In our friendly mellow rural atmosphere is the opportunity to explore England, learn skills and enrich your outlook at our Garden Trust (registered charity to advance education in horticulture & conservation). We have hosted over 23 volunteers from 8 countries.
It is a spartan, dynamic, ecological and cultured situation. Study activities include gardening, painting, building, landscaping, crafts, conservation, sport, design, wildlife care. Residential placements for male students age 18-26 (female accommodation dependent on local host families).
WHAT WE DO:
The unusual landscaped garden receives visiting groups; teaches horticulture & conservation; runs community projects, offers skill training for the unemployed, and is a resource for young adults with learning difficulties.
Also linked to 6 British universities for student conservation manager projects.
TUITION: No previous experience or skills required. But you need a reasonable standard of English.
Large LIBRARY: on wildlife, conservation, art, history, horticulture, heritage, mythology, landscape design, etc.
SPORTS: 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:
general store, post-office, 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.
PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY: Major attractions include: Stonehenge; Roman Bath; Bristol; Malmesbury; Longleat House; Lacock Abbey; Salisbury Cathedral; Avebury Stone Circles; Bowood House & Gardens; Cotswold Water Park; Somerset coast; South Wales castles & mountains.
Railway station (direct from London) is Chippenham. Bath is only 11 minutes by train. Nearest airport is Bristol.
VIRTUAL PLACEMENTS: We have added remote study/volunteering. Various subjects- e.g. research/writing on conservation; wildlife, rewilding etc.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
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.
Possibly meet students from the universities of: Bath, Bristol, Oxford, Bath Spa, West of England who study/research on our conservation programmes.
As a charity we do not employ workers. Our Workawayers are student house guests.
Some of the opportunities include:
1. Horticulture- all types.
3. Landscape design, crafts & decorating.
4. English culture, history & customs.
5. Digital platforms/social media
6. Video making & photography.
8. Heritage excursions.
9. Sports opportunities.
ALL our work is charitable & educational and not-for profit. We seek to enhance individual life skills & experience and improve international friendship. The specific skills/subjects you learn will be listed on your Testimonial on leaving.
The application process includes your receiving our range of student documents (e.g. on welfare, health & safety, risk assessment, etc). You can also chat on Whatsapp or Zoom to get to know more before you make a decision.
Accommodation is in a traditional 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. We make our own wine & beer
BEDROOM: Small room. Wifi.
OTHER: There is a cat. Large fish pond in garden + aquarium in house.
No smoking household. Low energy usage & ecological living. Organic gardening.
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 & fruit gardens.
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 12mns walk away.
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.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
There is a garden room/office for the student to use for online studies in complete privacy. It has a desk and chair, table lamp, wifi access, day bed etc.
Maximum 4 hours studies a day, 5 days a week, mornings Monday to Friday.