Retford Times – Gringley family’s pond is a splash-hit with Outline’s TV star

A green-fingered Gringley family have starred alongside TV gardener Charlie Dimmock in a recent BBC series.

Ellicar Gardens, owned by horticulturalist Will Murch and his garden designer wife Sarah, featured on the BBC’s Great British Garden Revival last Thursday night, and the five-acre wildlife haven was visited by the former Ground Force presenter for filming back in September.

The Murch family’s 300sqm natural open-air swimming pool was the star of the show, as the episode was themed around the role of ponds in creating wildlife-friendly gardens.

The pool’s natural ecology system ensures it is clean and safe for ‘wild’ swimming without the need for chemicals. Its water is crystal clear and it warms up much quicker than conventional pools, with temperatures reaching as high as 26 degrees in summer. It is even used for life-saving practise by Ranskill Scout Group.

The show, which was shot during warm late-summer weather, showed rhodedendron expert Will, Sarah and their five children using the pool.

Their impressive garden also includes wildflower meadows, specially-constructed bird habitats and a collection of animals and pets such as ponies, goats and geese.

“We were approached by Outline Productions as they wanted a natural pond and ours is unique in this area – they’re a new concept in the UK. It was a lovely experience, the children were allowed to miss school and it was the first time Charlie had done some filming in a long time,” said Sarah.

“They found a diverse range of wildlife in the pond. Charlie was very down-to-earth and knew all the plants – it was also her first time in a natural pond, and she liked it!”

The family are now hoping for an increase in visitors to the garden, which is open to the public as part of official RHS open gardens events in the summer.

And they were joined by two of the Notts Wildlife Trust’s education officers, Kevin Widdowson and Rick Berry, for the shoot.

The pair are based at Idle Valley nature reserve near Retford and were asked to take part in the programme so they could be filmed pond-dipping with children.

“Kev got three minutes on screen but I was behind the camera! Charlie Dimmock’s speciality is ponds and part of our job is to educate people about he importance of them in gardens as habitats for wildlife such as dragonfly and water beetle.

“We did a lot of filming, and Charlie is very pleasant – I reminded her that I’d met her before when my daughter was four, she’s 19 now! It was interesting to be part of it and the weather back in September was lovely,” said Rick, who lives in Leverton.

Ellicar’s winter garden will be open to view on March 23 and the family are also participating in the National Garden Scheme festival in June. Group and school visits can be booked by appointment.

The programme also featured Viscum Water Gardens in Oldcotes.

Visit www.ellicargardens.co.uk for more information about the garden.