The often itchy issue of fleas

Vetsmiths, pets with fleas

Fleas are often considered to be a seasonal nuisance, irritating for your pet as well as being annoying for you if you get nipped by one and have an infestation at home.
But they’re a more serious problem than this and are now a year-long threat that can cause your pet distress as well as spreading disease.
Centrally heated homes are the perfect year-round breeding ground for fleas who are attracted to the warm environment, so they aren’t just a spring and summer issue. Eggs can lay dormant in pet beds, carpets, rugs and upholstery for months before finding a host.
Much of the life-cycle of the flea takes place in the animal’s environment, not on the animal itself. Protecting your pet and your family requires this life-cycle to be broken by year-round protection and ideally by using a treatment that renders the eggs unable to hatch. This way any that do transfer to the environment don’t start the cycle all over again.
Heavy infestations may lead to iron deficiency, anaemia and even death in particularly young animals.
Reactive and one-off treatments are insufficient in preventing the spread of disease and do nothing to prevent the initial attack or break the life-cycle.
A regular monthly treatment with an integrated product which not only kills any fleas that attack your pet, but also stops the development of eggs and therefore breaks the life-cycle is recommended.
This approach will stop any initial infestation and protect your home, your pet and your family throughout the year.
Your vet will advise on the best preventative flea treatment for your pets.

Ducati motorbikes breeze into Dorset

Ducati motorbikes breeze into Dorset

Ducati UK has teamed up with Breeze Motor Group to open a destination store in Dorset, dedicated to the iconic Italian motorcycle brand.
Opening in autumn 2022, Ducati Bournemouth will be located at Bedrock Park, Ferndown Industrial Estate.
The 7,000sq ft store will provide the full range of new Ducati motorcycles and Scrambler Ducati as well as pre-owned sales, official apparel, parts and
accessories, and a state-of-the-art workshop.
Fabrizio Cazzoli, managing director of Ducati UK said: “Ducati strategy in the UK is very clear, we aim to fulfil our mission: “Enrich people’s lives through amazing experiences delivered by the highest quality, most beautiful and hi-tech power two-wheeler products.
“To achieve this, we partner with organisations who share our same principle, values and performance. “Breeze Motor Group has proved to be the perfect partner in the area.”
Once opened, the Ducati Bournemouth team will also host showroom events and a calendar of ride outs with routes designed to make the most of the stunning Dorset scenery, with coffee and cake available back at the showroom for refuelling.
Mark Langford, left, managing director of Breeze Motor Group said: “We’re incredibly proud and excited to be bringing Ducati into Dorset.
“Our well-positioned, easily accessible dealership will offer an exceptional level of service to all customers and a great opportunity to enjoy the fantastic rides we have on our doorstep.”
Ducati Bournemouth will create 10 jobs, including specialist motorcycle technicians, sales executives and service advisers.
To be first in the know on all things Ducati Bournemouth, including recruitment, follow @DucatiBournemouth on Facebook and Instagram.

Juniors are the stars at Manningford

FLYING HIGH: Leo Hoyle, left, with his winning brownie and overall champion Bradley Slater with cracking rainbows
FLYING HIGH: Leo Hoyle, left, with his winning brownie and overall champion Bradley Slater with cracking rainbows

Summer has well and truly arrived. especially over the border in Wiltshire where the Fly Fishers made the trip to Manningford Trout Fishery.
Conditions were near perfect and the action was fast from the start. Trout were eager to fed on damsels and nymphs with the bigger fish nearer the bottom. Overall winner was junior member Bradley Slater who showed skill and patience targeting the bigger fish with an intermediate line. Bradley’s four fish bag tipped the scale at an impressive 15lbs 2ozs. Fellow junior Leo Hoyle landed the biggest brown trout of the day, at 6lbs 4ozs. A great day’s fishing in beautiful surroundings.
– Hot But Not Cross at Moorhen Easter Comp
A perfect spring morning was enjoyed by the Poole ands Wimborne FlyFishers.
Moorhen is a small but beautiful fishery in the Meon Valley in Hampshire and boasts some massive and hard-fighting trout. Nature was in evidence on the lakes with many different birds visiting including a newly hatched set of 11 ducklings.
The sport was excellent, but not all anglers found it easy to bag up.
Biggest fish went to Gordon Wray with a beautiful 6lbs 9ozs rainbow, but Gordon couldn’t get his last fish.
The best angler on the day was Neil O’Shea with a four-fish bag of over 14lbs. Fish were mostly interested in smal imitative flies, and buzzers did the trick for many competitors.
Well Done Neil.

by Gortdon Wray


Progress made at the farm with Tiffany Fleming

Tiffany Fleming Farm
Photo by Tiffany Fleming

There are few things more satisfying than seeing progress being made, and there has been much progress made at the farm this month. I was lucky enough to be on site when the new animal feed store was delivered – a 40-foot former supermarket lorry refrigeration unit.
When the low loader arrived to deliver it, we all scratched our heads as to how the unit was going to get from the transporter to its intended destination.
However, the delivery team, clearly ‘old hands’ at the game, simply removed a few fence panels and craned the unit into its new home.
The ‘shed’ is another fine example of our ability to adapt and upcycle. One man’s redundant lorry-body is another’s super sexy ‘rat proof’ secure store – complete with prewired electrics and fully insulated to boot!

