespeare, and the peacock participation. All with the sporadic assistance of Kate the Cat! 
*See Gay's full guide to this summer's open air theatre in Dorset here - https://bvmag.co.uk/DorsetOpenAirTheatre24 

Sunday Jun 02, 2024

Terry speaks to Ian Girling to discover just what the Dorset Chamber of Commerce does – and also to find out the insider guide to the prestigious Dorset Business Awards.
Jenny vists Alex Woodhouse to find out about the popular summer pop up restaurant at Supper at Pleck  
Terry spoke to Dick Bennet about the Sherborne Squat Thrusters, a 50-year-old circuit training group with an average member age of 73: 'the circuit has admittedly got a little more gentle as we've got older... and the rehydration in the pub afterwards is just as important!' They are always happy to welcome new members – they get particularly excited if it drops their average age a bit. People in their 50s and 60s and even younger are very welcome – it is requested that they just don’t show up the older members too much.
Wakely Cox is a fourth generation farmer just outside Dorchester – and a hugely respected  advocate for Dorset farming. He's the current chair of Dorset NFU, and one of his other roles is as chair of the Poole Harbour Agricultural Group, challenging the Environment Agency and the apportioned ‘farmer nitrate pollution’ of Poole Harbour. He talks to Jenny about how farming has changed since his grandparents time.
 

Wednesday May 22, 2024

As always we kick off the month with the letters - editor Laura is looking at the allure of business awards, followed by all the letters to the editor.
Simon Hoare MP has been considering the problematic lack of positivity in politics: 'People don’t want to vote against things; rather they want to vote for things.'
Ken Huggins of the Green party is loking for 'a green shift', and discusses the stricter regulation of the water treatment industry, 'including 4,000 water company inspections by the Environment Agency in order to ensure that our waterways ‘remain healthy’. But our rivers can hardly ‘remain’ healthy when only 14 per cent of them currently warrant ‘Good’ ecological status.'
Seb Carr, the award-winning teenage rare breeds pig farmer
Gary Jackson of the North Dorset Liberal Democrats is hoping for a new, clearer financial system under the LibDems: 'The current funding formula is decades old, unfair, opaque ... and has reduced local councils to begging for grant funding from central government to construct half-viable budgets.'
Gerald Davies of the North Dorset Labour Party notes that there are 140,000 children in England with no home, and that: 'The only way this crisis can be tackled is by building significant numbers of truly affordable homes for purchase and for social rent.'
When Seb Carr was eight he received four pigs for Christmas. Now 13, he has one of the largest pedigree herds of the rare British Saddleback pig in the UK, and last year he became the youngest ever recipient of the British Pig Association’s New Pedigree Breeder of the Year award (which apparently involved 'a LOVELY dinner' in London 'with a big stage, lots of lights and loads of other pig people. It was brilliant!'). Terry talks to him about life as a teenage pig farmer - and yes, he has an Xbox too!
Jess giving Mattie a rub down after a training session
Jess Rimmer is the daughter of 5* three day eventer Jo Rimmer – they jointly run Rimmer Eventing from Fontmell Parva. She's currently juggling running a professional yard with completing her biochemistry degree at Bristol University. Growing up as an eventer's daughter, and being put on a horse before she could walk didn't rub off the way her mum intended: "I didn't even like horses growing up! It wasn't until I was 12 or 13 when I was watching a friend (who I idolised) riding her pony that I decided "I want to be like her!" and I decided to get on.'
As always we kick off the month with the letters - editor Laura is looking at the allure of business awards, followed by all the letters to the editor.
Simon Hoare MP has been considering the problematic lack of positivity in politics: 'People don’t want to vote against things; rather they want to vote for things.'
Ken Huggins of the Green party is loking for 'a green shift', and discusses the stricter regulation of the water treatment industry, 'including 4,000 water company inspections by the Environment Agency in order to ensure that our waterways ‘remain healthy’. But our rivers can hardly ‘remain’ healthy when only 14 per cent of them currently warrant ‘Good’ ecological status.'
Seb Carr, the award-winning teenage rare breeds pig farmer
Gary Jackson of the North Dorset Liberal Democrats is hoping for a new, clearer financial system under the LibDems: 'The current funding formula is decades old, unfair, opaque ... and has reduced local councils to begging for grant funding from central government to construct half-viable budgets.'
Gerald Davies of the North Dorset Labour Party notes that there are 140,000 children in England with no home, and that: 'The only way this crisis can be tackled is by building significant numbers of truly affordable homes for purchase and for social rent.'
When Seb Carr was eight he received four pigs for Christmas. Now 13, he has one of the largest pedigree herds of the rare British Saddleback pig in the UK, and last year he became the youngest ever recipient of the British Pig Association’s New Pedigree Breeder of the Year award (which apparently involved 'a LOVELY dinner' in London 'with a big stage, lots of lights and loads of other pig people. It was brilliant!'). Terry talks to him about life as a teenage pig farmer - and yes, he has an Xbox too!
Jess giving Mattie a rub down after a training session
Jess Rimmer is the daughter of 5* three day eventer Jo Rimmer – they jointly run Rimmer Eventing from Fontmell Parva. She's currently juggling running a professional yard with completing her biochemistry degree at Bristol University. Growing up as an eventer's daughter, and being put on a horse before she could walk didn't rub off the way her mum intended: "I didn't even like horses growing up! It wasn't until I was 12 or 13 when I was watching a friend (who I idolised) riding her pony that I decided "I want to be like her!" and I decided to get on.'
 
