July 25 2014 Latest news:


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Perrywood Garden Centre marks 30 years

The owners of an award-winning Essex garden centre are celebrating 30 years in business. Alan and Karin Bourne bought Perrywood Nurseries from Alan’s parents, Mary and Les, 30 years ago and moved on site with their three young children, Hannah, Simon and Tristan. At the time it was a small business selling pick-your-own strawberries, potatoes, plants and compost.

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Dedication to diversification

Diversification has been a buzzword in agriculture over the last generation and one Great Bardfield farmer has turned his attention to nurturing the learning and development of the county’s children with the launch of a novel new venture

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Discover our county’s dormice

Writtle College lecturer Alan Roscoe shares his fascination with one of our smallest mammals and explains why our county has a very important role to play in its survival

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Exploring Chrishall and Elmdon

In the northwest corner of the county are Elmdon and Chrishall, both blessed with beautiful architecture. This walk runs from one village to the other

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EXG AUG 14 Wild About

Celebrating Essex snakes

Together with spiders, snakes are among our most feared creatures, with a capacity to inspire terror far beyond any risks they may actually pose. I’ll never forget the time my panic-stricken mum ran into the house, locking the door behind her, when my brother and I found a slow worm (which is actually a legless lizard) in the garden. Such reactions are perhaps not as irrational as they may at first appear and it seems reasonable to conclude that such phobias likely have their origins way back in our evolutionary history, when an intense aversion to potentially harmful animals could have meant the difference between life and death.

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The Producers...Hoyle’s Honey Navestock Side

RICHARD and Sarah Hoyle began beekeeping 10 years ago as a hobby to run alongside the family business of arable farming, but within that time the hobby has grown to become a business in its own right. Farming in Navestock Side for more than 35 years, the couple have used their knowledge and responsible farming methods to position their bees onto their own farm and neighbouring farms to allow the bees to forage for the very best pollen and nectar.

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An army that keeps marching

Colonel (Retd) Roger Burgess OBE, vice chairman of the Essex County Royal British Legion (RBL), looks back at the role of the RBL since is foundation following World War I

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A young Patrick MacCarthy outside The Royal Albert Hall

Patrick’s Prom

Nearly 40 years ago, Colchester man Patrick McCarthy made a famous appearance at the Royal Albert Hall to rescue a recital conducted by André Previn. Here he shares some memories of that incredible moment and his plans to mark the occasion in Harwich

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Essex Wildlife Trust's Lower Raypits nature reserve

An overview of Lower Raypits

Charlie Oliver from the Essex Wildlife Trust gives a monthly update on the wildlife near you

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Glassblowing at Parndon Mill

Studios open at Parndon Mill

Parndon Mill in Harlow will be hosting it’s Open Studios this month. Holly Eells tell us more.

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Owners, Russell and Gillian Prince

A Georgian dream

Russell Prince and his wife Gillian have seen some very special properties in their time, but they fulfilled a dream when they moved to their Georgian house in Roydon, as Pat Bramley explains

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Priory Park, Southend

All roads lead to Southend

It might not be the Tour de France, but the London to Southend Bike Ride will welcome enthusiastic cyclists for a day of fun and fundraising this month

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Chocolate terrine with candied orange and orange caramel fudge

Chocolate terrine with candied orange and orange caramel fudge

Head chef Ellis Manchee has for the past eight years been learning his craft working alongside owner and executive chef Darren Bennett. ‘Darren is a good teacher and now leaves me to get on with it,’ says Ellis. His favourite dishes to prepare are either the lobster or pork belly, which is currently their most popular, marinated in garlic and sea salt overnight then cooked slowly in pineapple and star anise. Here Ellis shares the recipe for one of the most popular desserts on the Magic Mushroom menu.

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Sybilla Hart

Looking for a clean break

Freelance writer and mother of three, soon to be four, Sybilla Hart reflects on her new life in the Essex countryside

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Goat's cheese with pickled beetroot and onion popcorn

Goat’s cheese with pickled beetroot and onion popcorn

Head chef Robert Haynes has been at Down Hall Country House Hotel for almost two years. His interest in cooking began waiting for his mum in the school kitchens after school as she was a dinner lady. Later he also did some catering at his father’s golf club. If he could hand pick a diner it would be actor Natalie Portman, however cooking for celebrities doesn’t faze him having cooked for several TV actors, Michel Roux and sportsmen too including David Beckham, Sven Goran Eriksson and Wayne Rooney. Here Robert shares his recipe for a spectacular starter.

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Male Banded Demosielle

If you think insects are boring, think again!

Andrew Fallan shares his expertise in Essex wildlife with us, revealing top locations to find special species as well as the usual animals you can find in your own back garden

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Great Wakering village sign

My Favourite Village... Great Wakering

Michael Dedman has lived in the Southend area for all of his life and has lived in Shoeburyness for the last 32 years. He is now retired, but the company that bears his name still has offices throughout south east essex and he still manages a large number of properties in Essex and London. Michael is married with two children. he lives at South Shoebury hall with his wife, Caroline, and they have become keen gardeners raising money for the NGS charity garden programme over the last seven years. The couple have raised approximately £25,000 for the caring charities of NGS including Marie Curie and MacMillan nurses. Michael and Caroline will be opening their garden again on Sunday, July 13, from 2pm to 5pm.

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Matt Lane

Five minutes with... The Royal Opera House’s Matt Lane

Holly Eells talks to Matt Lane, Head of Royal Opera House Thurrock and Thames Gateway, about The Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus taking on one of the music world’s best-loved pieces, Verdi’s Requiem at High House Production Park this month

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Jimmy with farm by Nick Ilott

Jimmy’s festival of sausages, beer and music

Jimmy’s Farm will explode onto the festival scene this summer with an energetic weekend of popular bands and family-friendly activities. The farm is opening its gates to food and music lovers on July 26 and 27.

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