Herefordshire People: A warm welcome to the March issue of Herefordshire

PUBLISHED: 16:28 09 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 20 February 2013

What is the essence of Herefordshire? What makes it different from anywhere else, and what do we value most about living here? A number of our contributors this month address these questions.

Geoffrey Moorhouse describes a 'harmony' that he found in Herefordshire when he first visited nearly sixty years ago, and still finds today: 'a different form of being, a rural way, a more tranquil movement of people'.

For Stephen Marsh-Smith, it is the river Wye that symbolises Herefordshire; and the organisation he founded, the Wye and Usk Foundation, has been working for many years to try to restore it, and its salmon, to their old glory.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England treasures the county's 'unspoilt working countryside', and is alarmed at plans that might threaten it with masses of new houses.

And Ruth Watkins, in her Over the Hedge column, asks what would happen to our beloved familiar landscape if it weren't for farmers and their sheep...

But for many of us this month, there has been a powerful realisation that it is our schools, the spirit they engender, and the communities they serve, that are the most precious element of Herefordshire life; and the prospect of losing many of them provoked a fierce wave of protest.

Our Wye oh Wye column describes the bizarre council meeting at which the closure plans were decisively rejected. And in Brian Viner's interview with the new chief executive of the council, Chris Bull, we hear his admission that there are 'a number of lessons the council needs to learn'.

Meanwhile, spring has come early: some of us are planting vegetable gardens, some are getting ready for Cruft's, and others are planning weddings. We have it all covered here.

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