May's BV is OUT NOW ... grab a coffee and jump in to the Dorset-ness. News, opinion, people, wildlife, art, farming, what's on, SO many horses ... and frankly stunning photography. Did I mention it's FREE?
Why *wouldn't* you want a flick through?
(*don't forget, we're proud to be purely digital. The only way to read us is right here online!)
You can click here https://bvmag.co.uk/May24 to dive straight in. Frankly, it's so jam-packed with Dorset goodness, it'd be rude not to.
The BV is the 'glossy' rural monthly digital magazine from Dorset, shortlisted in the 2024 Newspaper & Magazine Awards for 'Best Regional Publication in the UK'.

Saturday Apr 27, 2024


From neighbours to award-winning booksellers: FOLDE’s founders Amber Harrison and Karen Brazier talk to Terry about their 'pandemic-induced mid-life crisis'. FOLDE, in Shaftesbury, has won the British Book Awards Independent Bookshop of the Year competition for the South West, organised by The Bookseller magazine and judged by a prestigious panel of industry specialists, authors and journalists. It’s a remarkable achievement for a business started during the pandemic by two women who had never sold books. They're justifiably proud and deeply happy with their 'small but mighty, and slightly fighty' bookshop. 
 
From bingo halls to community calls – Shaftesbury’s Rotakids are a new generation of community champions, leading the charge in innovative community charity work.Peter Sale is president of Shaftesbury Rotary Club, and he chats to Jenny about the work of the group, and the benefits not just to the local community but to the kids themselves. 
 
 
 
 
The barriers are gone – for £1.3m ... Dorset residents had almost forgotten what Sturminster bridge looked like – but finally the bank stabilisation work is complete.
 
April's BV is OUT NOW ... grab a coffee and jump in to the Dorset-ness. News, opinion, people, wildlife, art, farming, what's on, SO many horses ... and frankly stunning photography. Did I mention it's FREE?
Why *wouldn't* you want a flick through?
(*don't forget, we're proud to be purely digital. The only way to read us is right here online!)
You can click here https://bvmag.co.uk/Apr24  to dive straight in. Frankly, it's so jam-packed with Dorset goodness, it'd be rude not to.
The BV is the 'glossy' rural monthly digital magazine from Dorset, shortlisted in the 2024 Newspaper & Magazine Awards for 'Best Regional Publication in the UK'.
 

