Monk Coniston clear up

Our latest tale comes from Richard Tanner, a National Trust Ranger in the Lake District. He tells his tale of what can happen when keen volunteers get together for a weekend of gardening.


Many hands make light work

On Saturday the 15th November 60 volunteers gathered for what’s becoming the annual Monk Coniston garden bash.

Monk Coniston was the home of James Garth Marshall who created Tarn Hows, what’s less well known is that he landscaped the grounds, created a network of footpaths and planted a collection of specimen trees.

Now it is on long term lease to HF Holidays where they host their award winning walking holidays and various Leisure Activities.

Over the years the views have been lost and the specimen trees buried under more and more rhody – you can’t see the (specimen) trees for the woods!

After - rhody cleared and burnt

After – rhody cleared and burnt

Before -rhody spilling down the bank

Before -rhody spilling down the bank

Helen and John Croxford who manage the site for HF Holidays (NT tenants) gathered their volunteers and split them into 4 groups, each with a separate mission clearing paths, clearing the old Ha-ha, clearing views – each group did so much clearing that by dinner there were 4 large fires to burn the waste.

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Once the areas are cleared the rhody can be managed more easily and Helen’s regular garden volunteers can keep on top of the bramble and other vegetation.

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John and Helen said “The formula absolutely works – everyone involved brought tons of enthusiasm and worked tirelessly during the day…… the level of gardening input was only matched by the volume of conversation at dinner in the evening!

“The weekend is a fantastic blend of hard work and sociability”


The volunteers

The volunteers

I suspect that after the day’s work that all the volunteers put in that they all slept really well, no doubt helped by the fact that Barngates Brewery donated a barrel of ‘cracker’ for the evening!

Richard Tanner
Woodland Ranger

What a wonderful tale! Thank you for sharing it with us Richard, our guests will surely appreciate the hard work put in.


For more information about breaks in the Lake District
call 0345 470 8558, email us or visit our website.


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One Response to Monk Coniston clear up

  1. Mary Tebje says:

    Anytime you are after Chilterns holiday content, let me know.

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