Announcing the nominees of our 2024 Volunteer Award

It’s been another fantastic year where volunteers from the Gardens Trust and County Gardens Trusts have been working tirelessly to help protect, conserve and promote historic parks and gardens.

Each year we invite nominations to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions of volunteers who make a difference to the day to day running of their County Gardens Trust or the Gardens Trust, are involved in research and conservation or who have reached new audiences to encourage interest in garden history.

We’re incredibly pleased to announce the nominees of our 2024 Volunteer Award below. The winner will be revealed at our upcoming Volunteer Celebration taking place on Monday 15th July at Sheffield Botanical Gardens. This event is free for volunteers and tickets can be booked here.

Nominees for 2024 Volunteer Award

For her outstanding contribution to conservation cases in Buckinghamshire, and on other important sites around the country like Hampton Court, Syon and Stowe.


For her outstanding contribution to conservation cases in Buckinghamshire. 

‘Wow! I feel very honoured to be nominated by Margie Hoffnung for our planning work as she and her team have to bring our comments together for submission. It’s a fascinating area of Gardens Trust work which can really deliver some powerful impact on the ground.’

For their research which resulted in 6 new registered parks and gardens, 4 new listings and enriched information on the National Heritage List for England. Their research has attracted local, national and international media attention, raising the profile of Suffolk’s remarkable designed landscape heritage and that of Suffolk Gardens Trust.

The volunteer researchers include: Elizabeth Adams, Sue Andrews, Stephen Beaumont, Gillian Childs, Julie Cooke, Margaret King, Elizabeth Manero, Edward Martin, Kate Reddington, Sheila Roberts, Linda Robinson, Ian Saunders, Patience Shone, Susan Steward, Clarissa Thomas, Jenny Morris, Lindsay Panton, Melanie Taylor and Sue Whiteley.

Edward Martin, Suffolk Gardens Trust Chair said: “We’re delighted and honoured that the dedicated efforts of its volunteer researchers on the very successful Suffolk’s Unforgettable Garden Story Project (resulting, so far, in six new gardens on the National Heritage List for England!) have been rewarded by a nomination for the Volunteer Award.”

Project Volunteer Elizabeth Manero said: “It was a privilege to be part of this important project. I learnt a great deal about the history of gardens, and was so pleased to be able to bring the aspirations and ideas of people in the past to life, and to give them recognition through registration as a Historic Park and Garden.”

For her work in reaching out and engaging new audiences with garden history, including the setting up of the Buckinghamshire Gardeners’ Network, delivering activities like a Heritage Open Day and sessions for the Chiltern Young Archaeologists’ Club and leading the BGT’s audience development strategy over the next five years.

‘I am thrilled to have been nominated for the Volunteer of the Year Award, by my team at the Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust. In my role as co-ordinator of Research & Recording for ten years and now as Chair and Trustee we have worked extremely hard together to bring about successful initiatives including our amazing body of research on 100 plus gardens, our audience engagement programme and our popular gardener’s network’. 

For her outstanding contribution to all of Cheshire Gardens Trust’s activities, management, research and leadership over a period of more than 20 years. Barbara has made a huge difference, owing to her involvement in a breadth of activities including organising conferences and study days, leading the Caldwell Nurseries Project, writing articles and delivering outreach events which have engaged new audiences.

“It’s been so good to discover so much about our county, learn from each other, make new friends, crawl through the undergrowth and searching the archives. I’ve had the privilege of listening to personal memories and recording oral histories for the Caldwell’s Nurseries project, meeting garden owners and public park users and sharing the fun on heritage open days, and creating a body of information available to all through the HER and useful in the preparation of informed responses to planning consultations.”

For her work as a new volunteer helping to promote our events to new audiences through exploring new contacts and establishing relationships with similar organisations, despite limited resources.

“I wasn’t expecting this nomination at all, but I am very happy and grateful that the work I’ve been doing so far to expand our outreach has been of value to the organisation. Shoutout to the outreach team for always being so encouraging and supportive of my efforts!”

For her outstanding contribution to Hampshire GT including being a Trustee that leads their Historic Gardens Research Group, being directly involved in conservation and development work, editing the Trust’s annual magazine and giving talks.

“Working one day a week in the rose garden at NT Mottisfont Abbey year round and in all weathers (14 years and counting) is real volunteering!  What I do for Hampshire Gardens Trust sometimes feels like a full time job but I have hugely supportive colleagues and I enjoy bringing my historic gardens knowledge and experience to bear in a very rewarding way – and I keep learning more about Hampshire’s gardens.”

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith