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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

MAY 2021

UK BEACH GUIDE

THE BEST SEASIDE AREAS TO VISIT THIS SUMMER SUMMER SKIN CARE LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN IN THE WARM SUNSHINE

HOT INTERIOR DESIGN THE LATEST INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS THIS YEAR

SPRING BANK HOLIDAY GREAT DAYS OUT FOR ALL THE FAMILY

MAY GARDENING GUIDE OUR GUIDE TO WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH


CONTENTS LIFESTYLE

COVER STORY

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Best UK beaches We’ve put together a list of the best seaside areas in the country to visit

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Spring bank holiday Our top ideas to help you get the most out of your long weekend

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May gardening guide With our handy guide we have laid it all out for you

Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market

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Screen Free Week Some ideas to include in your downtime from screen time

About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice

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World Bee Day It’s vital to raise awareness of the importance of bees

PROPERTY

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Hot interior design Now’s the time to think about your home decor, we have the latest trends for this year

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Summer skin care The sun is out, but what are the best ways to protect ourselves from its harmful rays?

The sun is out, but what are the best ways to protect ourselves from its harmful rays?

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hether it’s a long-overdue holiday to a wave-lapped tropical shore or just an afternoon in the garden, there’s nothing quite like lounging in the sun, catching a few rays. A beer, a book, a basting session, it’s what summer’s all about, right? Well, no. Because what you do in the warmer months may well dictate how you look in later years. You may feel like a sun-kissed Greek god for a couple of weeks but, in a few years, there could be wrinkles, skin discolouration and any number of problems which could be a prelude to skin cancer. Short-term gain, long-term misery.

FOOD

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Buzzingly good food Celebrate World Bee day with these wonderfully sticky honey recipes

SPORT

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The finals countdown the football season heads into its ‘business end’ with trophies on the line

WELCOME TO THE MAY ISSUE!

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he UK is slowly awakening from its imposed slumber. BBQs in the back garden with friends and family (following social distancing guidelines) are back on the cards, as are drinks in a beer garden. Non-essential shops are open again as are gyms and swimming pools. This month, with the weather heating up, we have an in-depth article about how to look after your skin in the sunshine and to tie-in we have a fantastic guide to some of the best UK beaches to visit over the summer. With the kids already having spent so much time at home this year, we have a feature full of idea for the Spring Bank Holiday, and if you are

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planning DIY jobs to take advantage of the long weekend, we have a guide to the hottest summer interior design trends. May is a busy month for your garden, and we have our monthly gardening guide to help you with advice of what to plant and sow now, and we also celebrate World Bee Day with an article about its history and some buzzingly good honey recipes. It is also a busy month for sport, with finals in a whole host of competitions, so we are looking at the potential winners of the cup competitions and we also look into the importance of Screen Free Week. Jonathan Wheatley Editor

Of course, we heed all the warnings: we’re coated in sun cream from head to foot, we feel we’re well covered, and we’re not going to sit out in direct sunlight too long. But what happens? You get comfortable, the book’s too good, and because you’ve moved to a shady spot, there’s no need to cover-up or re-apply the Factor 30. Is there? Come the end of the day, though, you’ve discovered a little tenderness around the neck – it couldn’t have been anything to do with that welcoming breeze which sprang up, could it? – and your ears are burning like someone’s having a good moan about you. And yes, it was a mistake to keep a bracelet on. Experts have been warning us for years that too much exposure to the sun is a danger to the skin, not only in the peak summer months but as outdoor temperatures and daylight hours start to increase. And while sunshine brings many benefits, such as an increase in Vitamin D, too much of a good thing isn’t necessarily ideal. Vitamin D can improve brain function invigorate muscles and bone health, and lower high blood pressure while the levels of serotonin, triggered by sunlight hitting the retina, helps to improve mood, helping a person feel calmer and less stressed. And


COVER-UP JOB the sun’s rays are also good for helping to battle such skin conditions as eczema, acne and jaundice. The disadvantages to over-exposure come in later life with unsightly solar lentigines (often called age spots or liver spots and are similar to freckles), solar elastosis (where the ultraviolet radiation breaks down the skin’s elasticity and causes vertical creases, deep wrinkles and sagging), melasma (a darkening of facial skin), and poikiloderma (reddish-brown pigmentation common on the neck and chest). It sounds scary but there are a number of ways, requiring minimal effort, to help you stay safe in the sun this summer.

and 3pm so limit your exposure time, or even use a higher-factor sunscreen during those hours if you need to be outside or add a thin layer of clothing. A T-shirt provides an extra barrier between the sun and your skin, also protecting sensitive areas such as shoulders, back and chest – areas prone to over-exposure and PRIORITISE LIGHT where the application of sunscreen is habitually hit and miss.

There’s nothing quite like lounging in the sun, catching a few rays

Wide-brimmed hats protect the face, neck and ears, and with sunscreen, provide a good all-round shield, particularly What you do in the if moving about in direct warmer months sunlight, while long-sleeved may well dictate swimming tops are ideal for how you look in children who like to spend a later years lot of time in the sea or pool.

