Stephen Cox Garden Trust is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239)




1. Facilities Provided.            2.   Educational Procedures 

3. Library.                4. Foreign Students Placements

5. Unemployed Facilities.           6.  Foreign Schools Links .     

7 . Special Education Support.    8. Occassional Day Places. 

9. Community Projects             10. Schools & Clubs etc.

11. Courses/Subjects.             12. Conservation/Well-being.     

13. Environmental Studies.    14.  Current & Past Students.   

15. Students Feedback.      16.Why volunteer?     17.How to apply.


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Educational Opportunities- Introduction

Part of the garden library/study area

I was fortunate in my younger years to have individuals who encouraged and inspired me in my passion for knowledge. Later I became a teacher. Even when I was a professional and exhibiting artist I took on students/apprentices, and gave talks as part of exhibition launches.

So it continues today. For my garden is a place of learning for me and for others. A teacher after all is there to pass on his acquired knowledge to others and I believe a garden is also there for sharing and learning for others. The gardener can also be enriched by the teaching and sharing process.

Here are some example of what I am offering:

1. Facilities Provided

●Fully qualified tutor.  


●Study room/summerhouse.

●Greenhouse & Nursery.

●All tools/equipment/gloves/knee-pads/visors & protective items.

●Refreshments- tea coffee/biscuits.

●Printed/detailed syllabus/guide for each programme/opportunity.

●Risk Assessment Policy; Code of Conduct; Accident/Health & Safety Policy; Student Welfare Policy. Student volunteers receive a copy of these.

2. Education Guidelines

Registered Charity Objects

The Trust is a registered charity (#1174239). The stated Objects under the terms of its governing document, as approved by the Charity Commission, being:

1. To advance education in the subjects of horticulture and conservation in particular but not exclusively by providing study courses, training placements and workshops.

2. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are charitable according to the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.

Procedural Notes 

(i) All programmes take place at different times/days. Thus students from different agencies do not overlap .

(ii) Placements for those age 16-18 is by special arrangement.     

(iii) All programmes take place under our strict guideline regardng:   Risk Assessments; Code of Conduct; Health & Safety;  Student Welfare; Accidents, and other safeguarding/ care procedures. Students confirm their receipt of hard copy of all documents.  

(iv) All students are given a full induction covering:  risks, health &  safety, protective items, best practice, etc.

3. Library

The Library is based on the personal collections of the Founder. It consists of several thousand books plus manuscripts. The subjects categories include:

Horticulture, Conservation;  Art & Architecture;  Landscaping Design;  Wildllfe;  Great Gardens and Great Gardeners;   Heritage;  Ecology;  Dartmoor;  

The Library is private and not open to the general public. It is a reference and not a lending library. However individual students and scholars are welcome to enquire about being allowed to undertake private research in the library.


4. Foreign Students Study Holiday

(Free) This provides a unique opportunity for foreign students age 18-27 to visit England for a short time. Here they can learn a range of skills in horticulture, conservation, art & design, and other subjects, immerse themselves in and learn about British culture and society. And take part in local community activities. Usual period of stay is between and 2 and 8 weeks.

It also provides an opportunity for local people to meet students from different cultures and backgrounds and increase their understanding of the world, and form friendships.

The foreign student can improve their English language, visit places of historical & cultural interest; familiarise themselves with Britsh society & customs and make new friends.

Subjects & Activities

1. Horticulture, arboriculture, landscape design, wildlife habitats.

2. Local conservation & wildlife.

3. Local landscape & geography & their historic parameters.

4. English language improvement.

5. British history, heritage and traditions.

6. Access to the extensive Library of the Trust.

7. Visits/studies of local architecture & venues/places of cultural & historic interest.


• To improve international friendship and break down barriers.

• To promote cultural understanding between different peoples and lands throughout the world.

 • To enable people travelling on a limited budget to fully appreciate living and studying in a foreign environment.

• To enrich our local UK community by contact and with foreign students.

• To promote exchange and communication between people from different nationalities.

• To enable language learners to immerse themselves in their target language whilst living abroad.

So far our many visitors have come from : Switzerland, U.S.A., France, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Hungary.


Student welfare is one of our priorities, so before making a final decision each student engages in an induction process and conversations by emal and whatsapp. This provides opportunity for questions, seek guidance and generally better find out if this placement is suitable for them. This is especially important for those students who have not been away from home before.

14 documents are sent to the prospective residential students covering all aspects of their stay here. Students are expected to regularly stay in  touch  with their family. 

5. Unemployed Opportunities

(Free) We can sometimes take a wrong direction in life, or  just can't seem to get on,  or make the most of our chances.

I came from humble  origins, but was lucky to have a couple of role models/mentors who noticed sparks of aptitudes  and nurtured my enthusiasm. 

So I have created special programmes for unemployed people age 18-25 (and by arrangement  age 16-18).

This provides: learning various skills; cv improving; confidence building; communication, work ethic, initiative and responsibility, citizen ethos. 

The atmosphere in non-formal and supportive. 

To apply for this opportunity simply send brief details of yourself to:

6. Foreign Schools/College Links

This year (2019) sees the first association with an educational institution in Europe. We have a student from  in Berlin 10 weeks  on an official internship from his institute  which has approved the placement. We look forward to links with other colleges etc in Germany and elsewhere.

Various educational institutes in Europe make it a policy for their students  to undertake an internship or placement or volunteering for 3 months or an entire academic year.

7. Special Education Support

(Free)    In association with Wiltshire County Council, we provide voluntary  placements for individuals with learning difficulties to gain skills and build their confidence. The individual comes along for half a day a week with their supervisor. This then continues until the individual feels ready to start a job or go to college. There is no time limit . Tuition is provided.

(First time young offenders: in the past we have provided placements & continue to offer this facility.)

8. Day or Project Places

Day Placements

(Free) Enabling individuals  (18-28) to  gain skills in and learn about :


      Art/ design.






Full or half a day a week or full or part time: arrangements are flexible.  Full tuition is given and no previous experience required.


Project Supporters

If you want to help or if you know how to get the materials (or sponsorship or grants) please get in touch. Anticipated projects are:

1. Woodland & Wildflower meadow.

2. Apiary.

3. Treehouse.

4. Sound insulation for summerhouse library/study room

5. Summerhouse wifi + teaching screen.

6. Apple harvesting/gifting/cider making.

7. Greenhouse: 14ft x 10ft greenhouse to enable all year round studies/teaching.

To apply for this opportunity simply send brief details of yourself to:

9. Community Projects

The garden is a source of hope and vigour for me. Gardening combines many aspects of what I feel is best about civilisation and human enterprise. It has been a mammoth crusade to bring the garden from a field to where it is today. Being an expert and passionate gardener himself Lord Lansdowne knows what is involved: he calls my garden "an exciting space" and says he hopes it will inspire others.

I hope the garden can provide a resource to the community. This might be be in all sorts of ways such as:

1. Workshops: on wildlife 

2. Education: A variety Placements(- see full list). Free.

3. PrivateTours: For groups. June and July. Suggested donation: £4 per person.

4. Schools: Visits for school art or nature projects/classes. Free.

5. Audits: A start/finish base for the day for community wildlife audits/local walks. Free. 

7. RSPB Garden bird watch (come for an hour or two). Free. 

8. Big butterfly count . Specific locations. Smart phone aps available. Free. 

9. Bees: In the woodland/wildflower area to establish an Apiary. Sponsorship required. 

10. Work Places: Facility for work placement schemes. Free. 

11. Library: Access to our reference library for local students. Free. 

12. Elderly Visits:  By small supervised groups of residents (with a carer) of nursing and retirement homes. Relax, listen to the birds and fountains, watch the butterflies and dragon flies and look at the flowers.  Free. 

13. Meditation : Nature & healing; archetypes; garden heritage; sacred spaces; spirituality; the Green Man; non--human personhood & rights; and other tutorials & workshops.