Hannah. Photo by Tiffany Fleming
Hannah. Photo by Tiffany Fleming

Lucie, head of the animal husbandry team, is genuinely delighted at her new store, which boasts enough room to also create some much-needed office space, something that’s at a premium at High Mead. The farm office is tiny and has just enough room for three office chairs and there are at least six members of staff that may like to use them at any one time. A visit to the office is akin to playing one of those little puzzles which requires you to move one piece before you can shift another. If you are lucky enough to secure a seat, you must be sure to look after it, because the moment you vacate it, there will be someone (or a ginger cat) leaping into your place.

Tiffany Fleming Farm
Photo by Tiffany Fleming

Almost as speedy, and even more prolific than a seat thief, are the weeds this time of year. Oh my days! Look away from a freshly-dug patch of ground for more than a few minutes and I swear you will see new shoots emerging as soon as your gaze is returned. What a relentless task! Hannah, Rachel, David, and the horticultural team have been doing sterling work, but the fight is now on to keep the weeds at bay and the farm gardens looking tidy. If there are any seasoned gardeners out there that know their weeds from their Welsh Onions, and who find themselves with a few hours to spare, then do please call the office and offer your services. The team, I am sure, would be most grateful. Work on a new fire alarm system starts this month too, courtesy of a very generous collection donated by Ferndown Golf Club. The upgrade, whilst not terribly exciting and certainly less impactful than the animal feed store, is much needed and will not only help to keep the farm safe, but also inspection-ready!
Just in time for us to enter the farm’s 10th anniversary month…

Tiffany Fleming is a volunteer at High Mead Farm in Longham, Ferndown.
High Mead Farm is a working farm run to promote the benefits of engaging with animals, soil, and nature. They ‘create purposeful roles for our co-farmers, young people and adults alike, to help bring about a sense of well-being and self-worth that many have never experienced before’.

Last chance for support funding

Last chance for support funding

The South West’s farmers of the future, new generation gardeners and countryside careerists have a chance to gain financial support while they study through an innovative Student Support Fund.
But they need to hurry as the closing date is end of this month.
The brainchild of Gillingham and Shaftesbury Agricultural Society, organisers of the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show, this fund, only in its second year, is specifically set up to support students entering into agricultural, horticultural, countryside and land-based industries.
It offers help with costs towards college or university course fees, books and equipment or even to help meet transport costs of getting to a place of study from a rural location.
Matthew Price, who was part of the team that launched the initiative, said: “From my previous work in the NFU and roles as a governor of a land-based school and college, I know it’s frequently the case that financial restraints create barriers to students accessing and fulfilling education and training.
“The Student Support Fund
sets out to ease those financial pressures by offering modest but worthwhile grants up to a maximum of £1,500.”
Last year, the fund gave out £6,000 in grants ranging from money for hard-cap boots and safety helmets to helping fund course tuition fees.
The easy-to-complete applications must be submitted by May 31 via
gillinghamandshaftesbury show.co.uk/student-support-fund.

County river artist Gary is just going with the flow

Shaftesbury artist Gary Cook

Few lives in this part of Dorset have not been touched in some way by the River Stour.
Whether you’ve fished or paddled in its waters, or live in one of the many places that take its name – from Stourpaine and Stour Provost, to Stourton and Sturminster Newton – it will have played a part in your life.
Shaftesbury artist Gary Cook has been similarly enchanted, and charts the Stour’s stately progress, from a spring at Stourhead in Wiltshire, to a river meeting the sea.
His exhibition, Wend: The Stour From Source To Sea at The Art Stable in Child Okeford, features 30 watercolours he has produced, celebrating the Stour’s 61-mile journey to the English Channel.
“My paintings include silhouettes and names of the many species that I see and are dependent on the river and which are sadly threatened by pollution,” he says.
As well as producing the atmospheric artworks, Gary, who was the senior artist at The Sunday Times for more than 25 years, has also researched his beloved subject.
He says there are 48 tributaries that make up the 781 miles of rivers and streams feeding the Stour. “This has given me lots of scope for painting sites and I’m receiving lots of interest in the upcoming show, as rivers really strike a chord with people” he says.
The exhibition takes place at The Art Stable, Child Okeford, from June 11 to July 9.
Visit: cookthepainter.com.

by Faith Eckersall

Shaftesbury artist Gary Cook Shaftesbury artist Gary Cook

Boss it with elderflower posset!

