New training gardens needed in the local area! 

If you have a large garden and could benefit from economic and enthusiastic help, read on! Could you help to train new gardeners by sharing your experience and knowledge with people who want to change career and learn practical gardening skills?


National charity, the WFGA has keen men and women waiting for placements on its Work and Retrain As a Gardener Scheme (or WRAGS) in the Chichester area. WRAGS provides a unique opportunity for men and women to gain a basic practical experience in a suitable garden under the guidance of a head gardener and/or a knowledgeable owner.  Potential trainees can range from novices to those with or studying for Royal Horticultural Society qualifications, but all will bring skills from previous occupations, commitment to their training (which costs them £600) and above all a desire to learn.


Local gardens supporting trainees include Harbourside in Prinsted, Keynor House in Sidlesham and Runcton Manor south of Chichester but more are needed!  Placements are for a year and preferably for two days a week, but if two nearby gardens complement each other they may be able to partner together for one day per week each. A great range of gardens of varying sizes support WRAGS across the country, including private and public gardens, several gardens open for the National Gardens Scheme and locally we even have a castle! The garden owner pays the National Living Wage (or National Minimum Wage according to age) direct to the trainee as well as pro rata holiday pay.


The Scheme is administered by the WFGA through Regional Managers. Rebecca Lloyd is the Regional Manager for East and West Sussex and her role is to recruit potential WRAGS gardens and trainees and arrange placements.  Rebecca will visit gardens to review the range of practical gardening skills available as well as training capabilities, and if appropriate, put forward candidates for interview and monitor the trainee’s progress.


WRAGS is just one project offered by the UK charity, the WFGA (Charity No. 212527) which was established in 1899 and helped to set up the first Women’s Land Army in 1912.  WFGA members can also benefit from useful workshops and practical skills days, members’ gatherings in gorgeous gardens, funding for further training, discounts on gardening accessories and seeds, a recruitment network and informative newsletters.


For more information about WFGA membership and/or WRAGS see www.wfga.org.uk, call the WFGA on 01285 658 339 or email rebecca.wfga@gmail.com.