Seth Ellis is the current Chesterfield Canal Trust tripboat in the Retford area. Since the Covid rules were relaxed in mid-July, it has carried scores of happy passengers on charters and has run public trips from Drakeholes and the Boat Inn at Hayton. It often runs cruises on Sundays from the Chequers Inn at Ranby and will be in Retford for Heritage Day (September 11th). Look out for Halloween cruises and of course the ever-popular Santa Specials later in the year. All the cruises can be booked online via the Trust’s website.
The National Trust coordinates and publicises Heritage Open Days throughout the country, and Retford Civic Society, in partnership with Bassetlaw Museum, are putting together the event in Retford this year once more. Each of the following venues has something new for 2021 and some of them are doing tours. The national theme is ‘Edible England’ and this has provided inspiration in some of the venues.
Prior to the pandemic the success of our café, shop and events programme run from Attenborough actually made a healthy contribution towards our overall charitable income, and therefore supported our work right across the county. In terms of our sites, Idle Valley Nature Reserve is by far our largest and is the base for managing the rest of our sites across the north of the county but our work in north Notts stretches back far beyond the opening of the Idle Valley Nature Reserve.
I’ve often used these pages to promote Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s largest site, the spectacular Idle Valley Nature Reserve near Retford. Yet as I write this piece, buoyed by the burst of colour offered by spring flowers and the sight of early butterflies on the wing, the extra daylight presented by the clocks going forward and the prospect of the end of the necessary but onerous ‘stay local’ advice – I’m truly excited about restarting my regular explorations of this special place in the weeks and months ahead.
There are highlights across the country including a memorial for the Beauchamp Lifeboat in Norfolk, Selfridges, on London’s Oxford Street, an 18th century shipwreck in Kent, as well as Retford’s Victorian train station café that was used to serve HM and Allied Forces meals during the Second World War.