Our Partners

Learn more about the Hardy Country initiative partners.

This page is brought to you by several independent ‘not for profit’ organisations who are working together to promote the life and work of Thomas Hardy and the county of Dorset.

Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University offers pre-degree study, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees in a wide range of programmes. The University has achieved exceptionally high rankings in national newspaper league tables. Its popularity is growing each year, and in the past five years it has achieved a 40% increase in undergraduate applications.


Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Dorset AONB Partnership was established in January 2003 to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and heritage of the Dorset AONB. The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is blessed with some of the most striking sequences of beautiful countryside unique in Britain. It is this collection of fine landscapes, each with its own characteristics and sense of place, that give the Dorset AONB its unique character.


Dorset County Council

Dorset Countryside helps to secure the sustainable use and management of the area’s special countryside and provides facilities to promote its greater understanding, appreciation and enjoyment. The Council’s Access and Rangers team work in partnership with other organisations in the county to manage Dorset’s beautiful landscape. On top of this core role, the service supports the local community in practical projects, educational work, and raises awareness of environmental issues in the county.


Dorset Museum

Dorset Museum is an independent museum owned and managed by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society with financial support from Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council. Open to anyone with an interest in Dorset’s past the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society is an educational charity with over 1800 members.


Kingston Maurward College

Kingston Maurward is a vibrant and growing college set in the heart of Dorset on the south coast. The college specialises in education and training for the land-based industries and has been graded by Ofsted as a Good College with Outstanding Features. It offers hundreds of courses taught within a stunning 750 acre estate with landscaped gardens, lake and Georgian Mansion house, together with brand new teaching facilities. The college is home to more than 4,000 students studying courses from entry level to full Honours degrees.


National Trust

The National Trust is a charity and is completely independent of Governmental legislation.
It has 3.5 million members and 52,000 volunteers who devoted 2.3 million hours in 2007/08 to the maintenance and promotion of its properties. More than 12 million people visit the Trust’s pay-for-entry properties, with an estimated 50 million visiting open air properties. The Trust protects and opens to the public over 300 historic houses and gardens, and 49 industrial monuments and mills. It also looks after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, and villages – for ever, for everyone.


Stinsford Parish Council

Today the rural parish of Stinsford occupies a large area of land to the North and East of Dorchester, with the River Frome creating the parish’s southern most boundary. It covers 1352 hectares and in 2004 the population was estimated at 380 people living in 147 dwellings. The parish consists of agricultural land, woodland, and a small portion of Puddletown Heath.


The Thomas Hardy Society

The Thomas Hardy Society is an educational Charity founded in 1968 with the intention of promoting public knowledge and understanding of the life and works of the Dorset poet and novelist. It is a Society as much for the lay-enthusiast as the scholar, student or general reader. The Society is run by a Council of Management, which meets regularly in Dorchester, and has an office in the Dorset County Museum, staffed by volunteers.


William Barnes Society

William Barnes Society

William Barnes (1801 – 1886) was born in Bagber, North Dorset. He was a poet who wrote mainly in the Dorset dialect but also in Standard English. He taught himself 60 languages, was a competent engraver, antiquary, linguist and musician, playing the flute, violin and piano. He was a schoolmaster but later registered as a ten year’s man with St John’s College, Cambridge, he was priested in 1848. Barnes died at Winterborne Came and is buried in the churchyard there. The Society promotes the enjoyment of the poems of William Barnes and knowledge of the man himself and his times. They aim to nurture the dialect and encourage reading. They hold events which include talks, members’ evenings when members read poems both in dialect and Standard English, musical entertainment drawing on Dorset’s rich folk and cultural traditions, and an annual service of remembrance. They produce a bi-annual newsletter which contains articles and information on publications and research related to William Barnes.


University of Exeter – College of Humanities

The College of Humanities at the University of Exeter carries out excellent research and teaching across a number of related disciplines. Areas of expertise include Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History, Drama, English Literature, Film Studies, History, Modern Languages, Theology and Religion, and Visual Culture.

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