Green-fingered Staff Celebrate National Gardening Day at Auckland Castle

News from our houses

Green-fingered staff at The Auckland Project swapped desk jobs for digging on Friday 14 April to mark National Gardening Day.



All staff were invited to join and work alongside the Parks and Gardens team in the Walled Garden, planting vegetables for the coming season, with five one-hour sessions scheduled throughout the day.

The initiative, devised by The Auckland Project’s HR team, encouraged staff to step outside of their usual roles, enjoy the surroundings of the historic Walled Garden, and spend time supporting the Parks and Gardens team.

The historic Walled Garden, in the grounds of Auckland Castle, was built in the 17th Century as part of Bishop Cosin’s grand vision for Auckland Castle and its grounds. The garden once provided food for the lavish feasts hosted by the Prince Bishops of Durham, including exotic fruit such as pineapples and grapes.

Today, the Walled Garden remains true to its historic purpose, growing fruit, vegetables and flowers. The recently restored lower and western Walled Gardens have already produced in excess of 7,000 kilograms of produce which are served in The Auckland Project’s cafes and restaurants and shared with local community groups.

The next phase of redevelopment is the reimagining of the upper terrace of the Walled Garden, which will include a striking ridge and furrow glasshouse designed by Mawson / Kerr. The upper terrace and glasshouse will open to the public in spring 2024.

In the meantime, visitors will be able to explore the lower and western Walled Gardens from the end of April, with planting activity taking place in the Walled Garden throughout May.

Andy Nesbitt, Head Curator of Parks, Gardens and Landscapes, said: “It has been a delight to see our colleagues working alongside the Parks and Gardens team for National Gardening Day. By the end of May we will have planted over 40,000 plants in the Walled Garden, so we are certainly grateful for a few extra helping hands!”

Katie Hinch, Senior HR Advisor at The Auckland Project, said: “‘It is fantastic to see the benefit for staff being away from their usual role and being outdoors in the fresh air and having time to appreciate our beautiful gardens and the team’s hard work.”

The Auckland Project’s attractions are open from 10.30am – 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday. To book tickets or to find out more about The Auckland Project, please visit


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