At Burnby Hall Gardens we have a team of around 25 hard-working and dedicated volunteers who provide their time helping in a variety of roles in the Gardens. These range from conducting new research into the history of the Stewarts, providing information about our project and tours of the Potting Shed, to coming up with fundraising initiatives and helping out at our family events during the summer. Our volunteers also ensure that our Gardens are well maintained and assist in the Gardening, making sure the hedgerows are pruned, and the flower beds free of unwanted weeds. Burnby Hall Gardens wouldn’t be able to operate if it wasn’t for our dedicated volunteers. Find out more about some of their stories below, and if you’d like to volunteer then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Philip Johnson
Garden Volunteer

My wife Ann and I first discovered Burnby Hall Gardens in the 1980’s, purely by chance one day when out for a drive. It soon became a place for the family days out where we would feed the fish and have a picnic; days which hold precious family memories. We also used to bring my mum to the Gardens, which she loved and once said it was “a bit of heaven on earth”. My mother sadly passed away in June 1998 and in that year the Gardens were looking for volunteers. I told my wife, Ann that I would like to give a bit back to the Gardens as a “thank you” for all the pleasure  the Gardens had given to my mum.

I have travelled from Scarborough one day a week to work in the Gardens since then and I work as a gardener potting plants on, planting, pruning, lopping tree branches. clipping hedges and anything else that needs doing. I have even been known to dress up at Easter and Christmas!

Burnby Hall Gardens will always be a special place not just for me but my whole family. I sadly lost my wife Ann in September after 52 and half years of marriage. Volunteering in the Gardens has been a great help to me in the last few months since Ann passed away and I hope to carry on doing my bit for as long as I can and as long as the Gardens will put up with me.

Ruth Braithwaite
Research Volunteer

I have recently retired from working in Adult Education supporting young people and adults to improve their English and maths skills to increase their opportunities in work and life. I was very excited about volunteering at Burnby Hall Gardens after picking up a leaflet explaining about the Heritage Lottery Funding they had been awarded.

I enjoy my own garden and have always been interested in researching different aspects of social history. However the first time I applied there were already too many volunteers!

In September 2017, I contacted Rachel and there was an opportunity to start volunteering.

This has given me a great opportunity to be part of an enthusiastic, supportive and knowledgeable team with new avenues of research opening up all the time. It also enables me continue to meet new people visiting the Gardens.

The volunteer team and staff that enable Burnby Hall Gardens to continue to be a treasured part of life in Pocklington.

Julie Hoy
Fundraising Volunteer

Having recently retired and moved to Pocklington, I was looking for a voluntary role which would enable me to keep active, meet the public, make new friends, and do something worthwhile; and I have certainly found all of these in my role as a Heritage Lottery Volunteer.

The staff are so friendly and supportive, and as a member of the Event & Fundraising team, I am currently helping with two fundraising projects – a raffle and a local recipe cookbook.  I also help out on event days, and find working with the children in the crafts tent to be particularly enjoyable and rewarding.

I also love gardening, so spending time in the gardens at any time of year is a real bonus.

Upcoming events


Start date: October 24, 2022

End date: October 30, 2022

Time: 1000 - 1600

Throughout the half term week we’ve got a spooky Halloween Trail for children to follow when visiting the Gardens.

Frightful Fairy Tales with Rusticus Arts

Date: October 26, 2022

Time: 1100 - 1500

The Gardens are alive with Fairy tale characters this Halloween, in our Rusticus Adventure into the world of the Brothers Grimm. Join the Witch-finders on an adventure to discover why the witch wants vengeance, the troll is so grumpy, and […]

Shepherd Group Band

Date: April 23, 2023

Time: 1400 - 1600

Barton Community Band

Date: April 30, 2023

Time: 1400 - 1600