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DORSET EVENTS 2007  Publicise your event here!
  • Sherborne Abbey Concerts
    • Saturday 7 July Sherborne Abbey Choir
    • Saturday 21 July The Emperor's Consort - Choral Scholars
    • Saturday 22 September Concert arranged by Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles
    • Saturday 13 October Voices for Hospices
    • Saturday 10 November Remembrancetide Concert
    • Saturday 1 December Sherborne Chamber Choir
    • Monday 17 December Christmas Concert
  • Friends! Romans! Countrymen! by Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society, 24th-28th July
 click here to send your event details

USEFUL DORSET LINKS  Used by the Editor
 

The Blandford Fly is back!!

In case you're wondering, it is a nasty little insect flying close to the ground and feeding on human blood. The proper name is Simulium posticatum. The danger period used to be from about 10th May until mid-June, but now it seems to be all summer. You seldom notice it until it's gone, leaving a spot of blood, then spend the next week nursing anything from an annoying itch to a large incapacitating swelling. Supposedly inhabiting cracks in the mud on the River Stour's banks, there has been a campaign to eliminate it by spraying the banks; it seemed to be working up until 1997. There was an unlikely rumour that it had escaped from Bryanston school's biology department. Now it's back, certainly in the North and central Dorset area. Hall & Woodhouse brewers recommend ginger: Blandford Fly Ale.
Please report sightings using this link, even if late, and they will be posted here.

Attention people living in Bournemouth near the Stour, we recommend that you write to the local council and ask for action to be taken against the Blandford fly on the River Stour. You can quote a successful campaign in North Dorset.
Most of this summers' recent reports have been from Bournemouth. Local doctors and hospitals should be becoming aware of the issue.

How to avoid being Bitten

1. It only flies close to the ground, Cover up exposed flesh from the waist down. Do not lie on the ground or on a low sunbed. If you're bending over eg. gardening, cover up your arms.
2. If you still feel at risk, use an insect repellent. I prefer the free one, which is tansy plant (grows as a weed in the garden) rubbed hard into the skin - not pretty but smells strong.

Sightings
August 2004Chickerell, Weymouth (thanks to Joan)
August 2004Westbourne, Bournemouth two people
August 2004Northbourne, Bournemouth, by Stour, twice (thanks to Mandy)
15th June 2004Northbourne, Bournemouth, by Stour (thanks to M.Marks)
17th May 2004Christshurch, near Stour (thanks to Suzanne)
11th May 2004Knighton Heath G.C. (thanks to Mrs Thomas)
16th August 2003Bournemouth BMX track (thanks to Jo Nobes)
July 2003nr. Wincanton (thanks to Mrs Roberts)
7th July 2003Blandford (thanks to Carmel Hyslop)
30th June 2003nr. Hastings (thanks to Mrs Jones)
28th June 2003nr. Didcot (Oxon) (thanks to Mrs White)
15th June 2003Sturminster Marshall
(thanks to Tony Hardman)
12th June 2003Didcot Oxon
(thanks to David Johnston)
Spring 2003Corfe Mullen
(thanks to Dr. Wallis)
Spring 2003Ashley Heath
(thanks to Steve Ellis)
2002Blandford St. Mary (Sally Browne)
2002Bournemouth (Karen Leahy)
2002Hengistbury Head (Lawrence Budworth)
2002Wimborne
2002Broadstone
2000Milton under Wychwood (Oxon) (D.Bailey)
2000New Milton (Hants) (Terry MacQuaide)
2000Sturminster Newton (Marion J. White)
1999none
1998 Sturminster Newton, Fiddleford

Lulworth Cove/Durdle Door
Cycle to/park at West Lulworth for Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Lulworth Cove is at the western edge of the range and has the fossil forest on the seaward side of the eastern opening (inside the range).
click here for a page with larger versions
Lulworth Cove and the neighbouring Stair hole are very interesting geologically - crumpled beds of Purbeck stone. click the picture for a larger version
Lulworth online

Chesil Bank (beach)
Chesil Bank is a ten-mile shingle bar enclosing 'the Fleet'; its pebbles are graded from small at the western end to large at the eastern end, then sharply smaller at Weymouth. Cycle to/park at Abbotsbury (western end) or Weymouth (eastern end).
click here for a page with loads of thumbnails & photos, including outlook across at Abbotsbury Swannery and the WW2 tank traps at the western end.

Dorset Steam Fair
Wednesday-Sunday in early September, this annual event has been going 30 years. Everyone should go at least once. The chief attractions are:

OKThe interesting sideshows, equipment and above all people who seem to come out of the woodwork for this event. The ploughing competition, heavy horses, village reconstruction, steam engines, vintage vehicles, steam-powered saw benches using whole trees, worked by men in bowler hats.....
OKThe enormous funfair, traditional roundabouts. Essential are the swing-boats children power themselves with ropes and Dorset apple cake. Bungee-jumping before lunch.
OKThe food, drink and toilet facilities are very good. Watch/sniff out for some excellent Eastern cooking, as well as the Dorset apple cakes and cheeses (there's a very good English parmesan-style cheese which keeps for months)
OKBuy things you never thought you needed, from a job lot of Allen keys through an encyclopedia set to a new car.
OKThe traffic jams to get in in the morning and out in the afternoon. Best plan is to arrive with pre-booked camping ticket about 5pm, put up tent, then go in (half price from about 6pm) and sample the fair, food and beer for the evening. Then camp and be on site for an early start to see the rest. Leave about 3pm or wait until 6.
OKWhen it's very wet, the parking is a quagmire and cars really do get stuck. When it's very dry, dried ?? from every vehicle blows across the showground like a dust storm.


Lulworth Range
Walking westwards, from Kimmeridge to Lulworth Cove, is the Lulworth Army range. Being about 7500 acres with 7 miles of coastline, it is mostly closed to the 'public' (it was requisitioned for WW2). It is however open every weekend with a few exceptions in 2003:
10th and 11th May / 14th and 15th June / 11th and 12th October / 22nd and 23rd November
It is OPEN for holidays: Easter / May Day Holiday / Spring Holiday week / whole of August.

Before each public opening every path is walked to check for munitions (50000 shells fired per year). You would never forget walking this stretch of coastline. However follow the signs; keep within the wooden posts (yellow paint) and don't climb over anything. The range includes the 'lost' village of Tyneham; see the item and links in the Old Dorset area of this site.

Walks from a car park:

  • Lulworth Cove: a large car park (+toilets). Walk towards the sea then either up the cliff to the east or along the beach and up at the end.
  • Tyneham car park (+toilets): follow the signposts (or get blown up, actually - see the picture below). In Tyneham be careful of old buildings they may be unsafe.
  • Whiteway car park: follow the signposts (or get blown up).
  • Kimmeridge: a car park (+toilets). Walk westwards (a nice hill this) past the nodding donkey.
To confirm information about the opening times call the Range Office on 01929-404819

this taken in 1985 from the clifftop near Arish Mell

Dorset Beaches

Where is this beach?


Poundbury
Poundbury is a new village (bearing the name of an old Roman camp nearby) with traditional architectural and environmental values built on Duchy of Cornwall land adjacent to Dorchester. Natives will have no trouble recognising who is behind it but for the benefit of others it is Prince Charles; maybe it is even his brainchild.
Overheard: "It's very nice but I wouldn't want to actually live there"
click on the image for a larger version