The Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme (WRAGS) provides women and men of all ages with the opportunity to work with supervision for two days a week for a year in a carefully sourced garden.
Fees are currently £400 for trainees but a non-taxable training allowance of £5 per hour is paid direct to the trainee by the garden owner.
Opportunities available now include the gardens at Fairlight Hall, which features semi-tropical woodland avenues, a huge contemporary walled garden with amphitheatre and two massive herbaceous borders with a ha-ha wall below with its glorious views across to Rye.
Head gardener, Peter Godwin said he has greatly valued the support of two WRAGS trainees since he started at Fairlight Hall in 2013 and with their help, the garden is seeing some impressive changes.
Also available now is the Butler’s Farm House in Herstmonceux which boasts a rainbow garden, secret jungle and poison garden which is partnered with a private garden packed with salvias in Hankham, near Stone Cross.
Liddy added: “It is always worth enquiring as placements may come up suddenly for a variety of reasons, new gardens come on stream and there are many more opportunities available if trainees are prepared to travel further afield.”
The scheme is just one project offered by the Women’s Farm and Garden Association. Anyone interested in a placement in one of these gardens or for more information see www.wfga.org.uk, call the WFGA on 01285 658339 or email [email protected]