NuFEAST research reveals how lucky we are in Bridport

NuFEAST research reveals how lucky we are in Bridport

Over the summer 36 Bridport residents took part in four focus groups looking at what makes our food culture special and what we can do to preserve and strengthen it.The research project, NuFEAST, led by Bournemouth academic and nutritionist Dr Juliet Wiseman sets out to explore how sustainable food and eating practices, including growing food at home, in community gardens and allotments, is associated with food knowledge, confidence and skills and “nutritional well-being.”

Focus groups were held at Waitrose, St Mary’s School, Mountfield and the Flourish Pop-up Wellbeing Cafe. Each one drew quite a different crowd and so made for very stimulating conversations. The sessions were all filmed and are currently in the process of being transcribed and analysed.

Initial findings suggest that Bridport is fortunate to have retained so many independent food and drink producers and retailers which provides shoppers with the opportunity to buy and enjoy good local food. This is certainly not the case everywhere and the human scale of Bridport’s centre is also key to an enjoyable shopping experience.

Bridport’s reputation for great food is the result of the huge efforts of many people over many years and is supported by a special ecosystem of small-scale producers who are also active land rights campaigners. The influence of River Cottage, Trill Farm and nearby Tamarisk Farm, the first organic farm in the area, also plays a major role.

A strong Grow Your Own culture also exists and complements the sense of community people feel when they are able to actually meet and develop relationships with food producers and retailers. So much so that some participants had even moved to the area because of how impressed they are by the food culture here.

But there are also tensions – particpants felt food can also be socially divisive and easy access to good food isn’t universal. Engaging working parents can be tricky when it takes time, money, knowledge and confidence to make the most of the great produce on offer.

One thing is for sure: closer collaboration between food producers, retailers, educators, academics and policy makers is certainly necessary if the diverse and rich food culture in Bridport is to be strengthened and preserved. Watch this space!

St Mary’s Edible Garden students celebrate with homemade pizza!

St Mary’s Edible Garden students celebrate with homemade pizza!

Thirty one Year One students at St. Mary’s Primary School recently had their very own homemade pizza fest.  The  Edible Garden staff team Tia Perrella, Mitch Burt (pictured) and Sarah Wilberforce lit the cob oven ready to bake pizzas for the whole class and together with teacher, Claire Legg, they helped each child to make a pizza from scratch.

This practical connection with food and cooking is part of the ongoing HOME in Bridport project at the school where  children, teachers and parents work together to understand where food comes from, how it is vital to our lives and how the choices we make affect our health and wellbeing.

The project is now also providing nurture sessions in the garden, as well as continuing to provide the school kitchen fresh vegetables each week.  Civic dignitaries from all the Dorset towns visited recently and were highly impressed with the School and its focus on good food.

Happy Birthday Charmouth Dragon!

Happy Birthday Charmouth Dragon!

The Charmouth Dragon Real Food Shop celebrates three years on the road this week, delivering produce from small scale local growers (plus the occasional organic citrus fruit) to villages and towns along the Jurassic Coast. And if you’ve chatted with us recently or follow us on social media, you’ll have already heard rumours of big exciting changes to come.

The Dragon is currently developing an online shop with the help of the amazing Open Food Network. In cooperation with village halls, schools, pubs, post offices, and other local community pillars acting as collection hubs, we hope to improve our accessibility across the region with a network of weekly deliveries.

“We’re back on Local Giving and they’re doing their Grow Your Tenner campaign. They match your donation up to £10 until the 17th of November, “says Laurie Walters, driver of the lorry. “This is a great opportunity to help us build our online shop, to make healthy organic ingredients more accessible to more local people. Double your money and invest in us today! Find our Local Giving page here:

In other news, our beautiful shop van will be off the road for the next little while for necessary repairs, and we are looking seriously into finding it a new owner in the coming months. Watch out for little-white-van mini-shop for Friday stops in Litton Cheney and Poundbury and the one and only Fivepenny Farm market stall at our spot outside Smith & Smith on Saturday in Bridport.

To join the Dragon mailing list, help develop the Network of Hubs, trial the new online shop, or (sniff) find out more about the sale of our van, get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you…

Thanks as ever for your support!


Real Food Shop: The Charmouth Dragon
+44 (0)7460 972683 project of
The Peasant Evolution Producers Co-operative

Join us on Facebook:


The People’s Wishlist for the Future of Food in Bridport!

The People’s Wishlist for the Future of Food in Bridport!

The People of Bridports wishlist Food FutureIt’s official! The people of Bridport have big wishes for the future of food here in our town!

Following conversations with hundreds of residents over the last 3 years, people are calling for a local food system that is good for people, good for animals and good for the planet too. The great news is that businesses and community groups are already working to make these wishes come true.

To find out more come to the Tea Tent and take part in the Talkaoke at this year’s Bridport Food Festival on Saturday 18th June. The Wishlist will be displayed and you will be asked to add your Wishes too!

Good Practice Guide for Food Businesses

Good Practice Guide for Food Businesses

As part of its work to spread sustainability, CLS in Dorset has worked in conjunction with WSX Enterprise to bring you this Good Practice Guide for Food Businesses, with sections on saving money by saving water and energy, reducing food waste, involving staff and telling customers. Chair of Bridport Local Food Group Jay Anderson commented: “This is a useful guide that will be a good reminder/check list of simple actions many people should already be aware of.”

Securing a Square Meal for Dorset

Securing a Square Meal for Dorset

Sustained and wide-scale public education and incentives all along the food chain are absolutely key to driving the cultural change required to achieve the vision of sustainable farming and eating for everyone.

This was the unanimous conclusion of delegates at the Square Meal Debate, a ground-breaking event, convened by Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) in Dorset during Dorset Food Week 2015.

Designed to push diet, public health and farming into the public eye locally and to expressly call for partnership, collaboration, leadership and political will, our event was one of the first such regional debates of its kind.

Over 100 people attended bringing together a diverse range of delegates with interests in farming, good food for all, public health and wildlife conservation, converging at Kingston Maurward College, Dorset’s premier agricultural teaching centre.
“In 2016 we need to secure commitments from key partners to build on the foundations laid by CLS for joined up thinking about food policy and public education in Dorset,” says Linda Hull, food co-ordinator for CLS. “Square Meal showed just how much interest, enthusiasm and need there is for collaborative working. The trick now will be to turn this energy into action.”Watch the presentations from keynote speakers and read the report detailing the event’s findings, outcomes and plan for next steps. If you would like to be involved in campaigning to secure a Square Meal for Dorset, please get in touch with Linda Hull via or ring 07834 561219

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.