Roll on the Winter Solstice!

by | 20 January 2024 | Hobbies, Local Charity, Social Group, Worksop

By the time you read this, the days should have just started getting longer again (to everyone’s relief!). It’s easy to assume during the dark winter months that nothing needs doing in the garden so we can just curl up in an armchair with a cup of tea. This is certainly not the case for Muddy Fork, Retford’s Gardening for Wellbeing charity.

The garden recently has been a hive of activity. Following the floods, with the ground very soggy underfoot, more wood-chipping has been done on the paths, making the garden safer and more accessible.

Work has been done on the stream which flows through the site, which had become silted up and overgrown. Clearing reeds, bulrushes and weeds has made a big difference and hopefully in spring the tadpoles will appreciate the improvements.

An attack on the thickets of thistles and nettles on the bank will give more breathing space for colourful displays of flowers and shrubs, though persistent hemlock remains a problem. The raised vegetable beds have been treated to barrow-loads of homemade compost and donated manure to keep them well-nourished and healthy in preparation for the 2024 growing season.

All this is not only good for the garden, but also for the Muddy Fork team. Even during the darkest and most miserable of days, it’s beneficial to get outside, get some fresh air and exercise, and benefit from the few hours of daylight available at this time of year. There’s plenty of life to observe on the Idle Valley reserve too, with masses of birds on the lakes or flying overhead.

Consider going out for a walk to work off the mince pies and make a New Year resolution to check out Muddy Fork’s website To make a referral, offer your services as a volunteer, or make a donation, you can contact Rose, Muddy Fork’s General Manager, at