Irish Heritage Trust Volunteering Programme

Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens.

Their expertise and enthusiasm is a vital support to the work of the Irish Heritage Trust, which manages and cares for Fota House and its gorgeous, historic surroundings.

In 2015, the very special work of our gardening volunteers was acknowledged with a prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra award. The award recognised the innovative restoration project at Fota’s Victorian Working Garden ‘as an example of practical public volunteer involvement in a heritage project.’

The Orchard Project With the Apple Benevity Programme

Since global tech giant Apple Inc re-housed bees from its own site to the Fota House Estate, its Cork’s employees have been helping to revitalise our orchard and kitchen garden. Their efforts:

  • Support educational initiatives and quality local food production.
  • Supply organic local produce to their European headquarters in Cork.
  • Give Apple employees a sense of belonging and connection with the local community.

Can I volunteer at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens?

Joining our local volunteer team gives you a way to play a part in the important work of conserving Ireland’s rich heritage. Our Irish Heritage Trust volunteers at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens will be delighted to welcome you into their ranks.

Whether you’re more at home chatting with visitors from Ireland and beyond about the past, fixing a piece of furniture, or marshalling the guests who come to enjoy our unique events programmes, you’ll be more than welcome to get involved.

What Kind of Volunteering Suits You?

Are you keen to get your hands dirty in our kitchen gardens and formal flowerbeds, or ready to help us share amazing stories with visitors? There are lots of volunteering opportunities to choose from!

Meeting People, Sharing Stories
  • Tour guiding
  • Supporting the visitor experience
  • Acting as an ambassador at our events
  • Contributing or collecting oral histories and reminiscences
Conserving, Restoring and Growing
  • Conserving different aspects of our houses and gardens
  • Furniture restoration
  • Gardening and horticulture
  • Composting
  • Encouraging biodiversity
Working With Us Behind the Scenes
  • Event planning and support
  • Photography
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Local community outreach
  • And much, much more!

Training and Support

If you’d like to volunteer at Fota House, we won’t push you in at the deep end! You’ll be invited to an induction workshop where you can meet the team, find out more about the Irish Heritage Trust and its properties, and learn about the roles that are available for you to try.

At our regular monthly forum for staff and volunteers, we share information, provide training, and develop ideas with your input. We also take occasional trips to other properties, and hold social events for the team.

We have a regular monthly forum for our Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens staff and volunteers where we share information, provide training, and develop ideas with your input. We also take occasional trips to other properties and hold social events for the team.

If you would like to help for an hour, a day, or longer, please get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator, Claire Kelliher, on 021 481 5543 or email info@fotahouse.com

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