Local youngsters help clear up!

Scouts from Milton Keynes help local charity tidy 17th century farmhouse.

Youngsters from Howe Park Scout Group in Milton Keynes have given up their free time to maintain the gardens at a 17th Century farmhouse in Shenley Wood, used by local charity Westbury Arts Centre.

The Young People aged from 8 to 14 gave up some of their evenings and weekend to dig out old hedges, chop trees, wash paths and clear weeds, at this hidden old building on the edge of Shenley Wood.

Volunteer Manager Helen denDulk explained:  “The Charity feels very fortunate to have the use of this wonderful grade two listed building and the artists who have studios here find the house and the surroundings inspirational. Apart from a part-time administrator, Westbury Arts Centre is run by volunteer trustees and artists dedicated to promoting the Arts to the local community and beyond. However, due to lack of personnel and funds it has always been a struggle to maintain the house and gardens; so I was thrilled when the Scouts contacted us suggesting that together we organise a gardening project. Over evenings and a weekend, they did a fantastic job of clearing areas that have been on our to-do list for years! Their efforts were very much appreciated by the Centre and we hope that this is the first of many projects together.”

Scout Leader Neil Dickson commented: Community work is a key part of our programme, and helping this local charity was a great opportunity to do something useful and learn some local history. So many of us had driven past this old farmhouse hundreds of times and never even knew about the great things going on here. It was an excellent opportunity for the Young People and families to help the community and get their hands dirty doing some hard work!”

More information about Westbury Arts Centre can be found on and the work of Howe Park Scout Group is at .

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