In each year of its existence, Friends Of Holywell Dene has arranged a wide variety of events for the local community, both adults and children. These have included
Lantern making, followed by a dusk lantern walk.
Dawn Chorus Walk
In addition the Group has been asked to lead History Walks and give Talks to other Groups and organisations in the region.
Volunteer Working Party
On formation, Friends of Holywell Dene created a Volunteer Working Party whose initial tasks were aimed at making the Dene safe for visitors. Vegetation blocking paths, dangerous hanging trees plus hundreds of metres of barbed wire fencing was removed. Pedestrian bridges and stiles were erected and boardwalks repaired.
The river was cleared of years of abandoned equipment, rubbish, litter and fallen trees that were causing blockages.
Clearing the river
In 2000 Holywell Dene was in a bad state and deteriorating rapidly. The tenant farmer’s right to over-winter cattle in the Dene had heavily affected the ground flora and natural regeneration, as well as severely damaging the numerous paths. This right was removed in 2000 when the Delaval Estate granted the councils the Lease and the Dene was subsequently fenced to keep cattle out. Later that year, a voluntary community group called Friends of Holywell Dene was established.
Using financial grants obtained from various sources and countries, including America, Europe and UK, paths were re-stoned and three permissive paths were created to avoid visitors to the Dene having to walk on roadways.
At the same time, and in accordance with an agreed planting plan for the Local Nature Reserves, trees, wild flowers and bulbs were planted mainly by children from local schools helped by Group members.
There’s a path here somewhere
The Volunteer Working Party has continued, without interruption, over the years and currently meets every Tuesday morning, carrying out tasks as they arise. The majority of current tasks are a continuation of the initial ones but now on an annual repair and maintenance basis.