The most obvious is sunscreen. Using a lotion with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) provides an increased level of defence, although with children it is always best to stick with 50-plus as their skin is so much more delicate. It is best applied at least 15 minutes before you go outside, allowing it to soak in, and should be re-applied regularly, particularly if you are sweating or have been swimming – even water-resistant creams need a top-up. Be careful with the time of day. In the UK, the sun is at its strongest between 11am

Shades and shade: Eye protection is all-important as UVA and UVB rays are particularly threatening from light, reflective surfaces. Polarised sunglasses absorb that glare, while seeking shade will not only protect your skin from direct light but also keep you cool. It almost goes without saying that babies and toddlers should be kept under cover as much as possible. And don’t forget to hydrate. Sweating is nature’s way of keeping the skin cool, so you will need to replenish lost fluids with lots of water. Not wine. Or beer.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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t doesn’t feel five-minutes since the kids were on Easter holidays, however, here we are again with some more time away from school. Being only a three-day break, however, time is short, so here are our top ideas to help you get the most out of your extended weekend.

LONDON

London, in essence, is everything and anything you want it to be. No two trips to London can possibly be alike due to its vast scope of diversity, and if you’ve never been before, now’s the time to visit, because right now is when London is gearing up for a fabulous summertime.

A visit to this enchanting archipelago on your extended weekend would be perfect for all the family or even just as a couple, for there is plenty to enjoy

With eight fantastic royal parks, there is ample outdoors space for picnics, walks or just plain-old sightseeing, for you can see many of London’s prime landmarks from a simple park bench, including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Whether it’s a play, an opera, a tour, a burlesque show, a sporting event, a wine tasting class or anything else which may tickle your fancy, London will have something for you.

BEACH WALKS – THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER AND CORNWALL

Even when the weather isn’t perfect, a walk down the beach – either alone, as a couple or with the family – can be one

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of the nicest, most relaxing activities to engage in. The water gently crashing up against the shoreline as you stroll alongside the ocean, looking out to the distant horizon. It’s also something the kids will absolutely love whilst they’re off from school, as most children love simple walks down the beach. Whether it’s skimming stones across the sea or looking for rare and weird washedup artefacts on the sand, children will always have a fun experience, and what better place to do this than Dover? The White Cliffs are a spectacular marvel and the best way to see them is to take a walk along the coastal path towards South Foreland Lighthouse. Guided tours are available too to get the most out of these breath-taking views. Moreover, the UK owns some tremendous white-sand beaches, and many of them are just as beautiful as those we travel half way around the world to see. Cornwall is another great destination to visit to take in some magnificent stretches of white sand.

THE LAKE DISTRICT

By far the most popular mountainous region in England and possibly the UK, the Lake District is a much-loved holiday destination for families everywhere, with


SPRING

BANK HOLIDAY IDEAS This spring bank holiday is going to be a special one; it’s going to be one for us all to let our over-grown hair down and have fun in the sunshine and bask in our freedoms!

more than 19 million visitors each year. Largely famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, it is also well-known for its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets, as well as Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.

sailing, kayaking, swimming and fishing. Alternatively, soar through the national park on your mountain bike before refuelling with a slice of the famous Kendal Mint Cake.

THE ISLES OF SCILLY

All the land in England which is higher The Isles of Scilly are considered by many than 3,000 feet above sea level exclusively to be the most underrated of the British lies within the Lake District National Park, Isles. COVID regulations permitting, a including Scafell Pike visit to this enchanting which is officially the archipelago on your highest mountain in extended weekend Camp in the right England. The deepest would be perfect for all spots, and treat it (Wastwater) and largest the family or even just like an adventure, (Windermere) natural as a couple, for there is lakes in England are plenty to enjoy. and you’ve got here too. With hotels, yourself a truly camping sites, and The Isles of Scilly lie just wonderful time various exhibitions to off the coast of Cornwall, offer, it will be a winner but are a world apart for any family. in every way. They are a natural wonder, like a cluster of precious The Lake District is also a fantastic ocean jewels, where nature thrives and camping spot. Camping is essentially the soul is inspired. huddling up together under tents outside, but this can be so much more COVID-restrictions permitting, it may be than that. Camp in the right spots, and possible to travel abroad on the cusp of treat it like an adventure, and you’ve got this summer. So, for a two or three night yourself a truly wonderful adventure. For stay, we recommend places like Paris, those feeling active, spend an afternoon Brussels, Amsterdam or Copenhagen, in Ullswater, which is England’s second or indeed many other oversea locations largest lake and offers a magnitude nearby, for many of these destinations can of watersport opportunities including be reached in less than an hour by plane.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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THE BEST

BEACH BREAKS THIS SUMMER As we move towards Summer, heads will inevitably turn to getting away on a much deserved break

A UK beach getaway might be the safest, and most popular way forward

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owever, with question marks remaining over whether overseas holidays will be possible this year, a UK beach getaway might be the safest, and most popular way forward. So, whether you love fun in the sand, or walks along coastlines, we’ve put together a list of the best seaside areas in the country to visit.

