A Dorset overnight stay.

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Lord Milton the owner of Milton Abbey (now a school) was unhappy with the view from his property the village of Middleton was disturbing his view. In 1780 he commissioned Sir William Chambers architect and Landscape gardener Capability Brown who had worked on the Abbey and its grounds to create a new village Milton Abbas in a wooded valley southeast of his Abbey. Many of the existing villagers of Middleton were relocated to the new village, Middleton was demolished and its site was landscaped.

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36 almost identical cottages were intended to house two families each. The form the main street of the village which apart from the car outside look almost as they did when they were 1st built.

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Close to Milton Abbas is another village, Cerne Abbas. Above the village carved on the chalk, hillside stands a 180-foot male figure it is the outline of a standing nude man with an erection and holding a club, his outline is dug into the turf and backfilled with chalk rubble. Today he is a scheduled monument and the site is owned by the National Trust. The giants origin and age is unclear. Although often thought of as an ancient construction, though the earliest mention of him dates to the late 17th century.

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The reason for our Dorset trip was to badger watch and we found  http://www.badgerwatchdorset.co.uk/ on line a booked a slot they were really helpful and allowed us to stay in their car park overnight in our campervan. We waited for about 4 hours in a hide before seeing 2 Badgers. (worth the wait) We also saw a herd of deer crossing the field and a Tawny owl. In the fading light, I managed to capture some acceptable Badger pictures. The sad thing was on Wednesday night we saw 2 living Badgers but we saw another 3 dead on the road on Thursday driving home.

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Next, to where we parked at the farm, a bee swarm landed which made an irresistible photo call.

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Yellow & White + all steamed up.

Yellow and White flowers and a steam fair. Today was a Sunday tour around the Winchester area. Twyford old waterworks had steam up day with several visiting steam engines and road rollers.

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White flowers cover many of the woods with both their colour and their odour. Wild garlic,  also known as Ramsons, Buckrams, Broad-leaved garlic, Wood garlic, Bear leek or Bear’s garlic, a bulbous perennial flowering plant in the lily family Amaryllidaceae. It is a wild relative of the onion, native to Europe and Asia.

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Many of the farms’ grow oil seed rape which turns the views yellow.yellow 1.jpg

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On the edge of the M272 near Brockwood is a mound of flints and a stone circle. These are said to have been built by a local landowner Col. Meinerzhagen – who was a very interesting character (See link below). Next to the flint mound is a headstone with an inscription that reads, “HERE LIES COL. R MEINERTZHAGEN’S HORSE MELKSHAM BURIED UNDER THESE STONES WHO DIED AT THIS PLACE IN 1910”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Meinertzhagen#Sinai_Desert_and_the_Haversack_Ruse

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Erosion.

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Some 30 years ago we used to enjoy a visit to the beach at “Paddy Gap” near Highcliffe after a short walk from the car park you passed a WW2 pillbox and reached the cliff top. There was a bit of a scramble down but you could get to the beach, the gap was obviously enough of a concern in WW2 to build the pillbox and a number of anti-tank blocks. 

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I visited again today a the true extent of coastal erosion can be seen. The soft cliffs have moved inland some distance the paths down to the beach is now lost and the blocks have fallen from the cliffs into the sea. 

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Romney Marsh.

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I have visited St Thomas A Becket Fairfield on Romney Marsh many times over the years. This little church stands out on the marsh surrounded by waterways often totally surrounded by water during wet months a causeway was built in 1913. The village in once served has been lost and today it is in the Parish of Brookland Brenzett & Snargate. By 1912 the church was in a poor state and was rebuilt.

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Today was the first time had ventured inside, picking up the large key from a local farmhouse. Inside painted white box pews fill the aisle a three deck pulpit and Biblical texts hung on the walls. Going inside it feels like being transported back 200 years

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Some general views of Romney Marsh.

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