02 November 2015 By Lucy Wheeler
Earlier in the week, a few team members offered up their Monday morning to help Head Gardener Andy Lewis at Uppark with a few autumn activities.
There were seven of us volunteering and we split into three teams, all tasked with different gardening activities. We helped to prepare the ground for seeding by digging up old plants, prune a large, mature laurel bush and rake up all the crunchy leaves on the visitor walkways. Our hard work was rewarded with a mid-morning break of the best bacon butties we’ve ever had! And we don’t say that lightly.
It was lovely to get stuck in and see exactly what all the staff and volunteers do at the National Trust. There’s so much to their work; so much to consider and they all work hard together, to ensure the heritage of each and every site is honoured.
Andy Lewis, Head Gardener kindly gave us a tour of the garden once we had finished working. He showed us original features of the garden including a huge grass mound, originally designed by Capability Brown. The site is steeped in history and next year marks the 300th anniversary of the famous landscape architect’s birthday. Andy has big aspirations for developing the grounds and optimising it for visitors to ensure they enjoy the whole space, whilst at the same time being sympathetic to the landscape and house.
Now Uppark is open every day, they rely heavily on the support of the volunteers, without whom the National Trust would not be able to continue. Volunteers range from full time workers looking for some weekend fresh air, to retired people looking to stay active within the community. If you would like to find out more about volunteering at your local National Trust location, please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/
Thank you to Uppark for having us. We’re looking forward to another volunteering day next month, preparing for Christmas and making decorations!