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Volunteers’ team effort to re-build historic sheepfold

This is an archived press release

Monday 22 June 2009

22 June 2009

Volunteers’ team effort to re-build historic sheepfold

Mid-week volunteers at Stoke Flat
Teams of volunteers have helped rebuild a 150-year-old sheepfold on moorland in the Peak District National Park.

More than 70 volunteers, ranging from teenagers to retirees, have turned their hand to dry stone walling over the past year to restore the distinctive cross-shaped sheepfold near Froggatt Edge - originally part of the Duke of Rutland’s shooting estate.

Supervised by National Park rangers Tom Lewis and Terry Page, the volunteers included students from Reading and youngsters from Rotherham who had rarely visited the countryside before.

The volunteers traced the sheepfold - cross-shaped to give shelter in all directions - back to the 1800s on a Victorian Ordnance Survey map of Stoke Flat, between Froggatt Edge and White Edge.

Ranger Tom Lewis said: “It’s been fascinating to see it take shape from a complete ruin to a structure that’s ready for use again. It’s a real achievement for all the volunteers who’ve worked on it.

“They kept asking to come back because they wanted to see it through. Each group had their own bit to do. Some of the pupils from Rotherham were not used to the countryside at all, but they really took to it, and ended up earning a John Muir Trust Award for their conservation work.

“They were also thrilled to see wildlife, including red deer, close-up. They were amazed they could do this just a few miles from where they live, instead of watching it on TV.”

One of the National Park’s regular mid-week volunteers, Roger Ashby, retired, from Hale in Cheshire, said: “I enjoy the work and the company and this was a very interesting project. Volunteering enables me to give something back to the countryside which I’ve enjoyed all my life.”

The volunteers who contributed were: Reading University (12), Wingfields School, Rotherham (22), Doncaster Conservation Volunteers (10), Rotherham Ramblers (8), National Park mid-week volunteers (8), Youth Rangers (7), Lady Manners School, Bakewell (2) and part-time rangers (2).

Keeping vigil over the sheepfold is a 150-year-old rowan tree, planted traditionally as a symbol of life and protection. Tom has planted a rowan sapling nearby to mark the sheepfold’s re-birth.

For information about volunteering in the Peak District National Park, visit: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ppcv

This is an archived press release

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