Thursday Apr 18, 2024


In the first of the April BV podcasts, we of course start with all the letters – including editor Laura's exciting news. Then, in his monthly round up, Chris Loder MP takes a look at how rural Dorset will gain from the latest NHS dentistry reforms, and the latest record funding of £408,022 for Adult Social Care reforms in the county.
For the Green Party, Ken Huggins takes a sideways look at the blurred lines between party funding and policy making, offering an alternative to those disillusioned by their usual voting. Gary Jackson of North Dorset Labour says when you look at the water companies, it's double the sewage, and triple the stink. And Gerald Davies of the LibDems looks at how Dorset Council’s housing policies are failing local people.
In the May issue, Andrew Livingston reported on one Sturminster Newton farmer’s dramatic response to a lamb’s death by dog attack. It fuelled a viral online debate – and a call for prosecution
Lastly, Jennie chats to Jules Bradburn – circuit judge, event organiser and whose market empire expands to Dorchester this month as it becomes the latest Dorset town to benefit from a new 200-stall monthly artisan market.
April's BV is OUT NOW ... grab a coffee and jump in to this month's Dorset-ness. News, opinion, people, wildlife, art, farming, what's on, SO many horses ... and frankly stunning photography. Did I mention it's FREE? Why *wouldn't* you want a flick through?
(*don't forget, we're proud to be purely digital. The only way to read us is right here online!)
You can click here https://bvmag.co.uk/Apr24  to dive straight in. Frankly, it's so jam-packed with Dorset goodness, it'd be rude not to.
The BV is the 'glossy' monthly digital magazine from Dorset, shortlisted in the 2024 Newspaper & Magazine Awards for 'Best Regional Publication in the UK'.

Friday Mar 29, 2024

Retired Colonel Guy Deacon was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease in 2011. In 2019 he embarked on an epic solo journey from his home near Sherborne to the southern tip of Africa. In a revealing and personal interview, Terry talks to Guy about his journey:'There's nobody handing out spare parts for a VW camper between Morocco and Namibia, so that was a bit of a problem...'Guy's book Running on Empty, with all profits to the Parkinsons Charity, is available on pre-order, and publishes on 11th April
Jenny talks to Shaun Weeks, who runs Sturminster Newton Amateur Boxing Club – in February the club's female boxers brought home gold, silver and ‘Best Fight’ from the world’s largest female boxing tournament, The Golden Girl Championship in Borås, Sweden. Sturminster Newton ABC was also selected as Best Club. 'It was totally unexpected. I got quite emotional about it. There were 400 contestants and maybe 60 or 70 clubs there from all over Europe. And we won the Best Club Award! I’m so proud of the whole team. Absolutely phenomenal!’
How a small business in North Dorset took over the food world. As the 2024 Great Taste judging starts, Terry talks to John Farrand of the Guild of Fine Food, who run the Great Taste Awards. The little black and gold badge is a familiar sight and a reassuring signal of good food, but the Guild – based in Gillingham in Dorset – does far more than the most popular and globally-recognised food award.'People think the task of a judge is rather a romantic one - it is actually a huge job of logistics. We have specially-written software and spreadsheets. Over the 90 judging days, we're bringing people into a room to blind taste a thousand products a week. That's a heck of an organisational task.'It's not about posh food. We're often judging pork pies. Well-made, good tasting food can be inexpensive – if you shop well you can buy better food which is more satisfying than cheap processed food.'
The March issue of the BV is out now, you can read it here: Inside this issue are good people, good dogs, good motorbikes, good books (and good booky people) ... and a foal with the zoomies (he may or may not be good, it's under review). Frankly, it's so jam-packed with Dorset goodness, it'd be rude not to. 
The BV is the 'glossy' monthly digital magazine from Dorset, shortlisted in 2024 for 'Best Regional Publication in the UK'.
 
 

Saturday Mar 16, 2024

One in three of us yearns to throw in the day job and set up on our own. In this month's Letter from the Editor, Laura mulls over the realities of running your own business – who on earth would actually do it, and why do they love it? The reader's letters are rather dominated by the reaction to the suspension of the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt story the BV ran last month.
In politics, Simon Hoare MP’s varied March musings include championing British farming, lambing season, community advocacy and Government collaboration. Ken Huggins writes for the Green Party, and is calling for us all to protest, protest and again protest. Gary Jackson, the North Dorset Lib Dems candidate, is calling on the government to act with prudence, and urges it to do no more harm. And in his final column for the BV, Pat Osborne of North Dorset Labour is keen to point out that the county's much-vaunted new second home tax is a pointless cash cow policy.
Lucy Nolan, Dorset’s only Accredited Pet Gundog Instructor (APGI), chats to Jenny about her work and the dogs she helps. It's not about training gundogs for work - there's a huge rise in working dogs being kept as pets, and as Lucy points out 'With working breeds you must give them a job, otherwise they go self-employed!'• Lucy runs Adhara Dog Training – https://www.adharadogtraining.co.uk/