PERRANPORTH, CORNWALL

Situated on Cornwall’s rugged North Coast, this town is perfect for anyone who wants to combine having fun with scenic views. The beach itself stretches for over three miles, and is manned by the RNLI, making it a safe, and clean place to spend your time. This place is about more than just its sandy beach though. Towards the town end of the beach, there are rock pools and caves to explore. But if you’d prefer to truly relax on your getaway, then why not pay a visit to ‘The Watering Hole’ - an all-year-round pub, situated right on the beach, and providing live music performances on its outdoor stage. And only a stone’s throw away, the small high street offers a variety of shops and cafes, meaning that one never has to travel too far in order to find something to do in Perranporth.


BOURNEMOUTH, DORSET

The sun-drenched town of Bournemouth enjoys seven miles of sandy beach, and is the ultimate destination for families. As well as the array of water sport activities on offer, it’s only a short walk to the famous Bournemouth Pier. Complete with an arcade and a variety theatre, Bournemouth, amongst many other seaside towns, does not lack in family entertainment. And that’s not to mention the PierZip at RockReef - the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire. The 250m long wire is also dual-wired, so it’s possible to race others, whilst making the most of the view. And if you’re looking to unwind, then take a stroll towards BH2 Leisure. This modern complex houses a cinema, as well as a selection of restaurants. If you needed any confirmation of how attractive a proposition Bournemouth is, its beach has been named as TripAdvisor’s 20th best beach in the world in 2021.

SEVEN SISTERS, SUFFOLK

To completely contrast with the buzz of Bournemouth, The serene Seven Sisters stand between Seaford and Eastbourne on the south coast of England, and is the perfect destination if you want to be at one with nature. It boasts a stretch of white chalk cliffs, and the area takes its name from the seven peaks of these cliffs. This dramatic landscape provides the perfect opportunity for a country walk, and will test even a seasoned hiker’s stamina. The Seven Sisters country park is also a popular area for activities such as bird-watching, canoeing, and wild swimming. So if you’re of this persuasion, this could be the perfect getaway for you.

BROAD HAVEN, PEMBROKESHIRE

Moving into Wales, the town of Broad Haven also falls into the category of ‘having something for everyone’. The water is suitable for swimming, and there are numerous rock pools, so this beach is a hit for children. If staying on the beach isn’t for you, then you’ll be thankful that you’re right in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, offering several exceptional nature walks to choose from. And what’s more, the town of Broad Haven became the object of numerous UFO sightings in the 1970s, and has since been humorously nicknamed the ‘Broad Haven Triangle’. So, if you’re a budding believer of extraterrestrial life, a trip to this town could give you more than you bargained for.

STONEHAVEN, ABERDEENSHIRE

And finally, for those wanting to venture into Scotland, Stonehaven could just be the place for you. The beach itself is very popular among water sports enthusiasts. So if you’re a keen surfer, diver, or sailor, then why not take on the brisk waves of the North Sea? Aside from the beach, the town of Stonehaven boasts a heated outdoor swimming pool, so that the whole family can keep warm during the Scottish summer. And if you’re looking for something more cultural, Stonehaven is steeped in history. Take a trip to the beautiful Dunnottar Castle which sits atop tall cliffs. Although this castle fell into ruins nearly three hundred years ago, it has lost none of its charm, and is well worth a visit to learn about Scottish history.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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CORE VALUES

Now’s the time to think about your home’s decor

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hey say a change is as good as a rest. And although there will be no respite when it comes to actually getting down to do it, there can be no doubt that, once finished, a home makeover is good for the soul.

Less is more seems to be the key phrase when it comes to furniture, particularly if you are after a vintage look

The dilemma is whether to follow the herd and opt for the latest fashion, knowing next year you’ll be out of date and will need to do it again. Or opt for comfort and personality, with the emphasis on longevity. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise to learn there are wildly differing schools of thought when it comes to this year’s summer trends. The first is all about comfort and nostalgia, and has been dubbed Cottagecore, because we can’t live without labels. This is a romantic interpretation of simplistic rural life

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PROPERTY NEWS

with splashes of glamour – granny chic meets rustic vogue, according to the influencers – with muted, pastel tones offset by statement gold accessories and vintage-style wallpaper. As for furnishings, it’s traditional-shaped sofas with the accent on curves, rather than angular edges, and deep cushions, large footstools and statement lighting. Plus full-length curtains on wooden poles, something of a throwback to the Eighties. In the opposite corner is Japandi, a blending of the modern, pared back and functional Japanese and Scandinavian styles with simple shapes, rattan and natural wood dominant. Stoneware and ceramics are particularly important with bold, abstract prints on plain grey or white walls adding splashes of colour. Boucle – a tactile fabric popular in the Fifties and now fashionable again -


adds texture and softness to upholstery while, instead of flowers in vases, replace blooms with elegant grasses. Similarly, tall vivid green houseplants, such as palms, weeping figs or yuccas are also suitably eye-catching.

