A new garden apprenticeship scheme has been developed as part of the transformation project. Four full-time apprentices will be recruited over a four-year period to support the ongoing development of the Grade II registered Great Garden to a conservation management plan. The apprentices will have an opportunity to gain an NVQ Level 2 Horticulture qualification, and to expand their knowledge in horticulture, working alongside mentor gardeners on the reinterpretation of the wild bank originally created by garden designer Ellen Willmott. They will also be involved in replanting the sunken Knot Garden originally designed by Ernest Law.
Gardens manager Scott Boyden added: "This is a rare opportunity for budding young gardeners to gain on-the-job training in heritage horticulture. Recent cuts in public sector horticulture have resulted in fewer qualified gardeners entering the profession, but we hope to bridge that gap by growing our own talent of highly skilled horticulturists."
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is transforming New Place, the site of Shakespeare's home for the last 19 years of his life, to create a new heritage landmark.
In February 2015 the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust stage 2 funding of £1,815,400 for the transformation of New Place. In March, the Government announced further funding for the project via English Heritage, now called Historic England. The Trust is seeking matching funds to support the £5.25m project.
Work is due to start in April 2015, and Shakespeare’s New Place is scheduled to open for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on 23rd April 2016.
A contemporary landscape treatment will echo the known footprint of the original Shakespeare family house, giving visitors an impression of its scale and its relationship to the surrounding buildings, such as the neighbouring King Edward VI school and Guild Chapel once attended by Shakespeare.
The sunken Knot Garden, will be restored in keeping with the intention of the original design by Ernest Law, the renowned garden designer who was considered one of the finest exponents of the Jacobean knot garden revivals of the early twentieth century
Elements of the Great Garden, the largest surviving part of Shakespeare’s estate, will be conserved and restored following the opening of New Place in 2016. A garden apprenticeship scheme will be developed as part of the transformation project, and apprentices will support the ongoing development of the Grade II registered garden to a conservation management plan.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world.