from the EDITOR
A Culinary Journey through
comfort food recipes
“There is something so special
in the early leaves drifting
from the trees–as if we are all
to be allowed a chance to peel,
to refresh, to start again.”
– Ruth Ahmed
There is something so special about
this time of year - it has a grounding
effect which forces us to consider
the passage of time and the tangible
changes around us. As the hues
of the trees shape our landscape,
we settle down into the embrace
of those cooler, darker evenings
- a sense of quietude before the
inevitable Christmas rush begins.
We hope this edition makes a good
companion to a cosy evening or
a peaceful morning with a cuppa.
We’ve filled it with interviews with
some titans of their fields - firstly, west
country expert baker (via France!)
Richard Bertinet and Chelsea seventime
gold medal winning garden
designer Adam Frost.
Our interview with
Editor Katie Thomson
Publisher Sally Thomson
Pre-Press Manager Kate Norris
Contributors Rebecca Rose, Peter Thomson, Sue Cooke, Matthew Biggs
Angela Cave and Pete Lawrence. Front cover courtesy of Waitrose
Key Account Manager Steve Davies
d/l 01225 984506
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These lovely chats fall alongside
some delicious recipes and some
inspiration for the home and garden
- plus some advice on getting those
finances in order for retirement -
it’s never too early to start thinking
about it, nor to late to make an
assessment of where you are.
It wouldn’t be right to have an
edition without one of our most
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You can enter all the ones listed on
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can also opt into being the first to
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We are looking forward to seeing
you again in November, where we
will be unapologetically thrusting
you into the Christmas swing. Don’t
say I didn’t warn you! Until then,
take care and enjoy this issue.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3
A a two-night stay
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Richard Bertinet is well-loved
and well-known for being the
UK’s baking ‘godfather’.
His books about baking and his
bread-making courses alike
have delighted audiences for
Sally Thomson talks to Richard
to discuss books, baking and
BBC Maestro, where you can
catch him offering the ultimate
online bread-making course...
6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
HOW ARE YOU ON THIS GLORIOUS
Making croissants with this weather! It’s
a bit hot in the kitchen but it’s nice to be
open again so all is good.
YOU ARE DOING WONDERFULLY
WELL AT THE MOMENT APART
FROM THE FACT WE HAVE ALL
BEEN THROUGH THIS RATHER
INTERESTING YEAR THINGS SEEM TO
BE GOOD WITH YOU.
We opened in April and we have just tried
to push everything we could this year and
last year. It’s very busy.
SO, PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO COME TO
YOUR CLASS NOW?
Yes, we reopened in April.
SO, THESE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS
HAVEN’T CHANGED YOUR PLANS?
No, we are Covid compliant and can still
have the same number of people. In Bath
40% of the customers come from the
rest of the World so Japan, The States
and Australia. Obviously, they cannot
come to Bath at the moment so we have
a massive backlog of people wanting to
come when they can travel*.
I SEE THAT YOU OFFER CLASSES FOR
CHILDREN, HOW DO YOU FIND THAT?
Teaching children was always very
important to us and we also work with a
lot of local schools in the area and teach
some classes plus talk to the children.
It’s good fun and nice to see them smile
when they try something that they haven’t
done before. I think it’s a shame that so
many schools don’t use cooking and
I SEE THAT YOU ALSO WORK WITH
Yes, Ping does classes for me. She
teaches Malaysian cooking plus stuff
from my book.
YOU HAVE PRODUCED 6 BOOKS SO
FAR. HAVE YOU GOT ANYMORE IN
THE PIPELINE OR DO YOU NOT HAVE
I’ve got a couple of ideas but it’s getting
the time to do it and I like to write a book
for the right purpose not just for the sake
of it so I need to get the time and wait
until things get back to normal.
YOU NEED TO BE CLONED SO THAT
THERE IS ANOTHER ONE OF YOU
AND YOU CAN KEEP UP!
That’s true but there is only one of me
WHEN YOU FIRST CAME INTO BATH
IN 2005 DID YOU EXPECT YOUR
CAREER TO TAKE OFF AS IT DID?
I knew the concept we had was good and
if it worked out, we would have success.
When I first moved to Bath a lot of local
businesses gave us 6 months to survive
but that made me more determined to
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR
COOKERY SCHOOL - IT’S GOING
FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BY
THE SOUNDS OF IT?
Well, the school has been going since
2005 and since then we have won a lot
of awards, we then sold the bakery and a
lot of things have happened in 15 years.
The school is so busy it’s a worldwide
attraction which means we bring a lot of
people to Bath. We won the South West
Tourism Award two years ago due to the
number of people that we attract to Bath.
We have a few guest chefs coming in as
well, but the core classes are with me
learning about bread making, as well as
what I write about in my books.
YOU HAVE SO MANY ACCOLADES
AND EVERYBODY ENJOYS WHAT YOU
HAVE BEEN DOING.
We pride ourselves on the services we
give our customers and also the way I
teach is quite unique - I’m very hands on.
Our school is quite small so it means that
I can spend time with everybody.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 7
On his baking classes
for children: “It’s good
fun and nice to see
them smile when they
try something that they
haven’t done before. I
think it’s a shame that
so many schools don’t
use cooking and baking
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL?
Until we get all our backlog of people
who couldn’t attend last year’s classes
hopefully then we will be back on an
even keel but not yet I’m afraid. We are
open and running and there are some
businesses that can’t do that so in a way
we are one of the lucky ones.
I HEAR THAT YOU WILL BE GETTING
INVOLVED WITH BBC MAESTRO.
Yes, it’s been amazing. We have just
finished editing. I absolutely loved it! It’s
a challenge to do live broadcasts, it’s
recipe lead and different from how I teach
in my classes, but it was well done. The
team were amazing.
YOU HAVE BEEN ON OTHER
COOKERY SHOWS SO DID YOU FIND
THAT THIS WAS A STEP UP?
Yes, I’ve been on Saturday Kitchen and
on James Martin’s show so it’s a different
buzz being filmed live and you have to be
mindful of what you do and say.
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WILL BE
It’s specifically about bread and things I
like to do at home. It goes from making
brioche, sourdough to bagels, all that
kind of stuff and things to give people
the confidence to bake at home and feel
that they learn something. It’s going to be
good. The production team was amazing,
and I can’t wait for it to launch.
YOU ARE FROM BRITTANY HAVE
YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO GO BACK
We went to France last year, Provence.
We have a house down there and
managed to visit just before lockdown.
*At the time of the interview there was
uncertainty regarding travel to the city
BBC Maestro with Richard Bertinet
is available now at bbcmaestro.com.
The course costs £80 for 23 episodes
including written class notes for
each one. An additional bonus festive
episode is expected to launch later in
the year exclusively to subscribers.
8 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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& PISTACHIO LOAF
150g good quality dark chocolate chips
75g roughly chopped pistachios
Zest of 2 oranges
50g mixed peel
1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
125g unsalted butter straight from the
125g full fat milk
3 medium eggs
500g strong white bread flour (plus extra
15g fresh yeast
45g caster sugar
10g fine sea salt
FOR THE GLAZE
Pinch fine sea salt
Mix the chocolate chips, nuts zest
and mixed peel in a bowl and stir in
the Cointreau if you are using it. Place
the cold butter between 2 sheets of
greaseproof and bash it with a rolling pin
to soften it and break it up into smaller
pieces (without warming it up).
Put the milk and eggs into the bowl of a
food mixer and then add the flour. Break
up the yeast and add to one side of the
bowl. Add the sugar and salt on the
other side of the bowl.
Mix on a slow speed for 4 minutes.
Increase the speed to medium for another
2 minutes then add the butter piece by
piece until it is all incorporated. Continue
mixing on medium speed for 10-12
minutes until the dough comes away from
the sides of the bowl.
Stop the mixer. Add the chocolate and
pistachio mixture to the bowl and mix
for no longer than 30-40 seconds on
the slowest speed – you don’t want the
chocolate and nuts to become mushy.
Lightly flour your worksurface and turn
the dough out onto the work surface.
Form the dough into a ball and then place
into a lightly floured bowl. Cover and
rest for about 45 minutes until just under
double in size.
Lightly flour the surface again, turn out
the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces
of about 110g each. Form each piece
into a ball and then press gently into
cake or loaf tins until they are full. In the
picture I have used tiny tins that only take
one ball but if you use a larger one you
will have a finished loaf or two that will be
perfect to tear and share. Whether you
have one or two will depend on the size
of your tins. Cover and leave to prove
for about 1 hour until just under double
While the dough is proving, pre-heat the
oven to 190°C and beat the eggs and
pinch of salt for the glaze. Brush the top
of each loaf with the egg glaze and use a
pair of scissors to snip into the dough for
Place the tins on a baking tray and
put into the pre-heated oven. Turn the
temperature down to 180°C and bake for
15-20 minutes until golden.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11
When the darker nights set in, you
just want some go-to comfort food
recipes - and here, Waitrose has
delivered! Find more recipes at
COTTAGE PIE WITH
Prep time: 20 minutes plus standing
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
500g British beef mince
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 Oxo Beef stock cube
1 tbsp tomato purée
1½ tbsp plain flour
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 thyme sprigs
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Heat ½ tbsp oil in a large sauté pan or
casserole dish over a high heat. Add
the beef and fry, breaking it up, for 4-5
minutes, until browned. Remove from the
pan, add the remaining 1⁄2 tbsp oil, lower
the heat to medium and fry the onion,
celery and carrot with a pinch of salt for
10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile,
dissolve the beef stock cube in 500ml
Return the beef to the pan, add the
tomato purée and cook for 1 minute, then
stir in the flour and fry for 1 minute more.
Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and
2 thyme sprigs and simmer for 25-30
minutes, until the beef is coated in a thick
gravy. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes
as thinly as you can and put in a bowl.
Cover with just-boiled water from the
kettle; set aside for 10 minutes. Drain and
use kitchen paper to pat dry thoroughly,
then lay out on more kitchen paper to
Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
Melt the butter. Tip the beef and gravy
into a medium ovenproof dish. Toss the
potatoes with the butter and leaves from
the remaining thyme sprig. Season and
arrange in circles over the beef. Bake for
30 minutes until bubbling hot and the
potatoes are cooked through. Stand for
10 minutes before serving.
Scatter grated cheddar over the potatoes
halfway through baking to give the pie a
nice cheesy crust.
PORK & AUBERGINE
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 aubergines, cut into 2cm pieces
4 salad onions
12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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2 cloves garlic
Small piece fresh root ginger
2 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Gochujang
1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp maple syrup
500g pack lean minced pork
½ x 25g pack Thai basil, leaves shredded
Steamed rice, to serve
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large wok or frying
pan over a medium-high heat. Add the
aubergines and fry for 20-25 minutes,
stirring occasionally, until softened and
golden all over. Meanwhile, finely slice the
salad onions, separating the whites and
greens, crush the garlic and finely grate
the ginger. In a bowl, mix the gochujang,
soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and maple
syrup with 1 tbsp water.
Tip the aubergine onto a plate and return
the pan to a high heat with the remaining
1 tbsp oil. Add the salad onion whites,
garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute
until fragrant. Add the pork and fry for
3-4 minutes until there is no pink meat
remaining and any excess liquid has
bubbled off from the pan.
Add the sauce and aubergine to the pan
and fry for 2-3 minutes until everything
is coated in the sauce. Take off the heat
and toss in the Thai basil leaves. Serve
on rice, with the salad onion greens
This recipe would work well with minced
turkey instead of the minced pork. Turkey
mince is also lower in fat than pork
Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating
Cooking time: 20 minutes
8 British chicken thigh fillets
3 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Shawarma
½ red onion, finely sliced
2 lemons, juice of 1, 1 cut into wedges
1½ tsp Cooks’ Ingredients Sumac
½ large cucumber
250g Yeo Valley Organic Greek Style
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
15 mint leaves, finely shredded, plus extra
4 Waitrose & Partners Hand-Stretched
50g pomegranate seeds
1-2 handfuls wild rocket
Slash each chicken thigh a few times,
concentrating on the thicker parts of the
fillet. Season, then rub all over with the
shawarma paste. Cover and chill for 20
minutes (up to 2 hours). Meanwhile, mix
the onion, lemon juice and sumac with a
good pinch of salt. Set aside until ready
To make the sauce, coarsely grate the
cucumber and put in a sieve. Toss with a
pinch of salt and leave over a bowl for 10
minutes to drain, then gently press with a
wooden spoon to extract as much liquid
as possible. Tip into a bowl and stir in the
yogurt, garlic and mint.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Cook
the chicken for 5-8 minutes on each side
(depending on the fillets’ size) until the
juices run clear and there is no pink meat,
then set aside for 2 minutes. Clean the
pan then use it to griddle the flatbreads
for 30 seconds on each side. Arrange
them on plates and top with the chicken,
pickled onion, pomegranate, rocket and
the cucumber and yogurt sauce, finishing
with the extra mint leaves and lemon
wedges for squeezing over.
This recipe also works well with lamb or
pork steaks instead of chicken (adjust
cooking times accordingly).
CHEWY BROWN SUGAR
Prep time: 15 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 - 14
200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
300g Billington’s Dark Brown Soft Natural
Unrefined Cane Sugar
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp fine salt
1 large British Blacktail Free Range Egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Put the butter and sugar in a large
saucepan and set over a medium heat.
Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until
the butter has melted and the sugar has
dissolved. Set aside off the heat for 5
minutes to cool. Meanwhile, mix the flour,
baking powder, bicarbonate of soda,
cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
With a wooden spoon, beat the egg
and vanilla into the butter-sugar mix,
then beat in the dry ingredients until
completely combined. Transfer to a bowl,
cover with a plate and chill for at least 2
14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
hours (up to 24 hours).
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4; line
2 large baking trays with parchment. Leave
the cookie dough out of the fridge for 15
minutes to warm up a little. Roll into 12-14
balls (about 65-70g each) and space out
well on the baking trays (the cookies spread
quite a lot during cooking, so bake in more
than 2 batches if needed). Bake for about 15
minutes, turning the trays halfway if needed,
until deep golden and cracked on top. Cool
for 5 minutes on the trays, then transfer to a
wire rack to cool completely.
Ovens can vary in temperature, so after
about 12 minutes, keep an eye on your
cookies. Once they look set and golden at
the edges and start to crack on top, they’re
CHERRY & ALMOND
BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
425g can black cherries in light syrup
3 tsp Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Cane Icing Sugar,
plus extra for dusting
1 medium British Blacktail Free Range Egg
250ml whole milk
½ tsp almond extract
8 slices sliced brioche loaf
2 tbsp unsalted butter
150g pot vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
Put a sieve over a small saucepan and
drain the cherries. Set the cherries aside
and simmer the juices for 5 minutes until
reduced. Add 1 tsp icing sugar and the
drained cherries to the saucepan and
simmer for another 5 minutes, until the
cherries are coated in a glossy syrup.
Meanwhile, set your largest frying pan over
a medium-highheat. In a large, shallow dish,
whisk the egg, milk, almondextract and
remaining 2 tsp icing sugar. Add 4 brioche
slices to the mixture, soaking on each side
for about 45 seconds until they’ve absorbed
plenty of the mixture but aren’t too soggy.
Add 1 tbsp butter to the frying pan and,
when foaming, fry the brioche for 4 minutes
on each side until golden and puffed up.
Arrange on plates while you prepare the
remaining slices in the same way, frying in
the remaining 1 tbsp butter.
Serve 2 slices of brioche per person. Top
with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and the
warm cherries and syrup (reheat briefly if
necessary). Scatter with the toasted almonds
and dust with a little icing sugar to serve.
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15
British Food Fortnight
What is it and how can you get involved?
Food Festivals are back and with the end
of UK lockdown we can’t wait to see the
return of the best Britain has to offer. Taste
of London may have already passed us by
but we are in the most prosperous period
for British Food, with strawberries, beetroot
and various other veggies in their prime.
So what better way to celebrate the UK’s
produce than through a fortnight of foodie
British Food Fortnight, which takes place
on the 18th September to the 3rd of
October 2021, celebrates the best of British
cuisine across the public sector in schools,
hospitals, care homes and universities.
This year marks our 20th anniversary of
the national celebration and it is set to
be the biggest and most popular to-date
with communities and organisations such
as Silverstone, NHS trusts, Houses of
Parliament and many more across the
county taking part.
There are a host of ways that you
(consumers) can get involved, the easiest is
to ensure you are buying British food from
supermarkets and choosing British food
on menus when you eat out. In Waitrose’s
Food and Drink report 2021 they highlight
that 74% of British people want to see more
food businesses in the UK express their
ongoing support for local British producers.
British Food Fortnight seeks to remedy this
by encouraging your local pubs and shops
to buy British Food through consumers
opportunities for harvest celebrations, such
as attending a traditional Harvest Festival
service in your community.
Finally, why not enter the British Food
Fortnight competition which is open to
everyone. Or perhaps you have someone
you want to nominate who has made a
huge contribution to the promotion of local
food in your area.
British Food Fortnight will not be one to
miss this year. The UK is home to some of
the most fertile soils and varied agricultural
output, what is not to celebrate about that?
See: www.lovebritishfood.co.uk for further
information. And follow the campaign @
LoveBritishFood for the latest news.
In previous years hundreds of schools have
taken part and encouraging your child’s
school to join British Food Fortnight is a
great way to show your support. Love
British Food has a Teacher Zone where
there’s swathes of resources on how to
include food into the curriculum.
In addition, now lockdown is over numerous
local festivals are happening across the
country and you can check out what is
happening near you. Even if nothing is
going on then why not organize your own
British Food Fortnight encompasses the
three Sundays of the Harvest Festival
calendar. Celebrations for this traditional
Pagan festival often include singing hymns
and decorating Churches with baskets
of fruit and food and there are lots of
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 17
An enriching life like no other
Which school should my child attend?
Choosing the right educational
environment for your child is one of
the most important decisions you’ll
ever have to make as a parent. But if
you’re looking for a boarding school
for your child, how do you choose
the right one? Robin Fletcher, CEO
of the Boarding Schools’ Association
‘How do I choose the right boarding school
for my child?’ That’s a question we’re asked
more often than any other at BSA. And
when you consider the UK boarding market
is one of the largest in the world, with more
than 450 schools of all sizes and types, in
all sorts of different locations, there isn’t a
But having such a wide range of choice can
really work to your advantage. If you know
exactly what to look for in a prospective
boarding school, your child will enjoy a
first-class education and gain invaluable life
skills, boost their confidence, become more
independent, and have the best possible
preparation for adult life.
The first key piece of advice I would always
offer when choosing a school is that it must
be a joint decision between you and your
child: they have to be happy with the final
As I’ve mentioned, one thing there isn’t a
shortage of in the UK boarding sector is
choice. You need to think about the best
location for your child: will they be best
suited to a large school attended by several
hundred students, or a smaller school
with fewer pupils? Would a school in the
middle of a city be better for them, or would
they prefer somewhere more rural? Would
they be best suited to a single sex or coeducational
school? Also, will full boarding
be the best option for them? Schools can
offer full, weekly or flexi-boarding, so you’ll
need to decide which works best for you
and your child. And is an academic school
right for them, or one that focuses perhaps
more on sport, music or more vocational
Once you’ve considered all those factors
and you’ve got a shortlist of schools you’re
interested in, I’d always strongly encourage
you to visit those schools in person. This
is the best way to tell if it’s right for your
child or not, as it will be clear very quickly
whether they are comfortable there.
Making that final choice of the right
boarding school for your child can be a
lengthy process, but taking the time to get
your decision absolutely right is crucial.
Boarding will not suit every child or family
- but for the right child, in the right school,
it can offer an enriching life experience like
For further information about the Boarding
Schools’ Association, or to search for a
boarding school, please visit www.boarding.
org.uk. In 2020, BSA also teamed up with
Bulldog Publishing to launch Schoolplaces.
org, a dedicated live information resource
for schools, parents and education agents.
For more information, please visit www.
Image: Courtesy of Highfield and
18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
at burford school
Burford School supports pupils to flourish because
of the wide range of opportunities on offer inside
and outside the classroom. As Headteacher I am
very proud to celebrate the significant academic
success of the students. It is however that Burford
School is a caring community and does more than
just focus on classroom learning that I was drawn
to apply for the post earlier this year.
After a brief stint working in the world of advertising in
London, I have worked in a variety of schools including day,
boarding, single sex and co-education. I have developed from
this range of experience a strong set of beliefs about what
makes for an excellent education. I am driven by developing
in students the skills required for lifelong learning, in the
academic sense but perhaps more importantly wider life.
A good set of grades is important - Burford School guides
students to the very best results; a young person however
only flourishes when they have confidence in themselves as a
person and they know about who they are.
The teachers at Burford coach each student to think about
where their strengths lie and how to develop in areas where
they might want to improve. It is only possible for a young
person to develop fully when they engage in a wide range of
activities outside the classroom as well as inside. More than
this, it is important that each student is actively engaged
within the classroom with superb and varied teaching. Burford
school is proud to offer a significant range of after school
clubs covering sport and the Arts. From Rugby to Orchestra
and Cricket to the stage, there is something for every student
to find out who they are as a person and what makes them
In the coming months Burford will continue to do what it does
best, focus on and care for the young person. There is much
talk about the impact of Covid on classroom learning. We
know that it is the personal and social education that is the
priority. We will work to ensure that students are engaging
with each other and themselves with varied teaching and
learning inside and outside the classroom.
Thursday 23 September
Day School 4.30-7.30pm
An outstanding day and boarding school
for students aged 11-18
The Headteacher will speak in the
Main Hall at 5.30pm and 7.00pm
The Headteacher will speak in the Main Hall
at 5.30pm and 7.00pm
Unlocking potential Inspiring futures
www.burford.oxon.sch.uk 01993 823283 (Boarding) 01993 823303 (Day)
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19
An outstanding education
at the heart of the Cotswolds
Visit our website for Open Day
and Open Evening details
The Cotswold School, The Avenue, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2BD
STEAM INTERACTIVE 2021
Mark Budge, STEAM co-ordinator at Leighton Park School,
reflects on the success of STEAM Interactive 2021, a virtual
outreach event designed to engage young pupils in science,
technology, engineering, the arts, and maths
According to the World Economic Forum, the three most important
skills for the future are creativity, problem solving and critical thinking.
At Leighton Park, these are the skills we focus on in STEAM. Making
creativity explicit is why we include the arts in STEM to make
STEAM. It is this focus that is also the key to encouraging more girls
to study STEM subjects and enter into STEM careers.
During this year’s British Science Week, we hosted STEAM
Interactive 2021, an outreach event attended by over 100 students
from 18 primary and prep schools. Pupils had the opportunity to tune
in to five interactive workshops, live Q&As, a keynote speech on The
Future of Technology and six STEAM Stories, presenting the STEAM
journeys of experienced industry professionals. The event was
delivered through the school’s website, with links to pre-recorded
workshop sessions on YouTube and live Q&As on Zoom. There was
also an Art & Engineering themed competition for students to enter
using their work from the sessions on Monday and Thursday.
20 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
“Our commitment to educational partnerships is a key aspect of our
work at Leighton Park,” commented Natasha Coccia, assistant head:
outreach and partnerships. “We work with state schools to help raise
engagement and progress in a range of subjects, but as a STEAM hub
a real highlight of the academic year is our work with KS2 students in
the area of STEAM through our Big Bang Interactive event which is
usually in the spring term. This year’s event has taken a different form
and gone online but has enabled us to reach even more participants.
We are thrilled with this level of engagement during the week that
schools have reopened across England. A particularly exciting feature
this year is our focus on women in STEAM, with our guest panellists
from Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, Design Nature, Ethical
Reading and David Ross Educational Trust.”
The sessions, which included the opportunity to construct a pop-up
stage set, build a geodesic dome, witness a sheep’s heart dissection,
undertake experiments with exercise and pulse, and send messages in
morse code, certainly went down well with the pupils involved.
Catherine Reeves, from Evendons Primary School, enthused about
the Art & Engineering workshop: “All the children from Year 4 to Year 6
were fascinated by the amount of weight the egg could withstand - we
had a ‘sweepstake’ for the vertical test to add to the excitement and
they loved it. It was the perfect combination of suspense, excitement and
a challenging collaborative activity. Thank you!”
Philly Hatton-Evans, from Waverley School, from the sixth form
CTECH Sport students called ‘At the Heart of It’: “I just wanted to
say thank you to Leighton Park for organising such an exciting and
interactive STEAM week. The children have absolutely loved it so far
and it has made the first week back in school even more exciting. I
also wanted to say how impressive the sixth form pupils were just
now on the live Q&A session. They spoke with great knowledge and
confidence of their subject and the children here were completely
gripped by the session. It is clear that they love their subject and the
Girls’ schools today
Donna Stevens, chief executive of the Girls’ Schools Association, on the reality of girls’ schools today
Girls’ schools are very much alive and well
and a thriving part of the UK’s education
provision. But don’t just take my word for
it - take a look at the evidence and visit your
local girls’ school.
