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Volunteering on conservation days
Feeling fit?

Do you need to get outside in the fresh air, meet new people, release some frustration, work off the stresses of the week? Do you love Rivington, and want to influence its future.

Volunteering is good for the soul, and great for the social life. Come and join the friendly gang at Rivington Terraced Gardens.

Come along on the first Saturday of each month, and look out for days mid-week too.

When: 9.30am – 4.00pm. Meet at Lower House Car Park at 9.45am, we regularly get between 35 and 50 volunteers turning up to work on the gardens. You don’t have to stay the full day, come along and join us for a couple of hours.

What: Activities differ according to ability – everyone is welcome. We clear pathways, build fences, plant trees, clear shrubs and brambles, expose the hidden rocks, clear ponds, work in the Kitchen gardens… all to repair and conserve the gardens for the future. And we have exciting plans.

What you need to bring: All tools and gloves are provided. Please wear walking boots or wellies, and suitable clothes for the weather (bring waterproofs if it’s wet, and a hat etc if it’s cold). Bring water.

What you get: Teas and coffees are provided, as is a delicious and warming lunch (always a vegetarian option). There are always donuts in the afternoon.

Dog-friendly: This activity can be dog-friendly, depending on your dog. Some dogs come along, they stay close to their owners and are friendly to other dogs, and it works well. You decide. (It’s difficult to swing a spade about while holding a dog-lead.) Maybe give it a try – if it doesn’t work out, leave the dog at home next time.


  • Age and Family-friendly – From 10 – 100, we’ll find a task to suit. There are a number of children who come along, obviously the older they are, the better, for handling tools etc. The youngest volunteer so far is 6 – which is on the young side – but still welcome. The younger kids (aged 10+) will help preparing food and drinks, as well as work in the Gardens, and we’ll try to take time out to teach some bushcraft skills if we can, however the emphasis is on the garden restoration work.
  • Fitness-friendly: It helps if you can walk up the hill, however, we have some volunteers who can’t. Let us know in advance, and we’ll try and make room in the Land Rover. We can match tasks to abilities.
  • Come alone or with friends – this is a great way to get out and make new friends. Most of the regulars came alone, and now have friends for life. (We will socialise and have meet-ups away from the gardens too. Any excuse for a party.)

What the volunteers say:

Volunteering with RTG came about by seeing one of their Facebook posts a little over a year ago. Me and my son had volunteered on conservation stuff before so fancied it, and I thought I knew what to expect. WOW have we got more than we bargained for. The whole thing sucks you in! From getting a different feel for the place itself by "working" there to the amazing wealth of knowledge and experience of the people; but even more than that it's a real community effort and spirit. It gets in your blood, and nothing has made that more real for me than seeing and being a part of the response to the fire. Without wanting to over egg it, the phrase "Dunkirk spirit" comes to mind. The day the volunteers pitched in to build the firebreak and protect the gardens was like nothing I've ever seen. A couple of days afterwards one of the Bamber Bridge fire crews said "yeah you lot grafted that day" - and he was right the effort of people fighting to protect something they love had to be seen to be believed. Love the place, love the people.
We can't stay away. It's completely addictive. ...The camaraderie and support - from strangers who very quickly become good friends - it's awesome. ...The satisfaction felt when you've transformed an area in just a few hours. ...The 22000 steps clocked on your FitBit, telling you that you deserve a nice glass of wine later - or another donut(!). And you get fed! Curries, casseroles, donuts and teas and coffees - the food is incredible! Come and join us. You won't regret it!
Wouldn't want to be anywhere else! Absolutely love it and the whole gang is amazing!
Hear how Phil turned his life around by volunteering