We live in the village of Child Okeford which lies on the edge of the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset (Thomas Hardy's Vale of little Dairies) which to a certain extent is true today as there is still many dairy farmer's taking advantage of the Blackmore Vale's high rainfall and lush summer pastures although sadly in recent years because of the Supermarket's stranglehold on milk pricing many of the dairy herds have disappeared to be replaced by sheep or arable farming.
On one side of the village lies Hambledon Hill a Neolithic Enclosure, Long Barrow and Iron Age Hillfort, and in the English Civil War (1645) Cromwell and 1000 men took on 2000 Dorsetshire Clubmen on Hambledon.
Hambledon Hill was bought from Natural England in August 2014 by the National Trust, see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hambledon-hill
"Let other vo'k meake money vaster
In the air o' dark-room'd towns,
I don't dread a peevish measter;
Though noo man do heed my frowns,
I be free to goo abrode,
Or teake agean my hwomeward road
To where, vor me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea."
Extract from My Orcha'd in Linden Lea
William Barnes - Dorset Poet (1801- 1886)
The Trust now owns alongside Hambledon Hill , Hod Hill and Fontmell Down, Melbury Down in North Dorset. I wrote an article for The Echo when the hill was bought by the National Trust here is a link to my Blog and to The Daily Echo article.
On the other side lays the chalk escarpment of Okeford Hill and Bulbarrow. Bulbarrow is the second highest point in Dorset (902ft) and gives a wide view of the Blackmore Vale and beyond to Somerset and Wiltshire.
Dorset is a county of contrasting landscapes with the fertile Blackmore Vale, the Chalk downlands to the Heathlands to the south of the county and not forgetting our beautiful coastline from Poole Harbour one of the world's largest natural harbours, Portland and the Chesil Beach to the Jurrassic coast a designated world heritage site in the west.