Valued Volunteers

Maintaining the Walled Gardens of Cannington to the high standard they are, takes inspiration, enthusiasm and lots of hard work. As well as the dedicated staff at Bridgwater College, there are also many volunteers who help at the Gardens, bringing together their knowledge, expertise and love of horticulture.

Alan was born in Dorset and lived in Hampshire for over thirty years, his main career within Hampshire Fire Brigade, from which he retired in 1992 as Senior Officer. Alan is married and has two children, two grandchildren, and a dog.

Alan has had a lifetime interest in all aspects of natural history and horticulture, and co-wrote the book 'Dragonflies of Hampshire'. His practical experience in these fields has been extensive, having carried out botanical surveys for Botanical Society of British Isles on Tiree, organising and conducting annual monitoring of rare plants as Chairman of New Forest Study Group, and carrying out botanical and entomological surveys on behalf of BSBI, Natural England, Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

In 2007 he was awarded National Volunteer of the Year, nominated by Butterfly Conservation, for his work with conservation bodies, and has also been a member of many societies, such as the Royal Horticultural Society, Alpine Garden Society, Saxifrage Society, as well as various local Pelargonium and Fuchsia clubs. As a member of Fair Oak Garden Club in Hampshire, Alan and his wife organised a number of gold-award winning Annual Flower Shows.  

As you can see, Alan's lifetime involvement in natural history and horticulture means that he is a great asset to the Walled Gardens. Having moved to Cannington in 2007, he started to conduct insect surveys in the Gardens, and after discussions and suggestions, the volunteer group was established - of which Alan and his wife are founder members.

Grounds and Gardens Supervisor Jayne Alcock says: "Alan gives so much time and expertise to the Gardens outside of the Wednesday volunteer sessions, and his knowledge is outstanding. We are very grateful for the help and support we receive from him and all of our volunteers."