Country Matters 2024 Is Here!

Published: 20/02/2024 By Mark Lewis

The 2024 edition of Symonds & Sampson’s award-winning magazine, Country Matters, is now available. Editor and Senior Partner Mark Lewis has been pleased with the initial response from regular readers “The magazine is put together by a small, in-house, editorial team, with partners and staff across our sixteen offices contributing articles or photographs.

“The magazine is divided into four sections, as follows:

Professional and Planning
For this section, we’ve curated a mix of advice, opinion, information, and inspiration – starting with insights from an agricultural valuer. Next, we explore the cleanliness of our rivers, the pros and cons of tree planting, and strategies for deer population management. There’s an overview of local nature conservation, a trip to Salisbury Plain and a bike ride along the Imber Path.

Switching gears, we have advice on schedule of condition reports, agricultural tenancies, and rural grants. We take a scenic journey along the South West Coast Path, peep into the world of Studland Bay naturists, and learn about British maps. There’s time to celebrate with the Society of Dorset Men, glean advice on unearthing your ‘hidden gem’, and discover why we’re in favour of sprinklers. Then we admire the humble brick, look at ways to improve energy efficiency, and get a town planner’s view on electric vehicles.

Rural pursuits take centre stage here, starting with highlights from our farm dispersal sales. There’s advice on preventing machinery theft, and a reminder to get your kit valued. Then we introduce you to some characters attending our agricultural auctions, acquire a taste for Dorset-made food and drink, and suggest positive steps to help farmers’ mental health.

We talk about storks, sing the praises of the region’s cathedrals, then it’s back to 1974 to remember the best film releases. We offer fashion tips on country-chic, decode environmental terms, explore ‘slow’ farming, and visit Frome Market. Then it’s over to our Agriculture ace, Andrew Tuffin, to sum up the farmland market and share his top ten of 2023.  

King Charles and Queen Camilla open this section as we recall their visit to Poundbury. There’s an explanation of guide prices and tips for moving home. Then we raise a glass to Brewery Square, take to the high seas, and share memories of Enid Blyton. We dip our toes into the history of sea bathing, get to grips with ropemaking, and then steer the conversation around to cars. There’s a look at the pick of our ‘solds’, and a review of new homes.

We hear why motorbikes are marvellous, discover the meaning of Pack Monday, and explore the legend of St Augustine’s Well at Cerne Abbas. Next, we look at the lure of ley lines and learn how to place garden décor. The Lettings team share their considerable knowledge, we take a design detour via weathervanes and Christopher Wren, then return to discover our ‘best lettings’ list. There’s advice on downsizing, a few words from a churchwarden, and we answer the question of whether gundogs make good pets. We round things off with a tale of deadly cargo, a look at commercial rent reviews, and a flashback to 1984.

We begin this section with our ‘best lots’, rewind to 1924, and then share our Auction dates for 2024. There’s an appreciation of Barbara Hepworth, your essential Auction Q&A, and an entertaining piggy tale. We share our rostrum rituals, discover surprising links between the West Country and London, and hear about the small stone pillar with a big story.

And Finally
Did you come along to a country show last year? Then you could be featured in our fabulous photo spreads, they are usually the best-read pages of the whole magazine! If you enjoy an adrenaline rush, we have features on mountain climbing, ziplining and racehorse ownership. You can catch up with our charitable endeavours, test your local knowledge with our fun quiz, then settle back to enjoy the grand parade.

“The magazine sets out to entertain, inform, and educate. Most importantly, however, we hope you enjoy reading it. All feedback is very welcome.”  

Country Matters 2024 is available to read below,or please do call into your nearest Symonds & Sampson office to collect your free copy.