PEOPLE

Maddy Irvine

‘I had a wonderful childhood, born and brought up in Virginia Water in Surrey, which seemed at that time to be like a real village. My dad was a baker, and his shop, Wentworth Patisserie, was one in a parade of shops that also included a butcher, chemist, ironmonger and greengrocer. My young life revolved around my horse and my donkey, Pip and Misty, and that meant that I spent most of my time outdoors. Whatever the weather we’d ride our bikes to see to the horses, maybe go for ...

Read More

Giles Aspinall

‘I was brought up in the West Midlands, just north of Telford, so I’m not a local boy. Telford’s maybe not the best address but is in fact steeped in history, with the Ironbridge Gorge nearby. I was lucky to have a very nice upbringing, and we lived quite deep in the countryside. However we were surrounded mainly by intensively farmed monoculture so I didn’t really learn a lot about nature as a child, but later in life in my twenties I became fascinated. My parents were very into self-sufficiency ...

Read More

Emily Bolton

‘When I was three months old my parents brought me to Nallers Farm near Askerswell, which they had taken out huge loans to buy for £12,000 in 1970 with 100 acres. My father, John Bolton, then working as a builder and stone mason, had found himself with a pregnant ballet dancer on his hands and deciding that Gabriel Oak ended better than Jude Fawley, called the Dorset Horn Sheep Breeder’s Association to find out where to get one of Gabriel’s sheep. He was sent to North Poorton and came home ...

Read More

Alan Pearce

Robin Mills met Alan Pearce in Bridport, Dorset ‘I was born at 9 o’clock in the evening on the 28th November 1932, in Morden in Surrey. My father was born in Wandsworth, my mother in Battersea; my father worked at the Seamen’s National Insurance Society. When my parents bought the house in Morden you could see across fields to the underground station, but of course that view’s gone now. I went to the local LCC schools, passed a scholarship in about 1943 and started at Mitcham secondary school for boys in ...

Read More

Holly Neil

‘My family’s all Dorset born and bred, I’ve lived here in this house all my life, and my Mum and Dad come from round here too. Mum works at Beaminster School as a teaching assistant for SEN children, and my Dad has his own business providing hoof care for cattle. I have two younger brothers, one working in a hospital in Southampton and the other living in London. Growing up round here my first school was at Evershot, which was tiny with about 10 of us in a class, and then ...

Read More