This year we all know that Christmas will feel a lot different. Although we may not be able to celebrate in our normal ways, the good news is that being outdoors is widely recognised as a healthy place to be this winter.We've come up with lots of ideas of things to do and places to go to help you celebrate the winter season. And if you can't get out, there's still plenty you can do to enjoy the midwinter from the comfort of your sofa.
Space, fresh air, freedom ...We love that the benefits of being outdoors has been recognised during this pandemic, nature really does help you feel happier and healthier. Head out to one of Dorset’s Iron Age hillforts to feel on top of the world – great views, lots of space and so much fresh air your lungs will sing!
You’re spoilt for choice – Hambledon and Hod Hills in north Dorset have fantastic views over the Blackmore Vale. Lambert’s Castle and Coney’s Castle and Pilsdon Pen in west Dorset wonderful views across the Marshwood Vale to the Jurassic Coast. Or promenade along the immense grassy ramparts of Maiden Castle near Dorchester, the largest iron age hillfort in northern Europe.Have a look at our website Explore Map for details of all these and over 50 other ideas of great places to get out and explore this winter.
Sunsets and starlings ... We know that sunsets aren’t unique to Dorset but watching the sun set over the sea at Lyme Bay or Poole Harbour or over the rolling downs of west Dorset feels very special indeed. Make the most of the short winter days to catch a few - slow down, wait awhile and the pleasure will be all yours!
While you are waiting for the sun to set, look out for murmurations of starlings as they gather and swoop before settling down together for the night. Cogden in west Dorset and Studland in Purbeck are current hotspots but keep an eye on Twitter for the latest sightings. Other favourites sunset spots from the AONB Team include West Bay Pier, Creech Hill near Corfe Castle, and Black Down near Dorchester.
Winter wildlife ... Poole Harbour is a very special place for wading birds and winter is a great time to see them. Many wading birds come here from the Arctic, North & Eastern Europe and other parts of the UK, attracted by the frost free climate and food-rich tidal mud & shallow lagoons. Over 25,000 wading birds call it home in the winter, including avocet, little egret and the Eurasian spoonbill.
The RSPB reserve at Arne near Wareham is a great place to be winter birdspotting and other suggestions listed on the Birds of Poole Harbour website. Several Poole Harbour webcams, help to bring the outside in over the bleak winter months - a unique and very mesmerising view. And if you’d like a little help to work out what’s out there, then the RSPB have an excellent on-line guide to help.
Stride out or stroll ... Whether you want to walk off the festive excesses or meet up with friends & family for a gentle stroll, there's plenty of walks to do that are interesting in winter. Striking landscapes come in all shapes and sizes in Dorset so you can take your pick depending on your mood, energy levels and company!
Recycle for Dorset Newsletter - February 2021
Recycling food waste correctly is best for the planet and your pocketWith significant quantities of food waste still found in rubbish bins, many of our planned campaigns will focus on recycling food waste to try and get more of it out of the rubbish bin and into the food bin. Around 2,000 householders will be selected to take part in our upcoming caddy liner trials to encourage more regular use of the food bin, whilst also supporting local businesses.
Food waste up by a whopping 14%(Comparing collections April – November 2019 vs 2020)Due to the pandemic, more and more of us are spending additional time at home, cooking meals instead of eating out or having takeaways.Making meals from scratch at home, generates more vegetable/fruit peelings, and unless you have a home compost bin, this contributes to the increase in food waste collected. This food waste is recycled here in Dorset, creating renewable energy and a nutrient rich, soil improver.
Clamp down on untaxed vehiclesBack in December, officers from the Dorset Council Waste Enforcement Team carried out an operation targeting untaxed vehicles in the Whittle Road and Haviland Road area of the Ferndown Industrial Estate. This followed complaints that the team had received concerning the number of untaxed vehicles on the highway in this area.During the morning, a total of 7 untaxed vehicles were identified. These vehicles were then clamped and removed using devolved powers from the DVLA under the Devolved Power Partner Scheme. Owners of these vehicles will now have to purchase vehicle excise tax and pay relevant fees to release their vehicle.The Dorset Council Waste Enforcement Team will continue to remove untaxed vehicles from the highway under their devolved powers and would encourage residents to report untaxed vehicles to the Council, so that appropriate action can be taken.
Dorset Council are still high-flyingGood news for Dorset! Dorset council have once again been placed in the ‘High flyers’ category for environmental performance by Eunomia, after being ranked in the top 10% and third place out of 137 Local Authorities in England!Eunomia is an independent consultancy who provide Local Authorities with an annual Recycling Carbon Index rating, by measuring the environmental performance of the councils’ recycling services. The Index shows which local authorities’ recycling activities are delivering the greatest carbon benefits.
Welcome to March's Newsletter!March feels a bit strange this year. On the one hand, it has been almost a year since we closed due to the pandemic, and our entire way of working altered almost overnight.On the other hand, lighter evenings, daffodils blooming, and some welcome sun in recent times; when coupled with news of vaccine roll-outs, and the possibility of being able to reopen soon give us cause for optimism.At this stage, Dorset History Centre does not yet have a confirmed re-opening date, but we will let you know once we do!March is also Women's History Month, and in this bumper newsletter we wanted to share some of the stories of women we find in the archives. In this newsletter: •Learn about the work of Adela Marion Curtis at Burton Bradstock•Read about the Carpenter family collection, and some of the strong female characters within it•Find out about our work to reduce our energy costs and save money•Something slightly different in our unidentified photograph feature
In the collections, Dorset History Centre holds a number of locally published works and manuscripts of Miss Adela Marion Curtis. Miss Curtis (1867-1960) founded a community which existed just outside Burton Bradstock for almost 30 years in the mid-20th century. The members were known locally as The White Ladies because of the flowing white robes they wore.A recent guest blog explores the life of Miss Curtis as discovered in new research...
The Carpenter LettersAmongst the records of non-conformist churches held by Dorset History Centre you will find a collection of correspondence called the Carpenter Letters. In this collection you will find letters from many of the prominent social reformers, educators and abolitionists from the nineteenth century. Often stories of important women are 'hidden' in collections like this. A look into this collection finds information from Harriet Martineau (an author and early socialist); Maria Weston Chapman (responsible for organising an annual anti-slavery fundraising event in Boston in the 1850s); and a certain Florence Nightingale...
During 2019, staff at DHC worked on a project which was the culmination of several years’ of research into how we manage the environment within our strongrooms – and thus how we ensure the preservation of the archive collections within our care.Traditionally these spaces have been permanently air-conditioned, but this project demonstrated that with modifications, a much more passive approach could achieve the same high quality preservation we require. Key benefits have been a major reduction in energy consumption and a consequent ‘greening’ of DHC.
For this newsletter we have something slightly different for you. As this feature continues to be popular with our readers, and as you've helped us exhaust our backlog of unidentified digital images, we instead have an image we know about to share with you.Do you recognise it where it may have been taken? It is definitely in Dorset this month!Let us know where you think this photograph is by sending us an email, and we will confirm the answer for you!