Castle Howard searching for volunteer gardeners

Tracey Wilson, Castle Howard's first garden volunteer

Tracey Wilson, Castle Howard's first garden volunteer - Credit: Archant

Here’s your chance to work in one of Yorkshire’s most beautiful gardens

Adele Hirst, head of gardens at Castle Howard in the walled garden

Adele Hirst, head of gardens at Castle Howard in the walled garden - Credit: Archant

How would you like to tend a beautiful 18th century garden set in 1,000 acres of stunning Yorkshire countryside? Sounds better than a window-box, doesn’t it?

Castle Howard has just taken on its first volunteer and is now looking for a bunch of budding gardeners to help her maintain its lovely walled garden. The garden covers an area of approximately 10 acres and is divided into a rose garden, vegetable garden and traditional flower garden. It’s looked after by new head of gardens Adele Hirst and gardener Julia Kirkman.

Adele is keen to share her knowledge with keen volunteer gardeners who would like the opportunity to learn new skills and put their old ones to the test in in one of Yorkshire’s most beautiful gardens.

‘It’s a real privilege to be able to work in the Castle Howard gardens,’ she said.

‘I hear time and again from visitors how much they would love to get involved so it’s fantastic that we’re now able to give people this opportunity.’

Castle Howard’s first volunteer, Tracey Wilson, has had an interest in gardening since childhood and, as a frequent visitor to the stunning North Yorkshire estate, has always admired the borders and displays.

Now, she’s pursuing a new direction in life by taking a horticulture course at Askham Bryan College on the outskirts of York and jumped at the chance to get some hands-on experience.

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‘I’ve always loved being outdoors and the Castle Howard gardens are some of the most beautiful in the area so I’m thrilled to be able to work alongside Adele and Julia,’ she said.

‘It’s great to be able to pick up new skills and ideas and to hear all the lovely comments about the borders from the visitors.’

Tracey volunteers two days a week and has, so far, enjoyed potting up in the greenhouse, hoeing the long borders and hand-staking the delphiniums to support the vivid blue, white and purple stems.

The Castle Howard gardens, which are open every day from 10am, cover 1,000 acres including the walled garden, woodland garden with notable botanical collection, lakeside paths and parkland dotted with statues, a temple and a fountain.

If you would like to follow in Tracey’s wellied footsteps, you can contact the Castle Howard gardens team via to discuss volunteering.

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