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Carpentry Skills Help Bring Historic Walled Garden Back to Life

Carpentry students from Bradford College have kindly volunteered their services to help a community garden project at Yorkshire Water’s Esholt Hall site.

The historic building is being renovated as a flagship Centre of Excellence for Yorkshire Water’s training academy. Bradford College students on the City & Guilds Technical Certificate in Carpentry are enhancing their skills and gaining work experience at the site by producing raised planters for a new walled garden.

James Haigh, Technical Qualification Co-ordinator & Lecturer in Carpentry & Joinery at Bradford College, said:

“There is no better experience for our students than working on a real project like this, fabricating on-site and working to real specifications. You often don’t see the real character of a student until you get them out of the workshop and expose them to real-life scenarios where they just flourish.”

The beautiful garden once supplied the hall with all its food. Now, work is underway to bring the space back to life. Students have worked alongside community arts organisation, Sponge Tree, following drawing designs and even making some planters wheelchair accessible.

Paula Taylor from Sponge Tree said:

“The Sponge Tree team has been employed to restore the Kitchen Garden at Esholt Hall Estate for Yorkshire Water. We are working towards the site and gardens to become a community wellbeing hub. Sponge Tree will deliver outdoor learning and rural courses from the gardens, from permaculture to basket weaving. 

“We were aware of the links with Bradford College and the carpentry students and asked if they would be interested in coming on-site to help build our raised vegetable beds. This was a great way to start a community partnership within the restoration of the Esholt Hall Estate.

“James [Carpentry Lecturer] and the students were fantastic to have on-site and the students were very enthused about being able to use their skills and knowledge in a real-life setting. We now have a brilliant relationship, and we are keen for students to be involved in carpentry and joinery projects, at Esholt Hall, in the future.”

Peter Coddington, Partnership and Portfolio Manager at Yorkshire Water, added:

“This is the second project the students from Bradford College have worked on at Esholt Hall, and we are always delighted to have the students working on the site. They do a fantastic job for Yorkshire Water, and we hope in turn gain a great deal of satisfaction from working at such a beautiful location of the 300-year-old grade 2 listed Esholt Hall.”