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


Community - Events - Groups - WellBeing - Creation

Additional to the  Faculty of Studies, there are activities and programmes for community benefit to also engender human improvement and enrichment. This includes the important goal of enabling the experience and practice of teamanship & service for young people, and additionally to enable them to understand the nature of the garden/Nature and how it works as an aspect of essential life and self-fulfillment.


 1. Community Projects.   2.Events & Open Days.       3.Environmental  Studies.     4.Conservation Gardening.    5. Foreign Students Placements.  6. Society of Friends.         7. Teamanship.                       8.Clubs & Groups.         9.Creation.      10.Well-Being.    11. Young Unemployed.   12. Young Adults with learning difficulties.

PRESS THIS Blue LINK (below)

 to securely donate via PayPal or CreditCard


1. Community Projects

My 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.

It is my wish that my garden can be shared and provide a resource for others. Depending on circumstances  and finances this can be in many ways including: 

1. Workshops: on wildlife. Wildlife habitats; animal houses/refuges; wildllife planting.

2. Education: Various Placements (see full list on Studies page)

3. PrivateTours: Garden tours for small groups of adults by appointment. Pre-booked groups of up to 40.  Suggested donation per person £4. Tea & scones £3.

4. Schools: Visits for school groups under appropriate teacher supervision.

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

6. Bird watch 2019: watch, listen, count, enjoy..

7. Butterfly Count . Come along and help with the audit. 

8. Talks by various wildlife, gardening, conservation, and environment experts.

9. Bees: There is space in the woodland/wildflower area for an Apiary. We are looking for finance for hives.

10. An annual lecture & tour (or other presentation/event).

11. Elderly : Ocassional visits by appointment and with staff supervision for the residents of  retirement homes. 

12. Work Study Place: Facility for individual work placement schemes by colleges.

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

14. Art Classes: Occassional afternoons for art clubs to set up their easels in the garden. Several subjects including: flowing water, trees, wide range of plants, pond & wetland, and various vistas for landscape composition.


 Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further about Communitty Projects please write to:


2. Events


The Garden is a charity for educational purposes. Unfortunately we cannot offer open days until there is financial support and sponsorship.


If finance/support is forthcoming these will be arranged occassionally. Subjects will include:

Conservation; History; Landscape; Heritage; Well-Being; Sprituality; Art.



It is hoped to have an exclusive annual Private Viewing. (for family, friends, sector colleagues,  v.i.p's). It will be a charity fund-raising event to support the Trust and its charity work. Suggested minimum donation per person is £5. Attendance is by personal printed invitation only.

There will be a chance to meet some of our student volunteers (from England and across Europe) and some of the charity's Trustees. 

Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further please write to:

3. Environmental Studies

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

Specific subjects looked at includei:

●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

Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further about Environmental Studies please write to:

4. Conservation Gardening Studies

This is not adapted but uniquely created by an intuitive process of exploration, study, research, examination and practice over many years. Thus it is found nowhere else.

Above all it is based on the spirituality and philosophy of Stephen Cox- the vision and values of whom inspired and drives this charitable trust.

It does not a qualification. But it enables the individual to become familiar with all aspects of conservation, environmental studies & ethics, landscape appreciation, wildlife care, empathy with Nature, land stewardship, and related topics

Below are listed the range of themes/skills/activities which are taught. Please note that these are only subject headings: each item has a detailed 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. Rooms, zones, micro environments.

The above are taught to the student over the duration of several weeks, depending on attendance availability.

Specific workshops and seminars are given on individual subjects.Including group educational tours of the garden.

Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further about Conservation Gardening please write to:

5.International Students Placements

(Free)  This is a very special project and now a core element in our education. We hope to see it grow and foster links with more local young people, and with educational insitutions abroad.

Our International Student Programme   provides a unique opportunity for young people of diverse backgrounds age 18-27 to visit England for a short time. Here they can: (i) learn a range of skills in horticulture, conservation, art & design, and other subjects;  (ii) immerse themselves in and learn about British culture and society. (iii) take part in local community activities. Usual period of stay is between and 2 and 10 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.

Our Ethos and Goals for Foreign Students

• 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.

• To enable young people  of diverse backgrounds to meet challenge, improve their outlook and  sense of responsibility, attain skills and self-confidence, and gain a stake in society and enrich their life and career prospects.

German Schools : 2019 saw the first placement in association with a School in Europe. A  German student from a school in Berlin for 10 weeks (March to June). We look forward to links with other schools in Germany.


6. Society of Friends

Community projects and activities are further enhanced by subscribing to The Friends.

