44th Cerne Abbas Open Gardens 15 & 16 June 2019, 2-6pm
www.cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk Second Site by Bob Foulser
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Queries number
01300 341311
In the Village


The Water Meadow Trust is in the process of becoming a village Trust. It needs funds and volunteers to ensure it becomes a wildlife area for the benefit of the whole community. The water meadows were opened for Open Gardens last year and we hope to make them a feature again next year if we get funding.


The children and staff would very much like to repair our Spiritual/ Peace Garden here at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School and restore it to its former glory. Unfortunately after 9 years, the pathways and wooden sleepers are rotten making it unsafe for the children to enter.

It has become a Health and Safety issue which means that it is too dangerous and hazardous for the children to use the Spiritual Garden area plus the Forest School area at the top of the garden and the agility trail. The children are very keen to have this repaired as they very much miss using the garden which has raised beds for planting vegetables, a hedgehog house, frog house and insect hotel!!

We are asking for help to replace:

• Old half round timber edging and steps with new and to lay new bark on the path

• Sleepers on the raised beds and the sleep path edging with new treated sleeps.

• Sleepers on the cross and replace the rotten benches.

Supporting document


The Youth Club has been run on an entirely voluntary basis since the withdrawal of Dorset County Council funds in 2016. The Club meets in the Village Hall every Friday evening in term time and is attended by 40-50 young people from the Cerne Valley aged from 9-18 years. Extra funds enable Club members to experience new challenges such as those offered on their recent visit to Avon Tyrell activity centre in the New Forest.


The Cerne Historical Society (CHS) is planning to mark the centenary of the 1919 sale of the village by the Pitt-Rivers family by staging an exhibition and other events in September 2019. The exhibition will be staged in St Mary’s Church for 12 days commencing on 24 September, the date of the auction in 1919. Using the original sale particulars and plans, maps, newspaper articles, other records, photos old and new and recent research carried out by members of the CHS the exhibition will provide details of the properties sold in the auction, those who purchased them, the price paid and those who lived in them before and after the sale. Other displays will provide details of Cerne Abbas’s farms, places of worship and pubs and those who served and died in the First World War. Further boards will hold displays produced by local schoolchildren and other young people. In addition, with the owners’ consent, posters will be attached to each of the properties which featured in the sale giving the details referred to above and including photos showing how the properties looked in 1919.

Further events are being planned for the week of the 24th culminating in a theatrical re-enactment of the auction in the church on Saturday 28 September.

All parts of the community, particularly children and young people, will be encouraged to take part in the project. Displays and posters of a high quality will be produced which can be displayed in venues in the village and elsewhere for many years afterwards. A film of the events will also be made which will be available on CHS’s website.

The CHS is applying for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help pay the costs of the project but is required to show that it can “cash match” the sum sought, i.e. raise an equal sum from other sources. Support from Open Gardens would represent a major step in attaining a grant from the HLF to mark this unique event in the history of Cerne Abbas, the outcome of which continues to echo down to the present day.

Outside the Village


Dorchester and Sherborne Citizens Advice is an independent charity offering advice and information on any subject, including welfare benefits, employment, consumer problems, housing issues, relationship problems, and debt, and has been serving the community in and around Dorchester and Sherborne for over 40 years. It has both paid staff and volunteers who can give advice over the telephone, face to face in the offices, by home visit or at one of its outreaches, which includes a regular presence at Cerne Abbas surgery. All advice is provided by fully trained adviser, and is confidential, impartial and free – an important resource during this difficult economic climate. Funding comes from a mixture of local authority and other sources, including local fundraising efforts.

Dor and She CA website


Rural Music Schools were to be found in most counties in Southern England by the early 1950s. Subsequent changes in music education saw most absorbed in the new County Music Services. We are now the only remaining independent one offering a full range of activity. Working from our headquarters in Blandford we offer individual lessons and group activity to students of all-ages and at all stages of development across a wide range of genres and styles. Listeners are catered for too with music appreciation classes held across the country. Students are encouraged to take part in termly informal concerts and we present regular concerts given by staff and visiting performers. We support activity with an in-house shop and an extensive music library. Instruments are available for hire as are rooms for private performances. We take pride in a number of alumni who appear on the national and international stage but equally in the many generations working at a humbler level whose lives we have been able to enrich.

DRMS website


Future Roots is a local charity, has a horticultural link to Open Gardens, serves young and old, and is trying to address what is lacking in Day Care facilities. It is now providing care seven days a week, working more and more with disadvantaged youngsters, despite having a dire lack of funds.

Future Roots website


Leaders in well-evidenced high impact equine-assisted interventions. Having proven our work in prisons, we have established a busy community-based HQ in Weymouth, Dorset, UK. Employing 4 facilitators and 14 horses, we work primarily with young people 8-24yrs old and families, with additional projects for specific adult cohorts (see below). In Dorset we help at least 200 extremely troubled people each year, we do not charge the participants.

We train and assess others to replicate our programmes and we work hard to support them in setting up their own centres around the UK, with funding being the greatest hurdle. Independent centres running our programmes in Gloucester, Barnet (North London), Wiltshire and Surrey are becoming increasingly busy. We monitor their impact data to ensure their results are as impressive as our own, and provide ongoing support and training.

Horse Course website


Weldmar Hospicecare is a charity that provides end of life care for people living in Dorset who need our specialist support. Our compassionate approach supports patients and their families, medically and in other ways, in the community, in our hospice and at home.

All our care is free and reliant on public donations

Weldmar Hospicecare is an independent charity only working in Dorset. 25% of our funds are provided by the NHS – 75% of our funds are raised thanks to the support of our local community.

Weldmar website