Volunteers needed for new Prior Park project

Prior Park Landscape Garden is looking for volunteers to help with its upcoming restoration project.

The 18th-Century landscape garden in Bath is holding a volunteer recruitment day on 19 May, as the garden looks to take on more volunteers ahead of the upcoming dams project.

Prior Park Landscape Garden, which is cared for by the National Trust, will soon undergo an “exciting, yet crucial” restoration project on its 18th-Century dams, a spokesperson said.

They added: “Time and damage caused by the American signal crayfish, has taken its toll on these mid-1700s structures, and the dams are in need of major and expert attention to make them fit for the 21st-Century.”

The Palladian bridge at Prior Park was built in 1755 by Richard Jones – image credit: Philip Halling

With preliminary works already underway and contractors expected on site at the end of the summer, Prior Park is recruiting for several project-specific volunteer roles that will play a vital part in the day-to-day running of the garden, throughout the project.

Volunteer coordinator Paula Smith said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for volunteers to be closely involved in an ambitious restoration project.

“There’s a huge variety of roles on offer, whether you are a green-fingered gardener, a history buff, love natural history, or making a cuppa for our visitors, there’s a way you can help.”

Running from 11:00 to 14:00, the free volunteer recruitment event will take place in the gazebo at the bottom of the garden.

Members of staff and current volunteers will be available to answer questions about the various roles and volunteering for the National Trust. There will also be the chance to hear more about the dams project and learn more about why it’s essential for the garden’s future.

A National Trust volunteer – pic credit: Image credit: Dawn Biggs

The National Trust began looking after Prior Park Landscape Garden in 1993 and the charity has been working to restore what was an overgrown garden, back to the landscaped vision of its creator Ralph Allen, ever since.

This latest stage of its ongoing restoration journey will help return Prior Park to its former 1764 splendour. The project will allow the trust to refill the empty middle lake, reopen closed paths and reinstate a small cascade – a long lost, original feature.

Katy Smith, visitor experience manager, said: “Prior Park wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who lend their time and skills to the garden.

“I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to welcome more volunteers on board with the dams project – experiencing the garden ‘hands on’ is really very special.”

Prior Park is happy to hear from people who can’t make the event but are interested in getting involved – volunteer coordinator Paula Smith can be emailed directly or phoned on 01225 833977.

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Hello! I'm KATE, a journalist, editor and broadcaster with 20 years experience in the industry. I have worked at the BBC, ITV, Heart and Sky Sports News.

I've lived in Somerset for most of my life and set up LOVE SOMERSET ONLINE in 2016. I love the seaside and am partial to a good gin and tonic.

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