10. Private Tours, Schools, Clubs Etc

Private visits/tours for small groups (e.g. the Womens Institutes, gardening clubs etc) are available from 10th.June to 31st July.(tea & biscuits can be provided)

Clubs Groups and clubs dealing with art, wildlife, conservation, design etc are also very welcome. It is an ideal environment in which to set up one's easel to paint and draw.

Schools and College groups are welcome by arrangement.

(All visits are private and strictly by appointment only. The garden is private and not open to the general public.) 

11. COURSES & Programmes

All programmes/courses include tuition, study facilities/library, tools & gloves supervision. No previous experience or qualifications necessary

A. Wildlife/Environment Assistant.

B. Arboriculture Assistant.

C. Painting & Decorating/ Crafts/ Garden D.I.Y.

D.  Horticulture Assistant.

E. Art & design/Landscaping/ Construction Assistant

F. Web design & promotion Assistant.

A) Wildlife & Environment

Suitable for someone interested in wildlife, conservation and the environment. Students in courses linked to such subjects as Geography, Planning, Environmental Studies, Conservation & Wildlife, Surveying etc might also find useful.

Activities include:

1. Undertaking wildlife audits of garden.

2. Assessing & improving habitats.

3. Design wildlife workshops & projects for local youngsters.

4. Research improvements for habitat & planting to help wildlife.

5. Maintaining shelters/feeders/ habitats for various creatures.

6. Researching requirements to attract more wildlife.

7. Assessing Neighbourhood Plan impact/improvement to the local environment/wildlife & to the garden.

8. Improve environmental & visual comprehension.


B) Arboriculture

The activities of this Placement include:

1. Pruning & shaping.

2. Taking cuttings of trees, shrubs, fruut bushes and nursing them through to development.

3. Feeding & mulching

4. Weekly care & maintenance.

5. Transplanting.

6. Checking for blight, diseases.

7. General health care.

There is an extensive library available on a wide range of horticulture and aboriculture topics.

Range of species include:

Collection of 18 varieties of Acers. Collection of 56 varieties of dwarf Conifers.

Several other single-item species incl. English Oak, Red Oak, Sessile Oak, Holmes Oak, Larch, Chestnut, Hazelnut, Walnut, Photinia, Magnolia, Privet, Lime, Eucalyptus, Cherry, Apple, Plum, Pear, Fig, Beech, Elm, Guelder, Yew, Sycamore, Leylandii, Laurel, Hibiscus, Juniper, Olive, Lilac, Cottoneaster, Holly, Fraser Fir,  Nordman Fir, Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, Bay, Scots Pine, Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce,  Italian Cypress, Tree Fern. 

Most of the latter single item species are growing in a specially created wildlife and wildflower woodland area which in its very early stages.

There are also over 60 large shrubs  to be maintained.


C) Painting & Decorating/Crafts/DIY

In the subject/career range of: Crafts; Painting & Decorating; Building;  DIY; Landscaping.

1. Help maintain wooden arches, pergolas, statues, bench arbours, patios, outbuildings, patios, summerhouse, fountains, tubs and planters.

2. Opportunity for artistic input adding decorative detail if the volunteer wishes.

3. Helping to maintain bathing pool and fully equipped gym

4. Students can create their own additions to the garden if they have an idea to explore.

5. We mix our own colours from 20litre drums so you will also learn all about colour.

6. Principles of painting and decorating incl. preparing wood, how to paint etc.

7. Brush & tool maintenance.

8. Sealant and protective  treatments of statues etc.

9. Cleaning and protective treatments of slabs/paving/paths/walls and, block paving.

10. Basic principle of using cement/mortar; rendering; pointing.

11. Basics of brick bonds (styles of brick laying patterns).

All outbuildings (potting shed, summerhouse, gymnasium, bike shed, pool changing room) and arches etc are of wood and require annual repainting. Patios are of wood, stone paving. Statues are stone.  Paths are either stone or block paving.


