Come and help around our Unique charity Garden in rural Wiltshire, UK


United Kingdom

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Welcome to our friendly haven! Situated in a village with lovely countryside, this placement is only for: male students (18 to 26yrs.). It's a mellow atmosphere with a variety of activities. You'll be helping on-site 4 hours Monday-Friday (and additionally help with house cleaning). All other time is your own. Placements usually last 4 weeks- but can be as little as 1 week.

    The unusual landscaped garden (Registered Charity #1174239) comprises various 'rooms'/plant collections which receives visiting groups; teaches horticulture & conservation; runs community projects, offers skill training for the young unemployed.

    TUITION: No previous experience or skills required as training is given. But you need a reasonable standard of spoken English.

    Large LIBRARY: on wildlife, conservation, art, history, horticulture, heritage, mythology, landscape design, etc.

    SPORTS: Free use of Gymnasium (twin weight stack/fixed weight/3 seating position system + free weights). Small Pool. Good countryside for jogging. Use of a bicycle.

    In the village there is:
    post-office, general store, village hall, 2 pubs, church, golf resort, sports field, woodcarving club, football club.

    Chippenham (8minutes by bus) has:
    2 night clubs; lots of pubs; good range of shops and sports facilities.
    Calne (2 minutes by bus) has: skateboard/bmx park; good restaurants; motor museum.

    YOUR HOST STEPHEN: "I was a professional painter/sculptor; art & history teacher; interior designer. Now I write & teach on wildlife, conservation, history. I am also an expert on English history/ heritage/customs."

    PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY: Many interesting things to see such as: Roman Bath Spa; Bristol; Malmesbury; Longleat House; Lacock Abbey; Salisbury Cathedral; Avebury Stone Circles; Bowood House & Gardens; Cotswold Water Oark; Somerset coast; Stonehenge; South Wales castles & mountains.

    Main railway station (direct from London) is Chippenham Bath is only 11 minutes by train. Airport: Bristol

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Charity work
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Gaining a wide range of skills & insights in horticulture, landscaping, garden crafts, art & design.

    Improving self reliance, initiative, confidence.

    Developing an understanding of English heritage, traditions, history, society.

    Explore this part of England and its wide range of historical and cultural attractions.

  • Help


    We would like some help please with any of the following:
    1. General gardening.
    2. Wildlife/conservation & improving animal habitats.
    4. Garden crafts/diy/decorating.
    5. Improving vegetables & fruit areas.
    6. Being a helper for visiting groups.
    (7. Web design if anyone is so inclined/skilled)
    (8. Making a garden film/video)

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    Accommodation is in a traditional old English semi-detached rural house (built 1885).

    Simple vegetarian meals 3 times a day, but cheese/milk/eggs are used. (You can eat pre-cooked meat in the house house if you buy it yourself). Tea/coffee breaks during the day.

    BEDROOM: Small private room. Little study table. Wifi.

    OTHER: There is a cat. Large fish pond in garden + aquarium in house.
    No smoking household. Low energy usage & ecological living.

    You can also use the acoustic guitar, and bicycle. Very good collection of contemporary and classical music, blu-ray films, books, Satellite tv + Netflix. Unlimited wifi/internet.

    Nice big fully equipped summer/study house & additional library at bottom of garden. Vegetable & salad garden.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Bus from Chippenham & Calne stops outside the house every 20 minutes. At Chippenham you can get a bus to many other places; or use the main-line railway direct to: London, Bristol, Oxford, Wales and all over England.

    Many interesting walks and lovely English countryside with views of the Avon Vales and the Wessex Downs, & River Marden Valley on the doorstep.

    The famous Bowood House & Gardens (and its acclaimed Golf Resort) is a short walk away.

    Many historical and cultural sites. Football teams/contacts. Night clubs. Old English traditional events.

    Locally there is also:
    Fishing. Cycling. Jogging. Basketball. Tennis. Museums. Golf. Bmx bike & skatboarding park. Cycle Track Chippenham to Calne. Several Football pitches. Football clubs. Swimming. Friendly church. Walking groups. Pub quiz nights. Wood-carving club in the village.

    If you have any particular hobbies/interests we will try to find connections/outlets for you.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, mornings Monday to Friday.

The guest bedroom (and library). This is for the student/workawyer to sleep in privacy. A folding table is available. There is unlimited wif-fi access and beside light etc. Windows are triple glazed. The bathroom is very close. There is also a large wall-wardrobe for your personal use.
Two of our recent Workawayers: Simon from Germany, and Jung from South Korea.
Me with the Cat and a view looking down section of garden towards the house.
This is the Kitchen & Dining Room. Again carefully coded subject books abound (as they do everywhere). There is on tap beer and wine. The stable doors lead out to the utility/cloakroom and side garden with kitchen herb plants,
View of: Sitting Room (in the house). Here we relax for a couple of hours after the evening meal to talk, read, watch some tv, listen to music. The tv is also connected to the internet and to skype (useful to stay in touch with family).
View of: the Summerhouse. Here we relax during the day , have lunch, take regular breaks, read, study, plan/prepare projects , listen to music etc. There are about 1000 books here (and another 9000+ in the house!).This Garden Library covers all aspects of gardening, landscape, ecology, conservation, wildlife, garden design and histry etc.
View of the summer house which is beside the large pond and beach with an exquisite view down the length of the garden. Beside is (rhs) is an Exotics Garden and patio/dining area.
A view of the Gymnasium: this comprises twin weight stack fixed weights with 3 separate seating positions and wide range of exercises/work stations. Plus free weights and a cycle machine. It's also good terrain nearby for jogging and for cycling. The gym is freely available to Workawayers at any time.
The Pond is quite large and additionally has a wetland extension for newts/frogs etc. In the Pond are: goldfish/blue orfe, honey orfe, green tench, blackamoor, blue panda, silver rudd, golden rudd, sarassa comets, canary yellow, three different species of shubunkin, and koi. There is a bridge across the pond and seating areas around it. A large waterfall with three separate pools/falls feeds into the pond.
Life size marble statues of Graeco-Roman deities adorn the various gardens- which are separated by huge wooden arches, pergolas, and paths and walls. There is even a small beach! A large pond has many species of fish. It is fed from a series of pools and waterfall.

Host ref number: 393882544539