All the latest news from around the county - November 2013

Falconer Steve Backshall by Richard Budd

Falconer Steve Backshall by Richard Budd - Credit: Archant

Upfront: news from around the county.

Champions of wildlife

Dorchester-based professional photographer Richard Budd’s image of falconer Steve Backshall has made the centre page pull out in this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine. Well done Richard! (

Also congratulations to 21-year-old Sam Stewart, whose amazing barn owl images we featured in the magazine back in September. The wildlife cameraman and photographer from Wimborne has contributed some of his filming work to the BBC’s new wildlife television series The Great British Year which airs at 9pm on Wednesday evenings. See more of his work at

Sherbourne girls ride to victory

Students from Sherborne Girls finished first out of 31 schools at the 26th Stonar Inter-Schools Team one day event. Charlotte Radford, Georgie Lane, Rosanna Miller and Emily Williams competed in dressage, show jumping and cross country. “We had such a great time at Stonar,” says Georgie Lane. “I was really proud of our performances, and it was a fantastic feeling to bring the Senior Silver Plate home to Sherborne Girls.”

Dorset flourishes in Bloom Awards

Bournemouth was once again the highest scoring Dorset entry in the annual Southern Water South & South East in Bloom contest. Other Dorset winners included Ferndown, Shaftesbury, Wareham, Wimborne and Christchurch. Mrs Duddon of Bournemouth won Best Front Garden and The Pub in Bloom Award went to The Green Man in Wimborne, with Wareham’s The Quay Inn winning a highly commended award.

Dorset shepard’s huts go Down Under

Dorset-based Plankbridge is continuing the 19th-century tradition of exporting prefabricated corrugated iron buildings to Australia by shipping new-build shepherd’s huts to Brisbane. Plankbridge co-owner Richard Lee has joined forces with archaeologist and heritage expert Steve Chaddock, who lived in Henstridge and Shaftsbury before moving to Queensland in 2005. “The idea that orders for our huts in Australia are helping to employ several craftsmen in Dorset, just as it did 150 years ago, fills me with huge optimism for the future,” says Richard. Steve, and his wife Mellissa are setting up Plankbridge Australia in Queensland and can’t wait to import a little piece of Dorset history down under. “We are really looking forward to offering Plankbridge’s bespoke products to a discerning Australian public,” says Steve. (

Most Read

Finalists announced for inaugural Dorset Tourism Awards

Over 30 of Dorset’s leading tourism businesses have been selected as finalists in the inaugural Dorset Tourism Awards which will be presented at a prestigious dinner at Tank Museum at Bovington the end of October. Winners will go through to the South West Tourism Excellence Awards and may well be put forward for the National Enjoy England Awards. For more details visit and Breakfast of the Year

The Inn at Cranborne

Launceston Farm B&B, Blandford Forum

The White House, Charmouth

Tourism Information Service

Discover Purbeck Information Centre

Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre

Poole Welcome Centre

Holiday Park of the Year

Highlands End Holiday Park, Bridport

Rockley Park, Hamworthy

South Lytchett Manor Caravan & Camping Park, Lytchett Minster

Best Tourism Activity, Sport & Experience

Furleigh Estate, Bridport

Lyme Bay RIB Charter

National Trust Brownsea Island

Tourism Event of the Year

The British Beach Polo Championships

Dorset Seafood Festival

Rallye Sunseeker

Sherborne Abbey Festival

Hotel of the Year

The Bridgehouse, Beaminster

Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne

Hotel Miramar, Bournemouth

Sustainable Tourism Award

Captains Club Hotel, Christchurch

Highlands End Holiday Park, Bridport

Self-Catering Establishment of the Year

Dove House and Swallows, Dorchester

Dream Cottages, Weymouth

Greenwood Grange, Dorchester

Eating Out Award

Arbor Restaurant at The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth

Beaminster Brasserie, Beaminster

Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne

Highcliff Grill at the Marriott, Bournemouth

Visitor Attraction of the Year

Farmer Palmers, Organford

National Trust – Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster

Sandworld, Weymouth

The Tank Museum, Bovington

Tourism Pub of the Year

The Inn at Cranborne

Lulworth Cove Inn

The Old Granary, Wareham