Boss it with elderflower posset!

Every year around this time I consider planting an Elder in the garden. It flowers now and the intoxicating smell is heaven scent!
I make elderflower cordial and stash some away to be used for the even more delicious Elderflower Posset. The sweet, lemony exotic smell is quite unlike any other British wild flower I have experienced.
Try not to use many of the stalk and leaf parts in the cooking. The green parts are mildly toxic but once cooked the toxicity departs. So I always boil it a little (although some say it spoils the delicate flavour). First, of course, give the flowers a quick shower under the tap. I leave the florets to stew in a sweet concoction of honey and lemon over night. The next morning I put them to strain through a normal sieve and press down to squeeze the essence out and repeat throughout the day.
You can leave it in the fridge for cordial or use it in the Posset recipe right away.
To make three small possets put a 284 ml carton of double cream in a saucepan with 125 grams of granulated sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
Add the sieved elderflower cordial which already has some lemon in it. Continue the boiling and stirring for a further 5 minutes then let cool before popping in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

By Jo Green
Jo Green is a former allotmenteer, forager, amateur herbalist, pickler and jam maker who squeezed her allotment greenery into her tiny garden

Join up and say: ‘knickers to cancer’

Dorset Pants for cancer

Time to hoist up your knickers as the Great Dorset Pants Fence cancer charity project makes a comeback after two years in limbo.
It’s been resurrected at Gorcombe Extreme Sports, Thornicombe, by the Ladies of Blandford Evening WI.
Originally set up early in 2020, just two weeks before the first lockdown, most of the previous pants hung around before being lost to the trees during the 2021 winter storms.
Alice’s black silk hipsters still cling to the big oak tree and Beryl’s thong has never been found (the names have been changed to protect the innocent!), however, the banner survived and was looked after by Lewis and the lads at Gorcombe Sports.
So the Blandford WI Ladies and a representative of Crossways WI re-erected the banner and hung up the first of the new season’s knickers.
Tea was provided via the Gorcombe Goodlife Café’s owner Vicky and, naturally, the WI produced the cakes!
Now all the fence needs are
your fabbest frillies and brightest boxers, all of which will go on display to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian and cervical and prostate and testicular cancers.
While the underwear-themed sentiment may be a bit of a giggle, the message behind it is serious and two-fold, saying that hopefully cancer can be beaten and also to remember those for whom a cure wasn’t found in time.
So, grab you scanty smalls or baggy bloomers and go along to the Good Life Cafe at Gorcombe Extreme Sports Centre, make a donation to get your pegs then hang up those pants with pride.
All contributions raised are for the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation.

by Lorraine Gibson

Teen’s gallantry medals for auction

WAR HERO: Some of the medals belonging to teenage seaman Ian Alastair Clark
WAR HERO: Some of the medals belonging to teenage seaman Ian Alastair Clark

In the Charterhouse Collectors’ auction of June 9 and 10 there is a group of Second World War medals awarded to a teenage Apprentice Seaman for bravery at sea.
“As an apprentice he was under training and yet ended up taking command of the situation despite there being officers about,” said Richard Bromell of the auctioneers.
“The market for medals and militaria remains strong and we expect this group to sell towards £1,000.”
Apprentice Ian Alastair Clark was born in South Africa in 1924.
He joined up as an apprentice in 1941 aged just 17.
In 1942 he made his first full voyage on the Congella. In 1943 the Congella was
attacked and sunk by a
Japanese submarine.
The ship’s master was mortally wounded and pinned down by debris and issued the order to abandon ship which was on fire.
Apprentice Clark, aged 18, stood by the dying master rendering what help he could.
As one of the last to abandon ship he took charge of a lifeboat which had been damaged.
With 29 other survivors the boat needed constant bailing to keep afloat.
After four days and 180 miles of sailing they were spotted by two Catalina aircraft which landed in rough seas and rescued them.
For his action, Clark was awarded a British Empire Medal and a rare Lloyd’s Medal for Bravery at Sea.
Maybe this action put Mr Clark off a life at sea as, after
the war, he only took one further trip by sea, when he returned home to South Africa, for a life ashore.
Richard Bromell and the team can be contacted for advice and valuations on single items and collections at Long Street, Sherborne 01935 812277 info@charterhouse-auction.com or charterhouse-auction.com.

Showcase raises £600 for hospice

Showcase raises £600 for hospice

The Merley Business & Organisation Showcase, organised by Merley resident and business owner, Debi Donovan, was a great success providing Merley-based businesses and organisations the opportunity to promote their services and businesses to the local community and beyond.
Forest Holme Hospice were delighted to receive a donation of £600 to support their work, helping to enhance the lives of patients and their families across Poole, Wimborne and Purbeck.
Debi said: “We would like to say a huge thank-you for choosing to fundraise for Forest Holme Hospice, please pass on our thanks to everyone who contributed to this wonderful donation.”