Gamekeepers help Westerdale man, 88, to love his garden

Wilf Wilson and the team of gamekeepers who went above and beyond the call of duty to restore his dilapidated garden.
Wilf Wilson and the team of gamekeepers who went above and beyond the call of duty to restore his dilapidated garden.

A team of gamekeepers from the North Yorkshire Moors Moorland Organisation have ensured that if an Englishman’s home is his castle, then his garden should be his pride and joy.

Wilf Wilson, an 88-year-old retired gamekeeper from Westerdale, has seen his dilapidated garden get a complete makeover thanks to the community spirit of a team of gamekeepers from the Rosedale and Westerdale Estate.

The lads were delighted to give something back to the community - and one of our own

Jimmy Brough

Wilf has lived in the village for the past 74 years. He took over as head gamekeeper of Rosedale and Westerdale Estate from his late father who was the previous keeper at the estate when he moved there after the war in 1943.

In 2005, Wilf retired after 50 years working in the outdoors as a gamekeeper and has always had a garden to be proud of with many beautiful flowers and a productive vegetable patch.

Over the last few years Wilf’s health has deteriorated and he has been unable to keep up the maintenance on his garden.

But Jimmy Brough, head keeper on the Rosedale and Westerdale estate and his team of five keepers were determined to help Wilf gain some independence back and restore his garden to some of its former glory.

Jimmy said: “There is a great sense of community and loyalty among keepers and our lads were delighted to give something back to the community – and one of our own.

“It was a challenge because of the weeds, nettles and hedges but we all got stuck in – even making three new garden gates for Wilf.”

Wilf said: “To me it’s a miracle. I am so thankful for all the time and effort put in by the lads at Rosedale and Westerdale – they really have gone the extra mile.”

The garden area is ready for rotavating and reseeding and will be completed once the lawn is established.

The gamekeepers have already agreed to maintain the very large but now much more manageable garden area when required.