To your surprise, perhaps, we’re still around

To see the dandelions make a better

Fist of yellow than the daffodils.

I should explain: I don’t share Wordsworth’s taste

For lakeside strolls, and the dandelion is bolder,

With an admirable disregard

For shade and shelter. Yes, they’re soon to silver

And disperse, but seeding out, we’re told,

Is natural; and think what good a bunch

Of airheads scattered by the wind might bring

To anywhere (please, anywhere) but here.

Maybe. But count on it: next year these fields

Will be emblazoned with the heraldry

They wear today, the lion’s ruff will roar

Up through the concrete, and the cracks between

The paving stones will be buttoned up with gold.


Jonathan Reid

April 2015, Botton Village

Botton Spring

Botton Cross, the broken waymark of High

Danby Moor, led us, that Lent, steeply down.

A pathway took us where the gravestones lie,

which tell of years lived there, lived, spent and gone

into a Community’s recollection.


A passing tall thin man asked who I was:

I told him I was Neil from the next dale.

He said he lived in Stormy Hall because

they were his friends and how he gave out mail.

He then walked on so sure of his direction.


That was years ago – now its Lent again:

each Festival passed as it were the last,

heading towards another Spring death’s pain.

The Cross, still broken and the way as lost

as that black time before the Resurrection.


Neil Davidson, 2015




Botton Spring Cross




Hello world and welcome to our village!

Thank you for popping in. Please have a look around. We will show you things you probably didn’t know about our little village.

Botton Village is in the North York Moors in England. It’s very beautiful, with stunning countryside, but what really matters are the people who made Botton and live here – a community of families and other volunteers who live with people with learning disabilities, creating homes together; like families really, simply living together under one roof, young and old, able and less able, sharing meals, helping each other, and so on.

People say genius lies in simplicity, and in our way of life lies a magic: that those one might call disabled can live normal, happy, fulfilled, secure, empowered and meaningful lives. Their disability no longer seems so relevant.

And yet, we’re in trouble. The non-disabled (for want of a better word) people and families, referred to as Co-workers, are being coerced out of the way by an organisation that has taken over the management of this community. For sixty years  we have worked and been there with those who need care, support and attention – but management wants to stop people living together and replace us Co-workers with care staff who live elsewhere and drive in to do shift-work – as in care home. This will end what made this place special: that people are seen as people, not a disability; that people create and are part of a home and community, not that their lives are institutionalised by stealth.

We have pleaded with management to find alternatives, but in vain. Many people have now started a legal appeal, and we urge you to support this with through our fundraising appeal. At the same time, we do want to talk and find a way forward that preserves what made this beautiful, creative and collaborative way of life special and so much loved by those who are here.

Please look at our fundraising appeal … Thank you for any donation you can give. You may read more about the background of our crisis on the website of Action for Botton.

There are also two Facebook pages called Action4Botton and We Are Botton, and we have a Twitter account @Action4Botton that you can follow.

But for now, welcome to Botton Spring.