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Giving Dodham Brook a Hand - Visit Yeovil Country Park this Easter and Half Term

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A ‘glovely’ day out at Yeovil Country Park

This Easter, from the 19 to the 22 of April, and May Half Term, from the 30 of May to 1 June, the rangers at Yeovil Country Park and the South Somerset Heritage Collection will be running free drop-in children’s activities at Ninesprings. The event will feature new information panels and history displays about Yeovil’s gloving past and its link to Dodham Brook.

This has been made possible by a Green Grant award of £2,490 from the South West Museum Development, with thanks to funding from Arts Council England and a generous donation of £200 from the Friends of Yeovil Country Park.

Museum and a Mocha

In Ninesprings café you will find information that will take you back in time 200 years, to a period when the gloving and leather industry put Yeovil on the map and brought jobs to many talented locals; who would make the most exquisite of gloves with the simplest of tools. You will be able to see some of the tools used, but can you guess what they were for?

A stroll from the café along the main path towards the lakes will take you to three brand new, eco-friendly information panels which show us the fraught timeline of Dodham Brook; it’s past, present and future. Once described as ‘Hell on Earth’ and known mainly for its putrid stench, this ribbon of nature and heritage now harbours an immense amount of wildlife, which will soon be boosted further as Green Recovery Funding will enable the Yeovil Rivers Community Trust to deliver their ‘Dodham Brook Project’.

Glovers in Dodham Brook

Image: Glovers in Dodham Brook

Face to face with an alien ecosystem

Finally, arrive at Ninesprings pond dipping area for a world of nature-based fun! Dunk a net into the water and see what you can find; from water-scorpions, to bloodworms, to tadpoles, anything’s possible! Why not create yourself a biodiversity-boosting craft to take home with you, in the form of a mini-beast mansion or a seed bomb. Keep an eye out on the Yeovil Country Park Facebook page and our website for more details on these events and how to join in.

Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Mike Best, says; “This Green Grant is giving us a fantastic opportunity to tell the story of the gloving industry in Yeovil. The link to Dodham Brook is a great connection between Yeovil’s industrial past and the wildlife that thrive in Dodham Brook today. I hope that families will enjoy getting out during the school holidays to attend these free activities and learn more about the wildlife in Yeovil Country Park and how we can help to protect it for the future.”

SSDC’s Community Heritage Officer, Edd Chilcott, says; “I am absolutely thrilled that we have received a Green Grant from the South West Museum Development thanks to funding from the Arts Council England. The story of the gloving industry and the links to our natural heritage in the heart of Yeovil is a powerful one and shows how wildlife can recover and thrive if given the chance. The Green Grant aims to connect museums and communities around the local impacts of climate change and I am looking forward to sharing this story with our visitors and local community.”

Water vole

Reducing carbon

At South Somerset District Council, we are taking the ‘Green’ aspect of this ‘Green Grant’, very seriously, and it would be great, if you are able, if you could too. Ninesprings is just a five minute walk from the town centre, with a shared cycle path linking Lysander road to Sherborne Road. Please walk, cycle, or travel by electric scooter to the Country Park if you can.

About South West Museum Development

South West Museum Development is an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation. The programme has been funded since 1 August 2012 and provides support to Accredited museums across the South West region.

South West Museum Development works with museums to meet and exceed national standards, raise ambition, drive excellence and strengthen resilience. Their aim is for museums to provide engaging, valued and inspirational services to their audiences and communities using the Arts Council England’s Let’s Create strategy as a framework. Find out more about the programme here:

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