Jan 2020 – Shillingstone, Dorset

Many readers will recognise Shillingstone as the sole-surviving station built by the Dorset Central Railway, which now provides interest (and a rather nice café) on the North Dorset Trailway. North of the station en route to Sturminster Newton, the trackbed is owned by Bere Marsh Farm, so a diversion takes the trail slightly to the east of the old line. Recently, this farm has come on to the market for the first time since before the railway closed, and the Shillingstone Station Project has made two substantial offers for the trackbed – but both have been rejected because the present owner wants to sell the farm as a single lot. Now the group is aiming to raise £250,000 in loans in order to buy the farm, detach the trackbed, and then re-sell it. If any reader is interested in helping, contact Jon Jenkins at Shillingstone Station, Shillingstone, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 0SA. (Tim Chant)