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From the editor

Mark Whitley

It is a very special issue this month, as The Countryman celebrates its ninetieth anniversary, and we have a cornucopia of big-name contributors and special features.

Kate Humble explores the relationship between humans and dogs, and talks about her love of the country life and her vision for the future of the countryside; bestselling author John Lewis-Stempel remembers his idyllic childhood in 1970s rural Herefordshire; naturalist and broadcaster Simon King pays tribute to The Countryman’s contribution to the British countryside; David Bellamy talks about his passion for County Durham; and the actor Robert Hardy has vivid memories of helping out on a Cotswolds farm during one of our darkest times.

Also in this issue, we trace the history of The Countryman; we have a specially commissioned anniversary poem by Alison Brackenbury; and there is an opportunity for one lucky reader to win a deluxe prize package worth more than £3,500. Plus, packaged with every issue, a free souvenir edition of our very first number from April 1927.

Come celebrate with The Countryman.

This month

In the April issue of The Countryman...

A miscellany of rural life: Val Porter traces the history of The Countryman magazine

For The Countryman: Poem by Alison Brackenbury

A favourite place to both of us: Kenneth Steven and Kristina Hayward celebrate a green treasure among dark hillsides

“When I first came here”: The centenary of poet Edward Thomas by Tiffany Francis

Country sketchbook: Jim Watson enjoys sailing heaven in Devon

Wildlife in focus: Garden spiders, photographed in Nottinghamshire by Jacqueline Spindley

Hollygog pudding: Mrs Simkins serves up an Oxfordshire speciality

Friends for life: Kate Humble talks about her love of the countryside

In conversation with David Bellamy: David Bellamy and his wife Rosemary talk about their passion for County Durham

Welcome to the Monkey House: Pete Brown learns the cider house rules to celebrate the best British rural inns

Haytime in wartime: Actor Robert Hardy recalls being a boy on a Cotswolds farm in 1940

Ninety years in the countryside: Paul Jackson selects some of the most memorable events since 1927

Down on the farm – the pitter-patter of tiny hooves: Kate Morris welcomes us to her Pembrokeshire farm

The literary landscape of the Cotswolds: Siân Ellis profiles the writers who have been inspired by the heart of England

A delightful month for wildlife gardeners: Jenny Steel explains in practical terms how to incorporate wildlife-friendly ideas into any type of garden

A showcase for rural Britain: Naturalist, author and broadcaster Simon King pays tribute to The Countryman’s contribution to the British countryside

Nature Boy: Scenes from a 1970s Herefordshire childhood, starring John Lewis-Stempel

The curious incident of the dog in the bedroom: Sarah Brown with another tale of life in her secret corner of the West Country

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