Less is more seems to be the key phrase when it comes to furniture, particularly if you are after a vintage look. Antique, repurposed or salvaged pieces all have their place, but the key is to provide plenty of contrast and that can only come gradually. Interior designers say it’s a look which needs layering so a few rich fabrics and statement lighting will help retain a modern note until the look is complete.

As for paint, Dulux’s colour of the year is Brave Ground, a warm natural tone which is the perfect backdrop for sage green - which is Boucle – a tactile expected to be particularly popular Some pieces, such as fabric popular in the in kitchens – as well bookcases or cabinets, Fifties and now as pale pinks. Earth are useful for displaying fashionable again colours are said to ornaments and - adds texture and give us courage to sentimental objects, softness to upholstery embrace change, so if but are not as effective you’re having a radical as floating shelves, rethink, at least it will particularly if they are give you confidence tiered. Being at home to carry on! more over the last year has made us look at what we have, and treasure them Industry-standard Pantone, on the other accordingly, while there is something hand, went for two shades: Illuminating therapeutic about choosing favourite – a bright yellow – and The Ultimate Grey items, moving them around into – a soft neutral – which, when combined, different patterns and orders. present a warming and optimistic colour scheme certain to lift spirits, Plus, they will look good as a backdrop and both are equally appealing when to your next Zoom call from the homeused on feature walls or in alcoves. Last working space you have managed to year’s colour, Classic Blue, still remains create behind that little bit of wall that relevant, however, and along with burnt juts out in your not-so-regularly shaped orange, provides a welcoming feel to living room, which you’ve never worked sitting rooms and snugs alike. out what to do with. You can zone the different areas with rugs, artwork lighting Alternatively, muted colours with folksy or plants and even paint the wall a slightly and characterful prints creates a modern darker shade to the rest of the room just vibe to brighten a window wall. to give it the feel of a separate area.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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MAY GARDENING GUIDE

May is a wonderful month for your garden, and with our handy guide we have laid it all out for you

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pring is fully underway. There should be no more frosts and the temperature is steadily getting warmer, which is bliss for your garden. With more sunshine, your plants should get stronger and healthier and the colours should start to look really vibrant. However, if you have a new space or a blank space, we are on hand to guide you through the best flowers and plants for your outdoor space.

FLOWERS

The vibrant and bright colour of flowers is what makes a garden. And now is the time to sow seeds directly outdoors.

DILL

Looking to create a wild field look in your garden, then you can’t go wrong with cornflowers. These bright blue annual flowers can grow up to a metre high and give a vibrant wild meadow look to your beds. May is the final month to sow them, to get them to bloom this year.

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Towering sunflowers are exciting annuals to grow in your garden. Children love them and they are really easy to plant and look after. Also, with so many varieties available with different colours, shapes and sizes, they create a simply gorgeous summery border in your space.

SCABIOUS

If you love butterflies fluttering around your garden, then these gorgeous scabious flowers, which come in shades of purple, pink and blue, Homegrown veg simply are perfect. Some tastes better than shopvarieties are hardy perennials, which bought veg. It’s a fact and means they’ll come if you don’t believe us, back year-after-year cucumber is the perfect while some tender veg to test the fact species are annuals.

Dill is an airy annual that not only looks great but is also used in cooking. If you are looking to attract wildlife, this is a great little plant that hover-flies are particularly attracted to. You can sow it directly into your beds, ready for summer blooms.

CORNFLOWERS

SUNFLOWERS

BISHOP’S FLOWER

Keeping with the wild meadows theme, the bishop’s flower is a very pretty annual plant that grows to roughly 1m in height. Sow these flowers en masse and when they come into bloom, you will have graceful white cloud formations on top. Grown amongst cornflowers, the contrast in colours looks simply stunning.

VEGETABLES

Similar to flowers, with the frosts having passed, many veggie seeds can now be sown directly outdoors.


BEETROOT

Beetroot is a purple root vegetable that is packed with essential nutrients. Even better, they are really easy to grow in your garden. The seeds don’t need much encouragement to germinate, and they require little maintenance once established.

SWEETCORN

Perfect for the BBQ, sweetcorn is another great plant that needs to be planted this month at the latest. Containing lots of fibre, sweetcorn is extremely healthy too. Simply sow the seeds in small pots or modules before planting them into rich, moist soil in a sunny spot.

CUCUMBER

Homegrown veg simply tastes better than shop-bought veg. It’s a fact and if you don’t believe us, cucumber is the perfect veg to test the fact. Sow cucumber seeds in peat-free compost and keep them in a warm spot. Once the seedlings have developed their first ‘true’ leaves, plant them outside with a bamboo stick for support.

