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Volunteering at Gatton

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At Gatton we offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities for both individuals and groups. Our volunteers help out with all aspects of running the estate from practical working outside to helping out in the office. We are also very experienced in running corporate volunteering days for organisations. The volunteers at Gatton make it what it is, if you would like to get involved there are many different ways you can help out! Below are listed some of our current volunteer opportunities. Please do contact us for more details.


Garden restoration and maintenance

The gardens are where the restoration of Gatton began in 1996. Since then the volunteers have brought back to life the rock and water garden, the Japanese garden and The Victorian pleasure gardens. These areas are still developing and need ongoing maintenance. Garden volunteers are involved in all aspects of maintenance including planting, weeding and pruning. Opportunities are available on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


Parkland Management Assistant

 

The majority of Gatton Parks 250 acres are made up of parkland. This is a mixture of woodlands, grasslands and lakes which is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Volunteers in the parkland help the park warden to manage these different habitats. This work involves hands on woodland and grassland management, habitat creation and surveying.


Estate Tour Guides

 

Gatton Park has a rich heritage that we are keen to share with as many people as possible. This opportunity provides you with the chance to develop tours around the park and gardens by using the resources of our recently developed archive. If you a have passion for history and natural flare for talking to groups, Gatton Park provides a wonderful setting for you develop your interests. Basic training in how to use the archive and deliver park and garden tours will be given.


Kitchen Garden Volunteer

 

Get involved in a project to restore the areas of the walled kitchen gardens. An area of kitchen garden has been reinstated by volunteers, for use mainly by the children of the RAA School. A variety of different fruits, vegetables and herbs were planted and harvested; now the Garden needs some regular maintenance work. It would be great if you have any gardening/food growing experience though this is not essential. We are happy for volunteers to come anytime during the week that fits in with your schedule. We will also be establishing an orchard to complement the small orchard that we already have. With this opportunity you have the option to either work on the gardens, in a small group, or alongside the teachers working with the children. It would be great if you have any food growing experience though this is not essential.


Animal Care Assistant

 

Help us with the management of the animals that we keep in the park. If you like an early start (8am) you could be working with our staff to help with the management of our chickens, sheep and goats. Mainly cleaning out and feeding but also maintaining their areas, fencing and houses.

 

No experience is required as training will be given, but if you do have experience it would be very useful.


Can you help the Education Team?

 

Office Manager – Look after the office when the staff are out with school groups - Manning the phone, taking bookings, giving information on events, checking emails.

 

Office Assistants – Computer work, marketing, administration such as bookings, promotional mailing etc. You can have an area of responsibility or carry out whatever tasks are required that day.

 

Education Assistants - To assist with school groups that visit the park. Engage and involve children and their teachers or carers studying environment linked topics around the park.

 

Events Assistant - Helping out with the organisation, preparation and on the day of our events. Be front of house, behind the scenes, manning the refreshments or dressed up to entertain, what ever suits you.

 

'Blue Peter' Volunteers – Arts & Crafts, cutting, sticking, colouring, laminating; to prepare for children's activities.

 

Fundraiser – A literate, organised person who can help with completing application forms and writing letters to sponsors.

 

Library & Archives – Volunteers help with collecting, photocopying, laminating etc various pieces of Gatton's rich history and finding relevant documents as requests come in.

 

Weekend Education Assistants – assisting with activities for children, birthday parties, events.

 

Do you have a special skill valuable to Gatton eg photography, web administration, art?? If so please get in touch we would love to hear from you!

 


For all volunteering opportunities

 

For more information call or email the volunteer and community project officer

Tel: 01737 649 068
volunteering@gatton-park.org.uk


Corporate and team building volunteering

We offer a wide range of opportunities for groups for community and team building days. Please contact us for more information on the opportunities which are available.


Available Projects

 

Installing metal tree guards - Fitting parkland tree guards to protect the next generation of trees in Park

 

Footpath Construction - Help us to reinstate one of the many paths around the estate

 

Maths Maze maintenance - Carry out maintenance to this much loved educational garden

 

Planting up new garden features - Preparing and planting up new shrub borders or bulb displays

 

Pond maintenance - Clearing weeds and habitat creation on our many ponds

 

Coppicing & Coppice crafts - Cutting trees in our coppice, then make tools, seats etc from them

 

Building outdoor classrooms - Constructing outdoor classroom spaces for our education programmes

 

Bridge Construction - Building bridges to connect up one of our islands to footpath route

 

Meadow management Hay cutting - Cutting and bringing in the hay from our wild flower meadows

 

Scrub clearance - Clearing shrubs and small trees that have encroached on the park

 

Tree planting - Help us to plant the next generation of trees for Gatton Park


Facilities

 

You will be working alongside our trained staff and volunteers who will guide you through every step of your task. We are also fully insured and will be able to provide you with full risk assessment for the task of your choice.

 

We offer a variety of different facilities to cater for you needs, from pack lunches and BBQs to full cooked meals. You can either be based out in the park or in Gatton Hall, both locations offer toilet and washroom facilities. We can also cater for groups with special requirements, please contact us for more details.

Some examples of previous projects

 

Canon volunteers - April and October 2012

 

A group of twelve employees from Canon took time out of the office to volunteer at Gatton on one of the many bright but wet days we had in April. The team had the choice of willow weaving or scrub clearance, but they were so keen that most people took a turn at both activities. The scrub clearance team worked hard untangling the overgrown Magical Maths Maze down in Temple Woods - good hard work and fortunately sheltered from the rain by the dense woodland. The rest of the group learnt how to weave giant dragonflies out of willow, some for us to keep for the park and some for them to take home.

 

Another smaller group from Canon spent time with us in October. On this occasion they all focused on a massive area that needed total clearance. Everything was cut back and then put on to a big bonfire the team had built at the beginning of the day. With all the hard work and heat from the fire everyone kept thoroughly warm and cheerful!


Ordnance Survey team - June and October 2012

 

A large group came from the local Ordnance Surveying organisation in June this year, to help us set up for our Country Fair. This involved building our large coconut shy, putting up the marquee and some general cutting back undergrowth around the park. They thoroughly enjoyed their day at Gatton and returned in October for big scrub clearance and bonfire day. They also re did the willow button trees, mended one of the outdoor classrooms and laid out a wood chip path through one of the fields. With a park of 250 acres there's always a lot of work to do!


Deloitte September 2011

 

On an amazingly sunny day in September a group of 20 staff from Deloitte came for a day's volunteering in the park. They had specified that they wanted to work with less able people to correspond with them sponsoring the ParaOlympics in 2012. We arranged for a group from EmployAbility (a charity finding work placements for people with learning difficulties) with whom we already work on a regular basis, to come in on the day. The EmployAbility manager thought it was an excellent opportunity to show people what her group could do and everyone was particularly pleased with how wellthey all worked together.

 

They all spent the day down in Temple Wood, putting up a new bird hide and revamping our 'Magical Maths Maze' an outdoor classroom area used by school groups coming in as part of our Education programme. This involved fencing, painting, re laying paths and cutting back the surrounding vegetation.


Travelers Insurance August 2010

 

On 10th August 2010 a team of 15 staff came in for the day from Travelers Insurance. They helped to create an outdoor classroom area by the pond on Cedar Walk using timber grown on site. This involves scrub clearance to open up a magnificent view across the park, and constructing benches from tree trunks, which is a lot of chipping, sawing and eventually sandpapering and smoothing down the seat part of the bench. Although it was pouring down with rain, we swiftly put together some shelter and it turned out to be a great day. Many of them discovered previously well hidden talents in woodwork and they all developed a much greater appreciation of their work colleagues.


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