Location: Ticknall, Derbyshire
Website: Calke Abbey website
With peeling paint and overgrown courtyards, Calke Abbey tells the story of the dramatic decline of the Grand Country House Estate. You will be working in our lovely 18th century Walled Gardens and Pleasure Grounds.
The role is very varied: you could be sowing and raising produce in the vegetable beds, pruning our local variety apple trees in the orchard, training climbing roses in our Victorian Flower Garden, taking care of our Georgian Orangery and glasshouses, dressing the Auricula Theatre, planting bulbs in the Pleasure Grounds, or staking our Dahlia border, to name just a few tasks we undertake. You will be part of a busy team of staff and volunteers, and you will need to be confident enough to work alone or to lead a team of volunteers. You will be an engaging ambassador for Calke Abbey, able to inspire the public with the property’s spirit of place and very special atmosphere.
Heloise Brooke, Head Gardener: “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to pass on skills and knowledge to up and coming horticulturists, and inspire them with love of the garden, its history and the craft of gardening. To be able to act as a mentor to trainees to help and encourage them in their future careers is an important part of what I see as my role, and I keep in touch with as many as I can after they have completed their placements to support and watch their progress in the industry.”
Placement opportunity: 2 year
Staff numbers: 3 full-time gardeners; 2 part-time seasonal gardeners; 400 volunteers
Ease of access: The nearest train stations are Derby and East Midlands parkway (9 and 12 miles away respectively), and East Midlands airport is a 20 minute drive away. The nearest large village is Melbourne (4 miles away).
A car would be useful, but it is possible to get to Calke by bus (with a 15 minute walk onto the estate) or by bike.
Accommodation: No dedicated accommodation. There may be cottages available to rent on the estate, but these will be at market rent and are not guaranteed. There is a lot of affordable rented accommodation in Derby and surrounding areas.