Dedicated head gardener at Belsay Hall, Jo Harrigan, is on the hunt for any budding gardeners and horticulture enthusiasts to join her team of volunteers already helping out at the Northumberland historic property.
Learn new skills
In recent months, there has been a well-publicised decline in careers in horticulture. Research by the Royal Horticultural Society has brought to light a misconception of horticulture as an 'unskilled' career. Belsay's highly skilled team of gardeners demonstrate every day that this is not the case and head gardener, Jo, is keen to show people all that can be achieved in undertaking a career in horticulture.
Jo said: "We have a devoted team of gardeners and volunteers here at Belsay, all of whom are incredibly passionate about what they do and we are appealing to anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors and in the garden, to come and help out at one of the country's finest gardens."
After growing up around all things green, Jo followed in her father's footsteps to take on the position of head gardener at the Northumberland Estate. Jo spent time as a lecturer in horticulture at Newcastle College, where she inspired young students to learn about the careers they can look forward to if they embark on a horticultural course. Now, Jo's own son, seven-year-old Zach, is also showing an interest in gardening and much to the surprise of his teachers, has an in depth knowledge of Latin plant names!
Help care for this Grade 1 garden
Since joining Belsay, Jo has passionately backed the volunteer scheme at the site, which gives people the chance to help maintain the gardens, design plots and care for the plants and flowers in this stunning historical property. Belsay boasts some sensational gardens, with the enchanting Quarry Garden, Winter Garden and its own secret garden, the Rhododendron Garden which has just undergone conservation works.
Jo continued: "Belsay truly is a wonderful place to care for and nurture and every day, whatever the weather, I feel privileged to work in such a beautiful environment.
"We're looking for volunteers of all ages who are enthusiastic, have a love of gardening and the desire to work in amongst the historic Grade 1 listed gardens at Belsay. We also offer hands-on, practical experience, so any new volunteers hoping to pursue a career in horticulture would be able to learn on the job and develop their skills further.
"It's a great feeling to contribute towards the running of somewhere like Belsay and we hope to encourage as many people as possible to get involved. Anyone who is interested should contact me here at Belsay."
To register your interest in the voluntary gardening scheme at Belsay, call 01661 881636 or contact Jo (Sarah-Jo Harrigan) directly on 01661 881069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.