A man who transformed the landscape around a Catholic youth retreat centre in Ilkley has been shortlisted for an Unsung National Hero by a newspaper.

Francis McCrickard, who recently retired from the Myddelton Grange Centre, Lang-bar Road, is one of five people on the shortlist for the award, part of the Observer Eth-ical Awards.

The winners will be announced at an event in London on Thursday, June 13, dubbed The Green Oscars.

Along with volunteers from school groups attending the centre, he planted 8,000 native hardwoods and established new hawthorn and dog rose hedgerows.

He also came up with the idea to transform neglected pasture close to the centre into a wildflower meadow.