D) General Horticulture

Gardening/ Horticulture/ Landscaping/Landscape. The teaching & skills imparted generally follows the pattern of RHS Levels 1 & 2 and some aspects of Level 3.

1. Maintenance/weeding. 

2. Pruning (shrubs/trees etc).

3. Sowing seeds & nurturing them.

4. Bringing on seedlings.

5. Potting-on tiny plants into bigger pots to bring to maturity.

6. Planting out new plants grown from seed.

7. Hedge trimming & shaping.

8. Dead-heading.

9. Lawn care/ spiking/weeding/fertilising etc.

10. Lawn cutting.

11. Helping to maintain/archive the Library.

12. Digging & raking.

13. Composting.

14. Keeping paths swept and paving slabs etc edges trimmed.

15. Keeping lawn edges trimmed.

16. Helping to maintain wildlife records.

17. Studying wildlife.

18. Studying gardening.

19. Tending flowers, vegetables, fruit, shrubs, trees.

20. Brick walls.

21. Sealing

22. Cleaning fountains

23. Removing debris/leaves from all areas of the garden as necessary.

24. Raking the sand (beach) to keep its appearance.

25. Cleaning garden solar lights, garden tables, etc.


E) Art & Design & Landscaping

The student studies and works in the following skills/subjects:

1. Mixing paint colours.

2. Colour theory.

3. Landscape & garden design.

4. Plant colours/collections/design.

5. Statues & sculpture.

6. Repaint furniture, sheds, summerhouse, gym, arbours, pergolas, arches in specially mixed colours.

7. Decorative detailing to above.

8. Special painted effects to slabs/patios.

9. Photo compositions of garden.

10. Videos of garden.

11. Height & perspective effects.

12. Shape/form & sculptural effects plants & framing effects.

13. Constructing rooms & themes

14. Ancient Greek/Roman sculpture/statuary.

15. Landscape painters/schools/traditions.

16. Use of brick/stone & walls for creating form and marking off rooms.

17. Re-organising garden landscape, constructing new features, building & maintenance.



To apply for any of these opportunities simply send brief details of yourself to:


(i) There is an extensive library on  horticulture, aboriculture, landscaping, design, art, architecture, painting and related subjects. topics.

(ii) No previous experience or qualifications necessarry.

(iii) You will be given full tuition and guidance.

(iv) Gloves/goggles/tools etc are provided.

12. Conservation & Well-Being

Uniquely created over  many years, it is found nowhere else and based on the spirituality and philosophy of Stephen Cox- the vision and values of whom inspired and drives this charitable trust.

It enables one to become familiar with aspects of conservation, environment, ethics, landscape appreciation, wildlife care, empathy with Nature, and related topics.

This is list of themes/activities indicating each being  a subject/syllabus.

1. Planting for bees/butterflies.

2. Habitats.

3. Wildlife code of conduct.

4. Non-human creature rights.

5. Standing water (ponds, wetlands, damplands)

6. Composting.

7. Irrigation.

8. Attracting wildlife.

9. Wildflowers.

10. Wilding areas.

11. Masking instrusive sound.

12. Perennials v annuals

13. Gardening & mental health.

14. Gardening & spirituality.

15. Gardening and physical health

16. Rooms, zones, micro environments.

Also specific seminars are given on individual subjects. And there will be specialist group educational tours of the garden geared entirely to aspects of the above course. For adults only.

13. Environmental Studies

This includes:  the environment,   wildlife,   ecology,  heritage,   flora & fauna,  the built environment,  public green space,  watercourses & standing water,  woodlands,  farming,   migrations-habitat,  wildlife corridors,  heritage, geology & land types,  transition/changes in landscape across time and much more.

Specific subjects looked at include:

●Understanding the history, development and current situation of the local  landscape, ecology, wildlife, habitats and environment in general.

●Communities, farming, land use.

●Traditions, history and heritage of the land.

●Wildlife/species audits

●Gardens, wildife corridors.

●Heritage sites.

