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March 2020

44 Liz Watts

40 Bee-friendly tips

16 Col Andrew Dawes CBE 30 Abbey House Gardens

28 Danny Kruger MP 24 Barbury races

14 Ram Thiagarajah

Staff Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Mark Allen Editor: Neil Henty Features Editor: Georgie Green 01722 717020 Publishing Director: Jane Kennedy 01722 717018 Circulation Director: Sally Boettcher Subscription Manager: Bethany Foy Page Design: Sam Meaden Advert Design: Dan Bevan Production Manager: Carolyn Allen Production Director: Richard Hamshere Managing Director: Paul Geoghegan Chief Executive Officer: Ben Allen Contributors Michael Marshman, Alistair Ewing, MaryVere Parr, Francesca Tyer, Anne Holland, Jane Gifford, Morag Walker, Fiona Scott, Tim Saunders, Matt Tompkinson Photographers Tom Askew-Miller, Russell Sach, Jane Gifford Wiltshire Life is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, Unit A Buildings 1-5, Dinton Business Park, Catherine Ford Rd, Dinton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5HZ

ISSN: 1358-0582 Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2YA

FEATURES My Wiltshire: Ram Thiagarajah


The Wiltshire Life Awards judge tells us about community, voluntary work and his love for Swindon. We meet Colonel Andrew Dawes CBE 16 Neil Henty meets the commander of the south west for the British Army, who was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List for exceptional leadership. Our farms are literally springing into life 20 Mary-Vere Parr visits Manor Farm in Broad Chalke to talk soil health, conservation, rearing animals and maintaining the lore of the land on a working farm. Thriving Barbury is leading the chase 24 Racing at Barbury Castle is a firmly established part of the Wiltshire calendar. Anne Holland gets to know some of the people involved in its success. Community is key for county’s newest MP 26 Neil Henty meets Danny Kruger, the recently elected Conservative MP for the Devizes constituency to talk about his ambitions for the area. Clothes still optional in the abbey garden 30 Jane Gifford visits the wonderful Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury to find out how the ‘next generation’ are maintaining the spirit of the place. Fat bird of the barley winning farmers’ hearts 36 The county has become a stronghold of the corn bunting thanks to its farmers but, Morag Walker asks, could this welcome success soon be put at jeopardy? Hollow ways from bygone village days 38 Michael Marshman continues his journey around the lost landscapes of the county, revealing the tell-tale signs of villages long forgotten to history. Patina of history reveals grand designs 42 A church in a suburb of Swindon has a rich and varied history and now conservation work is highlighting many treasures thought lost, as Fiona Scott explains. Ceramic images pushing material to the limits 44 Tim Saunders meets award-winning ceramicist and sculptor Liz Watts. Corsham: passionate owners and knowledgeable staff 46 Thriving towns have one thing in common, they have a great selection of independent shops. Neil Henty talks to Nicola White of Corsham’s Previous Homewares to find out what the town offers visitors and potential shop owners. Village life: the Ogbournes 50 Georgie Green heads north of Marlborough to visit a trio of villages. Shortlists announced: five more categories 59 We are delighted to present the second list of nominees who have been shortlisted for the Wiltshire Life Awards 2020. We’ll bring you the final categories next month.

REGULARS Moonraker




Wiltshire Scene


Around the County


Top 5 tips for creating bee-friendly gardens 40 Mother’s Day 54 Recipe: escalope of hake 64 The farming year 66

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Daffodils breaking out in Abbey House Gardens Jane Gifford

March 2020



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