Welcome to the October 2015 E-Bulletin

It's the Woodfair!

The Cranborne Chase Woodfair

You may have heard this weekend is the Cranborne Chase Woodfair, at Breamore House, near Fordingbridge.

We have been working hard to keep up the high standards of previous years, and this year there will be an even bigger AONB presence with a large tent with loads to do including a huge 12x16 ft map for the 'AONB in 40 Objects' display which will tell you what's special about the AONB, and what we do. The AONB team and members of the AONB Partnership look forward to welcoming you, and will be on hand to chat, or answer your questions over the weekend.

So far, the weather for the weekend is looking great, and during the course of the week the site has been starting to take shape. You can follow progress, and stay up to date with what's happening on our Facebook page. You can also visit the main Woodfair Website to find out further details about the event.

We look forward to seeing you there!


1000 Applications!

Richard Burden, our Landscape and Planning Advisor, cuts the cake made by colleague Tracy Adams

Richard Burden, our Landscape and Planning Advisor, cuts the cake made by colleague Tracy Adams to celebrate the 1000th response that Richard has made to planning applications that are sent to the AONB from the nine local planning authority partners.

Richard has responded to 250 applications per year, on average, for the last two years. He has been involved in consultations and site visits for the large housing proposals on the edge, and within the setting, of the AONB, including those at Shaftesbury, Warminster, Blandford and Downton.

Richard has commented on numerous applications for large, ground mounted solar farms, farm diversification proposals (mainly for change of use of barns to dwellings), and for numerous new and replacement dwellings. Richard is also consulting on the Dinah’s Hollow road stabilisation project. For someone who works only three days a week Richard is kept incredibly busy!

International Dark Sky Reserve

International Dark Sky Reserve

On light pollution maps, Cranborne Chase AONB stands out as an island of darkness, still enjoying a starry ‘dark night sky’ that most people can only dream of. The AONB has set itself the goal of gaining this status applying to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), by the end of 2016.

The AONB Partnership is very grateful to The British Astronomical Association (BAA) that is guiding work on the application. It involves taking dark sky meter readings across the AONB to identify the ‘core’ area where skies are the darkest and a ‘buffer area’ around it. The first set of readings look very promising!

Benefits of dark night skies:

  • People: At its simplest, our sleep can be disrupted by too much light at night. At worst, it can lead to more serious health issues
  • Wildlife: Many birds and animals are affected by stray light at night, affecting their breeding cycles and feeding habits. Controlling stray light helps bats, birds, moths and other nocturnal creatures to go about their business and thrive
  • Enjoyment and education: There is increasing interest, wonder and amazement at the incredible array of stars above us. Stargazing is a fabulous educational activity for all
  • Money: Substantial savings can be made by Local Authorities, businesses and individuals from turning off or dimming down unnecessary lighting
  • Saving energy: There is no point shining light into the sky. Energy wastage can be considerably reduced by ensuring light is directed only where it is needed
  • Rural tourism: Other areas designated for their dark skies have seen greater visitor numbers, even in winter, leading to increased business for B&Bs, retailers, and others catering for visitors
  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: 50% of the AONB is above us! Dark night skies are definitely outstanding, natural and beautiful, and should be conserved and enhanced along with the rest of the AONB

How you can help:

  • Show your support by taking the ‘Dark Skies Pledge’ at www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk/our-work/dark-night-skies
  • On clear nights, see if you can spot certain starry constellations that serve as markers of a truly dark sky and let us know.
  • Record night time lighting in your area, so that the AONB can explore ways of removing unnecessary artificial glare from the night sky
  • Improve the dark night sky by adjusting any of your lights downwards that shine above the horizontal. Nobody need turn any existing lights off but rather confine the light to the place to be illuminated

For further information, pledge your support or where to find free star charts go to: www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk/our-work/dark-night-skies. Also, search online for various free downloadable star gazing apps for your mobile.

Vote for Ludwell Community Primary School Solar Panels

Vote for Ludwell Community Primary School Solar Panels

A small school with a big heart and an inspiring pupil-led Eco Committee with big ambitions to generate clean, green electricity!

Over the summer solar panels have been installed at Ludwell Community Primary School. Thanks to support from Wiltshire Council, the panels are installed and generating clean, green electricity for the school already.

Now that the panels are in place, funding is needed, and the school has applied and been shortlisted for a grant from the M&S Energy fund. They need lots more votes the project, so please take a couple of minutes to lend your support!

See the webpage at: www.mandsenergyfund.com and click the link on the right ‘Vote for this group’. The more votes we get, the better chance of Ludwell Community Primary School securing the grant. Please don’t delay! The deadline is 30th September!

