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Working in the sunken garden

We are running two volunteer sessions a month, on the first Saturday and the third Monday of each month. See the events page for details of the upcoming scheduled sessions. Photographs from the hedge planting session on 5 February 2022 can be seen at the Gallery page.

About the sessions

We muster for each session on the grass by the upper car park at 9.30. Ideally you should let us know, by email, if you intend to join a volunteer session for the first time. On each session that you attend, you will be asked to sign a register and give an emergency phone number. Please wear boots or very sturdy footwear and bring gardening gloves. You are welcome to bring your own trowel/spade/secateurs but please ensure they can be identified as yours! There will be some tools available. Please bring your own hand gel and drinks initially.

Most of the sessions so far have been in the sunken garden but there have also been two sessions pulling up Himalayan balsam, sessions working on the ponds and the hedge-planting session currently featured on the Gallery.

Himalayan balsam

Working with external organisations

In addition to our regular sessions for members, we are happy to arrange sessions working with external organisations. Two such examples are described below.

Corporate Volunteering Session with Aviva UK

An enthusiastic group of employees from Aviva UK took time out for a teambuilding day this week to volunteer with us at Whirlow Brook Park. There were eight staff who had travelled from Cheltenham, Barnsley and Bradford to help out in the park. After a health and safety briefing given by our chair Shelagh Woolliscroft, the team got stuck in. Tasks included clearing and replanting a flower bed next to Whirlowbrook Hall, repainting some of the park’s benches and clearing brambles and scrub from around the edges of the pond. The gardening work was a far cry from their day job as Relationship Managers for corporate pension schemes in Aviva UK. Their Team Leader, Delyth Williams, said: “We all had a great time, the park is really lovely and we were so pleased to be able to help out the Friends of Whirlow Brook Park who are doing a great job in restoring the park. They were all very welcoming and we learned a lot! Thanks for their support and guidance.

Our Chair, Shelagh Woolliscroft, reiterated Delyth’s comments: “We thoroughly enjoyed having the group from Aviva UK – they were such an enthusiastic and friendly bunch and got stuck in right away. They really made a difference in the park. We’d welcome them back anytime!”

If you work for an organisation that would like to take part in a corporate volunteer day in Whirlow Brook Park then please get in touch with the Friends group by email:

Big Pond Clearouts with Abbeydale Rotary

We had a great turnout for the Big Pond Clearout on Monday 18th October 2021. With 25+ volunteers, including members of Abbeydale Rotary and five students from the University of Sheffield, we got rid of a lot of scrub around the pond edges and a lot of mud and silt from in the ponds and streams. Many buckets were used and Joe the park gardener was on hand with his truck to clear the rubbish away! We were fed and watered by the lovely Alison and Pat, who provided cakes and scones at tea break and delicious sandwiches for lunch. We also reunited a lost dog with its owner after gardener Joe from Sheffield Parks and Countryside looked after her! All in all it was a very productive and enjoyable day, and the rain held off too. This year’s event will be on Wednesday 19th October.

Student volunteers