Volunteer Gardener
Location: Farms for City Children, Nethercott House, Iddesleigh, Devon EX19 8SN

Farms for City Children is a vibrant Charity that welcomes children from cities and disadvantaged communities to experience the adventure of working together on our farms in the heart of the British countryside. Whether they stay for a whole week with their school or come with a local group for a day visit, this unique experience can be life changing. Visiting children are immersed in the natural world of food, farming and countryside life where they participate in the seasonal tasks of the day: sowing, growing and harvesting in our kitchen gardens; caring for livestock and looking after the land; and cooking up a home-grown feast in the farmhouse kitchen.

Spending time working alongside real farmers fosters children’s independence and helps them to grow in confidence, develops their self-esteem, and encourages them to become more resilient. At our heritage farms and in partnership with our commercial farming neighbours, children experience the benefits of collaboration,enjoy plenty of physical activity, good food, and fresh air, and discover the magical rural environment that is full of new words, sounds and experiences to inspire their creativity.Further details about the Charity are available on our website www.farmsforcitychildren.org

“Some of the children we took to the farms had very difficult and chaotic lives. We took them out of a very difficult environment where they were unable to socialise and didn’t
know how to share and put them into a totally different world. It was a haven where they could thrive.”
Teacher from London

The walled kitchen garden is at the heart of Nethercott House and comprises glass houses, polytunnel, fruit cage,ornamental borders, potting shed and allotment area. The walled kitchen garden is a key part of introducing children to how food is produced.

Activities which are undertaken by Volunteer Gardeners (depending on skills, experience and interests) include:

  • Harvesting fruit and vegetables
  • Weeding planted beds
  • Clearing and preparing beds for planting
  • Sowing, pricking out and planting-on flowers and vegetables
  • Pruning
  • Watering plants
  • Basic garden maintenance where skills allow, including painting cold frames, fixing wheelbarrows and repairing raised beds
  • Assisting with the production of compost on site using our composter
  • Use of garden machinery (e.g. rotovator) where trained and competent to do so
  • Assisting the gardener with any other tasks relevant to running the kitchen garden

Commitment: The Volunteer Gardener role is a year-round position, with volunteers generally providing approximately ½ day of their time per week or every two weeks. Volunteering is generally on a Monday between 9am and 4pm although this is subject to change depending on operational constraints on site. We welcome applications from those able to offer less time/ frequency of visits.

Skills and Experience
This role will suit you if you:

  • Love spending time outdoors in a beautiful heritage garden
  • Have some experience of gardening
  • Are able to take on work involving moderate physical activity
  • Are happy to work on your own – there will be a gardener on site available to support you
  • Are willing to take part in training as part of the role

Disclosure and Barring Service: The Volunteer Gardener role is subject to a DBS check.

Open Morning: We will be holding an Open Morning at Nethercott House on Monday 25 October at 10am. If you would like to attend the Open Morning please email Adam Bratt, Farm Operations Manager, Nethercott House: adam@farmsforcitychildren.org

Please note, we welcome applications even if you are unable to attend the Open Morning. You don’t need tosubmit your application prior to attending the Open Morning.

How to Apply: Please complete the application form below and send to: recruitment@farmsforcitychildren.org