The other day someone asked me to describe an average day in the park and garden department and it made me realise just how much variety I had in my job because I really don’t have an ‘average’ day . Every day and every week seems to bring something new and different along and this week has certainly been no exception.
My week started with the wonderful Passport Taster days. The Passport programme is a one year training programme offering seven people, nationwide, the opportunity to spend a year in a National Trust property learning about Historic garden or Parkland management. The great thing about this programme is that you don’t need any experience or qualifications to apply. All you need is a real passion for the outdoors and desire to start a career in the heritage sector.
The taster days were run over two days and we had over forty people come along to find out what the Passport is all about. In between bouts of sun and rain the applicants got a tour of the garden, potted up some plants in the greenhouse (to take home with them) and helped us to mulch the borders. They finished their visit with a goodie bag (containing lovely Thompson and Morgan flowers seeds) and a cup of tea and a biscuit in our Orangery restaurant.
On Valentine ’s Day we were joined by Rachel McCombie and Lee Ingram. They planted our third ‘Celebration’ tree in Hill Park to celebrate having their first date at Charlecote in 2012. It was a sweet chestnut and we managed to finish planting just before the rain started!
Unfortunately the week didn’t end too well. High winds caused a great amount of damage to the park. We lost a number of trees and our beautiful carved boar statue was damaged and has had to be removed. We are now busy organising tree safety checks and a full restoration programme to try and get things repaired and back to normal as soon as possible.
On the bright side it does feel like spring is just around the corner – the snow drops are in full flower, the Rangers are preparing the lambing area and the gardeners have made some lovely hyacinth displays for the restaurant and the house
This next week I will be organising emergency tree works, buying a new boat so that we can clear the river, learning how to complete an archaeology survey, writing a training programme, shopping for some new pigs and maybe painting our benches a lovely shade of blue!
So would you like a little more variety in your life? How about joining the Park and Garden team at Charlecote? We are currently recruiting a full time (12 month contract) Assistant Gardener, a part time (3 days per week, 12 month contract) Ranger and a Passport trainee. Have a look on www.ntjobs.org.uk and pop ‘charlecote’ in the advanced search to see our vacancies, role profiles and apply!
Lisa, Park & Garden Manager