Amazingly, the landscape we live in today still holds monuments built by the people who lived here in the Bronze Age. Many of these are ceremonial monuments built to honour and house the remains of their dead.
2500 years ago this was one of the most important ceremonial lands in Europe, but today few people realise quite how important this Ridgeway was.
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Over 50 invited guests, including competition winners, their friends and family gathered together on Sunday January 8th, to launch the start of an iconic photographic exhibition titled ‘Inspiring Landscapes’ at the Fine Foundation Gallery at Durlston Country Park. The Dorset AONB ‘Site Seeing Competition’ in partnership with the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership, which ran during the summer months, drew a high calibre of entrants of both professional and amateur photographers, capturing the most beautiful and often hidden elements of the County’s landscape. Over 300 photos were entered, by over 100 photographers of a broad range of ages and abilities, so the team had a difficult job to choose the Winners and Runners Up. Assisted by a professional photographer, the curated images on display are split into categories covering The South Dorset Ridgeway as well as the general Dorset AONB area.
Sue Dampney, Communications Manager for the AONB team said:
“It was a pleasure to run this competition and the standard was incredibly high, but it's now lovely to be able to showcase those entries to the public, in such a wonderful and inspiring space. Today has also been a great opportunity to bring together the Winners, Highly Commended and Commended entries and say thank you for their efforts.”
The exhibition is free to the public and opens daily from Monday 9th until 22nd January 2017. Further details of how to find Durlston Country Park can be found by following the link. http://www.durlston.co.uk/
Now that the frosts have arrived and winter is finally here, come and join us for some stress-busting, spirit-lifting scrub-bashing on the South Dorset Ridgeway – and give yourself and our wildlife a boost! Visit our Events page for more details.
Ever fancied learning the traditional craft of hedgelaying? Then we have just the thing for you! Come and learn how to lay a hedge Dorset-style in a beautiful hidden valley near Long Bredy. Tempted? Visit our Events page for more details.
Our winter programme of guided walks is now open for booking so lace up your boots, don your hat and join us to explore the fascinating landscape of the South Dorset Ridgeway - more details on our Events page.
What histories, what stories would these stones, and ancient barrows tell us if they could talk?
What legends, fairy tales, local myths and oral histories have been woven into and around the landscape? What natural and created sounds can be heard high on the skyline underground, along footpaths, ancient tracks, and whispering woodlands?
In a ground-breaking new project as part of the South Dorset Landscape Partnership (The Land of Bone and Stone), a series of smartphone Apps have been developed which allows you to experience this universe for yourself!
Partners SATSYMPH have laid out a series of sound-pools in 7 evocative locations along the South Dorset Ridgeway. Access the sound-pools by downloading an app onto your smartphone, plus background maps, and head out to any of the 7 locations. Once there, open the app, plug your headphones in and wander. Your smartphone automatically senses the sound-hotspots through GPS and opens out the sound experience.
Land Bone Stone Apps 1-3 were made by the 3-man artistic collective SATSYMPH working with DIVAcontemporary, Sir John Colfox School (Bridport), Beaminster School, Weymouth College and Dorset Studio School, InsideOut Dorset, Artmusic, Frances Aitken and members of the public.
On Saturday 28th January 2017 from 2.30pm until 5pm at Martinstown Village Hall (Martinstown, DT2 9JU) there will be a free event showcasing the results of the South Winterbourne Journey Arts Project. Tea, coffee and cake will also be available.
There will be a presentation of work from the Creative Writing Workshop on Lost Villages, short talks by Dorset Wildlife Trust on the Winterbourne stream including their work to restore and maintain wildlife habitats and DCC archaeologist, Steve Wallis, talking about the work of his department in the area. There will also be the opportunity to hear the podcasts created using interviews with local people and recordings of key local sounds. The podcasts include a focus on Martinstown during wartime, Martinstown Cricket Club, poetry and William Barnes.
One of the highlights of the afternoon will be a selection of William Barnes' dialect poems delivered in person by Dr Alan Chedzoy (William Barnes' biographer) in his delightful and engaging style.
This project is one of many projects being delivered as part of the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by local partner organisations, headed up by Dorset AONB.
The overall project has focussed on the South Dorset Ridgeway area, aiming to improve access, increase knowledge of the area and disseminate this more widely, as well as encouraging increasing local participation in the landscape and culture of the region.
Project partners, DIVA contemporary (Bridport based media arts organisation) have been engaged in several public participation projects. For the past six months DIVA has been engaged on The South Winterbourne Journey, investigating the Winterbourne valley from Winterbourne Abbas to Winterbourne Came with particular focus on Martinstown and Winterbourne Came. Their idea was to create an audio picture of these places. The DIVA team have met and interviewed a whole range of local people, from the Vicar to the Martinstown Youth Cricket team and also spent an afternoon with Jacob Dew of Dorset Wildlife Trust, finding out all about the Winterbourne itself.
The aspects of the project with regard to Winterbourne Came have focussed on the poetry of Dorset Dialect poet William Barnes, who spent 25 years as Rector of Winterbourne Came and is buried in the churchyard there. DIVA met and talked to Dr Alan Chedzoy, local authority on William Barnes who also performs the dialect poetry of Barnes, bringing it to life in an enthralling way.
Close to Winterbourne Came there are also the remains of the lost village of Winterbourne Farringdon, and the theme of Lost Villages was explored in a Creative Writing Workshop held as part of this project. This was very well attended and produced a wealth of new work on the subject.
The afternoon of 28th January will provide an opportunity for all to come along and listen to the work, meet some of the participants and find out more about the South Dorset Ridgeway Project which is throwing a spotlight on this beautiful and remarkable part of Dorset.
The event is free and all are welcome.
2.30pm Doors open
3 - 3.15pm Steve Wallis, DCC Archaeologist
3.30 - 3.45pm Chris Slade, poetry workshop participant
4 - 4.15pm Jacob Dew, Dorset Wildlife Trust
4.30pm Dr Alan Chedzoy presenting some of William Barnes' dialect poems