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.

039 The Bells of St Leonards

039 The Bells of St Leonards

Tiggi chats to long time residents of Rodney Stoke, Colin and Jo Symes.  They relate wonderful stories from their past, including their participation in the “Maurice Symes Dance Band”.  However, their life time passion has always been around the village Church of St Leonards and the community that surrounds it in Rodney Stoke, Somerset.  Both were bell ringers and Colin held the position of Bell Captain for many years.

St Leonards Church was built in 1175 with the bell tower added in the 1400’s. In 1664 the bell frame, made of oak and housing a peel of 4 bells, was added. This still exists today, having lasted through the reigns of 40 Kings and Queens and the Commonwealth. The bells have rung with messages of joy, warning, celebration and sadness throughout this time.  They will no doubt continue to ring for many generations to come.

038 Draycott’s New Photographer

038 Draycott’s New Photographer

Kirk Purnell moved to Draycott from Bristol three years ago.  His job is Director of Teaching and Learning Assessment based at Wiltshire College.

During the first lock down and with a space for his own personal learning, an extraordinary skill came to his consciousness which he had been totally unaware of.  Inspired by a photographer friend who introduced Kirk to the minute detail and delight of wildlife nearby his home, he used his savings to invest in a good camera and his new life journey began.

Suddenly the world of flora and fauna looked totally new to Kirk.  However, the fact he was an instinctively gifted photographer came as an even bigger surprise.  His talents have been spotted by the media and he enjoys a large following on Instagram.  #photogra_pea

Who knows what his future holds?

037 On The Antiques Trail With BBC’s Margie Cooper

037 On The Antiques Trail With BBC’s Margie Cooper

Tiggi chats with friend and professional colleague Margie Cooper, Antiques Specialist on the BBC’s “Antiques Roadshow” and latterly “Antiques Road Trip”.

Two professionals connected by a common cause. Their responsibilities were very different though.

Margie, selecting Antiques for filming, and Tiggi, as Events Manager, orchestrating up to six thousand visitors to the show.

Feeling uniquely privileged to work on a National Treasure, they give a genuine peek behind the scenes.

036 A Journey With My Grandfather

036 A Journey With My Grandfather

Robert Nurden, a journalist for over 25 years with the Independent, Telegraph and Guardian newspapers, has written a fascinating book all about his grandfather, Stanley James.

In 1916 Stanley and family lived in Rodney Stoke in Somerset. Living off the land was a harsh existence, but still, happy memories were made.

It seems Stanley was a total romantic, rejecting his Father’s wishes of following him into the ministry.  Instead, he opted for a more maverick lifestyle, including travelling to Canada and becoming a cowboy.

Stanley died in 1951, having packed his life with various controversial projects that often led to trouble.

As Robert was about to finish his book, he discovered some very disturbing documents about Stanley.  Every family has its secrets as this life story proves.

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