Around half a million secondary school
aged children are educated in single-sex
schools in England, a significant proportion
of all school aged children. What is perhaps
more interesting is that the majority are
in girls’ schools, meaning co-ed schools
typically have more boys than girls.
What this means in practice is that girls’
schools, and the benefits they bring,
attract significant numbers of girls and
their parents. I know from talking to head
teachers that parents who set aside any
lingering assumptions to visit their local
girls’ school are frequently bowled over by
the contemporary, lively and highly relevant
education that’s on offer.
Girls-only schools provide freedom from
gender stereotypes, where girls can grow
into themselves without feeling under
pressure to conform to gender-weighted
expectations. New research+ has shown
that girls in girls’ schools are also more
confident and emotionally in control - these
are environments which enable girls to grow
in confidence so that, when it’s time, they
are better placed to take on the demands of
the adult world.
Academically, data from the Department
for Education shows that pupils in girls’
schools perform better at both key stages
4 and 5, which equates to GCSE and A
Level in the English school system. In girls’
schools there is no such thing as a girls’
subject or a boys’ subject and girls are
free to follow their inclinations with little
of the pressure they might otherwise feel.
The results are evident, with girls’ school
students significantly more likely to study
STEM (science, technology, engineering &
maths) subjects – nearly three times more
likely for physics and further maths and
almost twice as likely for computer science.
On average, girls in girls’ schools also
achieve almost a grade higher at A Level
than girls who attend co-ed schools.
Girls’ school students are more likely to take
up sport, which isn’t surprising when you
consider that, with only girls in the gym and
on the sports field, their physical confidence
has space to grow. Every girl has every
opportunity to become a leader, a form
captain, a Head of House. They learn not
just how to shoulder responsibility, but also
how to take risks, inspire and lead others.
Our schools see the fruits of this all the
time. Students win awards and go on
to become confident, high achievers in
business, the arts, academia, and sport.
Among our alumnae our Economist editorin-chief
Zanny Minton-Beddoes, actress
and activist Emma Watson, Everyone’s
Invited activist Soma Sara, anthropologist
and TV presenter Professor Alice Roberts,
award-winning astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn
Bell Burnell, Olympic champions Alex
Danson MBE and Helen Glover MBE, and
Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Robinson
The school you choose for your daughter
has to feel right. We are fortunate, in the UK,
to have an excellent choice of schools of all
shapes, sizes and locations. The fact that
girls’ schools continue to thrive in such a
diverse environment is an indication of their
great strength and expertise in giving girls a
highly relevant, 21st century education.
Main image: Withington Girls’ School
Bottom left: St James School
Below right: Norwich High School for
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21
01280 700071 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Beachborough School, Westbury, Brackley, NN13 5LB
Follow our journey
There is no Wi-fi
in the woods at
The adventure of childhood, is integrated
into everything we do at Hatherop.
Children are often found building bug houses, role playing in
dens or investigating science experiments from the top of our
new Treehouse Classroom. This time outside allows children to
connect with nature and understand more about the world, it
provides children with precious time to relax in peace and quiet
when school life becomes too stressful.
Children know the rules of being outside, ‘if the stick is longer
than your arm then it is not to be played with’. However, the
rules are simple and more emphasis is placed on teaching the
children to understand risk, and asses what they can safely
do. In a time when technology is all around us, the importance
of being outside, to a place where the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach, is
vital, it allows children to get back to basics and appreciate
the simple things in life, they can actually see how birds lay
their nests or how an earthworm moves, instead of clicking on
“Children here are happy
and confident and have a
true sense of belonging.”
Google and watching it on a screen.
In addition to the wonderful grounds, parents love the family
ethos at Hatherop, Mr Reed knows every single child and can
often be found teaching Prep 7 sports or reading Reception
a lovely book in the Stableyard. It is a small prep school with
tremendous grounds which for many parents find is the perfect
balance. Their child is not simply a number within the school
but a treasured and valued member of the Hatherop family
In a time of such uncertainty, we feel so fortunate to have such a
wonderful school thriving. Children here are happy and confident
and have a true sense of belonging. We are certain this will
continue and look forward to another year of adventures at
Hatherop next year.
To find out more about how Hatherop could provide the perfect
education for your child, please visit our website and book
to come along to our open morning or a bespoke tour of our
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 23
The Dragon in Oxford has been
at the forefront of Prep education
in the UK since it was founded in
1877. This year marks an exciting
new chapter with the arrival of the
new Head, Emma Goldsmith.
The nurturing pre-Prep, where curiosity and creativity
are fostered in our youngest Dragons, is in the heart of
Summertown. The Prep has an idyllic setting just a short
walk from the centre of the beautiful university city, with
playing fields rolling down to the River Cherwell. The Dragon
is a happy, vibrant, relaxed community where boys and girls
discover and develop their talents both within the classroom
Dedicated and inspiring teachers encourage a love of learning
and get to know each child as an individual. The breadth of
opportunity is incredible and Dragon life is busy and fun.
Saturday mornings have been transformed as an exciting
enrichment programme, Dragon QUEST, has replaced
compulsory academic lessons. Children learn new skills,
broaden their horizons and dare to try new things. The choice
of activities ranges from bike mechanics, calligraphy or cultural
walks in Oxford to debating, first aid or paddle boarding.
This holistic approach to education has proved incredibly
popular with children, staff and parents alike.
The Dragon offers full, weekly (a Dragon bus from London
on Sunday evenings) or flexi boarding and the family style
boarding houses offer a true ‘home from home’ where children
can relax. Boarding helps children to develop independence,
confidence and make lasting friendships and doing so in
Years 7 and 8 is an ideal preparation for those looking to
board at senior school. Leavers go on to an impressive list of
destinations and about a third of the year group typically gain
academic and/or specialist awards. There is a strong sense of
community amongst Old Dragons and the School is very proud
of their successes and loyalty.
Our admissions process is detailed on the website and
we encourage families to visit us in Oxford. Means-tested
bursaries are available at Year 4. Please do contact
email@example.com or call 01865 315405
An extraordinary day and boarding
Prep School where boys and girls
discover and develop their talents
inside the classroom and beyond.
Visit our website for more information on:
- Full, weekly and flexi boarding options
- Dragon QUEST enrichment programme
- Means-tested transformational bursaries
To make an enquiry please contact
the Admissions team on 01865 315 405
Dragon School, Bardwell Road, Oxford, OX2 6SS
24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Adam Frost is an
television presenter and
Best known for his
successes at RHS Chelsea
Flower Show, he is
passionate about inspiring
adults and children
alike to create their
own gardens and watch
hedgerows spring to life.
Sally Thomson caught up
with him to discuss all
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GEOFF
It was originally in North Devon Parks
department that I did my apprenticeship
and then I went to work for Geoff when I
was 21 years old and spent an amazing
mind blowing, not that I think you realise
it in your early 20s working 6-7 years with
Geoff until he passed away in 96.
AN INSPIRATIONAL MAN I SHOULD
Yes, looking back I don’t think you
realised what he was talking about, peat
free gardening, Organic gardening, stop
ripping up limestone pavements and
destroying the countryside all the things
that were way before their time really. We
are now 30 years on and we’ve only just
decided to ban peat. I think in reality he
set my gardening moral compass.
HIS SON HAS GONE INTO THE SAME
LINE OF WORK ALSO?
He had 3 sons but Nick the middle son
was left the garden and nursery, so he’s
got Barnsdale plants and gardens.
TELL ME HOW THE GARDENER’S
WORLD EVENT WENT AT BEAULIEU?
I had a lovely weekend! I’d be lying if I
didn’t say I was a bit nervous. I had just
had my 2nd injection It was the first time
I had done anything in a public arena for
about 18 months! You realise that all the
shows are now your general catch up.
WITH THE PANDEMIC DID YOU FIND
IT STRANGE NOT BEING OUT &
ABOUT WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC?
Definitely, We run a school as well so
we had to close that. I did some stuff on
zoom like most people but that’s a very
strange experience. I’ve never spent
so much time at home or in the garden
through the summer months with my wife
and kids which was a mixed blessing and
gave me time to stop which I don’t think
I’ve done since I was 16.
I BET YOU MISSED THE VIBE OF
BEING AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW?
I was due to go back and do a garden
in 2020 so that went but it looks we will
be able to go back in September and
26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
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28 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
do some filming but I’m not building
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING A
GARDEN FOR CHELSEA?
It can be 12 months to 2 years planning
but at one point I was doing them back to
back finishing one then moving straight
onto the next one. But it’s fascinating, it’s
how I built my career.
