Bentley Pinfold Wildflower Garden : a good news story

A very good friend of mine, Adam, has just sent me an article, concerning a Restoration Project in a South Yorkshire village.

Its a heart-warming story, with social, environmental and historical threads,  and tells of the preservation of an ancient structure, the creation of a wildflower garden, all achieved by the community working together.

The tale unfolds in Bentley, a small village near Doncaster and tells of a dilapidated, unloved Pinfold. A Pinfold? Its a saxon term for a walled, lockable enclosure, used to impound stray livestock.

Bentley Pinfold what lies beyond the gate?

Bentley Pinfold
what lies beyond the gate?

By the 16th century most English villages and townships would have had such a pound. The animals owners could only reclaim their wayward beasts after paying a fee, to the Pinder or tallyman.

Bentley Pinfold is Grade II listed, dates from 1832 and over recent years has been used as a dumping ground, becoming overgrown with ugly weeds.


pinfold in a state of decay

In 2011, various community groups came together to discuss ways of improving the area. Enthusiastic local volunteers from “Growing a Greater Bentley” offered to spearhead the development of a wildflower garden, for the enjoyment of locals and wildlife alike.

Work began to clear the area in 2012, with the Community Payback team clearing 10 tonnes of undergrowth and rubbish.


clean and tidy

Cash funding was secured from the local “Community First” scheme, and donations of plants, bark chippings and other materials were made by the Borough Council and by local people.

In Spring 2013, the development of the garden began. Wildflower seeds were sourced from Green Estate, and volunteers came to prepare the earth.

The walls of the pinfold were professionally restored and a path laid of the bark chippings.


Children came from a local primary school to help sow the seeds, and nurture the seedlings.


And now, in July 2013, the first flowers are appearing…


an amazing transformation
bees and butterflies welcome

In my humble opinion, a Huge Success!

For the full story, written by Adam (a director of GGB), with proper accreditations, 4 pages in all, click here.

3 thoughts on “Bentley Pinfold Wildflower Garden : a good news story

  1. What a lovely story! I love the idea of communities working together to provide something of value for themselves. It looks like all the really hard work has been completed and it is now down to maintenance and watching the space mature.

    • Its is a good story, isn’t it? I have asked that the guys at ‘Growing a Greater Bentley’ to keep me in the loop with any updates. Apparently they are having an Open Day later this month – it is key that enthusiasm is maintained and that the pinfold and the new garden continues to be looked after.

  2. I grew up on this street (in a house-obviously)I’m so pleased to see the Pinfold looking beautiful again…well done to all involved-especially the school children!! I hope they take their new skills and enthusiasm with them on their journey to adulthood 😀

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