Spring flowers and garden plans

Primula vulgaris

Despite it being a cold and somewhat wet spring here in Boot, the Swallows and warblers arrived on the 7th April and at the Mill, the garden and meadow are awakening from their winter slumber.


I met Clive Stretton from the National Trust at the Mill, and we looked at the potential to use the mills large enclosed meadow as a location for a joint Green-wood crafts event next Summer. It’s relatively flat – a luxury round the valley – and accessible, so we think it’s a great idea to showcase local crafts and talent, watch the blog for more as it develops or get in touch if you have ideas or would like to get involved.

To get us started however the 20 years worth of brambles need to be got in hand, so to that end Clive is kindly lending us a days hand with his National Trust working holiday volunteers in May. A group of folk will hopefully make a good impression and start on the process of reclaiming the garden from it’s neglected condition.

Overgrown brambles Boot.jpg
Overgrown Brambles at the Mill

We will be holding weekly work parties at the Mill and the garden every Wednesday between 10.30am and 3.00pm, so if you would like to join us you would be more than welcome.

daffodils at the mill Boot

Boots fine old mill re-opens for business

After the retirement of the previous tenant Dave King, the Eskdale Mill and Heritage Trust were uncertain as to how to keep the mill open during the immediate future.

However a coming together by Eskdale Mill trust volunteers from both near and far have ensured that the mill is again open for visiting during 2016, now totally under direct Trust management.

Over the past few months volunteers have been clearing up the grounds and the mill itself prior to opening for the season.

Eskdale Mill clear up group
Part of the spring clean group

We have been working busily rediscovering the charms of this important building that have been hidden over the past few years. The mills presentation has been based around the 1970’s exhibition material, bolstered by farm sale and other material gathered by over the years, but over time it has become tired and in need of refreshment.

Our ambition for 2016 is to present the mill, closer to it’s original function and involve visitors in discovering more about this unique building.

screen box cinemascope
the above view shews the sieve box in the upper machine room

For the summer season a number of volunteers have come forward to help give guided tours around the mill and more are sought. One of the ambitions of the trust is to train volunteers in a whole range of rural skills to help keep the mill open in the future. The first training event is a dry-stone wall training course for mill volunteers led by experts from the National Trust. The course is being held in Eskdale on the 23rd April and is open to all volunteers new and old.