Conservation centre has a Holly-day makeover this winter


By Noah Roberts


The folks at Hollybush Conservation Centre on Broad Lane, Kirkstall, are getting everyone in a festive mood by hosting magical winter events. 

Last Sunday they opened up the Hollybush barn to local makers, with stalls selling hand crafted gifts. Historians with a local interest estimate that the Hollybush barn, which has featured as part of the Kirkstall Art Trail, has existed since at least 1700. The once derelict farmhouse has been slowly and sensitively restored by staff and volunteers at Hollybush centre.  

In the courtyard handmade wood-crafted gifts were for sale the hedgehog homes being a popular choice and natural games like throw hoops over the wooden reindeer’s antlers. 

The original cobble stone flooring and exposed timber beams in the barn gently illuminated with twinkling lights was a beautiful space for the range of stalls selling hand crafted goods made by local people. 

Stall holders included:

  • Harmless Home: Eco-friendly shampoo, soaps, candles and room sprays.
  • Sewnbyshannon & Stitch by Stitch: Handmade Christmas items made using scrap fabrics and remnants to avoid waste.
  • Double Stitch Duo: Handmade croquet items.
  • Footprints on Forever: Clothes, accessories, mugs, notebooks.
  • Charlie Burman: Artist prints and cards.
  • Woodland Crafts: Festive ornaments and decorations made from recycled books.
  • Kate Evans: Cards and hand-painted magnets made from reclaimed materials.
  • Hollybush is an environmental volunteering centre which has been running for over 40 years. They have a green gym gardening sessions where people can learn outdoor skills whilst improving their mental wellbeing.  The Hollybush garden, shop and onsite café is open to public 11-3pm Wednesday to Friday and Sundays. 

If you haven’t been for a while its worth a visit to see all the hard work of staff and volunteers as you will see the new building extensions to the centre. 

Staff and volunteers will open again Sunday 10 December, 11am-3pm, for an eco-friendly Christmas experience. This Sunday families can book to see Santa with an immersive story telling experience. Santas grotto is being prepared and mince pies cooked ready for this weekend’s visitors. 

You can check out the Facebook page for more information


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