The best of the season to inspire and admire
when deer dance
Once a year, for nearly 800 years, 12 characters, comprising six Deer Men, the Hobby Horse, the Fool, Maid Marian, the Archer and the two Musicians, have been dancing through the Staffordshire town of Abbots Bromley and the surrounding area. Known as the Horn Dance, it is believed to have first been performed at the Barthelmy Fair in August 1226. As with many traditions, its origins are long forgotten, and it may be considerably older. Today, the Horn Dance is held on the first Monday after the first Sunday after 4 September. In 2017, the date is 11 September. The day starts with the dancers collecting the heavy reindeer horns from the local church, before setting off to perform their dances in 12 places in and around the town. They cover approximately 10 miles before returning the horns to the church.
town’s golden year
Fifty years ago, the beautiful Lincolnshire town of Stamford was designated as Britain’s first urban conservation area. This was the first time an entire town was protected. Described by 19th century author Sir Walter Scott as “the finest sight on the road between Edinburgh and London”, it is home to 600 listed buildings. Heritage groups, architectural specialists and community organisations have joined forces under the banner of Stamford50 to organise new town trails, talks, events and a heritage skills fair. The programme of events culminates in the biennial Stamford Georgian Festival being held from 21-24 September.
passage for one
Many country walks lead through kissing gates. These are designed to allow only one person at a time to pass through, while preventing livestock from escaping. A hinged gate swings between the arms of an enclosure which can be semi-circular, square or V-shaped. When the gate is parked at either side of the enclosure, there is no gap to pass through. Pushing it allows a walker access to the small enclosure. The gate is then moved in the opposite direction to close the first opening, allowing egress from the enclosure to the other side. The name comes from the fact that the gate kisses, or touches, the enclosure on either side, rather than needing to be securely latched. The gate is usually self-closing, to the side away from the land where animals are kept.
a blaze of silk
From her home on the Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire border, photographer Nickola Beck specialises in capturing the beauty of nature. Some of her images are now recreated in her beautiful silk scarves. She captured this spectacular blaze at Bramcote Park in Nottinghamshire. It reflects the warming shades of gold and russet, punctuated by the bluey-white sky.