National Award Winner!

St Giles House and Park

Congratulations to Nicholas and Dinah Ashley-Cooper, 12th Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury for being winners of the Historic England Angel Award for ‘The Best Rescue of Any Other Type of Historic Building or Site’ – for the rescue of St Giles House and Park, Wimborne St Giles.

The awards were presented by Dame Esther Rantzen, Connie Fisher, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, John Whittingdale and judges George Clarke, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall and Emma Bridgewater.

Find out more about the rescue of St Giles House and Park on the Historic England website.
Watch a film about the rescue of St Giles House and Park on the YouTube website.

Good news for community groups and heritage projects in the AONB - the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has renewed and increased its funding, expanding the categories to celebrate inspirational community action groups; leading pieces of heritage research and education; and the rescue of important historic buildings and places.

We will post updates on our Funding Blog (you can subscribe to the feed to stay informed of updates).

Projects Update

Wessex BESS research project

Wessex BESS research project

This is your chance to get involved in research that will be used in future policy and planning for our area. We need you to tell us about the outdoor places and benefits you get from your local countryside!

Fill in a short survey for research on how nature and the countryside affect people’s well-being in Wiltshire at:

This survey is part of a combined natural and social science research project based around Salisbury Plain called 'Wessex-BESS'. It is studying different ways that biodiversity helps people to live healthy, happy lives. Find out more at: www.brc.ac.uk/wessexbess/

Your Questions Answered

Each e-bulletin we'll be answering your questions about the AONB - please email them in to us at info@cranbornechase.org.uk and we'll do our best to answer them here!

Q.  What is a Chase, and Why 'Cranborne Chase'?

Chalk Downland

A.  The word "chase" comes from the hunts, frequented by royalty (including Kings John, Henry VIII and James I), which took place on the downs.

The 1829 disfranchisement meant that the ‘vert’ – woodland and scrub – were protected as cover and browse for the deer. In turn, this protection meant the changes in agricultural practices in the 18th and early 19th century did not impact on the Chase. Many of the woodlands remain, frequently with Hazel understorey, and the AONB has a significant area of Ancient Woodland. To find out more about the history of the area, see the Historic Environment Action Plans website.

Stay Informed!

To stay informed about all grants available to businesses and communities in the AONB, subscribe to our free weekly blog updates - all grant & funding updates go on there - it's all combined into a single email per week: http://www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk/news-events/latest-from-the-blog/


3rd - 4th October
The Cranborne Chase Woodfair -
Regional showcase of Woodland organised by the AONB Team

6th October
Senior Well Being Event - Mere


8th October
Free Business Event
- Join over 100 big, small & micro businesses for our Business Conference & Exhibition, featuring Exhibitions, Workshops and Networking.

5th – 9th October
Autumn Fair
- Autumn Fair raising money for Fordingbridge Friends of Cancer Research UK.

12th - 18th October
Mere Literary Festival
- a Literary festival to support the local Linkscheme charity.

28th - 29th October
Marilyn Allis
- Art taster mornings.

If you would like to see your event in the AONB listed here, and on our Events pages on our website, please contact us at info@cranbornechase.org.uk

And Finally...


Bird of the Month - Is.....The Redwing

Now is the time to keep a look out for the Redwing as migrants start to arrive in the AONB from Scandinavia and Russia, and Icelandic birds. You'll most likely see them feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields.

With the amusing Latin name of 'Turdus iliacus' the Redwing is the UK's smallest true thrush.

Redwings are a classic night-time migrant, listen out on dark clear autumn and early winter nights, and you are likely to hear the thin 'tseep' of migrating Redwing overhead.

Business of the Month - CBA Services

CBA Services

The latest entry in the free business listing pages on the AONB Website is CBA Services.

CBA Services is a local accountancy and tax advisory business owned and run by Catherine Chapman who lives in Sixpenny Handley.

A couple of years ago Catherine took the decision to leave one of the top ten accountancy firms and set up on her own to offer a professional and personalised service to local businesses and individuals at a realistic cost. Catherine always visits and speaks with clients herself so she is able to assist each client in relation to their individual circumstances and provide advice accordingly.

The business has recently become a member of ‘Checkaprofessional’. Services offered include Tax Returns, Trusts and Estates Accounts, Book Keeping, VAT Returns, Payroll

Unit 3d Manor Farm Business Park, Gussage St Michael, Blandford BH21 5HT
Website: www.cba-services.co.uk.

Thanks for reading, see you at the Woodfair!


AONB Office, Shears Building, Stone Lane Industrial Estate, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1HD
Tel: 01725 517417 | Email: info@cranbornechase.org.uk | Web: www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk

























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