MARTIN and Philippa Clunes have chosen Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance as the Buckham Fair charity this year.

Last year it raised more than £66,000 for Weldmar Hospice and with more attractions than ever they are hoping to top on August 17.

A spokesman for the air ambulance said: “We were fortunate enough to work with Martin, Philippa and their organising committee back in 2011 where the event raised a staggering £34,000 for the charity.”

Buckham Fair began in 2008 and to date, it has raised more than £112,000 for local charities, Weldmar, Julia’s House children’s hospice and the air ambulance.

Over the years the fair has grown bigger and better – this year among other rides there will have be a big wheel, dodgems, a carousel and a helter skelter.

The trade stands have also become a large part of the attractions selling mainly local products and the Food Court has grown to include an inside tented ‘Deli’ area.

And of course being keen horse, pony and dog lovers they have include a pony and dog show and classes in both have grown year on year.

The schedule is packed full with many and varied events including police dog displays, heavy horse displays and other displays, including vintage cars and scooters.

Martin Clunes said: “We do feel very lucky to live in such an unspoilt and beautiful area and it is fantastic to be able to share it with the community once a year.

“To date our chosen charities have been the air ambulance, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice and the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust. Since we began we have raised over £112,000 for these local charities. “This year we will be raising funds again for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, a fantastic local charity and now more than ever they really do need our support.”

He paid tribute to the hard work of the fair committee - Bhavani Hogarty, Vanessa Voegele-Downing, Rosemary Young and Caroline Godwin.

Dorset County Councillor for Beaminster Coun Rebecca Knox said: “It is great to hear the fair is supporting Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, which is so vital for rural communities.”

During 2013 the air ambulance attended 608 incidents meaning that since its launch in March 2000 it has been needed nearly 9,800 times.

Call out is via the 999 emergency number and it can attend up to eight or nine incidents in a single day during the summer months.

It operates a Eurocopter EC135 helicopter from its airbase at Henstridge on the Dorset/Somerset border.

From there, it can be at any point in the two counties within 19 minutes.

The helicopter can then take a patient to any one of the major trauma centres in the south west within a further 20 minutes.

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