In preparing this issue, I’ve had the pleasure of looking at the countryside I’ve called home for the past 30 years with fresh eyes, as we focus our third special birthday year issue on the Brendon Hills. Lots of people feel a bit vague about the Brendons, perhaps because they do have a bit of an identity crisis; although very much their own landscape, they form a ‘bridge’ twixt the National Park and the Quantocks and so tend to be associated with both, as described by Rob Wilson-North. Rob’s article is accompanied by a variety of photos that I think capture this landscape in many of its moods. Then we follow on with a look at the history of the community at Brendon Hill village by Garrick Mound from the West Somerset Mineral Line Association, a walk from Sampford Brett to Monksilver and back and the memories of Roscoe Wright and his daughter Tara at Castle Hill Farm.
Beyond the Brendons, there is autumn in abundance. Julia Amies-Green began photographing fungi for us over a year ago (see pp32-39), Ian Jarmarkier has cooked up a fungi storm at Streamcombe and artist Caroline McMillan Davey has been preparing furiously for a very busy autumn of exhibitions. Over in North Devon, we have our first Nature Diary piece from Julian Gurney – on the autumn colour to be found in his favourite spots.
It’s another poignant issue for goodbyes, as we say a very sad farewell to Trevor Beer, a wonderful naturalist known far and wide. Working through June’s heatwave to compile the issue saw me out and about very early and very late, in order to beat the heat with my dog, Hurley. I saw some noteworthy sights, including a mole which seemed to have died because the ground was too hard to dig, a slow worm and a huge hare. Normally I would ring Trevor Beer to tell him about my sightings, but just as the weather broke we received the sad news that he had passed away. He has left a hole – in the shape of the most endless appreciation of and joy in nature. Thank you Trevor for teaching everyone so much and we dedicate this issue to you and your family.
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