“I think ultimately
gardens are about
4 things; people,
space, plants and
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR
FIRST CHELSEA GOLD?
If I’m honest, I think I was slightly
oblivious to what they actually meant. My
dad was a landscaper and he built early
John Brooks gardens in the early 70s.
Recently I met Professor David Stevens,
garden designer, who also worked for
John Brooks. We were talking about
Chelsea and he said that my dad would
have been a few gardens along from
where we were. David also taught me a
lot about design in that sense.
WHEN YOU START A DESIGN IS IT
FROM A THOUGHT OR ARE YOU
PLANNING IT IN ADVANCE?
It depends on whether its for a client.
I think ultimately gardens are about 4
things; people, space, plants and place.
It’s normally one of those that I tap into
first and it might be a bit of landscape
it might be an individual picture I’ve
seen it might be the shape of something
whatever it is that gives me an insight
into a person or if it’s a show garden what
particular design will drive it that’s how I
start and then create from there.
DO YOU THINK BEAULIEU WILL BE A
REGULAR EVENT NOW?
I think so, I walked in and thought
what a glorious piece of landscape
and the moment I walked in the gate it
had a good feel. People really enjoyed
themselves and as a setting it had quite a
lovely intimate feel to it, even the stages
had an open canopy, and everybody
was sensible and had plenty of space.
The standard of the displays was really
good and Hilliers had gone there and
built a garden, so it was great that you
had something there of Hilliers quality. I
think a positive out of the last 15 months
is that people have slowed down have
connected or reconnected with what’s
outside their back door or in the area.
I’ve seen a report saying we now have
3 million new gardeners. Everybody
you talk to in the industry says that
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29
the hunger from last year is still there
which is great. I just hope in a way that
stays. I think even the people that knew
gardening was good for you physically
and mentally, even for me I don’t think I
realised how important it was to my life.
I FIND IT VERY THERAPEUTIC AND
GOOD FOR THE SOUL
It’s interesting that we are seeing
statistics people moving out of cities
and into the countryside and are wanting
bigger gardens it wasn’t that long-ago
people were downsizing and didn’t want
a big outdoor space and this time has
now changed that.
I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE AN
RHS AMBASSADOR? WHAT DOES
Yes, I’ve done that for quite a few years
now. Basically, I help them with stuff
looking at helping youngsters to engage
more through events and I did a lot
of work a while back with Homebase
creating apprenticeships so that’s how it
started. I also do a lot of community stuff
with RHS and I’m just about to start a
new project which I can’t say too much
about which will be good. I have travelled
all over to schools, events for them. I
was brought up just outside London and
wasn’t the best behaved, I’m dyslexic
and obviously I’ve done OK and I think
that’s why they wanted me to help.
YOU ARE AT THE NEC IN THE
SUMMER WHAT WILL THAT INVOLVE?
I normally go from stage to stage and
talk all things gardening and there’s
different themes on different stages from
talking about ‘Grow your Own’, ‘Unusual
Edibles’, ‘soil and compost’, so all sorts
really. What I love about that show is you
have the gardens and displays but it also
interlinks with food and because its at the
NEC if we do have poor weather people
can get inside. Because it’s such a large
venue everything will feel alright.
DO YOU DO ANY JUDGING IN YOUR
I’ve been asked, and I’ve done bits and
pieces, but I don’t really like to just turn
up and judge other people’s work.
SO, AT CHELSEA FOR EXAMPLE ARE
YOU THERE WHEN THE JUDGES
You have a 2 minute conversation the day
before to explain if anything has changed
or there have been any adjustments
to the design. They then arrive at your
garden anytime between 7:30am and
9:30am on the day and you must be away
from your garden. Then you have another
24 hours until you find out the result.
WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT
YOU HAD AN APTITUDE FOR
I don’t think I did really, I love what I do I
think it just happened. I was talking to a
Robert Hillier at Chelsea and he said can
you remember the conversation we had
in 2015 where you said the BBC want
me to do some presenting as they think
I’m half decent and he said are you sure
that’s what you want to do and you said
I don’t know but I’ll give it a go and here
we are now.
“I would say to
anybody there is
so much glorious
flower colour foliage
colour stem colour
to be had and the
light is different so
the atmosphere is
different you can
still wrap up and
enjoy it just don’t
chase perfection just
enjoy the moments.”
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE OUR
READERS TO DO TO THEIR GARDENS
Don’t disengage with the garden, I think
we get to September the kids go back to
school and people pack up their gardens.
I think our environment has changed so
much that you can’t month to month
garden anymore you have to react to the
month you are in. September, October
and even going into November we can
still have some cracking days and only
have our first frosts going into December
so I would say to anybody there is so
much glorious flower colour foliage
colour stem colour to be had and the light
is different so the atmosphere is different
you can still wrap up and enjoy it just
don’t disengage. Don’t chase perfection
just enjoy the moments.
Adam Frost, along with other gardening
celebrities, will be appearing at the NEC
in Birmingham from Thursday August 26
to Sunday August 29.
For ticket information, please visit
30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
WEEDS The beauty and use of 50 vagabond plants - by Gareth Richards
Weeds are nature’s first responders, healing the wounds that man
inflicts upon the earth. They valiantly bring life back into even the
most polluted land, pushing green shoots of raw ecological power
through tarmac and concrete on abandoned sites.
The cheerful daisy in the pavement crack - or even, dare it be said,
the buddleia that turns derelict buildings into butterfly havens.
Countless plants that we dismiss as weeds have amazing powers.
Every weed has some redeeming qualities.
When the chips are down, weeds come to the rescue. You cut
yourself miles from home on a country walk, there are several
weeds you can reach for to help stop the bleeding - and they even
have antibacterial properties too. We might have lost much of our
countryside but a select band of plants paint the grey concrete
green again. They are a defiant echo of the wild.
In an age of extinctions, weeds offer hope: their very existence is
continual proof of nature’s resilience. Yet we are so often blind to
their beauty. “The notion that a plant is a weed is the most effective
barrier for stopping us looking at it closely” wrote acclaimed
naturalist Richard Mabey first published almost 50 years ago.
Does being native matter? Our perceptions are very much a
question of time: many of our most-loved wildflowers such as
field poppies and cornflowers are technically just as ‘non-native’
as Japanese knotweed, yet because they’ve been here for many
hundreds of years we’ve grown to appreciate and even love them.
Pinning down the native ranges of weeds is a tricky business. Often
they’ve been around mankind for so long that their precise origins
are unknown. Furthermore, the ever-accelerating rate of climate
change means that in Britain our definition of native and nonnative
(one that seeks to freeze our flora into what it was like many
thousands of years ago) is looking more irrelevant by the day.
Only humans make
weeds. Nature abhors
a vacuum. Bare soil
exists rarely in nature,
yet we strive to create
it by ploughing,
digging our gardens
buildings and roads.
If we hadn’t created
there wouldn’t be
nearly so many
weeds. They are
simply trying to
heal our scars on
Gareth Richards is
Digital Features Editor at RHS
and delivers the RHS podcast. Gareth has provided
horticulture expertise for a leading nursery, the BBC, ITV and Bauer
The Royal Horticultural Society is Britain’s premier gardening charity,
promoting horticulture and helping gardeners by providing inspiration
through its shows, gardens and expertise.
RHS Weeds - The Beauty and use of 50 vagabond plants is
published by Welbeck
WARES AND GIFTS
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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 31
JOBS TO TACKLE THIS AUTUMN
Home maintenance is a year-round
endeavour, but these are the top jobs
to get sorted before the worst of the
winter weather sets in:
CHECK ALL DOOR/WINDOW
SEALS FOR DRAUGHTS
Check that existing seals are still
intact and repair any cracks or holes
that have formed. For a quick and
easy solution, fit doors with draught
excluders to keep rooms warm and to
prevent energy wastage.
CHECK YOUR BOILER
Have a boiler service and check the
system is running efficiently. Many
people put off replacing older boilers,
but you will save money in energy with
more efficient models. If you have one,
make sure your external condenser
pipe is well insulated.
Clear gutters and drainpipes of leaf
debris to reduce the chance of leaks.
Also be sure to check drains for
blockages - prevention is better than
fixing it on a cold night!
CHECK THE OUTSIDE
Look over all external masonry,
checking for cracks, gaps around
windows or issues with roof. Make
sure your front door closes snugly (and
make sure your property is secure
whilst you’re at it).
Insulate your pipes (burst pipes cause
huge damage). Make sure your loft
insulation is adequate and look into
cavity wall insulation, which can
save hundreds ££ on energy bills.