SPROUTING BROCCOLI

Extremely robust, sprouting broccoli produces nutrient-packed succulent spears, which are perfect for steaming, boiling and grilling. Simply sow the seeds into small pots. Once the seedlings are coming through, prick them out and put them into larger pots. Then once they are between 7-9cm tall, plant them in rows in your garden.

With more sunshine, your plants should get stronger and healthier

CARROTS

A true garden and cooking staple, the honest carrot is an exceptionally easyto-grow vegetable, which is perfect for a whole host of dishes. Simply sow carrot seeds sparingly in drills in prepared soil before covering with a thin layer of soil and water sparingly. Seeds should germinate in a few weeks.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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TAKE SOME DOWNTIME FROM SCREEN TIME

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Making the most of Screen Free Week

od knows we’ve all been indulging in a massive amount of screen time over the last year, including our televisions, computers and phones. What a perfect time, then, to celebrate Screen-Free Week! In 1994, the week was first championed by TV-Free America, which then became the centre for SCREEN-TIME Awareness. Since 2010, the name has officially been Screen Free Week. It is an annual event which campaigns to have screens turned off and life turned on. Reading, daydreaming, exploring, enjoying nature, and spending time with family and friends are all activities encouraged. This year, Screen Free Week runs from the 3rd May until 9th May. The objective of the week is to create as much opportunity as possible to reflect on our relationships with our electronic devices, put them down, and enjoy all things natural and social.

The objective of the week is to create as much opportunity as possible to reflect on our relationships with our electronic devices, put them down, and enjoy all things natural and social

HERE ARE SOME UNIQUE AND THOUGHTFUL IDEAS, PERFECT FOR YOUR SCREEN FREE WEEK

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• Write a letter to an elderly family member.

• Go on a picnic, and make all the food yourself from scratch.

• Lay a blanket out in your backyard and stargaze.

• Call a friend who’s going through hard times to let them

• Read aloud to your kids, even if they think they’re

know that you’re thinking of them.

too old for it.

• Go find a local body of water. A river, pond or ocean will

• Recreate your favourite restaurant meal at home.

restore your spirits.

• Make your own postcards and mail them to far

• Write a short story from start to finish.

flung friends.

• Challenge your kids to create their own board games, and

• Make a flower bouquet from your own garden, even if

then be willing to play the games.

it’s mostly greenery.

• Take a nature walk in your own neighbourhood and take

• Go for a long hike.

close up photos of the plants and flowers.

PROPERTY NEWS


WE’RE BUZZING ABOUT WORLD BEE DAY World Bee Day is on the 20th May 2021

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s it does every year, World Bee Day will take place on May 20th, to coincide with the birthday of Anton Janša, who pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in the 18th Century. And with the pandemic having negatively impacted the beekeeping industry, it is more vital than ever to raise the awareness of the importance of bees.

WHAT ARE POLLINATORS?

Pollinators are animals that transfer pollen between plants, and they play a huge role in allowing food crops to reproduce. There are different pollinator species in the world, but some of the most common are butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, and of course, bees.

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

The most popular pollinators in the world are bees. In fact, pollinators, like bees, impact 35% of the world’s agricultural land, meaning that over a third of food has been at least partly pollinated by animals. And it’s more than just food that pollinators are useful for. Pollination also contributes to the creation of medicines, biofuels, fibres such as cotton and linen, and construction materials.

But the 25,000 to 30,000 species of bee are under threat. Due to human impacts, current extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times higher than normal. If this trend were to continue, many crops such as fruit and nuts would become less readily available, meaning imbalances to the human diet, and a lack of biodiversity.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Protecting bees can start at home, and it’s really easy to get involved! Planting bee-friendly plants like daisies and heather can help to attract them to your garden, and once they’re present, do your bit by helping them to flourish. You can achieve this by leaving a dish filled with water and pebbles, in case they get thirsty. Furthermore, by leaving a section of your garden to grow wild, this will provide the bees with much-needed shade when the weather heats up. It’s also critical to not use pesticides, fungicides or herbicides anywhere in your garden, as these can prove extremely harmful to bees. And, if you know one, choose to buy your honey from a beekeeper, and help local businesses! If you want to go even further, you can visit ‘worldbeeday.org’, and take part in one of their annual meetings, which will be held virtually this year.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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THE FINALS

COUNTDOWN It’s showdown time for football’s major prizes

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n what seems a faster time than it takes VAR to sort out an offside decision, the football season heads into its ‘business end’ with trophies and relegation issues on the line. The compressed season has had more than its share of twists and turns, although there is an air of inevitability about where the honours are heading. Take the major domestic knockout trophies, the Emirates FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, for example. Neither has been won by a side outside the Premier League’s Big Six since 2013, when Wigan Athletic and Swansea City respectively had the audacity to buck the trend that suggested football was becoming a playground for the rich and mega-rich. Normal service has, sadly, been resumed, to the extent that since Wigan’s intervention, the FA Cup has become the property of just four clubs – Arsenal, who have won it four times, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City. And it will take a brave man to bet against that stranglehold being broken at Wembley on May 15th. (To further deflate the romantic notions of anyone hoping for an upset, since Wimbledon’s mind-boggling triumph in 1988, only three other teams – Everton in 1995, Portsmouth in 2008 and Wigan – have prevented the Cup from falling into the clutches of a Big Six which also embraces Liverpool and Tottenham).

