Bodnant’s big drive for volunteers

Visitors being driven in an electric vehicle at  Croome Park, Worcestershire.

Is your New Year resolution to give time to help others? We might have something right up your street…or garden path.

We want to start a shuttle service in 2016 to help visitors get around the garden and need volunteer drivers to run a two-week trial from January 26. If the trial is successful we’ll buy a 6-seater electric vehicle to ferry visitors to the far reaches of the site, from spring.

As property manager William Greenwood says: “Bodnant Garden is getting bigger! In recent years we’ve opened up more areas on the outer fringes of the garden and we’ve got more planned in the next few years too.

“Visitors have flocked to the new areas – and are loving them judging by our record visitor numbers – but we know it’s further for some people to walk so we want to make the whole garden more easily accessible to everyone.”

The garden spans 80 acres of Conwy valley hillside, from formal upper gardens down to wilder riverside areas. In 2014 we opened the formerly private sections of the Yew Dell, followed in 2015 by The Far End, and in 2017 will be unveiling Furnace Meadow and Wood.

William says: “Last year we hired a mini bus on a few days to take visitors to the Far End, which proved popular, but if we have our own vehicle (and people to run it) we can provide transport around the garden on a regular basis.”

“This golf buggy type vehicle is very straightforward to operate – accelerator pedal, brake pedal, no gears, comes with lights and indicators – and full instruction will be given. If the trial is successful we’ll be looking to buy one of these vehicles and using it daily to shuttle visitors, staff and volunteers around the garden.”

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Some of out garden volunteers

We’re also appealing for more volunteers to help in a variety of roles – whether mucking in with the garden team, meeting and greeting visitors, giving informal guided walks, or running family activities.

William says: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of Bodnant Garden, helping us in everything from the day to day work of running the garden to making the big projects possible – like opening the Far End.

“Gardeners, carpenters, historians, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers…whatever your skills there’s a place here at Bodnant Garden. We welcome anyone with a few hours to give, and promise you’ll get back lots from being part of the team. It’s also a perfect chance to get outdoors and shake off those Christmas cobwebs!”

For more information about volunteering at Bodnant Garden call the garden office on 01492 650460. Anyone who can help with the vehicle trial, or through the season as a driver, can call or email emma.baxendale@nationaltrust.org.uk for details.

For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or catch up with us on Facebook  or Twitter.

 

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