Location:                                Raby Castle

Department:                          Leisure and Tourism

Employment Basis:             Voluntary


Overview of Raby Estates

Raby Castle near Staindrop has been the home of the Vane family for generations and is open to visitors. Lord and Lady Barnard seek to develop the Castle and grounds so that it becomes one of the foremost visitor attractions in the North.

The Raby Estate comprises substantial landholdings and trading operations include in-house farms, let farms and residential property, along with sporting enterprises across Estates in Co Durham and Shropshire. We also have visitor attractions at Raby Castle, High Force Hotel and Waterfall in Upper Teesdale and The Wrekin in Shropshire.

As well as the Estate’s own Home Farm in Raby Park, there are many tenanted farms and a large number of houses and cottages in villages around Teesdale, many are whitewashed farmsteads and houses where families have been tenants for several generations.


Role Details

Raby Estate is seeking enthusiastic garden volunteers to assist the gardens team in maintaining the horticultural areas within the redesigned 18th Century Walled garden and the beautiful landscaped areas throughout the site. Applicants should have a friendly and outgoing personality as they will often be visitor facing with a good level of gardening knowledge. This is a hands-on role where you will be expected to work independently and as part of a team in an outdoor environment.

Volunteering at Raby Castle can be a rewarding and fascinating hobby and our volunteers play an important role in helping us build a sustainable future for this important historic site. Everyone on the Estate values the important contribution of time and enthusiasm that our volunteers give so generously.


What you’ll be doing

The successful candidate will report to the Head Gardener and will help maintain the garden areas to the highest standard possible. They will be able to give a positive impression and a friendly welcome to visitors.

Volunteers play a crucial role in helping to share Raby Castle’s rich and fascinating history with visitors.

  • Assisting the Gardens Team to maintain all horticultural areas on site.
  • Helping visitors to discover more about Raby Castle and the wider Estate and be inspired during their visit.
  • Assist Visitors to navigate the impressive Walled Garden and other areas of Raby Castle
  • Providing an excellent visitor experience; being proactive and approachable with the visitors’ experience in mind. Being informative and knowledgeable when answering visitors’ questions about all areas of the attraction
  • Being proactive in providing low-level security to Raby Castle during opening hours
  • Work within Raby Castle’s procedures
  • Work in compliance with the Raby Castle Health and Safety policy at all times
  • Undertake training as and when required


What we need to see

We are looking for someone with a strong horticultural skillset, an outgoing, helpful and friendly personality, confident in engaging with members of the public. You will be familiar with our beautiful spaces at Raby, from the stunning 14th century Castle to the Coach House and Dutch Barn.  We are looking for confident, enthusiastic and friendly faces to welcome visitors to Raby.  Help to provide a memorable experience by highlighting upcoming seasonal events and being on-hand to answer questions.


What we’ve got to offer

  • A welcoming and enjoyable volunteering experience
  • A full induction and training programme with on-going support
  • Regular volunteer coffee mornings and other volunteer social events such as the annual Christmas Party.

It’s people that make a place, without people, a place is simply an empty shell. At Raby this is certainly true, it’s our people that make Raby special. We strive to offer our volunteers an excellent learning environment and the tools to perform, enabling them to achieve their goals and be the best they can be.


How to apply

If you would like to be to be part of our journey, if you feel you have the necessary skills, experience and personality to undertake this role, we’d love to hear from you.



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