THE BIG QUESTION : What do Grousekeepers, Pheasantkeepers, Joiners, Farriers, Hill Farmers, Retired Policeman, Garage Owner, Golf Course Green Keepers, University Student, Livestock Buyer and Haulier, Meat Hygiene Service Inspector, Finance Worker and other self-employed people all have in common?
ANSWER : All of these “Everyday Normal” people enjoyed a day out together Grouse Shooting at Alston in Cumbria. As you can see from the photos the turnout was amazing, the day was a total success and it was immensely enjoyed by all who attended.
A small selection of people like to portray Grouse shooting as a “Rich Mans” sport but days like these prove that this doesn’t have to be the case. This shoot day had people travelling from a wide range of locations and alongisde NYMMO, there were also keepers from the Peak District Moorland Group and the Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group as well as all the other non-gamekeeper individuals. Days like these are perfect for catching up with old friends but also making new ones and lots of brilliant memories.
Wilf Wilson an 88 year old retired Gamekeeper from Westerdale has this month seen his garden get a complete makeover thanks to the Rosedale and Westerdale team of gamekeepers.
Wilf has lived in the village of Westerdale for the past 74 years where he took over from his late father who became the gamekeeper there when he moved in after the war. Wilf himself retired in 2005 after 50 years working as a gamekeeper, he has always had a garden to be proud of, not just a lawned area and flowers, but also its very own vegetable patch.
Over the last few years Wilf’s health has deteriorated and he has been unable to keep up the maintenance on his garden, he has even been struggling to get in and out of the house with his now necessary walking aid due to the overgrown grass and weeds.
Jimmy Brough head keeper on the Rosedale and Westerdale estate and his 5 strong team of keepers felt very strongly that they wanted to help Wilf and restore his garden back to some of its former glory, or somewhere near as none of them proclaim to be professionals! They approached Wilf with their idea and it wasn’t long until work commenced with the aim being to give Wilf a better view from his window (as opposed to just weeds) and also somewhere he could easily get out to and enjoy some much needed fresh air.
This was no small job, it was definitely not a case of just cutting the lawn and doing a bit of weeding. The vast mass of weeds, patches of nettles some of which measured 12ft high, trees and hedges were all either removed or pruned back. The previous flagstone path was replaced with a much easier accessible hardcore path and in addition 3 new garden gates were handmade by a keeper and hung in place.
The garden area is now ready for rotavating and reseeding and will be completed in the next couple of weeks, once the lawn is established the gamekeepers have already agreed to maintain the very large but now much more simplistic garden area as and when required.
Wilf was so appreciative of this kind gesture from the gamekeepers and his words “Look at my miracle garden” definitely made all the hard work, time and effort put in very worthwhile.