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Second-hand bookshop at Hardcastle Crags

raising vital funds with 'Secret Santa' scheme

Thursday, 27 October 2022

Donated books contribute directly to woodland conservation work

More donations are being sought to stock up shelves ahead of the festive period at a second-hand bookshop set up by National Trust staff and volunteers to raise funds to look after Hardcastle Crags.

Volunteers who run the shop are planning to introduce a special 'Secret Santa' scheme which will see books for both children and adults wrapped up as Christmas gifts in return for a small donation.

The shop is home to dozens of quality pre-loved titles, spanning genres in fiction and children's stories as well as non-fiction and reference books, with prices starting at 50p (cash donations only).

But the National Trust team at Hardcastle Crags are hoping to encourage more high-quality donations with the aim of sustaining the 'Secret Santa' scheme – and making sure any youngsters or adults visiting Gibson Mill and the Weaving Shed Café can walk away with something wonderful to read.

This half-term is the ideal time to visit and drop off your donations, as well as to browse the shelves and either pick up your next page turner or something to keep your little ones busy during the break.

Gibson Mill - photo: HebWeb

Hundreds of pounds raised

The bookshop had a bumper first year after being set up in 2021. Despite national lockdowns and restrictions, it raised hundreds of pounds which will go towards conservation of the mill and woodlands at the National Trust property. Ongoing conservation work at Hardcastle Crags includes looking after historic buildings and caring for more than 400 acres of countryside and the resident wildlife.

Chris Bryerley, Site Manager for the National Trust, said, "The bookshop has quickly become a really popular part of our site since we opened it in 2021.

"It's all part of our commitment to doing things with sustainability in mind. A good book stays with you a lot longer than you might keep it for, and second-hand bookshops are a brilliant way to pass that experience on to someone else at a time when costs of new books will be a barrier to many.

"The money raised by a team of dedicated volunteers goes towards ongoing work such as path repairs and buildings conservation, as well as our wider woodland management plan.

"We are so grateful for all the support we've received so far from the local community, it's great to see people coming to enjoy a day at the mill and pick up a new read while they're here."

How to donate books

To donate your used books, drop them off with the Welcome Team at Midgehole car park or at Gibson Mill and the Weaving Shed Café on a Saturday or Sunday, between 10am and 3pm.

In the Café, there are also handmade bird boxes for sale, made by volunteers – which are perfect for providing a home for wildlife in your own gardens.

Find out more about the bookshop here.