Broadoak can be more aptly described as a scattered hamlet, with the Church, Village Hall and the replacement oak tree after which the settlement was named, at the centre. Lying at the lower end of the Marshwood Vale, Broadoak remains the largely agricultural community it has always been, and is very popular with holiday- makers.
There is a total population of 54. Of these, 27 people live in the long village road, which has no name, the rest being in isolated farms and cottages. There are 8 farms and 22 houses and cottages. Recently several families with young children have moved to Broadoak, welcome additions helping to swell the numbers at community events.
Broadoak is the northern part of the parish of Symondsbury, and joins the parish of Loders at Dottery to the east. St Paul’s Church is a simple hamstone chapel built in the 1860s as a daughter church for Symondsbury. Congregations fluctuate from a few faithful regulars at the monthly services to filled pews at festivals. The Church is not licensed for marriages, so Broadoak brides have to go to Symondsbury.
There is no shop, post office or pub and the only public transport is a bus once a week to Bridport. A few houses have broadband communication, and a computer for community use has recently been installed in the Village Hall.
There are two dairy farms in the parish, a long established but up- to- date printing works, and a large agricultural contractor. Several small businesses are run from home, including a popular free magazine, bed and breakfast establishments and holiday cottages. Some people commute far afield. The equine population of Broadoak probably exceeds the human.
There is a riding school where horses and ponies can be hired and an equestrian establishment where young horses and ponies are broken and trained.