Monday Feb 26, 2024

Sam Peters, former rugby correspondent at the Mail On Sunday and The Sunday Times and author of Concussed, talks to Terry about the gathering debate around concussion in the sport: 'There was a seismic shift moving from the amateur rugby game in the mid-90s to the pro game in the mid 2000s. The game is completely different to how it looked 30 years ago, and evidence says clearly that the game has never been more dangerous at professional level.'Sam's book Concussed: Sport's Uncomfortable Truth has been shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. You can find it on Amazon here and the audiobook version is on Audible here
Richard Miles, the dark skies adviser to Dorset's CPRE, looks at how the Blackmore Vale got its name, and the modern effects of light pollution on it's previously dark – or black – nature.
Terry reads The BV's article on Richard Wakeley, the young Sherborne father who also happens to be a fourth-generation funeral director. After leaving school, Richard worked for the charity Mercy in Action, in the charity’s homes for vulnerable children in the Philippines. ‘That experience was life-changing for me,’ he says. ‘I grew up so much in three years.’ Coming home meant a new direction was required, and a walk on the beach with his dad led him to join the family business: 'It wasn’t like TV’s Succession! Dad wanted it to be a natural progression. This is more of a vocation than a job. You’ve got to want to do it.’
In a fascinating conversation, the BV's night sky columnist Rob Nolan talks to Jenny about astrophotography, which he switched to during COVID when his landscape photography was curtailed by lockdowns. As well as telling us what to look for in the sky each month, Rob also shares one of his stunning images, which are enjoyed by BV readers. He talks about those amazing images of the far corners of our universe, and how he sets about capturing them.If you'd like to see Rob's astrophotography (and we strongly suggest you do), you can find it on the website here https://bvmag.co.uk/DarkSkiesDorset

Saturday Feb 17, 2024

Experience the unique camaraderie of cold water swimming in one of England's highest (and coldest!) towns, and unravel the mystery of polecats with wildlife expert Jane Adams.
Editor Laura reflects on the little pieces of ourselves we unknowingly leave with other people, from helpful motivation quotes to the embarassing little stories we would actually prefer to die away!
In politics, Simon Hoare MP unwraps the intricate issues of security. Ken Huggins of North Dorset Greens is hunting for some honesty in our politicians, and Gary Jackson of the North Dorset LibDems is calling for more help for the nation's league of 'unseen, unsung' carers.
As one of the highest towns in England, standing at 750 feet above sea level, Shaftesbury is known as one of the coldest places in North Dorset. Join Terry as he braves the chill with Harriet Green at Shaftesbury Lido, uncovering the exhilarating world of ice miles and the invigorating spirit of open-air pools.
Polecats have quietly been making a secretive but fragrant return – Jenny learns all about the elusive bandits from wildlife writer Jane Adams. Are the little predatory 'foulmart's dangerous? And how do we tell the difference between them and stoats?

Image

The BV magazine

The 'glossy' monthly magazine from North Dorset - interesting, entertaining and always leaves you feeling good.
You can read the latest issue here
It's a genuine slice of English country life which may be from the depths of one of the most typically rural English counties - think thatched cottages, winding lanes, and the sound of cows in the patchworked green fields and you're thinking of North Dorset - but is read across the world.

We sit comfortably in our own niche, where important local issues news are explored along with contemporary rural living celebrated. In our celebrity interviews our guests answer the Random 19 questions, and our Dorset Island Discs is perennially popular.
Internationally acclaimed artists sit alongside farming. The equestrian section features the UK's leading Thoroughbred breeder along with an Olympic Three Day Event yard. Of course there's a large local food and drink section (our wine columnist is one of the top indie wine merchants in the UK), brilliant books are dived into, fascinating local history is unearthed ... and naturally there's oddly addictive gardening advice which even non-gardeners enjoy.

©Bluebean Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20240320