Volunteers dig to spruce up historic gardens

By Karen Compton | Mid Wales | Environment | Published:

Volunteers Yvette Etcell and Rachael Briggs have enjoyed helping out at Gregynog Hall

Volunteers have been lending a helping hand by tidying up a hall's Grade I-listed gardens.

Yvette Etcell and Rachael Briggs rolled up their sleeves to help with the mammoth task of weeding, pruning, clipping and trimming in Gregynog’s extensive grounds.

The gardens have been described by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, as “one of the most important parks and gardens in Powys, dating from at least the 1500s’.

The formal gardens now feature attractive early concrete bridges and ceramic fountains, surrounded by masses of rhododendrons and azaleas, framed by the natural beech woodlands above The Dingle, and the water gardens of The Dell.

Jan Wallwork-Clarke, CEO of Gregynog Trust, said: “The gardens are glorious, but keeping on top of the amount of work needed is a huge task.

"In the days of the Davies sisters there would have been an army of gardeners on hand, but in modern times that is no longer the case, and our volunteer army is hugely appreciated.”

Yvette said she volunteered after her enjoyment of gardening was reignited during lockdown.

"Having visited Gregynog, I knew I would be working in a beautiful environment with like-minded people," she said.


"Before I took early retirement and moved to Wales, I was a director of a large royal warrant-holding landscape and grounds maintenance contracting organisation with a varied client base, which included the Royal household.”

Her sentiments were echoed by fellow volunteer Rachael, who said: “I applied because I know Gregynog is a special place.

"I thought it would be a pleasant place to work and I wanted to do something active.

"I’m enjoying the company as I work, there’s plenty to do and there's tea and cake to enjoy at the end. What's not to like?”

Anyone wishing to volunteer at Gregynog Hall is asked to Jan Wallwork-Clarke on 01686 650224.

Karen Compton

By Karen Compton
Chief Reporter

Reporter on the Mid Wales Journal.

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