Volunteering at Vann

We are looking for volunteers to come and join our team at Vann – find out more about why volunteering is so rewarding and the skills you could learn as part of our gardening team.

Our small team of part-time gardeners have a huge job to do looking after the ‘paradise’ that is Vann and we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join the team!

Vann is an internationally renowned 5-acre, Grade 2* registered garden. Our garden volunteers enhance the work of the core team and contribute enormously to the maintenance and development of this historically recognised gem tucked away in South West Surrey. We are open to the public from late March to the end of July, with visitors coming both independently and through the National Garden Scheme. We also host cultural and community events, including Shakespeare in the round on the main lawn!

One of our volunteers, Jenny, says this: “Volunteering at Vann triggers a weekly gardening masterclass, with the tranquil garden as classroom, and Head Gardener Gordon as tutor. In return for my time, effort and enthusiasm, I learn what to do, when and how. Gordon deftly allocates tasks that suit my capabilities and fit my preferences, be it weeding or pruning, planting or propagating. He demonstrates how he’d like it to be done and having checked I’m happy, leaves me to get on with it. His supervision is discreet and I know not to worry should he find anything amiss, as he’ll be subtle inhis correction. Experiencing the garden through all its seasonal splendour, I get to reinforce my horticultural knowledge and develop my gardening skills. In keeping with the wonderful Mary’s style, it’s all very informal and there’s lots of laughter over our coffee break, when we all get together for a good chat and some occasional teasing. I’ve yet to spot the kingfisher over the pond, but I guess I can’t have everything…….”

Why volunteer? Helping as a volunteer gardener is a great way to get out into the fresh air and make a real difference. Our garden volunteers offer us their time and support to maintain the garden, welcome visitors, and prepare for open days, weeks, and events and in return, get to work, learn, and improve their skills under the watchful guidance and instruction of Head Gardener, Gordon.

Our ideal volunteer is someone who:

  • Has a strong interest in gardening
  • Is keen to learn
  • Can take instruction
  • Can also work independently
  • Enjoys being part of a team

All large tools are provided, just bring your secateurs, and a hand trowel would be invaluable. Don’t forget your gardening gloves, and please dress appropriately for the weather!


Ideally, our volunteers commit to working at Vann on a regular basis, which helps our gardening team plan the work schedules a month in advance. A minimum commitment of three hours each visit on a Thursday morning.

Why volunteering at Vann is a great experience

There are lots of reasons to join us and making the move to volunteer could be the best decision you ever make!

  • Become part of a friendly and dedicated team who help make Vann the incredibly special place it is
  • Meet people from all walks of life and make new friends
  • Spend time in nature and enhance your physical and mental wellbeing
  • Develop your existing skills and learn new ones
  • Strengthen your CV and help to develop your career
  • Enjoy the great outdoors and new experiences

Our commitment to volunteers

We want to inspire more people to volunteer and we commit to:

      • Providing high-quality, meaningful, and engaging volunteer opportunities 
      • Ensuring volunteers feel valued, recognised, and engaged throughout their time with us
      • Providing hands-on opportunities, where possible utilising the skills the volunteers already have to offer
      • Treating all volunteers with dignity and respect
      • Giving free access to the garden during our Open Days, with discounts for events

How to get in touch

If you think you can help, we would love to hear from you.

Please drop us a line to this email address and let us know why you think you would be a great volunteer at Vann, and we’ll invite you to come and visit the garden and meet Gordon and his team.


What would you be doing?

As a Volunteer Gardener at Vann, you’ll be happy getting your hands dirty while immersing yourself in one of the most tranquil and renowned private gardens in the South East of England. This role will suit people who enjoy working as part of a team, have a passion for horticulture, and have an enthusiastic and friendly nature. The role can be physically demanding so you do need to be reasonably fit and willing to work outdoors in all weathers.

Specific tasks vary depending on the season and priorities, but most garden volunteers will:

  • Assist with horticultural tasks such as deadheading, pruning, weeding, planting, watering, leaf clearing, edging, potting, and sowing seeds, etc.
  • Interact with visitors and help prepare for open events
  • Help develop our habitat creation and the preservation of this historic garden

We need garden volunteers all year round to help Vann thrive!