Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeOpportunitiesCallsGarden-Making Volunteers-in-Residence, Grizedale Arts

Garden-Making Volunteers-in-Residence, Grizedale Arts

Garden-Making Volunteers-in-Residence, August 27th – September 2nd

DEADLINE: Midnight, Thursday 4th April

We are seeking 3 residential volunteers to join us at Lawson Park from Tuesday August 27th until Monday September 2nd 2024


To best match our planned activities, we invite applicants with skills and experience in any or all of the following:
Gardening / horticulture, cooking / preserving, ecology / botany, making / carpentry / building.

During this residential week we will be readying the gardens for their September open weekend; harvesting and processing fruit and vegetables, maintaining our composting areas and garden buildings and managing our meadow – amongst many other things.

Applicants should have an adaptable, flexible attitude and an interest in practicing and enabling the everyday creativity at the heart of Grizedale Arts ethos.
We strongly recommend that prospective applicants read these Blogs by previous volunteers:
 They’re the best way to get a feel for these residences and what impression they make on those who take part. We ask all volunteers to contribute a piece of writing or an audio or visual essay shortly after their stay, which is published online.

Notes For Applicants

Volunteers-in-residence will be based at Lawson Park, our smallholding and artists’ residency above Coniston Water on the edge of Grizedale Forest. They will be primarily occupied alongside staff in horticultural and land management tasks in the run up to the site’s  public open days of the weekend of September 9th & 10th. They’ll also spend some time at our new venture, The Farmer’s Arms inn at Lowick Bridge, where the productive gardens have been significantly expanded this year.

Volunteers will help with all sorts of seasonal garden maintenance in our exceptional gardens: planting, sowing, compost-making, polytunnel management, harvesting and preserving. Circa 4 cultivated acres across a 12 acre site is managed on a no-dig, organic basis, so this is a fantastic opportunity to gain hands on experience in a beautiful, challenging location, working alongside the team who created the gardens from scratch.

We are enhancing the habitats and biodiversity of both Lawson Park & The Farmer’s Arms this summer, so there will be opportunities to participate in tasks to support these important audits too. During the open weekend, volunteers will assist in preparing the residency public spaces, hosting visitors, running the on site cafe etc. 

The volunteer residencies will also (especially if it rains lot) include time spent contributing to online research, web site development and archival work relating to Lawson Park and its ecology and plant collection.

Throughout the residencies volunteers will work alongside Karen Guthrie, Grace Holland, Adam Sutherland and Matt Turnbull, and other workshop-based staff including Tom Philipson.

Towards the end of the residencies volunteers are invited to have an informal one to one de-brief (for former art students, you could call it a tutorial) with any member of our staff. Throughout the residencies there are many opportunities to share ideas and gain feedback on your work, studies or future projects, although it’s important to note that we expect volunteers to commit full-time to the placement whilst they are with us.
Volunteer days run from 9am – 5.30pm, with a 20 minute tea break in the morning and in the afternoon, and an hour off for lunch, which we eat together. We get all sorts of weather even in summer, so it’s important to note that our volunteering is physically demanding. 

Access & Accommodation note: Lawson Park is fully wheelchair accessible. All bedrooms at Lawson Park have ensuite shower room / W.Cs. Volunteers have access to a well equipped kitchen, clothes washing facilities lounge and library. Please contact us for more information if you have access concerns or would like to know more about the accommodation.

The deadline for applications for this call is midnight, Thursday 4th April 2024

  • Your application should consist of a single document (Word or PDF, max 3 x A4) that includes a C.V and a covering letter detailing your skills, interests and reasons for applying. We ask for all applications to be submitted online via our form below, but if you have access needs that mean you need to apply in an alternative format, please let us know.
  • We receive many more applications than we have places, so we are looking for people whose experiences and interests will add new dimensions to what we do, and for whom the placement will be of significant benefit. 
  • If you’re selected we will let you know on or before Monday April 22nd. Please don’t chase us. We’re sorry to be unable to contact unsuccessful applicants one by one – we just don’t have capacity. However, we do provide feedback on request if you have been unsuccessful in your application.
  • Our funding requires us to limit the participation of those in full-time education in our programme. We therefore allocate no more than one place per volunteer week to student participants.
  • Please contact us in confidence if you would like to apply to volunteer yet have access needs or other concerns you would like to discuss first, by emailing in the first instance karen ‘at’
  • We are looking for individual applicants to volunteering, not couples or groups
  • Please don’t apply if you are a previous recipient of a Grizedale Arts Residential Volunteer placement
  • You’re welcome to re-apply if you have applied to volunteer with us before, but were unsuccessful
  • We pick up and drop off volunteers from Ulverston train station at 12.00 noon on Day 1 (Tuesday) and in time for 12.00 noon on Day 7 (Monday). We cannot offer alternative travel times, so if these do not work for your incoming or onward travel, it’s your responsibility to arrange overnight accommodation locally to ensure you can make these times
  • If you want to drive to reach us, the same meeting points and times above apply
  • We cover accommodation & full board (value = £800 p.p) and travel costs of up to £180, which are reimbursed during or immediately after your placement
  • If for any reason you wish to withdraw your application please let us know promptly