A campaign is underway to save a ruined bothy at a popular historic attraction.

Turton Tower has the ruins of a gardener's bothy which now has some dangerously unstable stonework, which means it has to be made safe.

And the  Tower kitchen garden volunteers need to raise £10,000.

The two-storey bothy - a shelter - dates back to the 1800s and is in the volunteer-restored garden. Once visitor-safe a wildlife garden will be created around it.

Although the bothy will not be restored to its former state, the Turton Tower Kitchen Garden Volunteers are now looking to make what’s left of the ruins, safer and a feature.

The bothy was used as either a place for gardeners to sleep while working on growing fruit and vegetable for the residents of Turton Tower, or for storing vegetables like onions to dry.

Chair of the group, Nancy Walsh said: “Part of the gardens is not safe so it’s fenced off near the bothy.

“We want to extend into the bothy area to create a sensory garden but we cannot do this until the structure is made safe.

“It’s quite a rare bothy because it’s a two-storey one and usually they are one-storey.”

Included in the plans is to build a wildlife pond, a feature archway with climbing roses and install a seating area overlooking Turton Tower.

Entry to the bothy and its garden from the wider Kitchen Garden would be through the arch.

This will link with new accessible paths leading through the Bothy Garden and inside the bothy where its history will be explained.

All the work of clearing, constructing and planting the bothy garden will be done by the volunteers. Any surplus funds or any raised overt will be used do develop this.

Ms Walsh said: “We’ve been thinking about it for 18 months but it has been difficult to raise money because it’s a niche project.

“We are only volunteers running this garden.

The Bolton News:

“We do have people coming to the garden like school groups for gardening activities.

“Since Covid-19, people come to the garden to sit and reflect and remember loved ones, and we want to extend this to make it even better for people to sit.”

A surveyor's structural report was paid for and details how to stabilise it and secure its future.

Estimates from heritage specialists to do this work will cost around £10,000 with the remainder used to buy fencing.

The volunteers will then remove the temporary fencing to incorporate the bothy and the area around it into the Kitchen Garden, and erect new rabbit-proof fencing around the outside.

A Just Giving page to raise money for the work.

The garden is free and always open to walkers, with one of the 24 volunteers always around.

Ms Walsh said: “I’ve always been interested in gardening and wanted to be a gardener when I was 16 but at the time the local area did not take girls for gardening experience, so I became a teacher and started volunteering here eight years ago.”

Donate to the Just Giving page here.