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At Minster, we are all encouraged and supported to complete a charity volunteering day each financial year. This can be for a varied range of opportunities to help give something back to our community.

This year, the Bike team chose to spend a day at Wentworth Woodhouse. In recent times quite a few of our colleagues have spent their time at Wentworth, and we were delighted to join the list of volunteers.

Wentworth Woodhouse is a huge stately home situated in the little village of Wentworth, in Rotherham. It dates back to the 18th Century when it was built for the 1st Marquess of Rockingham before being passed to the Fitzwilliam family, and has quite the story to tell. Unfortunately over the years the house has fallen into disrepair, and the gardens overgrown, and upon being purchased by the Preservation Trust, a rather substantial regeneration project has commenced.

There is no way that I can do justice to the work already done, and still to be done, to put this home back to its former glory, but it is already a beautiful setting and a great family day out.

On our day volunteering, we met the brilliant members of staff who have been employed by Wentworth Woodhouse for over 15 years each, and their army of volunteers who come in once a week to help get the gardens looking both inviting to the keen gardeners, but also available to entertain the kids with the outdoor activities.

We were helping to clear an overgrown area of the garden through the trees where a 300 metre winding track of enchantment is being built. This will include picnic benches, giant stepping stones, a mud kitchen for the kids to get messy (and the parents to regret letting them before they find the lovely little café in the house) amongst other activities. Doing gardening on such a scale is perhaps out of our comfort zone, but hopefully we were able to help just a little bit.

We have got to say a huge thankyou to everyone who helped us on the day (and kept us right) and for letting us share in the restoration of the gardens. The house has a brilliant story to tell, and the staff and volunteers are all hugely knowledgeable of the history, and willing to bring the story to life as you walk around. We thoroughly enjoyed our day, and I will certainly be going back with the family to show them the fruits of my labour, and the grounds and buildings that are currently open.

Wentworth is currently nominated for Garden of the Year, by Historic Houses, and any vote you can give would be rightly deserved for all of the hard work that has gone into making them such a delight to visit, so please do vote if you can, on the following link: Vote for the Garden of the Year 2022 | Historic Houses

Thanks again to all at Wentworth Woodhouse, and to Minster Law for allowing us the opportunity to give something back to the local community. Here’s to our next visit!