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Volunteer Opportunities

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Specific volunteer roles at the Walled Garden

Practical Gardener with historic plants focus

Volunteering at the Walled Garden couldn't be easier. We are always seeking to increase our numbers and now we have a number of specific positions we would love to fill for the coming season. GARDEN TEAM Position PRACTICAL GARDENER WITH HISTORIC PLANTS FOCUS Luton Hoo Walled Garden began life in the 1760s as a place to house a substantial part of the botanical collection of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Lord Bute was an enthusiastic patron of plant hunters and acquired many plants new to Britain. There is a list of plants Bute owned when he lived at Luton Hoo and a border in the present Walled Garden has been planted using plants from this list. From about 2015 there has been no volunteer dedicated to caring for the Bute Border, and this is something we would like to rectify. Tasks • To maintain the plants in the Bute Border and the companion Bute Botanical Beds • To become familiar with the plants that are meant to be in the Bute Borders so that infiltrators can be removed • To liaise with the volunteer who oversees propagation to make sure that annual or short-lived plants are renewed • To help ensure that the plants in the Bute Borders remain authentic examples of eighteenth-century plants; ideally this would partly be through some research at home Qualifications • General competence with gardening tasks associated with plant care • Good general understanding of how the botanical names of plants work in relation to the particular plant’s genealogy • Strong interest in plants in a historic context and some understanding of the ways that plant names can change over time • Ideally, confidence in using the internet for research purposes to develop more specific knowledge of eighteenth-century plants Hours The garden is open to volunteers all year round, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am - 4pm or dusk, whichever is earlier. This role is for someone who could, in general, commit to coming for a minimum of three hours once a week

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Garden Team - Florist

GARDEN TEAM Position FLORIST The Garden Team Florist will work closely with the volunteer who has responsibility for the planting and maintenance of the [Flower] Cutting Border, but the florist will predominantly work in the Shop and Shop Prep Room rather than the garden. Tasks • To arrange a wide variety of blooms so that they are ready for sale in the Plant & Produce Shop • To create new ways of packaging and presenting flowers for sale to increase the number of purchases whilst keeping plastic use to a minimum • To help promote the beauty of the Walled Garden to the general public by arranging flowers for the Walled Garden Lecture Room Qualifications • Broad experience of flower arranging • Enthusiasm for helping to raise funds for the Walled Garden project through sales of cut flowers • Ideally, some experience of presenting cut flowers for sale Hours • Wednesdays from 10am - 1pm, May - September There is the opportunity to combine this role with another volunteer role so as to extend these hours.

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Experienced Genealogist

Volunteering at the Walled Garden couldn't be easier. We are always seeking to increase our numbers and now we have a number of positions outside our usual Wednesday and Friday volunteer hours, suitable for those wanting to be involved remotely or work from home in hours to suit them. RESEARCH TEAM MEMBER Position EXPERIENCED GENEALOGIST Luton Hoo Estate has few records recording the gardeners and other staff who have worked on the Estate. Family History sources have been used to construct a large online data base about workers mainly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This has been used to produce booklets and talks about the Head Gardeners and the 99 men on the WW1 Roll of Service. Tasks • To extend the online data (stored on Ancestry) for all periods but particularly before, during, and immediately after WW2 • To help compile data for a WW2 Roll of Service for the Estate • If of interest, to help with recording data about gardeners, foresters, farm workers etc. in booklets and perhaps talks Qualifications • Family history research experience • Personal subscriptions to online genealogical sources e.g. Ancestry, Find my Past etc. • An existing background in military research or an interest in learning Hours • No fixed hours. Research can be undertaken at home at any time to suit the volunteer. Some occasional contact with other researchers on Wednesdays from 10am - 4pm would be useful but not essential. Any help would be very welcome.

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