Country Matters – Symonds & Sampson’s ‘Carbon Friendly’ magazine

Mark Lewis
By Mark Lewis

February 2020

The much-anticipated annual Symonds & Sampson magazine 'Country Matters' is in offices now.  Partner and editor Mark Lewis gives a taster of what's inside.

Country Matters – Symonds & Sampson’s ‘Carbon Friendly’ magazine

The unique Country Matters magazine is written and designed by partners and employees of the firm, and cleverly put together by Shaun Hodge at Remous printers. It contains professional articles alongside lifestyle features, plus the ever-popular photographs from the summer shows.

Partner and Editor Mark Lewis hopes that this year’s publication will be well received “We always choose a theme for the magazine and this time it is local artists.  We are highlighting the diverse work in various mediums that we are so fortunate to have throughout the region. The front cover is stunning and we are grateful to James Lynch for allowing us to use his painting”.

Whilst many of the offices within the firm strive to be ‘paper-free’, there are some occasions where printing is unavoidable, Country Matters is one of them.  Mark and Shaun have found a way of neutralising the carbon footprint from the printing of the 13,000 magazines through the ‘Forest Carbon’ scheme, established in 2006.  Over 8 million trees have been planted in 7,000 woods created new woodlands in the UK on behalf of companies and individuals wanting to capture the unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions that arise from their activities, and make a wider contribution to local environments and communities at the same time.  For the first time this year, the magazine is fully recyclable, although of course we hope it will remain on shelves and be enjoyed for some time!

The magazine is broken down into chapters:

Professional and Planning  Look behind the curtain at S&S with insights from our Managing Partner and a rural surveyor; discover the difference between benchmarks and trig points; how schoolchildren are turning Dorchester plastic-free; and how we can help manage your residential, commercial and agricultural assets. Read on for sartorial suggestions, good news for art lovers, and profit-boosting rural planning advice. Get the low down on barn conversions, floristry, and the link between bats and planning applications. There’s the buzz of beekeeping and a cautionary tale about runaway pigs. Your tax planning toolkit, tips on how to diversify for success, and our expert guide to maximising planning opportunities.

Residential and Lettings  We delve into the history of the picture postcard, the delights of the daily commute, and the story behind Sherborne’s Pageant Gardens. There’s a shout-out for heritage buildings, the joy of fishing, and the milestones that mark our highways and byways. We discover what it takes to open your garden for charity, how S&S supported our troops in WWI, and conduct a straw poll on thatch. There’s food for thought in Weymouth, military memories in Fontmell Magna and Wellington, and a round-up of smart home technology. We review another good year for property sales, and forecast lucrative opportunities for investors in commercial property. Our lettings team consider the merits of residential and holiday lets, explain the implications of the abolishment of Section 21, dig into the issue of garden maintenance, and reveal their top picks from a bumper crop of lettings.

Auctions  Discover what it takes to be a first-class auctioneer, relive auction highlights from 2019, and find out why buyers are flocking to country house sales. We turn the spotlight on historic Parnham House, get creative with the Guggleton Farm Arts Project, and step into the ring at Frome Market. There’s also a chance to spot a familiar phizog among our ‘Farming Faces’, and rekindle fond memories from another busy year at our farm dispersal sales. 

 Agriculture  Our must-read assessment of the farmland market, highlights from favourite farm sales, details of the new Environmental Land Management Scheme, and how ‘farm to fork’ is championing local produce. We look at insect-friendly farming and the unusual names our farmers give their fields – Soggy Bottom, anyone? There’s time to raise a glass to the region’s wine producers, before taking a whistle-stop tour of Dorset film locations. We offer advice on the value of agricultural tenancy when a partnership breaks down, and introduce you to the next generation.

And finally  A look back at a fabulous year for our charity fundraising, all the fun of the rural shows, and interviews with the show secretaries. You can rely on us to give you great advice – even down to the best pubs and restaurants – so don’t miss our tips for excellent eateries. Then join us as we stand at the required distance, tip our heads to one side and contemplate our favourite paintings, before trying our hands – and legs – at gig rowing and yoga, and look forward to raising funds and awareness for our 2020 charity, Mind.

Co-editor Marlise Jolliffe also says “It has been wonderful to receive so many articles form the younger professionals in the firm and we truly believe that there is something for everyone to read, learn and enjoy.”

Call into your nearest Symonds & Sampson office to collect your free copy. It's a great read. 

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