It is only £10 a year. Member have the advantage of the following:

1. invitation to the annual private viewing;   2. access to the Library; 3. garden picnics;   4. private tours; 5. visits to historic sites and gardens;  6. Lectures;     7. Wildlife walks; 8. Photography & painting exhibition;      9. Nature watch/local species count;       10. Workshops in The Garden;     11.  Fund raising events;     12. Art lessons in The Garden;   13. Wildfood Event. 14. Newsletter.

Please make subscriptions payable to 'SBC Garden Trust'.

Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further about the Society of Friends please write to:

7. Teamanship

(Free)  It can be very hard for young people today to relate to others, to function in a group, to see beyond their own isolated sphere. There is very little opportunity to take part in positive, challenging and creatives social/group activity unless one is very sports oriented. 

Yet the benefits for individual well-being, for improved life-function, career attainment, citizenship, as well as triggering latent skills and potential are immense for young people having the challenging opportunities of working together in a team.

I believe strongly in the value of teamanship activities for young people: it brings out the best in them, builds self-confidnce, communications skills, trust, leadership, empathy, understanding, tolerance-  amongst many other valuable attributes.

I welcome approaches from those involved in and responsible for the welfare of young people to talk with me about how The Garden and the near or far landscape could be a resource for: adventure activities , projects, workshops, responsibility roles at public open days and other opportunities involving Teamanship.

Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further about Teamanship please write to:

8. Clubs & Groups

As far as is practiacble within our limited means we would like to offer the garden as a resource for small groups to enrich their own areas of study by private arrangement.

For example non-profit groups in the categories of: art, photography, meditation, respite, bereavement, wildflife, conservation, immediatley come to mind. But there are probably many others.

The Garden is ideal for art groups/classes. There are a  variery of vistas, an immense range of plants and shrubs and tress, running water, life-size stone sculptrure of Graeco-Roman deitiues and other creatures,  So whatever your artistic purpose whether it be a landscape or still-life or other composituion there is sure to be something here for you.

Likewise those interested in wildlife, conservation, horticulture, garden design etc may wish to bring their group to engage in their own studies..

If you have or are in a group or club and think The Garden is something which may be a place where you can pursue a private endeavour for an hour or two occassionaly, then please contact Stephen to discuss possible arrangements.

Further Information & bookings:    to enquire further about Clubs & Groups please write to:

9. Creation

Section under construction. Please check back later.


By means of the example of The Garden and how Nature works and our relationship to it, this sectioin will include such things as:

 Our place in Nature.

 Our responsibilities & duties.

 The unfolding of the gift of life.

 The journey of life & our relatioinship to Creation.

 Relating to All Around.

 The Garden as a symbol of existence.



10. Well-Being

section under construction. please check back later.

I have always believed that Nature and the natural landscape has the capacity for great healing and for unveiling of potential to us for the enrichment of our lives. The Garden here is conceived of as a microcosm of the fecundity and variety of Nature. A garden is a source to me of great consolation, calm and strength. And healing.

There will in time be a variety of subjects and themes and insights and skills to be explored. These will be within the categories of:

 Gardening and mental health.

 Gardening & physical health.

 Gardening & spirituality.

11. Young Unemployed Programme

(Free) We all sometimes take a wrong direction in life, or sometines just can't seem to get on. Or we didn't fit in at school or make the most of our chances. Or our circumstances in life have seemed to put us in the scrap heap. Don't despair!

I came from very humble origins, had little self-confidence, and was somewhat introverted. But I was lucky enough to have a couple of role models/mentors who helped bring me out of my shell, noticed the sparks of aptitudes and interests in me and nurtured them and they fanned my enthusiasms and curiosity to explore and learn. 

So we have created special programmes for young unemployed people age 18-25 (and by special arrangement those age 16-18 still in school/college and not sure what to do next, or who have already left school and are unemployed).

This provides the individual with: learning various specific skills; cv improving; interview techniques; confidence building; general education enhancement in a range of subjects; improving employability, communication skills, work ethic, initiative and responsibility, citizen ethos. 

The atmosphere in non-formal and supportive. 

Parents and teachers are welcome to come to visit us to discuss possibilities. Individual students/young people may also contact us by email to make a general or specific enquiry.

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

12. Wiltshire Council Specialist Programmes


1. Young Adults With Learning Difficulties

In association with Wiltshire County Council, the Trust offer  voluntary learning placements to enable gainng skills and build confidence. The individual starts off coming along with their supervisor until they feel more seld-assured. This then continues until the individual feels ready to start a job or go to college. There is no time limit and they can stay in the placement for as long as they wish. Tuition is provided.

2. Young Offenders

Some notable TV and film celebrities and business people were first time young offenders. By guidance and role models lives can change for the better. We have provided placements for Wiltshire Young Offenders Programme offering placements (under statutory supervision) .  


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.

Please Consider Making a Donation!

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 THIS Blue LINK (below)


Press blue 'Donations Buttonabove. 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!!


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.