Welcome to our summer issue. After the long, hard slog of winter and ‘spring’, what better landscape to have on our cover than the accessible, awe-inspiring view which is easily found just two minutes’ walk west from County Gate car park. Looking out across the valley in the month of June, with the hills seemingly rolling on forever before you and the sea at your back, this is a ‘Lark Ascending’ kind of view, and, like Mary Poppins, ‘practically perfect in every way’.
It provides a wonderful portal into our coastal section this issue as we step into the walking boots of Julian Gurney, Sue Viccars and Hywel Lewis. Julian’s extended Nature Diary takes us along the ‘secret coast from Lynmouth to Porlock, Sue
explores Braunton Marsh and Hywel guides us along a two-day route taking
in a brace of bothies in which to sleep.
After you have feasted your eyes on all that scenery, why not treat your tastebuds
to a tipple at Madrigal Brewery in Lynmouth, to some sumptuous fruit in the historic strawberry fields at Combe Martin, cook up an inspiring feast from the Michelin-starred kitchen of The Masons Arms, or try out some oysters from Porlock Weir – even if you never thought you would?!
This issue we welcome a new writer to our fold, with an old school friend of mine, Louise Pugsley (née Burnett-Wells), who got in touch to ask if she could write for us. Her first article is about the astonishing and inspiring achievements of Heather Pring (see page 41).
Meanwhile, Mary Bromiley talks to young handlers who will be showing their sheep and cattle at this season’s agricultural shows, our multi-talented features writer Tony James delves into the past with Jean Hodge and Brian Seward, and explores the finer points of antique conservation and restoration with Mark Coray near Wellington.
I hope that you enjoy all this and more on our pages. Happy reading!
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