14. Current & Past & Future Students

James  Came to help me half a day a week as my General Horticultural Assistant from August 2016 until September 2017. Nothing was too much trouble. He was hard working, diligent, and a good learner. It7's was a pleasure to work with him. He now has a job as a horticultural apprentice. 

Josh Assisted us for a term in 2017 as part of his Geography degree course at Bath University. His brief was in Environment. He also produced the scale map/guide of the garden. Josh has now successfully graduated.

Charlotte Came from the University of the West of England to help out a day a week during the summer vacation 2017.

David From Switzerland came here for a study holiday from 15th. October to 16th. November 2017. He is skilled in horticulture, and is also a nutritionist,  an excellent  cook, and a semi-pro sportsman. He assisted development of new projects for the 2018 season. He has made several improvemnts and changes to the garden and proposed some ideas on marketing and development. He is now a Trustee.

Bastien : Was David's successor- also from Swizerland. He arrived on 10th. November for a study holiday until 22nd.December 2017. While here he helped with the total transformation of the Alpine Garden- quadrupling it in size and adding 3 cubic metres of soil. And generally helped with winter maintenance & planning.

Ryan from California,  U.S.A.  was staying with us on a private study holiday from 26th.January to 23rd. February 2018. He is very keen on English football (plays for Utah Valley University) and has had training sessions with Malmesbury Town F.C. and Calne Town F.C. and is an accomplished pianist. Ryan was generally helping out and developed some new ideas for the garden. He is now a Trustee.

Theo from France was with us on a private study holiday volunteering from 20th. February to 29th. March 2018. Top capoeira athlete; plays chess, volleyball & basketball. He was assisting with early Spring clearance,  preparation of vegetable ground for new planting, reducing overly tall hedges.

Simon from Germany was with us volunteering from 26th. March to the 10th. May. He was very industrious and repainted and then sealed the five very large wooden arches and one of the garden arbours; and pressure washed some of the stone paths of 4 years of grime, general gardening, &  delivered a tonne of rocks! He was often in our Gym. We made lots of excursions together. He also produced ideas for Trust improvements & marketing. He is now Trustee. Stephen spent a week in Germany in September as a guest of the Simon & his family. He is visiting the Trust for a week or so in February 2019.

Jung from South Korea   was with us on from 1st. to 31st. May.  He spent a week alongside Simon. They had trips to Bath & Bristol. He was able to improve his English language. He familiarised himself with the British garden style. He worked hard and helped us on many aspects of gardening at this tine of rapid growth.

Gabriel An engineering student from France volunteeed 6th.June to 4th.August. A keen basketball player who was good at cooking crepes. For July he worked with Julian. He repainted all the  garden furniture, pots and tubs: a long process.And pressure washed some of the patrios and paths. He made regular use of the gym often played fopotball at Stanley Park with Julian

Julian from Germany was here volunteering throughoutght July. Passionate and skilled in woodwork he constructed 5 large wooden troughs. He rebuilt and enlarged our waterfall to 1.6m,  built several stone walls, and made various repairs. Used the gym and pool regularly. He joined the local woodcarving club. Was often cycling and playing football with Gabriel.

Giovanni from Italy was with us on volunteering throughout August 2018. He demostrated his artistic and colour skills repainting the large garden arbours and re-shaping some of the trees. And every day he is having intensive workouts in the gym. He worked alongside Gabriel and they spent a weekend visiting Bristol.

Lucas From France was with us from 16th. September to 10th.December 2018. Very keen on soccer and used to train weekly with Derry Hill United football club. He got to know one of the local familes extremely well. He heped us with allaspects of thr garden and is now going into the French navy as a helcopter pilot.

Niklas From Germany was with us from 28 November 2018 to 22 Januray 2019. A very keen basketball player he fixed himself up with training sessions with teams in Swindon and Chippenham. He helped us in clearing the garden over winter and preparing for the Spring and repainting the gates and fences. He is now going to university.

