Discover Moors ValleyWith acres of open space to explore at Moors Valley, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to do and where to start. We have some new free activities that help bring you closer to nature and discover things that you may not have noticed before. Come and try our...•Nature Activity Trail •Scavenger Hunt•Ranger Spot
Which Way?We have over 3000 miles of rights of way in Dorset. Please remember to follow the coloured way-marking signs and make sure you know what they mean. Footpaths - for walking, running, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairsBridleways - for walking, horse riding, bicycles, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairsRestricted byways - for any transport without a motor and mobility scooters or powered wheelchairsByways open to all traffic - for any kind of transport, including cars (but mainly used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders)Permissive paths - paths which a landowner has granted a specific agreement for the public to use. Please follow the Countryside Code at all times. Practise your map reading skills and plan your outing before you set off.
Exploring Avon HeathAvon Heath is a great place to explore and enjoy the outdoors. If you're looking for something extra to do, why not try the new Planet Protector Trail (£3), free Scavenger Hunt or Orienteering routes? There's no paperwork involved - just bring your smart phone and take a photo of the details when you arrive. We can email the info if you don't have a suitable phone.
Tasty Treats at ThorncombeThe family run Under the Greenwood Tree Café at Hardy's Birthplace Visitor Centre is back open for business! Dogs are also welcome and as a big dog lover, Sarah is known to give out free gravy bones or biscuit treats. Tables are spaced out inside and outside, as well as further out under the trees, and there is a one-way system in place for ordering. The café and centre toilets are open Tues-Sun from 10am.
Join the Woodland Clan at DurlstonThroughout the holidays, why not join a magical adventure to save Purbeck’s countryside, with the Woodland Clan Activity Trail? Based on the new book by Annie Herridge, the trail features sculptures, music and lots of fun activities around Durlston’s Pleasure Grounds. Click on the link to find out more, download the activity book, or listen to the story and music.
Marvellous MothsMoth enthusiast Jason Falconer recently unveiled some wonderful visitors from the previous night's moth trap - photographed here are Straw Underwing, Chevron, White Point and Ear Moth. The free event was very popular with visitors of all ages (socially distanced and one family at a time). Photos by Jason who can be followed on Twitter @jasonmfalconer.
'Magnetic Fields'Thinking of taking up metal detecting whilst enjoying some fresh air and exercise in the countryside? Did you know that there are rules and regulations to be followed? The Government has issued guidance on searching for archaeological finds (with a metal detector, field walking or mud-larking) during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you discover something in Dorset, please report your find here.
Welcome to August's Newsletter!Sun, sea, sand. This year’s summer holiday may look a little different to normal, but it is still the season to escape the house and enjoy the outside before the schools go back, and the nights begin to draw in.As a perfect accompaniment to whatever your leisurely summer read may be, in this month's newsletter we have: •More about our re-opening•Thoughts on the end of the Frink project•How our Conservator saved a 17th Century account book•Another unidentified picture we need your help with
DHC Re-opening updateHaving re-opened our doors on a limited basis in early July, we are now considering how we might develop our offer in the coming weeks and months. Of course, this isn't easy!With social-distancing measures in place, we are limited to the number of staff we can have in the building at any given time, which impacts upon what we are able to offer to customers. At this stage, nothing has been decided about how we might increase the number of days we are open, which means, through the rest of August and into September, DHC will continue to be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. There are two time slots in the morning and two more in the afternoon for each of these days, which are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis! Each time slot lasts for 2.5 hours.We are doing this to try to help people maximise their time at DHC, as well as helping as many people as possible. The library is available for use, although all books will be quarantined for 72 hours after consultation; although we regret that we cannot provide any access to the microform machines or computers at this stage. If you would like to visit, or more information about our reopening please send us an email, and a member of the team will get in touch with you.
Since last October, we have had David Johnston-Smith as a Project Archivist cataloguing the Dame Elisabeth Frink collection held at Dorset History Centre. The latter part of this project was made more challenging by circumstances!Earlier in August, David left DHC for pastures new, and before he finished, we asked him to give his thoughts on the project and the collection as a whole.
If we look closely, archival documents can tell us so much more than that which is written in their pages. Even the most unassuming volume, such as accounts of the church wardens and constables of Beeby, can tell us a great deal about how the volume was used, some of the personality of its users, and how materials were sourced.In a recent blog, our Conservator explained what we can learn from how a volume is assembled.
The Accounts of Beeby
Last month, we published a picture of the Nerma, moored in an unknown location. We had a variety of responses from our readers as to the exact location, but the overall consensus is that the Nerma was mooring in West Bay, near Bridport. One helpful comment explained that “It was unloading hemp from Riga and was in the harbour from 23 to 25 May 1908. The photo was taken by Walter Langrish Stephens.We have also been pointed to information about the eventual fate of the Nerma, which was torpedoed in 1917.This month, we have another unidentified image for you to help us with! We have a feeling that this one might be a little trickier, but we are sure some of our readers might recognise it! Do you recognise this thatched building or the river?