If you can, look into upgrading the
efficiency of your windows with triple
or secondary glazing.
Why is it that we save all the
property redecoration for when we
are getting ready to move? How
about giving your rooms some
TLC with a fresh lick of paint and
swapping in some new accessories
to update the palette.
Try switching out cooler grey tones
for warmer neutrals and introducing
more natural materials like linen,
leather and wood - this means you
can use your base furniture pieces,
and just give them a lift with new
DIY panelling is another huge
trend which is helping people give
rooms a completely new look for
less - why not try adding a wall to a
bedroom in a strong contrast colour
for maximum impact?
It looks as though working from home,
or at least a hybrid, flexible model is
here to stay. With that in mind, many
of us are choosing to carve out proper
working spaces instead of balancing on
the end of the kitchen table.
Investing in a proper desk and chair
are fundamental - it’s well known that
sitting for long periods on chairs not
specifically designed for desk work can
cause long-lasting pain.
For desks, there are lots of options for
built-in models into wall space or even
stand up desks. If you don’t have the
space for a full office room, you can
still find inventive ways to incorporate a
desk into wardrobe areas or even into
cupboards, meaning the workspace
can be neatly tucked away at the end
of the day and the space can resume
its original purpose. Storage is another
essential element to stop work admin
spilling out into home life.
Finally, take some time to make your
work space look homely - it stops it
from feeling transitory. Hang some
prints, invest in some greenery or buy
some soft furnishings like cushions
or blankets to make it feel like an
extension of your home.
Boston Fern from £9.99, hortology.co.uk;
Hathai Cushion, £34, hauslife.co.uk
32 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
ENHANCE THE VALUE
and beauty of your home with real timber
THE REASSURANCE OF DEALING WITH A local SPECIALIST
Whether your home is a country cottage, a Victorian semi, a modern townhouse or a converted barn, we have a range of
traditional and contemporary timber windows and doors that will complement it perfectly.
Contact our showrooms across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire about how we can help you with our lovely range of
products. You’ll receive expert advice and see how beautiful timber windows and doors really can enhance the value and
beauty of your home.
Timber Windows of Cheltenham
15 Suffolk Parade,
Timber Windows of Cirencester
18 Global Business Park,
Off Wilkinson Road,
Love Lane Ind Est, Cirencester,
Timber Windows of Moreton-in-Marsh
Old Market Way,
Timber Windows of Henley-on-Thames
6A Hart Street,
Timber Windows of Oxford
255 Marston Road,
Telephone: 01285 653999
Looking to improve
your work/life balance?
A beautiful new home in Chipping Campden
could be the ideal solution.
If you dream of living in a beautiful family home in a truly idyllic location
with a spacious and totally separate home office, you can find it at Jubilee
Fields in Chipping Campden. Built by Lagan Homes, this small and exclusive
collection of new homes in the Cotswolds includes a stunning detached
family home with self-contained office space.
The Louth, plot 3, a beautiful
four bedroom family home, is
ideal for those for whom homeworking
is the ‘new normal’.
Boasting an additional room,
complete with cloakroom, over
the detached double garage,
this fabulous new home has
everything you need for
work, rest and play, with the
additional flexible space being
perfect for use as a home
office, gym, playroom or ‘den’.
This home also ticks all the
boxes when it comes to
luxurious living. The spacious
kitchen/dining room has
French doors opening onto the
garden, whilst the sumptuous
living room features stunning
bifold doors leading to the
patio. A study, a utility room
and a cloakroom complete the
ground floor accommodation.
There are three double
bedrooms to the first floor,
including a stunning master
bedroom with en-suite, and a
family bathroom. The fabulous
guest room on the second
floor comes complete with a
Annette Thompson, Lagan
Homes’ Sales and Marketing
“The Louth housetype is
a fantastic choice for people
working from home. This
thoughtfully designed home
has it all. Fabulous family
accommodation, along with
completely separate office
or leisure space.”
Plot 3, The Louth, is currently
available to reserve for December
completion, priced at £925,000.
Other homes at the development
start from £690,000.
Find the development at GL55 6EB
Jubilee Fields Ad Cotswold Lifestyle 165x240mm v3a.indd 2 03/08/2021 14:21
WOOD BURNING STOVES
The importance of wood as an efficient, renewable and low carbon energy source
Wood burners vs Open fires: the stats:- There are few things in life
more comforting and mesmerising than the long, lazy flames and
crackling sound of a freshly lit wood fire, however, there is some
confusion surrounding the impact of wood burning stoves on the
environment and the efficiency and sustainability of firewood as a
With air quality an ever growing issue, especially in urban areas, it
is vital that government, stove manufacturers, dealerships and fuel
suppliers alike, work together to educate Brits that by following
best practice and making the right choices when it comes to wood
burners and fuel, stove owners can ensure that they are getting the
best possible performance from their appliance whilst also playing
their part in protecting the environment.
Contrary to popular opinion, when used and maintained correctly,
the right appliance can provide an efficient, cost effective and
sustainable domestic heating solution. Likewise, firewood is a highly
efficient and low-carbon energy source.
Why is wood a good fuel option?
Unlike coal or natural gas, wood is a low-carbon fuel. This means
that burning wood results in a relatively small net release of carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere, which is then re-absorbed when new
trees grow. This effectively balances out the combustion of bio-energy.
Wood is renewable in that a tree cut for fuel will naturally be replaced
by a younger tree that grows or is planted in its place. However,
it is also important to consider the concept of sustainable forest
management; both locally and worldwide…
Most firewood is produced from thinning the forest to provide
space, nutrition and light for thicker, more established trees to
prosper. Localised coppicing helps to ensure ‘low fuel miles’ as
wood is transported to areas nearby, within a 30 to 100 mile radius,
rather than sourced from forests abroad.
How efficient is wood burning?
Using firewood contributes to fuel independence as it can nearly
always be sourced locally, within a 30-100-mile radius, which means
it extremely efficient in fuel miles terms and those purchasing
firewood are also supporting the local economy.
In the case of rural properties that do not necessarily want to heat all
spaces at all times, local space heating using firewood is the most
efficient heating solution.
Just two logs per hour are required to keep a wood burner going,
whilst eight logs are needed to burn for an hour in an open fire.
Similarly, a wood burning stove is 60 percent more efficient at
heating the home as heat transfer is convected into the room rather
than being lost up the chimney in the case of conventional open
When changing from smokeless or mineral fuels to burning wood,
this contributes to a reduction
in carbon emissions.
HEAT STORE LT
It is advisable to replace an open fireplace with a closed wood
Unlike fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil and natural gas, wood is
a renewable energy source. A renewable resource is defined as a
natural resource which can be replenished to replace the portion
depleted by usage.
For more information, visit www.contura.eu.
With over 45 years in the business we have t
THE HEAT STORE LTD
With over 45 years in the business we have the
experience and we are here to help
experience and we are here to help
Wood Burning Stoves
• Wood Burning Stoves
• Multi-fuel Stoves
• Gas Gas Stoves & Fires
• Electric Stoves & Fires
• Esse Cookers
• Esse Servicing Cookers
• Servicing Installations
• Chimneys & Flues
• Flue lining
Contact us at:
2 Redditch Sweeping Road, Studley B80 7AX
Tel: 01527 853622
2 Church Street, Charlbury OX7 3PP
Tel: 01608 819088
36 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Get Ready to Burn
When the nights draw in, there’s nothing like
cosying up in front of a woodburner but knowing
what fuel to burn is key to creating this ambience
as well as ensuring the fire burns safely and
efficiently without smoking, reducing the risk of
releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere...
New government legislation means that when we’re ready to
light our fires this year, we need to use wood that’s certified and
labelled as Ready to Burn. Ready to Burn woodfuel gives a better
burn because it’s proven to have a lower moisture content of up
to 20%, so it burns with less smoke than wetter wood, which in
turn also helps reduce pollution from burning.
Alternatively, if you use Manufactured Solid Fuel (MSF) - a fuel
manufactured from coal, wood, plant-derived materials, waxes or
petroleum products with other ingredients – these must also be
certified and labelled as Ready to Burn, proving that they meet
specified limits for smoke emissions and sulphur content.
The Ready to Burn certified fuel scheme is backed by Defra
which appointed the non-profit industry organisation HETAS
to certify Manufactured Solid Fuels (MSF) and its subsidiary
business, Woodsure, to certify woodfuel.