Giovanni & Luise: From Germany were with us from 29th.January to  27th.February. They were involved in a variety of tasks to finish off the winter clearance and commence the Spring preparation: including extensive pruning back of tall hedges In particular they relocated, improved and rebuilt the brick barbecue, including re-paving the patio & seating in the woodland area. 

Levin: From Germany  was  here from 26 Februayry to 17th. April.He helped us with a lot of repainting of garden furniture and buildings. He also erected a fence in the woodland and spread fertiliser over much of the garden and was handy with repairs too. He explored the local area, went on trips all over the region and joined the village wood-carving club.

Vito: Undertook an internship here via his school in Berlin- which requires all Year 11 pupils to spend 3 months abroad.  He was engaged in various projects, maintenance, and painting of buildings and fences etc. And eracted a long run of closeboard fencing with Levin. He also make an excellent film about the garden and trust which is now out on YouTube.

Theo from France

Julian from Germany (l) and Gabriel from France (r)

Jung from S.Korea (l) and Simon from Germany (r)

Simon from Germany

15. Feedback From Past Students

SIMON I can't really put it into words how nice it was to be allowed to stay with Stephen for 6 weeks. It has been a big new experience to help Stephen in his garden and with his charity. Stephen has a terrific personality, so living with him for those 6 weeks was wonderful. He has such a great humour, so we were making jokes all the time... It was immense fun. Stephen is a very kind person and takes care of you in a way that you will feel like being home. He is one of the persons who does really understand what Workaway is all about. So working hours will never be longer than 5 hour's, infact you will work most likely only 3 hours each day. Since he was a teacher some years ago he will be able to show and guide you around all the lokal city's and sights like Stonehenge and give you a lot of interesting information. The accommodation and food in general is very good too. Stephen speaks a very clear English, that's why I was able to improve my English so rapidly. I have learned a lot about gardening and building too because Stephen offered me a verity of different working projects. I was allowed to choose from and explained to me how it's done each time which is very helpful too. I got in touch with a lot of people from the village because Stephen took me quite regularly to the pub. Being surrounded by native people got me even closer to the English culture. I even became a Trustee of his charity organization because I really like the mentality and purpose of this trust. Stephen and I are already planning to meet up again in the near future, since we became really good friends. Stephen thanks again for having me around your house and garden and taking care of me during those 6 weeks.

Simon Kerstan: Germany

NIKLAS: My time with Stephen was, and I can only agree with my predecessors, unforgettable. I have enjoyed my time here sooo much. I was able to come down, sort out my thoughts, and prepare for the coming studies. Derry Hill is very small and cozy which can be a welcome change to a city life. The area is perfect for walks, hikes or to go jogging as I did from time to time. First I had to get used to the house itself, but soon I felt almost at home, which is due to the very considerate behavior of Stephen. Even if you live in the same house you do not have to give up your privacy. All this first to the environment. The work is absolutely feasible, too, for people who, like me, have barely had anything to do with gardening in their lives. Stephen explains everything very closely, is always nearby and will not judge you for any questions or mistakes. Stephen himself is a great man. He is a very interesting character with whom you can talk about the whole world and in my experience has no prejudices in any direction. But it should be said that he has a special sense of humor that you might not expect from a man of his age. This should not be meant negatively, I found it very refreshing and could get used to it well. Nonetheless, with this feedback, I obviously want to prepare future workaways for their stay with him as best as possible. Finally, a few personal words. Stephen, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to meet you and Wiltshire. I noticed from the first second I met you, that you really care about the person you work and live with and that's definitley not the case everywhere! I had an unforgettable time and I hope I can visit you again sometime. Best regards from Germany -Nik

