SKIPTON businesses and organisations are being asked to help keep some of the town’s hidden gems looking their best with staff volunteer days.

The town council and the volunteer ‘friends’ groups that maintain places such as the Wilderness Woods and the Raikes Road Burial Ground, have recently been working with corporate volunteers from Skipton Building Society and from Bowman Riley.

Volunteers from Skipton Building Society spent a day in the Wilderness Woods, between Otley Road and Shortbank Road, earlier this year, removing rubbish, clearing overgrown areas and gardening.

Amanda Brewer, who took part in the clean-up, said it had been a ‘thoroughly enjoyable day’ and that she would be encouraging her colleagues to sign up.

The group of volunteers were taking up a Skipton Building Society initiative that gives all its staff three additional days holiday every year to volunteer and make a difference in their community.

The Wilderness, which was recently subjected to vandalism, was donated to the town council several years ago by Skipton Civic Society and is considered one of the town’s hidden gems.

A group of volunteers from Bowman Riley, architects, consultants and interior designers with offices in Leeds and in Skipton, also spent a day at Raikes Road Burial ground, a long closed burial ground which is often forgotten about, but which has become a real haven for wildlife with some seldom seen species calling the burial ground home.

The enthusiastic volunteers helped clear overgrown paths and assisted the experienced members of the friends group to clear and care for the gravestones. The ground is steeped in history and has a wealth of interest for local historians even having a member of the Kipling family amongst those buried.

Mark Hayton from Bowman Riley, said that they had a great day volunteering, has learnt about the history of the burial ground and were looking forward to future volunteering opportunities.

Joel Henderson, estate manager at Skipton Town Council, said the council wanted to thank all those who had volunteered and would like to encourage any other businesses who were thinking it might also be for them.

“Not only is it a fantastic way of giving back to the community but the volunteers themselves benefit greatly returning to work satisfied and re-energised the businesses also benefit by a closer association to the local community and the good feeling it generates amongst their staff.,” he said.

Businesses interested in finding out more about corporate volunteering can contact Joel Henderson by email at: