Visitor Welcome Volunteer – about the opportunity

Working as part of a small friendly team, the Visitor Welcome Volunteer will enhance the visitor experience by offering a warm, friendly welcome as well as any important information that will help the visitor have a wonderful, memorable and enjoyable day with us.

Visitor Welcome Volunteers will help to set the tone for the visit, and your genuine enthusiasm for history and horticulture will brighten the day – whatever the weather!  You will help to orientate visitors around the 17 acre garden, pointing out any horticultural highlights, as well as the woodland, which has a variety of champion trees, rare shrubs and boasts a carpet of bluebells in springtime.  There is a varied event programme to include the Sussex Guild Contemporary Craft Show, Sussex Gin Fest, Musical Picnics, Open-Air Opera and much more.

The Garden has seen many operational changes in the past 18 months, to include a refreshed event programme, new on-site catering and Adventure Playground. Our members, day visitors and group visitors have also increased to the point where the introduction of this new volunteering role will ensure every visitor enjoys their day, their way.

What’s involved

  • You are interested in history and horticulture and have time to thoroughly absorb the historical/horticultural information and deliver it in an engaging way to our visitors.
  • Provide a warm, friendly welcome and orientation of Garden.
  • Be confident communicating with a diverse range of visitors.
  • Be proactive in communicating with the wider team to ensure you fully understand what is ‘looking good’ in the Garden, what’s on that day, the benefits of Borde Hill Membership and any fundraising initiatives. 
  • You may be asked to assist with admissions on busy days and will be fully supported by the Visitor Welcome and Retail Supervisor on these occasions.
  • Thanking our visitors on exit and be conversant with the event programme to be able to offer reasons to return another day.

Why you might like this role

  • Be part of a small, friendly and dedicated team
  • Meeting like-minded people from all walks of life and making new friends
  • Developing your presentation skills
  • Enjoying new experiences
  • Sharing knowledge with our visitors

What are we looking for?

This role will suit people who enjoy working with people, have a passion for horticulture and history, and an enthusiastic and friendly nature with a talent for communicating. A customer facing background would be helpful, but not a requirement.  The role is ideally suited to those who would like their volunteering experience to be varied and flexible.

Practical Considerations

Time commitment for this volunteering role is flexible, but would ideally suit someone living near to Haywards Heath.
You will always be accompanied on guided tours by another volunteer or member of staff.
You will be eligible for a free family season ticket to the Garden.
You will receive a 20% discount in our shop and plant nursery.
A full welcome pack will be provided to begin the induction process.

About Borde Hill Garden

The Garden, a registered charity and listed Grade II* by English Heritage, is set in 200 acres of parkland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with stunning vistas across the Ouse Valley viaduct.  The 17 acre Garden is renowned for its rare shrubs and trees and has 78 champion trees.  It is laid out as intimate garden ‘rooms’, including the Rhododendron, Rose and Italian gardens.

Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke (1862-1948), heir to the Stephenson Clarke shipping firm, bought Borde Hill house with the intention of creating a great garden. The Colonel began collecting soon after he acquired Borde Hill and his particular interest was woody plants, and his ambition was to collect the widest range of such plants that would grow in this part of Sussex. He sponsored many plant collector expeditions including those of Ernest Wilson, George Forrest, Reginald Farrer and Frank Kingdon Ward. Harold Hillier, the great nurseryman, considered that the Colonel was the ‘greatest amateur all-rounder of the gardening world of the twentieth century’.

Apply or find out more

Contact: Jill Day
Tel: 01444 450326  Email:


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