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The Carabao Cup is, of course, an even cosier clique: Since Swansea, it has been won by either City or a side managed by Jose Mourinho. Such is the Premier League’s clout and perceived strength, it is tempting to think that dominance has spread across the English Channel into the European competitions. Indeed, the same names keep occurring… only they are Spanish. In the last 10 years, there have been just two English winners of the Champions League, Europe’s premier club competition - Liverpool in 2019 and Chelsea in 2012 – although Tottenham, in the all-Premier League final two years ago, Manchester United and Liverpool have reached the ultimate showdown. In that time, Real Madrid have won it four times, with Barcelona and Bayern Munich scoring two triumphs apiece, although this year’s final on May 29th is at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, a venue etched deep into the Merseysiders’ folklore. It was there, in 2005, that the Reds overturned a 3-0 deficit to beat AC Milan on penalties to complete one of the great sporting comebacks. Of all the competitions, the marathon slog that is the Europa League could be the one to be wearing seldom-applied colours after the final in Poland’s stunning Gdansk Stadium on May 26th. Sevilla (four-time champions) and Atletico Madrid (twice) were notable absentees from the latter rounds, leaving the stage clear for unheralded champions.


BUZZINGLY GOOD FOOD Celebrate World Bee day with these wonderfully sticky honey recipes

1kg carrots 25g butter 2 tbsp clear honey 5 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to serve (use ordinary thyme if you can’t find lemon)

3 thyme sprigs , leaves roughly chopped 2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves roughly chopped 2 fat garlic cloves , lightly bashed ½ tsp black peppercorns 4 duck leg (about 800g) 750g duck fat 2 bay leaves sunflower oil., for covering the duck, if needed 4 tbsp clear honey

HONEY & THYME CARROTS Keep this succulent recipe for when your homegrown carrots have started to produce. Tip the carrots into a wide shallow pan so they are no more than a double layer. Add the butter, honey and about 500ml or 2cm of water, the leaves from the thyme and a pinch of salt. Partly cover with a lid, turn the heat up high and boil everything down until the carrots are tender, cooked through and sticky with honey. If they aren’t tender enough by the time the water has evaporated, add a splash more. Once glazed, turn them over in the sticky juices and serve, with extra thyme on top.

HONEY-ROAST CONFIT OF DUCK Serve your carrots with this wonderful French classic with meltingly tender meat with crispy skin. Mix together the thyme, rosemary, garlic and peppercorns with 2 tbsp flaky sea salt. Tip half into a large baking dish, top with the duck legs, then sprinkle over the remaining salt and massage well into the duck. Cover with cling film and chill for 24 hrs. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Take the duck legs out of the dish, wipe off the salt mixture with kitchen paper, then set aside. Melt the duck fat in a flameproof casserole dish until just bubbling. Add the bay leaves and duck legs, and bring to a gentle simmer. The legs should be completely covered, so top up with olive oil if needed. Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 2 hrs 30 mins. To check whether the duck is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of a leg – it should go in easily. Leave the duck to cool in the fat. Can now be chilled for up to 2 weeks. While the duck cools, make the Puy lentils & pancetta (see Goes well with, right). Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lift the duck legs from the dish, scrape off the fat and place, skin-side up, in a shallow roasting tin.

All recipes from the BBC Goodfood website Images for illustrative purposes only

Spoon 1 tbsp honey over each duck leg and roast for 25-30 mins until the skin is browned and sticky. Serve with the Puy lentils & pancetta.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

15


£135,000

Buckingham

A GOOD SIZED One bedroom apartment with NO UPPER CHAIN located in the TOWN CENTRE. The property would make an ideal BUY TO LET or FIRST BUY and benefits from GAS central heating and a good sized bedroom and lounge. The accommodation comprises: Entrance hall with STORAGE, kitchen, sitting room, bedroom and bathroom. No upper chain. EPC rating E.

£205,000

Buckingham

A two bedroom bungalow for the over 55’s situated within walking distance of Buckingham’s town centre. The property benefits from UPVC double glazing, an enclosed private court yard rear garden with a southerly aspect and ample parking for both residents and visitors. The accommodation comprises: Entrance hall, Sitting/Dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom and garden. NO ONWARD CHAIN.

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Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

£309,995

Buckingham

*** No Upper Chain*** A well presented, three bedroom family home within walking distance of local amenities, ‘Lace Hill Academy’ and the ‘Royal Latin Grammar School’. The property was built in just 2014, has plenty of storage throughout, an ensuite, gas to radiator central heating, Upvc double glazing, parking for two cars and a fully enclosed rear garden. The accommodation fully comprises: Entrance hall with storage, cloakroom, kitchen/ breakfast room, lounge/diner with storage and patio doors leading onto the rear garden, first floor landing with storage, master bedroom with ensuite shower room, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. Outside: Rear garden and parking for two cars. EPC Rating B.

£255,000

Tingewick

A super two bedroom cottage in a sought after village location having been renovated throughout and benefitting from gas to radiator central heating controlled via “Nest”, UPVC double glazing, re-fitted kitchen with oven & hob, two en-suites and energy saving solar panels. The accommodation comprises: Entrance lobby, cloakroom, kitchen/dining room, sitting room, two double bedrooms each with an en-suite and one with a dressing room and a courtyard garden to the front. No onward chain. Energy rating D.

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£895pcm

Buckingham

A TWO DOUBLE BEDROOM unfurnished split level property. Situated in the old part of Buckingham town WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE UNIVERSITY AND TOWN CENTRE. The property has the advantages of a fitted kitchen which includes a washing machine and fridge/freezer, cloakroom, gas to radiator heating and allocated parking to the rear. The property also benefits from UPVC double glazed windows. Accommodation comprises entrance hall, refitted kitchen, cloakroom, lounge/diner, two bedrooms and a bathroom. EPC RATING C. COUNCIL TAX BAND C. STRICTLY NO PETS. AVAILABLE MID MAY.

£665pcm

Buckingham

A unique town centre studio cottage which BENEFITS FROM BEING WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE TO THE UNIVERSITY. The accommodation comprises kitchen/dining room, rear lobby area with washing machine, walk in ‘Fired Earth’ shower room. Stairs leading up into lounge/bedroom with hanging rails and drawer units. Please note that there is no parking with this property. *SUITABLE FOR SINGLE OCCUPANCY ONLY. NO PETS. AVAILABLE END MAY.

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Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

£1,000pcm

Buckingham

Retail unit to let just off the town centre in Buckingham and has previously been let as a beauty salon & computer repair shop. The premises briefly comprises entrance hall, spacious reception room leading to inner hallway with door to kitchen which has space for a under counter fridge and space and plumbing for a washing machine, (appliances are not included in the lease), cloakroom, door to good sized cellar for storage. Further hallway with door to exterior room which includes a wash hand basin and shower cubicle, further room which includes wash hand basin, stairs leading up to a third room. Occupiers to also pay an additional amount of £450 per annum as a service charge and part buildings insurance, all business rates and utility supplies also to be paid by the occupiers. AVAILABLE NOW

£650pcm

Buckingham

One DOUBLE bedroom PART- FURNISHED apartment situated in the Town Centre and a SHORT WALKING DISTANCE FROM THE UNVERSITY. The property benefits from it’s own entrance and comprises lounge/dining room, kitchen with electric oven and four ring electric hob & under counter fridge, cupboard housing washer/dryer, double bedroom with built in single wardrobe space & storage cupboards above, bathroom with shower over bath. COUNCIL TAX BAND A. EPC RATING E. NO PETS. AVAILABLE BEGINNING MAY.

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MEET THE TEAM... Brian has been an estate agent since 1983. He runs the successful Buckingham Branch whilst also overseeing our superb lettings team. Brian maintains the most important people in his business are his staff as this transfers into excellent customer service. His hobbies include watching Formula one and is an avid Chelsea fan.

Director Nick has over 30 years experience in the property industry working for Corporate Firms and has been Co Director of Russell & Butler since 2002. Every home is different, every home is important, moving home can be one of the most stressful times, Nick is committed to making this task as easy and as stress free as possible, hopefully even enjoyable... Nick enjoys spending time with family and friends, enjoying a glass of wine and learning modern foreign languages.

Nicholas Butler

Brian Russell

MNAEA, Director

Cheryl Oxley

MNAEA, Branch Manager Cheryl has worked for Nick and Brian at Russell and Butler since day 1. Joining them 15 years ago, as a weekend Sales Negotiator, and with hard work and dedication, Cheryl has progressed through the ranks, qualifying as a member of the National Association of Estate Agents 8 years ago, and is now the Branch Manager. Cheryl’s previous career, pre-children was in Hotel Management where she quickly identified how important good customer care, communication and service is. Communication is key when buying and selling properties, alongside identifying and understanding people’s needs and motivations. Cheryl believes that Brian, Michelle and herself are the strongest sales team in Buckingham, working closely together to provide the overall experience that Russell and Butler provide. Out of work, Cheryl enjoys spending time with family and friends, going for long walks and is partial to the odd glass of Prosecco!