Niklas Habig:  Germany

JULIAN Stephen is a great host, he really cares about your interests, to make the stay as nice as possible for both sides. After I mentioned that I enjoy working with wood, he got me into the local carving club and gave me a lot of things to make out of wood. I liked to tell him that he didn’t have the hang of hosting workaways: Instead of making them work hard to then feed them with a watery soup, he wants you to work only 4 hours, but often it’s less. Thus, if you’ve been at other workaways before, Stephen might be a nice holiday! (That’s at least how it felt like for me, as I more or less had the change described above.) The region he’s living in is great, you’ve got Stonehenge and other prehistoric sites within range, as well as major cities like Oxford or London. And on top of that, Stephen is a great tour guide, who knows everything about the history of a place. He generally has got an amazing amount of knowledge in so many different topics. I had many great conversations with him heard brilliant stories, from which I learned a lot, whether it was about English culture, or when Cider is ready to be consumed. By the way, talking about alcohol, Stephen makes his own beer! Which is great, unfortunately I had a bit too much of it at the beginning so I kept away from it for the rest of my stay. Dear Stephen, thank you very much for everything, when I’ll be around your area the next time I will definitely pay you a visit to see how things are going! Cheers, Julian.

Julian Bücher Germany

JUNG: When I first arrived here, I saw someone waving at me smiling: He was my new host! He made me feel very welcomed and at ease. That was our first meet. After I was getting to know about him. He was garden-lover. He was not only knowledgeable but also tried to give me understanding for the future.His purpose is to live with nature and other people. When it comes to working. Although people every work is hard, this placement was really good and easy During my working time he was always showing me everything I needed to know and explaining everything. If you are interested in gardening. You can extend your knowledge of garden. That would be great for you. Yes he is really patient and respectful. He is like a guru to me! Because he knows many things and also taught me English a lot!!! And we had conversations on many subjects. Especially what he would say to me was about history of the U.K. such as King Alfred the Great and many other things! Come here and learn and live up with your host! All I regret now is my English!! If I had a good English skill I would have talked to you a lot more! Thank you. I will never forget you and the time being here. Jung Wook Hwang South Korea

THEO:  Stephen is a brilliant man, very kind and funny ! I was so happy to have him behind me for support and jokes ! Thank you very much for your help, your host and your joy ! You were a sunshine wich crossed the clouds and the snow this winter !

Theo Laborde: France.

RYAN Stephen is great! Wiltshire is great! I definitely enjoyed my time here. It was great to see what life is like in a village in rural England. Stephen is such a great guy. He will take care of you. The Garden is beautiful and will continue to build popularity in the community as a place to visit. I truly had all the time I needed to do the things I wanted to do. Stephen is very accommodating. Transportation can be tricky since it is not right in a city and he doesn't have a car. However, Stephen has thought of that and has a bike so you can pedal into town. There is also a bus stop right in front of his house with a bus that comes every 20 minutes so getting into town is easy if you know when you're going. I would highly recommend giving Stephen a visit if you want a rural England experience. He makes a great effort to make sure you are comfortable, enjoying your stay, and are doing the things you want to do. I will definitely be back to visit. I met such great people in that area that I have lots of love for.

Ryan Miller: California, U.S.A.

BASTIEN I spent six weeks with Stephen and it has been some really good time. The work in the garden is interesting and not so hard. Stephen is more than a simple host because he has exactly understood, I think, the purpose of workaway. He doesn't want workers only for the work they do, but to give them what they were looking for in their travel as well. Stephen is a really funny dude and full of historical knowledge ! Thank you Stephen and happy Christmas!

Bastien Sauvet: Switzerland.

DAVID My stay with Stephen is unforgettable. He was the best host I've ever had since now. During my stay we became friends. Stephen and I spent many evenings together drinking beer, making jokes and laughing together. He was very intressted in my well beeing and as he knows a lot about history I learned a lot about the English history and tradition. His house is a tipical countryside cottage. He decorated it nice. The garden is very big and contains different themes. The work in the garden wasn't to hard and it was really nice as we worked together in the garden and talked. (Only working is boring.) I went often for a walk/run/biketour as the house is situated in the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire. Thank you very much Stephen for this unforgettable stay. David Meier: Switzerland

16. Why Volunteer?

Improve Your Employability

Did you know volunteering enhances your employment status? Volunteering is also a powerful way to improve your C.V. Many employers look for this kind of experience in their prospective employees.


