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EditorialsUpFront 03/2023

UpFront 03/2023

At this time of year I tend to look to our gardening correspondents to remind me that Spring should be just around the corner. But this year the first two weeks of February were perfect weather—ideal for me to learn to walk again after a long awaited hip replacement. So I won’t complain if that weather stays for a while. Seeing the appearance of snowdrops and crocuses with every short walk is one of the joys of this time of year, and as the natural world unfolds to greet a little sunshine and warmth it feels as though there is much to look forward to. Having said that, Russell Jordan does warn us that despite the calendar suggesting Winter should be over, ‘extreme cold, with overnight frosts, is a constant threat to burgeoning new growth.’ So gardeners will still need to be vigilant. Ashley Wheeler reports that amongst his polytunnel plantings, peas and spring onions are getting going—but he also warns that weeds are waking up too. It’s inevitable that with every new growth something less attractive appears, and that seems to be the case well beyond the garden. Michael McCarthy highlights the joys of chalk streams and their pure water. He writes about the streams and rivers that all but dry up completely in summer only to flow again in winter. However, he also asks a question about a proposed new housing development in the north of Dorchester that has raised concerns about the town’s water supply. Although agreeing that everyone needs somewhere to live he asks: is it in the right place? And in our arts section Kit Glaisyer puts a call out to the local community to help develop a new team to run the ever popular Bridport Open Studios. Having been involved in supporting this event for many years I know first-hand what a popular and beneficial event it is—both for the town and surrounding area and the artists that participate. On page 40 we publish a short obituary of one of our contributors, the late Nick Fisher. A well-liked and admired figure throughout the local community and beyond, Nick will be missed by many people. A couple of weeks before his death he and I discussed articles that we planned to publish in the coming year. I hope that in the future we can bring at least some of his spirit back to the pages of this magazine.

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