Helen Bentley Fox, Director at Woodsure, said: “Using fuel that’s
Ready to Burn will reduce particulate emissions and improve air
quality, these fuels will also burn more efficiently and are better
for your appliance and chimney, helping to reduce maintenance
and fuel costs.”
How to fuel a safe, efficient and
environmentally-responsible burn this autumn:
1. If you’re buying fuel for immediate use, look for the
Ready to Burn label. To find a trusted retailer visit
www.readytoburn.org or www.hetas.co.uk
2. If you buy a large amount of wood in bulk, suppliers selling
wood in over 2m3 must provide customers with advice on
how to store and season the fuel so that is it dry to burn
3. If you buy woodfuel from a small volume supplier (those
selling less than 600m3 in a year) they have until 30 April
2022 to comply with the new rules, so you’ll need to make
sure the wood is properly seasoned before you use it.
Advice on how to dry wet wood and measure moisture
content can be found on www.readytoburn.org
4. Around 40% of chimney fires take place between January
and March, reduce the risk by making sure your appliance
is regularly serviced and chimney is swept.
Find your local HETAS Registered professional at
Whether your fire is for warmth or a feature,
traditional looking, modern or bespoke
The Fireplace Gallery has a fire to suit
With over 60 displays in our large showroom, and
an experienced sales and installation team we can
supply and create exactly what you are looking for.
• Gas Fires
• Electric Fires
• Woodburning & Multifuel Stoves
• Mantle Pieces, Surrounds & Beams
• Outdoor Fires & Firepits
• Own Installation Team
• Fire Servicing
• Media Walls
V 01242 680076
Unit 18-19 Knightsbridge Business Centre, Cheltenham GL51 9TA
www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 37
after a diagnosis of dementia
What are the next steps?
A diagnosis of dementia can be a big shock
- for the person with the condition, and their
family. It can be difficult to know what to
do, what decisions need to be made, who
to tell, what support is available and what
There can either be a lot of information
given to you at the time of diagnosis, or not
very much at all. Either way, whatever is
said to you at the time of diagnosis can be
forgotten in this emotional and challenging
Dementia UK provides specialist dementia
support for families through the Admiral
Nurse service. Admiral Nurses give families
the compassionate one-to-one support,
expert guidance and practical solutions
they need to face dementia with more
The families they work with want a simple
checklist of what to ask, what to do and
who to approach - so the important next
steps are clearly outlined in one place,
with links to more detailed information to
consider later, when it’s needed.
The Dementia UK next steps checklist:-
This checklist has been written by dementia
specialist Admiral Nurses, to help in the
early days after you or your family member
has received a diagnosis of dementia.
For each item on the checklist, there is a
further link to additional information, as
and when you need it. If you don’t have
access to the internet, you can contact the
Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline for more
information and support
Ask whether there will be a follow up
appointment after the diagnosis.
38 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
If yes, who will you see? How often? Who
makes this appointment?
Who will be your main point of contact?
Who will be responsible for coordinating
subsequent care and support?
Please record these details and your notes
in the Dementia UK Practical guide to
get the best out of GP and other health
Arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney for:-
Health and welfare.
Property and financial affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a
legal document, nominating a person to
make decisions on behalf of a person with
dementia, if and when the time comes
that they no longer have the capacity to
make these decisions themselves. It is
very important to fill in and register an LPA
for both health and welfare, and property
and financial affairs, while the person with
dementia still has the capacity to do so.
Discuss plans and wishes for the future
with your family, including:-
Your wishes regarding your future care.
Your wishes regarding your future medical
Your hopes about your involvement with
An Advance Care Plan is a document that
outlines a person’s future wishes for their
care and medical treatment.
Apply for a Carers’ Assessment
Anyone with caring responsibilities for a
person with dementia is entitled to a Carers’
Assessment, to be carried out by their
Local Authority. The Assessment will look
at the impact that caring for a person with
dementia is having, and will then identify
the type and level of support that is needed.
This could include some care for the person
with dementia, some training or some help
coming in to the home. You will need to
request the Assessment from your Local
Apply for all of the relevant financial
support you are entitled to:-
People with dementia and their family
carers are entitled to various benefits,
tax discounts or financial support. It is
important to make sure you are receiving all
of the financial help you are entitled to.
Organise your home so it helps you live
safely and independently
There are lots of simple, practical steps
that can be taken to help a person with
dementia to be safe and comfortable in
Inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing
Agency (DVLA) and your vehicle
insurance company your diagnosis
People with a diagnosis of dementia do not
automatically have to give up their driving
licence – but you do need to take certain
steps to make sure you are insured and
abiding by the law.
Inform your employer about the
If you are diagnosed with dementia and still
working, it is very important that you tell
your employer, so that steps can be taken
to support you in your job, if possible.
Similarly, if you are caring for someone with
dementia, telling your employer about your
changing responsibilities will help you plan
together, so that you can continue working
and caring as effectively as possible.
For more information call 0800 888 6678 or
Northleach Court Care Home
High Street, Northleach
Because we care...
Family-run care home with family values,
makes us so much more than just a care home.
Northleach Court is a family-run care home that provides
exceptional ‘home from home’ accommodation and
specialises in nursing, dementia, residential and couples
care. Northleach Court remains free of Covid-19, and our
professional infection control measures mean that our home
is the safest and best option in these challenging times.
Rated March 2020
It is vital that families can continue to spend time together and to make this possible
we organise safely distanced family visits. Following the government guidelines as they
change from time to time, we will do everything possible to enable you to relax and
enjoy your time together. Currently this includes using our welcoming and covid safe
visiting room. We also have free access to Wi-Fi and phones throughout the home, so
relatives and residents can video / phone call each other 24/7.
For more information, call 01451 608706
Visit our website www.northleachcourtcarehome.com
Nursing care Residential care Couples care
Specialist dementia care
Rapid Access Urology Clinic
The highest standard of care with the ultimate convenience
The Shire Clinics is a new rapid access urology clinic based in Cheltenham, offering
highly experienced Urology Consultants and an efficient diagnostic journey for all
- One-stop urology service for private patients
- Diagnostic investigations and results all on the same day
- Leading Urology Consultants
- First-class diagnostic tools for an accurate diagnosis
- Specialist nursing staff and ultrasonographers
- We treat prostate problems, urinary symptoms, urological cancers,
blood in the urine, testicular and penile problems and many other urological symptoms
If you are experiencing any unexplained urological symptoms and need them investigating,
please contact The Shire Clinics for an appointment.
C O N T A C T U S
0 1 2 4 2 4 3 7 5 3 7
i n f o @ t h e s h i r e s c l i n i c s . c o . u k
w w w . t h e s h i r e c l i n i c s . c o . u k
40 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE OVER 60s
SHOWHOME NOW OPEN
At Siddington Park we’re building a collection
of 1, 2 and 3 bed spacious homes in a
lifestyle village that is set among beautifully
landscaped gardens, on the outskirts of the
thriving Roman market town of Cirencester,
the capital of the Cotswolds.
In this dynamic community you’ll have
everything you could need with our wellbeing
spa, pool, bistro, activities and concierge,
all as part of our mission to create beautiful
places for people to live long, healthy and
SPACIOUS APARTMENTS AVAILABLE FROM £299,950 † TO £899,950 †
BOOK YOUR SPACE TODAY!
Call: 01285 580 924 | www.rangefordvillages.co.uk
Siddington Park, Cirencester, GL7 6ET
ALSO FIND US IN: CORSHAM, WILTSHIRE | CHERTSEY, SURREY | PICKERING, NORTH YORKSHIRE
*Ask about our fantastic village and plot specific offers, subject to terms and conditions.
†Prices correct at the time of print. Other charges apply. Please ask our sales advisors for details.
Katie Thomson shares tips
for getting your financial
ducks in a row for a happy
Retirement planning is a multi-faceted
process which evolves over time - to
have a comfortable and secure future,
you have to have the means to fund
it. Fewer people have access to the
guaranteed income that comes with a
final salary pension, and with longer to
wait until eligibility for the state pension,
it’s pertinent to start planning as early as
possible for the retirement you want. The
better prepared you are now, the better
your retirement will be.
There are many strands to retirement
planning, and much of it depends on
your stage of life. It’s important to seek
advice from a registered financial planner
who can help you make the most of your
There are some handy way points to help
you get a grasp on where you are and
what you will need - here’s a checklist of
things to consider:
Understand what your retirement
income is likely to be:
You will be adding to your pension fund
during your working life, but it’s important
you get a handle on your various pension
pots to forecast the actual figure you will
have access to.