Michelle (AKA Mush) joined Russell & Butler in March 2014 as a Sales Negotiator, with a passion for delivering a high level of customer service and keen to change the perception of ‘Estate Agents’ she shortly went on to become Senior Sales Negotiator and a qualified member of the National Association of Estate Agents. Michelle believes success in estate agency is down to client satisfaction and reputation, trusting the agent you are buying or selling through is paramount. Michelle values residential properties within the area, conducts sales viewings and has an excellent understanding of buyers and sellers requirements, living locally her knowledge of the area is invaluable. Michelle enjoys good food and quality time with family and friends.

Michelle Jenkinson

MNAEA, Senior Sales Negotiator

Alice joined the team in 2019 as an administrator, quickly establishing herself as part of the team and making the role her own. She enjoys the busy atmosphere of the sales office and keeping everything organised and up to date. In her free time Alice likes to spend time with her family and friends & interior design.

Sales Progressor At Russell & Butler we only believe a sale is a sale once an exchange of contracts has been achieved. Tracey’s role is to communicate and chase all parties involved in the transaction, ie. Solicitors, Estate Agents, Vendors & Purchasers with the sole aim of reaching an Exchange of Contracts as quickly as possible, Tracey has been an Estate Agents and more recently worked in a Local Solicitor’s Office and therefore has gained a knowledge and understanding of the sales process which is second to none.

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Tracey Steventon

Alice Butler

Branch Administrator


Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Lyn Jopling

Sales Negotiator Before becoming an Estate Agent, Lyn used to work as a Customer Services Manager and delivered customer services training, working with independent Estate Agents and the NAEA. At that time, Lyn realised what she wanted to do and has never been happier since making the change! Lyn is somewhat obssessed with buying and selling property having bought and sold 13 times! Constantly inspired and enthused by the opportunity and adventure that a new property presents, she brings enthusiasm and energy to work. Lyn loves working on projects to improve her home and likes a good book and a glass of wine to relax with.

Rachel joined us in March 2015 as our Property Manager, having been in the industry for 9 years, progressing to Senior Property Manager in 2019 and in February 2020, took on the role as Lettings Manager, heading up our Lettings Department. Rachel’s main role now involves carrying out rental valuations and driving the business forward, together with overseeing the management of our rental portfolio.

Rachel Yates

Lettings Manager

Debbie joined the team in July 2013 and is the back bone of all of our general administration duties, which include managing the progression of all of our tenancy applications and preparing all paperwork for the tenants to move in on time, together with managing all tenancy renewals.

Senior Lettings Negotiator Matthew has been with us since February 2016 and has proved a valuable addition to the lettings team as it has grown to the level where we were in need of a dedicated member of staff to fulfill this role. Matthew manages our applicant database and conducts all of our rental viewings, negotiating lets between the landlord and the tenant and providing feedback to our landlords after each appointment so that they are always updated on the progress of marketing their property.

Matthew Russell

Debbie Rowe

Lettings Administrator

Shirley Taylor

Property Manager Shirley joined the lettings team in August 2020 as an additional Property Manager and, with 9 years experience in the Lettings industry, has a wealth of knowledge to bring to the lettings team. Shirley’s role is assisting in managing all maintenance related issues and compliance checks, together with ensuring that all of our Fully Managed properties are kept in good condition in order to protect our Landlords investments and achieve maximum rental income.

Annette’s early career was in Marketing and Magazine Publishing, returning to the UK from spending fourteen years in Australia, she changed direction and went into Property Sales and Management. Working as Lettings Manager for a local agent for some years, in 2011 she decided to start her own business providing Inventories, Check Outs and Sales Consultancy. Annette has now progressed into Property Management and is delighted to become a Property Manager, alongside Shirley, as a valued member of the Lettings Team.

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Annette Darby

Property Manager


‘‘

Here’s what our our customers have to say...

Certainly our experience with Russell & Butler as both a buyer and a seller was excellent. We were kept informed and supported through some difficult times. Our selling chain fell through and we felt very supported throughout.

David Buyer & Seller

I think Russell & Butler differ from other estate agents in the area because their level of service and response, especially their response time. They keep you informed at every stage even after the sale is made using they’re sales progressing service is fantastic.

Nigel Seller & Landlord russellandbutler.com


Buckingham 01280 815999 Brackley 01280 706832 Banbury 01295 710367 Bicester 01869 251754 CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

“ With regards to recommending Russell & Butler, they are the only ones I would recommend.

In an estate agent we look for professionalism and good people which Russell & Butler have a lot of.

Nigel Landlord

Neil Landlord

What we look for in a letting agent is trust worthy, professionalism and good advice and we find all that with Russell & Butler. We would recommend Russell & Butler without any hesitation and have done that with a few of our collegues in the rental business.

Vartan and Sarah - Landlord

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Market movers

Take advantage of the busiest property market in a decade! Contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation valuation.

russellandbutler.com Buckingham 01280 815999

Bicester Banbury 01869 251754 01295 710367

Brackley 01280 706832

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Russell & Butler Magazine May 2021  

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