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Dorset Magazine editor Helen stiles introduces the March 2014 issue

PUBLISHED: 12:21 06 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:21 06 March 2014

Dorset Magazine March 2014 front cover

Dorset Magazine March 2014 front cover

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Dorset Magazine March 2014 is out now

over the last few weeks what seems like an endless conveyor belt of storms from the Atlantic have battered our coastline, and rivers have burst their banks. It is important at times like this is to support those communities and businesses that have been devastated by this unprecedented weather. When the floodwaters recede, all these places will still be open for business and its vital that we don’t forget this fact, especially in Dorset. Those who follow Twitter may have seen #openforbusiness - a way of ensuring everyone knows our region is battered but not broken and encouraging people to visit.

We are expecting soggy ground for some time, so how about upgrading your walking wear with our fabulous subscription deal on page 29? Take out a two year subscription (£42.99) to Dorset magazine and you get a pair of fabulous Muck Boots, worth £129, absolutely free. I can tell you these are the ultimate weapon for muddy dog walks!

This month’s magazine will give you a wealth of ideas to get you out into the county. Our cover star is Brownsea Island – recently voted the nation’s favourite nature reserve. We’ve been talking to the people who live and work on this magical island in Poole Harbour. They have shared their local knowledge of what to do and see there, from spotting red squirrels to discovering its secret beaches. I am hoping to hop across the water this weekend and enjoy a day there myself.

Another wonderful place to explore is Blandford – after a series of fires back in the 18th century this north Dorset town was built pretty much from scratch in the Georgian style so is full of architectural gems. Plus it is also home to one of Dorset’s finest breweries, Hall & Woodhouse!

If your garden is looking somewhat sodden, take inspiration from our feature on a beautiful Provence-style garden created by award-winning garden designer Janine Pattison. She tells us how to create a bit of Southern France in your own Dorset garden.

And finally – possibly my favourite piece in this month’s magazine – we meet the League of Bournemouth Steampunks. I adore the steampunk look: elegant Edwardian/ Victorian mixed with a bit of H G Wells sci-fi. As you will see they are very stylish bunch who love any excuse to dress up and have afternoon tea somewhere smart. Staying on the subject of food, Sue Quinn has chosen some of the best cookery courses in the county - from baking to cheese making - there’s a course that’s right for you.

I now have a keen eye on the weather for this weekend’s outing – day trip to Brownsea, pizza at the new Stables on Poole Quay followed by the thunder of the Kodo drummers at the nearby Poole Lighthouse. Only storm force winds will keep me away!

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Get your March copy of Dorset Magazine now - www.dorsetmagazine.co.uk/home/dorset_magazine_march_2014_out_in_shops_and_to_buy_online

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