Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the nation’s finest landscapes. At 981 square kilometres it is the sixth largest of 46 AONBs in the country.
The immense historic and biodiversity riches in this nationally protected area are held in high esteem by local communities and visitors alike.
A very happy and peaceful Christmas…
… from the team at the Cranborne Chase AONB. Please read on for our news this month, but we also look forward to seeing you in the New Year for our 2018 E-newsletters.
AONB schools to be treated to space workshops
FIVE primary schools and a Beavers group have signed up for workshops from Space Detectives. The workshops, which commence in January and run through to March, are being funded by the Cranborne Chase AONB.
“Cranborne Chase is in the process of attempting to gain prestigious International Dark Sky Reserve Status, and part of the bid involves educating the younger generation,” said AONB director Linda Nunn. “I can think of no better person than Jo Richardson, who runs Space Detectives, to go into schools and deliver the message about the wonders of space.”
The schools have signed up for a variety of workshops, the most popular of which is Our Place in Space (http://www.spacedetectives.com/our-place-in-space-1.html), which looks at our own solar system and its position within the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the planets.
KS1 pupils at Great Wishford Primary School will be hearing about Blast Off 1, which examines rockets, astronauts and space travel. The children will even have the opportunity to dress as astronauts and simulate being in a rocket.
Hindon Primary School has booked In the Night Sky, a workshop which takes an in depth look at star constellations and the history of the night sky, delving into the myths and legends of ancient stories, while children at Semley CE VA Primary School will hear about The Life of Stars, which investigates the various life stages, from nebulae and red giant to super red giant and neutron stars.
“I’m really looking forward to starting the workshops in the Cranborne Chase schools,” said Jo Richardson. “No matter how many times I deliver each one, I still find the subject of space incredibly exciting.”
Stargazing events scheduled for the New Year
THE Cranborne Chase AONB’s stargazing evenings are proving incredibly popular, with numerous night sky enthusiasts turning up at Semley Village Hall in November and at Sixpenny Handley 1st Woodcutts Scout HQ in early December.
If you missed these events, there are plenty more in our special stargazing series, during which astronomer and Cranborne Chase AONB Dark Skies advisor Bob Mizon regales the audience with stories of the astronomical wonders above their heads, while the AONB’s director Linda Nunn details developments concerning the Cranborne Chase AONB’s bid for prestigious International Dark Sky Reserve status. Afterwards, the audience joins Bob and members of the Wessex Astronomical Society outside for a spectacular stargazing experience.
The series of stargazing events during 2018 will be on:
• Thursday 18 January at Bishopstone Village Hall (Butt Lane, Bishopstone, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 4AA)
• Thursday 15 February at Ansty Pick Your Own (Ansty PYO & Farm Shop, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5PX)
• Thursday 15 March at Sutton Veny Village Hall (High Street, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire BA12 7AP)
All events commence at 7pm and last for around two to two-and-a-half hours, depending on weather conditions. The cost for adults is £5 each (cash or cheque on the night/includes a free tea or coffee), with no charge for children. Please book in advance, tel: 01725 517417, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on stargazing in the Cranborne Chase AONB, visit www.chasingstars.org.uk.
Please also take a few seconds to pledge your support to our Dark Skies Bid, http://chasingstars.org.uk/get-involved/sign-our-dark-skies-pledge.html.
Learn night sky photography skills
Renowned night sky photographer Nigel Ball will be hosting a talk on Monday 19 February on the techniques used to capture fantastic night images and star trails using a standard digital SLR.
Nigel, whose photographs often link the night sky with iconic locations, will discuss planning, equipment and top tips for success.
The venue is Woodcutts Scout HQ, Sixpenny Handley. Tickets cost £10 – please bring cash/cheque on the night. To book a place, email email@example.com.
For more information on stargazing in the Cranborne Chase AONB, log on to www.chasingstars.org.uk.
Treasures of the Chase
Every month we bring you treasures from Cranborne Chase from Angela Rawson’s picture of the AONB’s many fascinating landmarks. This month we look at the robin and its association with Christmas
THE robin’s association with Christmas, according to legend, goes back to the birth of Jesus. In the stable, the fire was going out. The ox and the donkey failed to bring it back to life, but a brown robin flew in and began to fan the flames. As he did so, the fire suddenly roared and his chest was scorched red. Apparently, he retained a red breast from then onwards as a sign of his noble deed.
Seeking myth and legend in Cranborne Chase
The team at Cranborne Chase is seeking stories of myth and legend within the AONB. Does your village have a ghostly highwayman or is your local pub said to be haunted? If so please tell us about it. The best myths and legends will eventually appear on our website. Please send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you got news for us?
Do you live within the Cranborne Chase AONB and have a story that you would like to promote to the wider community? We would love to hear about your events, projects, thriving rural businesses, etc, which we may not only publicise in this monthly E-newsletter, but also on our website and to the wider press if the story merits it. The more wonderful newsworthy items we can relate, the more we will raise our profile and the more people will come and visit. If you have a story to tell, please get in touch. Email: JulieHarding@cranbornechase.org.uk.