Bournemouth Air Festival Thursday 2016

Bournemouth Air Festival starts this Thursday 18 August and runs until Sunday.

Flying takes places between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers every afternoon.

Bournemouth’s East Cliff will be packed but many walkers enjoy watching from further east or west or even from the Isle of Purbeck where you can see some action without the noise.



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Southbourne has a top fish and chip shop

Ashley’s Fish and Chips shop at Southbourne has been shortlisted for the 2017 Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award.

The Southbourne shop one of six in the South and West of England to appear on the judges’ list.

The national winner is being announced in London at the end of January. Meanwhile the shop will visited by mystery shoppers.

Ashley’s is by the bus stop in Belle Vue Road BH6 3DJ.

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Highcliffe beach hut plan shelved

An horrendous plan to build 12 overnight beach huts on concrete rafts along the natural cliff at Highcliffe has been cancelled.

The decisive action was taken not by Christchurch Council but Plum Pictures television company. The huts were to have been built as part of the television series George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

Highcliffe residents, walkers and conservationists including Bill Bryson have campaigned against the scheme.

It is understood that Plum Pictures will not be seeking costs from Christchurch Council as a result of the termination.

This is victory for the Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs which was formed by worried residents last May.  Members will be celebrating on the cliff between Highcliffe Castle and Chewton Bunny at 3.45pm today.

The ‘We are disappointed’ reaction by Christchurch chief executive David Macintosh is puzzling. A lot of people are relieved.


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Bournemouth Coast Path or Cote d’Azur

The coast path is proving a delight to walk this sunny weekend.

The path between Flaghead Chine and Branksome Chine suddenly has the feel of the South of France with lush growth, bright sun, blue sky and a little breeze. There are even some blackberries out early.

Path down to Branksome Chine

Path down to Branksome Chine

Poole Bay looking east from Canford Cliffs

Poole Bay looking east from Canford Cliffs

The Isle of Purbeck from Canford Cliffs

The Isle of Purbeck from Canford Cliffs

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Transfiguration summer fete

This Saturday 6 August is The Transfiguration and the Church of The Transfiguration at Poole Head is having a Summer Fete at 2pm.

The church is in Chaddesley Glen off Shore Road. There is a footpath up from the promenade.

**The Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor marked the moment Christ’s teaching ministry gave way to the start of his long journey to Jerusalem and crucifixion.

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Lymington Sea Water Bath is ‘a top lido’

Delighted to see Leamington’s Sea Water Baths listed in The Times as one of  The 20 Best Lidos.

“Outdoor pools across the country are having a revival,” says Emily Sargent.

She points out that Lymington’s bath is “the oldest of its kind”. It was originally the King’s Saltern and one of 22 salt pans owned by Richard King who in 1805  opened the bookshop (now Waterstones) in the High Street.

The salters became a sea water bath in 1833.

Today the healthy attraction is also a feature for those walking the coast path from Milford-on-Sea to Leamington.

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Highcliffe’s TV beach huts: Natural England against plan

Christchurch MP Christopher Chope has revealed that plans for erecting beach huts at Highcliffe as part of ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ TV show are unacceptable to Natural England.

The MP was speaking in Parliament on Wednesday having secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons.

“Many councils recognise that if they are going to give permission for beach huts, they should go through the normal planning procedures, which involve an application, a consultation and so on. However, Christchurch Borough Council has avoided doing that over many months, to the extreme consternation of the public.”

He added: “We need clarity in our planning law. I hope that, by the end of tonight’s debate, my hon. Friend the Minister will have given some assurance that he will fill that lacuna and ensure that there is clarity, where currently the legal background is uncertain.”

He further added: “The gap in the public protection of our coastal amenities is where the land itself is owned by local councils, which seek to give themselves deemed consent for development without the need for any planning application or public consultation.

When Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane; Con) intervened to say that beach huts had a certain attraction, Mr Chope responded by saying that when we talked about amazing spaces we ought also to think about amazing natural spaces.

“If my hon. Friend has ever had the privilege of visiting Highcliffe cliff top, she will probably agree that that is an amazing space because it is unspoilt. We can look out to sea and out to the Needles. Why should we wish to despoil such a place, to the detriment of local people, without at least some proper consultation?”

Support came from Peter Bone (Wellingborough; Con) whilst Ian Mearns (Gateshead; Lab) suggested that the matter should be referred for consideration by the district auditor, given use of public money.

Gavin Barwell, making his first Commons appearance as the new the Minister for Housing and Planning, said in reply to the debate that the Government supported coastal communities.

He was, he said, unable to comment on any specific case due to the Secretary of State’s role in the planning system but added that he knew the beach in question, having family in nearby Hordle.

But the minister added that regardless of how planning permission is granted, safeguards remained to protect the most important landscapes.

“Permission granted by the general permitted development order is still subject to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. If a development granted permission by the order is likely to have a significant effect on a European site, the development cannot be begun until the local planning authority has determined, in consultation with Natural England, that it will not adversely affect the site. That is still the case when the local authority itself is the developer.”

Before closing the minister said: “It is for local councils to develop their local plans, but the Government would certainly encourage them to engage with their local communities, businesses, Members of Parliament and other interested parties as they do that.”

Meanwhile the natural cliff face between HighclifFe Castle and Chewton Bunny has posts marking the intended locations of the concrete rafts for huts.

Christchurch council’s scrutiny committee is investigating but does not have the power to halt any work.

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Chewton Glen is ‘better than The Ritz’

Chewton Glen hotel has come top of the Hoteliers’ Hotels Top 100 list.

The verdict comes from The Caterer journalists and AA hotel inspectors who have put  Chewton Glen ahead of The Goring (3), The Dorchester (5), Gleneagles (8) and The Ritz (11) in the Hoteliers’ Hotel Top 100.

Chewton Glen was home of George Marryat from 1837 to 1855. His brother, Captain Frederick Marryat, wrote Children of the New Forest during a long stay there. At the time Highcliffe and Barton were considered to be part of the Forest.

Chewton Glen is in the glen, or inland continuation, of  Chewton Bunny which at present coastal walkers must follow as far as the road since there is no public footpath at Naish Farm caravan site. But with Chewton Glen bed and breakfast starting at £235 many will still prefer to stop at The Globe Premier Inn at Highcliffe.

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Milford-on-Sea anniversaries

Battle of the Somme Centenary: Those walking the coast path this weekend and staying at Milford-on-Sea might wish to know that on Friday there will be an early morning gathering on the village green.

Friday 1 July 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. Many from the village and New Forest were among the 20,000 dead by the time the battle had ended in the autumn.

A vigil will begin on the green at 6am prior to a commemoration service at 7.30am which is the actual hour that this First World War conflict began.

Baptist Church Bicentenary: During the weekend there are celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Milford-on-Sea Baptist Church. The first minister in 1816 was James Evans who had been curate at the parish church until he fell out with the congregation over his evangelical sermons. On Sunday there is an outdoor Songs of Praise at Keyhaven.

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Highcliffe huts need consent says minister

Path from Highcliffe Castle

Path from Highcliffe Castle

Environment minister Rory Stewart MP has confirmed that beach huts at Highcliffe require consent from Natural England.

The large huts are to be erected on the cliff face for George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces television programme according to Christchurch Council.

Concrete rafts would be built into the Site of Special Scientific Interest between Highcliffe Castle and Chewton Bunny to enable twelve overnight huts of different design to be erected. Christchurch Council has put aside £130,000 to fund the work.

The Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs is campaigning for the cliffs to remain in their natural state. Objectors include author Bill Bryson.

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