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Goodnestone Park

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A volunteer in the garden at the veg patch

Become a Garden Volunteer at Goodnestone Park

Time to immerse yourself in the serenity of nature


Embarking on a journey into the world of gardening can be a transformative experience, not just for the plants but also for the individuals involved. Goodnestone Park offers a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to become garden volunteers.

Becoming a garden volunteer at Goodnestone Park is not just a commitment to cultivating the earth; it’s a journey towards personal growth, learning, and community. The benefits extend beyond the garden beds, seeping into every aspect of life. If you have a love for nature, a desire to learn, and a willingness to get your hands dirty, consider joining the Goodnestone Park volunteer community – where every day is a celebration of growth, beauty, and the joy of gardening.

Paul the head gardener at Goodnestone holding a banana plant

Meet Paul Our Head Gardener

As the Head Gardener at Goodnestone since 2006 , my journey has been deeply rooted in a passion for both biology and environmental stewardship. Having previously served as a Biologist for the Environment Agency, my transition to tending the vibrant landscapes of Goodnestone was a natural evolution. My tenure has been marked by a commitment to building upon the legacy left by Lady Margaret Fitzwalter and her Head Gardener John Wellard. Recent enhancements to the gardens include the introduction of a sub-tropical haven, a xeric cactus garden, a thoughtful redesign of expansive borders within the walled garden, and the establishment of a no-dig kitchen garden.

Beyond the pursuit of horticultural excellence, the gardens at Goodnestone are nurtured with a broader vision—embracing wildlife, championing sustainability, and inclusivity for a diverse range of visitors. These underlying principles propel the garden’s evolution, making Goodnestone not merely a cultivated space but a living testament to the interconnected beauty of nature and community.

You can contact Paul via email – Or pop into our shop and leave your details, or via our Facebook or Instagram accounts.

A wheelbarrow at Goodnestone Park

What to Expect as a Volunteer

We are a happy bunch of people and all enjoy working in such a beautiful peaceful backdrop. We’re very flexible, you can choose to work set days and times as some of our volunteers do, that’s fine, or you can arrange to come over when you’re free. We have a WhatsApp account we use to book in volunteer sessions, our volunteers text us a few days before they want to come over to check if this timing works for everybody. All the tools are provided but you’re welcome to bring in your favourite tools, especially secateurs as there’s never enough – mainly because I lose them. We totally understand that we all have busy lives so volunteering can be sporadic at times.
Health and safety, please wear sensible footwear, clothing and gloves, our volunteers aren’t involved in working with dangerous machinery. You will also need to read the Health and Safety policy and complete a short form detailing contact information and any health issues we need to be aware of.
Perks for volunteering include free coffee or tea in Old Dairy Cafe (open Wednesday to Friday). Staff discount for lunches in Old Dairy Cafe and if you are volunteering for 4 hours in one day, free cake in Old Dairy. We produce many of our own plants so volunteers get first dibs when plants are spare!
Look what one of our lovely volunteers has to say –
“Since starting as a volunteer at the Gardens, as a novice gardener I have learnt so much from Paul, Kate and Julia, who are more than happy to part with their knowledge. Volunteering is a proper work out for the Mind, Body and Soul, who needs a gym. It’s a real pleasure to work with a team at the gardens and rewarding to see the fruits of our labour through the seasons; the comments from the visitors makes my day.”
Beautiful garden at Goodnestone Park

Annual Garden Passes

If you can’t volunteer but want to visit the gardens regularly, purchasing our annual garden passes is great value; they also make a fabulous gift for garden enthusiasts. Take a walk around the beautiful gardens, you may even spot Paul and his team working away tending to the new planting. Then pop in to the inviting Old Dairy Cafe for a welcoming meal or hot drink and scone .

Individual Pass £25

Family Pass £45 (2+2)

Couples Pass £35

Well behaved dogs welcome on a lead.

We look forward to welcoming you.