16 October 2023
By Tom Collins
Fota House is a stately home in East Cork – adjacent to Fota Wildlife Park
Irish Heritage Trust Volunteers at Fota House Arboretum & Gardens, Cork, are harvesting and pruning in the glasshouses and gardens. As the historic house enters its low season, volunteers are working at ‘putting the house to bed’ working on a thorough clean of the rooms and caring for its collections.
The Irish Heritage Trust’s volunteering programme at Fota House & Gardens has been active for more than a decade and in 2015 the Irish Heritage Trust was a winner of an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award for its Walled Garden Volunteering project. The Irish Heritage Trust is an independent non-profit organisation that works on the nation’s behalf to conserve, manage, sustainably develop, and interpret built and natural heritage in Ireland.
“Over the past number of years, we’re fortunate to have welcomed and worked with over one hundred dedicated volunteers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Martina Carroll, Irish Heritage Trust volunteer co-ordinator at Fota House & Gardens. “Their fascinating experience and specialist skills, mean that our volunteers are at the heart of a variety of important heritage projects here in the Regency House and historic working gardens. Alongside staff and conservation specialists, they have taken on crucial roles and responsibilities,” she continued.
“Our vital volunteers are the beating heart of Fota House and we are delighted that their participation embodies the Irish Heritage Trust’s values in a meaningful and inclusive way. On a daily basis, these volunteers are integral to the Trust’s mission of bringing Ireland’s historic properties to life and sharing the stories of the properties and the people who once lived in them,” said Bryan Murphy, general manager of Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens.
“The intricate heart at the core of the Irish Heritage Trust’s new visual identity and inspired by the Trust’s properties, symbolises Ireland’s rich heritage and its people; past, present and future,” continued Mr. Murphy.
Over the past three years, the Irish Heritage Trust has more than doubled its number of volunteers who now number 300 at its properties: Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, Co. Cork; Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens, Co. Wexford; Strokestown Park House, Gardens & National Famine Museum, Co. Roscommon.
For more information on the Irish Heritage Trust volunteering programme where regular and once-off volunteer roles are available, please email: email@example.com