Village Voice by Gary Benton

Gary Benton is assistant curator at the Hawk Conservancy Trust and lives in the village with wife Jemma and their two young children Alfie and Grace, both of whom attend Amport Primary School. “As a family, we spend a lot of time in and around the village as both my wife and I work at the conservancy. We have close family and friends in Amport, in fact, my wife’s family go back four generations here.”

In his spare time, Gary enjoys country sports. “As a small child growing up first of all in North Yorkshire and then moving to Wiltshire, I spent a lot of time in the countryside. My brother and I grew up with dog training, fishing, shooting and falconry in our lives. I work my spaniels at the local shoots and I’m currently training a nine-month old working cocker spaniel called Sika who will hopefully follow the footsteps of my nine-year old working spaniel, Rolo.”

Also a Parish Councillor, Gary admits “Life in Amport is pretty good, it’s a very picturesque village full of thatch and a lovely village green. Although we live in Amport we are collective as a Parish with another two villages (East Cholderton and Weyhill). “Hot off the press, I can reveal we’ve just had a substantial sum of money donated to the Parish from solar energy company INRG (Solar Parks) 15 Ltd, which is part of the Solarplicity group. This means we can improve areas of the Parish such as updating the village play equipment on the green among other things.

“We’re lucky to have some great facilities already; a church, cricket pitch for our local team, the village green, two pub/restaurants (the White Horse, East Cholderton and the Hawk Inn, Amport) and many footpaths in the area. The pubs are also dog friendly which is nice. We have a new garden centre, the Rosebourne, in the north of the Parish, plus, we have one of the south’s leading visitor attractions within the Parish, The Hawk Conservancy Trust.”
Hampshire Life, July 2017