We would like to say an enormous thank you to Jack Bunyer, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Horners, for having chosen Botton Village as their charity of the year.
On top of donating a wonderfully generous sum of money to support the village, the Guild, who have a connection with RAF Odiham, very kindly arranged for 30 Chinook RAF crew to 'drop in' and give Botton some hands-on help.
Getting down to work
Phil Collier from Botton's Stormy Hall Farm helped organise the squadron, who in the space of two days accomplished a staggering amount of heavy work. Phil Collier from Botton's Stormy Hall Farm helped organise the squadron, who in the space of two days accomplished a staggering amount of heavy work.
'One of the days they did some dry stone walling and fencing on the boundary wall where we were suffering from sheep from the moors coming in', Phil says. 'They also did some work on the reed beds (Botton's 'green' sewage purification system), carting gravel to top up the filtration.'
The crew then ploughed on to rebuild some bridges that had been washed away in a storm, and refurbish an outdoor toilet.
While everyone's jaws were dropping at the crew's stamina, it seems they were equally amazed with the North Yorkshire landscape, after being stationed in the Afghanistan desert.
'On the day when they were fencing right at the moor edge they had a great view right across the valley', says Phil. 'They just stood and stared. They said they really enjoyed being here.' We are so grateful for their stalwart help – and for the Horners' fantastic support.