045 Draycott in Autumn

045 Draycott in Autumn

Peter Bright, a resident in the beautiful Mendip area of Somerset for many years, is our guest this month.

Peter is a retired Biology Teacher and natural historian with an extensive knowledge of local wildlife. Tiggi asks questions that have come to her mind whilst trudging through the Autumn leaves in her walks on the local hills. Much of this episode considers both human and animal responses as Somerset prepares for winter. It touches on historic cider making and looks forward to the Somerset tradition of Wassailing in the New Year.

With the poem “Autumn” read by Sophie Barham and the anticipation of mulled cider. Grab your blanket and pull up your favourite chair as we cast you into the season of red, yellow and gold.

044 Draycott’s Running Postman – Listen Now!

044 Draycott’s Running Postman – Listen Now!


From 1st to 11th October 2021, our much beloved Postman Ian Maclachlan, will begin the toughest delivery of his life …………… 250 km. Not around our beautiful Somerset village, but across the Sahara Desert !

Billed as “The Toughest Footrace on Earth”  it’s equivalent to a marathon a day for 7 days, in extreme conditions. He will carry his 7 days of rations and bedding on his back.

Ian tells Tiggi about the race, its challenges and the charity he is raising funds for –  “Hounds for Heroes” and how donations can be made.

043 The Draycott Doctor

043 The Draycott Doctor

A Draycott resident of nearly 30 years and active in both the local Church and the Parish Council, Dr Richard Dingley OBE, KStJ is at the centre of the community. Although few people know about his fascinating past.

Fresh from medical school in the 50’s he joined the RAF. Stationed in Singapore, he acted as a Parachuting Doctor, dropped into the Malayan jungle to support the Special Operations team on the ground. His life passion has always been working in remote places across the world, treating eye conditions and supporting the blind. Wherever he travelled his young family came too. Even driving up terrifying mountain roads in rustic vehicles, adapted as eye clinics, to remote places in Borneo.  With his wife Sylvia they set up a group to climb Mount Kinabalu. All the climbers were blind, but with support, they made it to the top. A climb of 13,435 ft leaving the sighted support team exhausted and way behind.

Living in a house with no windows, snakes and monkeys were regular visitors to the family home in North Borneo. Sharing his memories with Tiggi, the stories keep on coming.  However, at its heart is a story of compassion and bravery.

Awarded an MBE for his charitable work and the honour of becoming a Knight of St John, Dr Dingley’s family arranged a very special Birthday surprise this year just in front of the Draycott Memorial Hall which led to the amusing disturbance of an exercise class nearby!

042 Draycott Underground

042 Draycott Underground

A resident of Draycott for many years, Martin Grass heads up the Mendip Cave Rescue team as their Chairman. His passion has always been Caving and Geology.

The Mendip Hills in Somerset are famous for their unique combination of sandstone and limestone. They are undoubtedly the custodians of countless undiscovered secrets.

After visiting Wells museum in Somerset, founded by Herbert Balch, the father of Mendip caving. Tiggi was keen to find out more about both Herbert Balch and William Boyd Dawkins. Both lived Wells and were pioneers of caving in the 1800’s. Their collaboration and work has documented some extraordinary discoveries, and dispelled some out of date theories. With Darwin on the scene, their discoveries supported a new look at the world, with evidence kept safe under the earth for millennia.

Space exploration attempts to give us the first human to step out on new turf, but costs billions. Martin happily recounts the time he was one of 6 people to discover a new cave. They christened it “The Frozen Deep” and it only cost a few quid in petrol!

Martin has been involved in countless rescues, including some high profile cases such as the Thailand footballers in 2018.

With celebrities in tow deep underground, Martin has acquired a neutral respect for politicians and church members alike.

A journey through geological history will get you thinking the next time you are “Out on the Hill”. What might be happening underneath your feet?

041 Draycott Bees

041 Draycott Bees

Nick Boyd LOVES Bees! A long time resident of Draycott. Nick is an active member of the Wedmore and Cheddar Bee Keepers Association and has an apiary containing about 80,000 bees in each of his 6 hives.

See a short video of Tiggi looking for the Queen Bee with Nick by clicking here

Tiggi was overwhelmed by Nicks extensive knowledge. As they chatted looking out at his beautiful wild flower meadow, she realised just how complex bee keeping is and how vital this process is to support our environment. Up to 75% of our trees and plants would perish without the fertilisation process provided by bees. Nick explains that not all bees store honey and there are over 200 different varieties of bees in this country alone.

An exciting challenge for Tiggi came at the end of their chat. Wearing full BPE (bee protective equipment).  Tiggi got up close and personal with many thousands of hard working bees. As a blind woman the joy of being surrounding by bees is an experience she will never forget! Jackie, her guide dog, was not so keen!

040 Draycott’s Protected Landscape

040 Draycott’s Protected Landscape

Tim Haselden is Development Officer for the Mendip Hills AONB, responsible for an area covering 198 square kilometres – equivalent to 20,000 football pitches.

Set up 50 years ago to protect our surrounding landscapes. AONB stands for  “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

“AONB The Voice of the protected landscape. Naturally beautiful , nationally protected.”

Originally from the Midlands, Tim obtained a degree in Ecology and Geology from Plymouth University. Following his conservation dreams, one of his first professional assignments was back near his home.

Nearly four years ago, Tim, along with his family, moved to the West Country. Here he took up his current role as Development Officer, based at Charterhouse, high on the Mendip hills.

Chatting with Tiggi, Tim explains exactly who is involved in his team, how the organisation is funded and his vision moving forward.

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