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The Village

Hazelbury Bryan is a large parish of 997 hectares (2,415 acres) in the south-west of the Blackmore Vale.  It is bounded to the north by Ridge Drove, Smetherd Farm and Deadmoor Common, by Mount Pleasant Farm on the east, Park Gate to the South and a tributary of the River Lydden in the west, joining the Lydden itself south of Lyddon House.

The village comprises seven separate hamlets of Kingston, Wonston (and Pleck), Pidney, Partway, Woodrow, Droop and Park Gate, with open fields between them.  This arrangement is unusual, if not unique, in Dorset.

In 2011, and again in 2016, the residents of Hazelbury Bryan were asked what was important about the area. Not surprisingly on both occasions the answers were very similar – location and environment and the sense of community.

Location and Environment – features particularly valued by the local community include: the separate hamlets that collectively make up Hazelbury Bryan, each quite individual, served by narrow country roads and lanes and with open fields between them; the many rights of way and opportunities to enjoy the surrounding countryside, the general peace and quiet of village life, and the ability to see the stars at night away from the lights and pollution of larger towns; the surrounding hills and views out across the rolling countryside of Thomas Hardy's Wessex.  All this, whilst enjoying relatively good access to the nearby towns of Sturminster Newton, Blandford Forum and Sherborne.

Sense of Community – the hamlets are still of a size to encourage neighbourliness, friendliness, co-operation and support.  The various village facilities such as the two churches, the school, the shop, the pub and the village hall, the sports fields and allotments, also bring residents together.  There is little recorded crime or nuisance.  There is a relatively high proportion of the elderly, for whom certain services become increasingly important (public transport and medical support in particular) but also many younger family groups which currently benefit from the excellent school and represent a vital part of the Village's future.

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