Photo: statue in Rydal Hall grounds.



8th April 2019

Groups of ex-servicemen and women, who on returning home from war zones where terrible atrocities of war were witnessed, have hit on very difficult times. Tom Harrison House in Liverpool offers a 12-week addiction recovery programme, the first in the country for ex-forces personnel. As part of that recovery, a group come to Rydal Hall to spend a week working on the estate twice a year.

Mushroom compost

During their April visit this year they helped Bruna, our head gardener, putting mushroom compost in the vegetable garden and in the beds in the Formal Garden. Mushroom compost is a useful soil conditioner, mulch and it is alkaline in nature.

Burning the rhododendrons

On the way to the pods on the left-hand side, they helped Daf, one of our Estates Team, to take down all the rhododendrons creating a much lighter area. The plan is to have some native trees, wildflowers and grass.

Bog pond

We also plan is to have a bog pond, which is a great thing for wildlife.

Conservation project

As part of our ongoing estate conservation project at Rydal Hall, the Estate Team have recently completed the restoration and repairs to an ancient stone land culvert. This involved traditional drystone walling and replacing the collapsed sheep bridge. The volunteers from the Tom Harrison House Charity assisted the Estates Team on this project too.

Steve’s Certificate of Appreciation

To end this great week, Steve Watts, a former grenadier shared with them his amazing story “Heartbeat for Everest”. He was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for supporting the work of Tom Harrison House. Unknown to the group another war veteran was in the audience who himself had lost an eye in the combat zone in Afghanistan. Les Binns became world renowned for saving a lady climber’s life only hours away from Everest’s summit. He abandoned his attempt to save a life!

These stories inspired the Tom Harrison House volunteers and helped to motivate them to continue and finish this 12-week programme and return to normal life. For Rydal Hall, it is a great pleasure to have them. We enjoy being able to contribute to their rehabilitation and we are very grateful for the hard work and great attitude they have at all times.

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