Category Archives: Local Events

GIY comes to Dorset!

Grow it Yourself International is a global movement of food growers that started in Ireland and aims to create a healthier, happier, world by encouraging everyone to grow some of their own food. There are now over 50,000 GIYers worldwide and over 800 food growing projects involved in the movement. The latest GIY group has started up in Dorset.

GIY Dorset will meet on the first Wednesday of each month starting from 5 February 2014. The meetings are free and are at the Woodhouse Gardens Pavilion at Blandford Forum. Group organizer, Wendy Pillar, says ‘GIY Dorset is a social group where everyone interested in growing food can get together, learn from each other, and swap seeds, tips, recipes and plants. We will be putting on regular expert guest speakers and visits to kitchen gardens. The idea is not ‘gardening nightschool’, but to have fun!’

For more information see

or contact Wendy at or 01258 817883.


Eco Open Homes Events Organisation

I wanted to let you know of an opportunity that is available to learn more about eco open homes events and how one might go about organising such an event.

Bristol Green Doors have run 4 very successful and well attended events in Bristol, now with the support of the Energy Saving Trust and their Ready for Retrofit project we are offering community groups in the South West area an opportunity to learn more about these events.

We are holding a series of 1/2 day roadshows across the region, starting with Swindon on 24th Jan and then Bournemouth/Poole on 29th Jan, Exeter/Plymouth 7th Feb and Taunton 12th Feb. These events are free to attend and we will introduce you to why open homes events are useful and will do a short workshop on getting started. Its worth attending even if you haven’t thought about doing one of these events before – it might get those thoughts in process if nothing else.

Following on from these events we will be offering between 2-4 groups the opportunity to receive free in-depth mentoring to help them organise their own event. There is no requirement to put an event on, though it would be excellent if this happened!

If anyone from your group is interested in attending one of these roadshows then please do contact Kate Watson asap to book your place. email or tel: 07725447361. There is no catch and we aren’t trying to make you do anything your not interested in doing – but if you’d like to discuss this further do get in touch. Many thanks, Kate

Travel Study Workshop – Next Meeting & Registration

Dear All

This is a quick update on progress on local travel issues, following on from the Travel Study workshop in June last year and also to give you details of the next Travel Study workshop being held on Tuesday 12th March 2013.

Travel Study & Update

Travel and transport is clearly an important issue for the North Dorset area. A group comprising the Shaftesbury District Task Force, District and County Council started a Travel Study, to take an overall view of travel and transport in this area. Following surveys, desk research, etc., a workshop held in June last year looked at travel in detail, and identified priority areas to work on.

Since then there has been much work on the priority issues identified. Travel and transport in rural areas is always difficult, but there is progress, with the main areas of progress as follows:

  • Bus network. Dorset County Council has surveyed all its subsidised bus routes in the area, and is reconfiguring the network to reflect actual demand based on a core network. We don’t know the detail of this yet, but will hear more at the March workshop (see below)
  • Medical transport. The local NHS is now developing a call centre for information on NHS medical transport, and there are proposals to develop a similar point of contact for community based medical transport, both to work together.
  • Community Car Schemes. The County Car Scheme is now able to help with hospital transport (previously unable to do so) which helps with the above. Also on-going improvements by Car Schemes working together with POPPs (Partnerships for Older People Programme).
  • Communication. The County Council and some bus companies will be rolling out real time information systems. There is also an innovative project to provide Town and Parish based timetables, which give the bus times for that place, but also details of local community minibus schemes, community car schemes, lift share, etc.
  • Reducing the need for unnecessary travel. As well as general background work on this, pilot work on the introduction of Universal Credits has raised some specific issues, which are being worked on.

If you have any queries relating to any of the above prior to the next Travel Study Workshop please do not hesitate to contact Joyce Guest, Email: or Telephone: 01258 484048 or Hugh de Iongh, Email: or Telephone: 01258 484025.

Next Workshop, Tuesday 12th March 2013

The Travel Study Board is holding a Workshop on Tuesday 12th March, 9:30am – 3:30pm, at Durweston Village Hall, Blandford Forum. The morning will be an update on progress made, and an opportunity to give feedback on this progress. In the afternoon, there will be specific workshops on the Bus network, Medical transport, and the Town/Parish Timetable project.

If you or someone from your organisation would like to come, please complete the attached form (one form per person), giving your name and organisation and also which two of the three afternoon workshop subjects you would be interested in and then return to Louise Richardson either by Email to: or by post at: North Dorset District Council, Nordon, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7LL. Please kindly be aware that places are limited.

We look forward to hearing from you.



Joyce Guest
General Manager
North Dorset District Council

Direct line: 01258 484048
Direct fax: 01258 484007

Hedge Planting at Orchard Farmhouse on Saturday 10th November

We will be working 9 am until 1 pm and then having baked potatoes, soup and cake in the farmhouse.  People should bring a light spade if they have one.

Autumn Open Afternoons October 12 & 13

We would love you to join us on Friday or Saturday for our Autumn Open Afternoon event. 2pm – 5pm.

We are offering tea and cakes, with a chance to see how the lavenders are doing, and have a look in the field at our wildflowers and cornfield seed beds.

We hope you will join us at Fiddleford Manor Barnyard, Sturminster Newton, DT10 2BX, 07786 896 135.

Best wishes

Jo and team
Dorset Lavender Farm Project Ltd
opportunities for volunteering and supported work placements locally
07786 896 135

What Happens When the Oil Runs Out!

Professor Chris Rhodes is speaking at the Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester from 7.00 until 8.15pm on Monday 24th September on “What happens when the oil runs out”

His blog address can be found here: I have asked him if he would be interested in being a guest blogger. If anyone wants a lift from Stur the Magic Carpet will be leaving at 6.00pm,

Many Thanks vince