Each week something different is taught. The volunteer/student is guided through a range of skills and activities such as:

Pruning;  Raising plants from seed; Deadheading;  taking cuttings & growing on; Soil maintenance & improvement; lawn care; greenhouse gardening; cultivation of Vegetables; cultivation of Fruit; cultivation of Flowers; cultivation of Shrubs & specimen trees;  garden Wildlife; Conservation; planting; pests & diseases; garden design, decorating & d.i.y.

Additionally in the specialist Assistantships of course such subjectrs/skills as:   web design; sureveying and planning; environmental studies; conservtaion; art & architecture; landscape; wildlife etc.

Build Your Skills

Stephen Cox is a qualified teacher with many years experience in the secondary and further education sectors. He has worked with individuals from many nationalities, and from many backgrounds.

You will find that a placement such as this will improve various skills such as:

Self Confidence; Initiative; Communication; Problem Solving;  Self Reliance; Research; Assessment.

On completion of your placement or period of study or volunteering you will be given a written Testimonial. You may also refer prospective employers to us to give you a Reference.

17. How To Apply

How To Apply

No previous experience or specialist skills are necessary, as you will be given full tution.


What you do need however are the following:

1. A desire to learn & a love of knowledge.

2. A respect for Nature, Wildlife & other creatures.

3. Kindness and courtesy.

4. Diligence.


Simply send an email giving brief biographical details/ simple c.v./ and why you want to partake. You will then be given further information, and invited to come for an exploratory chat.

(note: only enquiries dealing exclusively with the garden are accepted)


All applications & information is treated in the strictest confidence.


Please note that all payments made by this method are transmitted automatically to our authorised UK bank account of the Tust and so can only be used for the purposes for which the Trust has designated.

Payment can be in any amount of your choice.




Press 'Donations Button' above. This will take you directly to our dedicated secure Paypal page (you can donate via Paypal or all major Credit Cards)


1. Click on the link above and you will be taken to a secure Paypal site to make a donation.

2. Select your method of payment (e.g. Paypal or Credit card).

3. Enter the amount you wanted to donate (if one off payment then leave next box unticked).

4. Either click Paypal (if you have an account with them to make payment that way) or click 'continue' next to the credit card icons to make payment that way.


Thank you!!


is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239) in England & Wales


PURPOSE: To advance education in the subjects of horticulture, conservation , wildlife and heritage by providing study courses, training placements, talks, and workshops and other means for the enrichment of the Wiltshire/Calne and S.Glos/N.Somerset area communities and for the improvement of human well being in general based upon the Founder’s garden, library, writings, teaching and spiritual philosophy.


The garden is private and is not open to the public on a daily basis. The Trust and the Garden is not a business or commercial enterprise and is strictly not-for-profit. It is a private educational Trust serving charitable objectives for the public good as defined by Charity Law in England and Wales. However in the interest of education and public benefit and to help enable others appreciate its work Stephen Ben Cox invites schools/gardening clubs/w.i's and other groups to arrange a private tour of his garden by prior appointment (the private visits season 2019 is: 14 May to 01 August). The Trust (registered charity number: 1174239) is unfunded except for donations. All income is used entirely to support the work and goals of the Trust. Stephen Ben Cox, the Trustees and Volunteers work unpaid. The Trust is seeking business sponsors to support the goals and activities of the Trust. Individual donations are also gratefully received .


Any opportunity, event, facility or activity listed is philanthropic and offered in a private capacity in a spirit of good will for the benefit and enrichment of society. No project or activity or anything published on this website grants any rights or assumptions of private access, or any other rights to either property or possession thereon or therein.


All visitors, volunteers, students, etc assume full personal responsibility for any accident/injury/ damage/loss to themselves or their possessions. Any visitor/volunteer/ student etc visits/partakes of their own volition and at their own risk. No claims will be accepted. Visitors should take note with regards to such things as: uneven ground, spiky/thorny plants, deep water, loose rocks & walling, slippery paving etc Students and volunteers must accept all our guides/terms produced for their well-being, health and safety.