Check your state pension:
The rising state pension age can have a
real knock-on effect to your retirement
planning - a state pension forecast will
help you to gauge how much you’re on
course to get from the government.
Get an understanding of your
Having an idea of your expenditure will
help you plan longer-term. Your living
costs are likely to be a lot lower than
in other phases of life - you might be
mortgage-free and you don’t have the
same costs for commuting, recreation or
childcare for example.
You may wish to improve your home
or go on some amazing trips, so it’s
important you know you have the
financial reserves to do this.
When should you start drawing a
You don’t have to stop working to draw
down your pension - as long as you
are over the age of 55 - but be aware,
the sooner you start dipping into it, the
sooner the pot will deplete.
How much will retirement cost?
This is the golden question, and really
depends on the level of comfort or luxury
you are looking for in your autumn years.
A recent Which? study found that the
average retired household (those living
alone or as couples) spent an around
£2,170 per month - this is covering all
the basic areas of expenditure and some
luxuries like European holidays. Those
looking for a more luxurious lifestyle
including longer-haul trips and new cars
every five years would need to allow
for approximately £3,400 per month, or
£41,000 per year.
Once you have a framework for the
amount you’ll need, and what you are
on track for saving, you also need to
consider how you will access your
pension pots - these might be state
pension, a final salary pension and a
money purchase/defined contribution
With your defined contribution pot,
such as the one you might get in the
government employee scheme, you can
draw the entire pension pot in one go,
but this will mean it’s entirely down to
you to make the money last and you’ll
invariably pay a substantial tax bill. Most
people with these pensions will opt for
income drawdown or an annuity, or a
combination of both when it comes
taking money out of their pension.
With careful planning and accurate
forecasting, your retirement can be
something to really look forward to, but
it is essential to make an assessment of
your position as early as possible and
use the advice of experts to make your
money work harder for you.
42 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
In a life that is full of twists and turns, Broadway
Financial Planning is here to help you find your
way. Since 1994, our caring and experienced
Financial Planning professionals have been doing
just that, delivering a truly bespoke, award-winning
service to clients who want to get the most out of
life and their money.
Our clients tell us it’s the peace of mind of knowing
that they have someone they can trust to look after
their affairs that means the most. Phillip and Anna
were such clients…
Philip and Anna came to see BFP because they
wished to explore the options available to them if
Philip stopped working prior to his originally chosen
retirement date of 65. In their late fifties, Philip had
recently suffered a minor heart attack and they both
recognised that it was necessary for him to either
reduce his working hours or stop working altogether if
he was going to live long enough to enjoy their desired
Philip had worked for a number of firms during
the course of his career and, when we met, held a
management role that could offer flexible hours if
required. Anna had not worked as she had been
raising their family. Through his various jobs, Philip had
accrued a number of pension plans and he struggled
to understand the benefits available to him following all
of the pension changes and legislation. They still had
a mortgage on their home, savings and investments
of approximately £200,000. Their children were selfsufficient
and keen to see their parents enjoy a long
and happy retirement.
Challenges facing Philip and Anna
Philip and Anna were unsure what income might be
available from the pensions if he took early retirement
now and whether this would be sustainable in the
Philip was aware that annuity rates remained very low
and wanted to know what other options were available
to him, particularly in light of “pension freedom”. He
found the number of pension plans he had accrued
whether the investment strategy remained suitable in
light of their revised objectives.
Philip and Anna were keen to repay the mortgage
a soon as possible although they wanted to try and
maintain considerable savings if possible for that “rainy
How BFP helped
We reviewed Philip and Anna’s income and
expenditure requirements on the basis that Philip
reduced his working hours considerably.
We explained the various income options available
to Philip and Anna including drawing down on their
savings for the short-term, deferring the pension
benefits for as long as affordable and taking a more
flexible approach to receiving income from the
pensions at a time that was right for them.
We advised Philip to consolidate the pensions into one
plan which would then adopt an investment strategy
better suited to his requirements and reflected the
amount of risk they felt comfortable in taking.
We showed them that the tax-free lump sum
potentially available to Philip on his retirement was
sufficient to repay the mortgage.
We helped them rearrange their mortgage on a fixed
rate basis and demonstrated that the repayments
were affordable until Philip’s retirement.
Benefits of working with BFP
Philip and Anna had the peace of mind that the various
sources of income available to them were sufficient to
cover their expenditure for their lifetimes.
They had a much greater understanding of how their
finances would match their expenditure and liabilities.
They were happy that the investments were more
carefully suited to their requirements and that they
understood the pension benefits much more clearly.
Philip was able to reduce his hours considerably and
continue to enjoy his job knowing that he could stop
work at any time if he wanted.
were difficult to keep track of and was not sure
Ready to start planning for the future you want?
Please don’t hesitate Ready to get to start in touch planning to arrange for the a complimentary future you want? initial appointment.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange a complimentary initial appointment.
Broadway Financial Planning, Quarry Barn, Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire
Broadway Financial Planning, WR12 Quarry 7LJ, Barn, Phone: Farncombe 01386 858121 Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, WR12 7LJ, Phone: 01386 www.broadwayfp.co.uk
Email: email@example.com, www.broadwayfp.co.uk
44 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk
Tel: 01451 810088 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lansdowne, Bourton on the Water, GL54 2AR
TONIQ On Demand
We caught up with personal trainer Arron Collins-Thomas to find out about his new
online fitness offering, expanded from his very successful gym TONIQ...
Your gym, with its fully-rounded approach to health and
lifestyle, has made national news for its incredible client
results – what will the app offer?
At TONIQ we recognise that good health is more than just
regular workouts, it encompasses taking care of every aspect
of your body. We have created a solution where everything from
nutrition, mindfulness, amazing workouts, yoga and more is
available with guidance from fantastic trainers and experts in
Not only this, but as part of TOD you have access to your own
coach, ensuring that you have someone you can speak to, to
keep you on track and accountable as well as supporting you
We have had some incredible results over the past few years at
TONIQ and we want to be able to bring those results to more
people. With the app we aim to give anyone, anywhere in the
world, a taste of the TONIQ-life.
As a TONIQ On Demand member you get to join the incredible
community online, have access to our on demand workouts as
well as live workouts, Q&As and educational talks. We have an
incredible coaching team with a huge array of skills to bring to
you including yoga, qigong, nutrition and mindfulness.
The main workouts are written based on what we are up to at
TONIQ in any given training block and a new phase of workouts
launches every 6 weeks on the app as well as regular bonus
content to keep the training varied and inspiring.
Can you get a good experience with online coaching?
Are you accountable and is it personalised?
With TOD you have a designated TONIQ coach who you speak
to on a one to one basis. When you first sign up with us you
will have a call to help you set up your accountability sheets,
help you curate your workout schedule and set you on the
right nutrition plan for you. Then every month you get another
call with your coach to help keep you on track and answer any
questions you may have. Accountability is key if you really want
to get results and that is one of the reasons why TONIQ has
been so successful.
Are the classes accessible no matter your fitness level?
Some of us are self-conscious about going to the gym or
nervous in COVID times.
No matter what your levels of fitness we can help you. Our
expert coach will advise what level to start at for you and
how hard to push yourself in the first consultation you have
with them. It will be based around your fitness and any health
concerns, so you can feel secure in the fact that you won’t be
over training or causing yourself any harm by taking part in our
For people who aren’t ready for the gym again yet or who are
self conscious TONIQ On Demand is the perfect choice. You get
personal trainer support and expert written workouts, all from
the comfort of your own home.
You also get to join a great online community who share their
experiences and help support each other to get the results they
TONIQ ON DEMAND
MORE THAN A WORKOUT
Join our community from anywhere, at anytime with
TONIQ on Demand, our app gives you access to:
Personalised plans developed with expert coaches.
Nutrition plans based on your needs and goals.
Monthly 121 check in calls with an expert coach.
Extensive library of classes including SWEAT, STRONGER,
BURN and CHILL.
Visit TONIQLIFE.COM to find out more
Care with compassion
See the difference Porthaven makes
Call to book a visit or find out more at porthaven.co.uk
NURSING • RESIDENTIAL CARE • DEMENTIA
Penhurst Gardens Care Home, New Street, Chipping Norton (Sat Navs OX7 5LL). Tel 01608 698052
Thirlestaine Park Care Home, Humphris Place, Off Sandford Rd, Cheltenham (Sat Navs GL53 7AW). Tel 01242 505641
Upton Mill Care Home, Mercer Way, Off Quercus Road, Tetbury (Sat Navs GL8 8FH). Tel 01666 336621