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Head gardener at Sewerby Hall to retire after 42 years

The team at Sewerby Hall and Gardens are gearing up to say a fond farewell to head gardener Richard Spalding, who will be retiring at the end of February.

Richard started at Sewerby Hall and Gardens in 1982, after leaving Headlands School in Bridlington the previous year.

He was initially offered a three-year apprenticeship, and then worked his way up to the head gardener role, which he has held since 2000.

Richard Spalding said: “I have been lucky to work in such a lovely place, and to work with lots of great staff in the gardens, the hall and Worklink. Some have become very good friends, and not just workmates. I have also made lots of friends with visitors and locals walking through the gardens.”

Richard is in charge of 50 acres of garden and woodland at the popular venue, and one of the key parts of his role has been the planting of 30-40,000 bedding plants every year. He has been in overall charge of the pleasure garden, including the famous monkey puzzle trees, the rose garden, woodland walks, and the formal walled gardens.

As he approaches his final day on site, Richard said : “I am looking forward to my early retirement and spending more time on watching Hull City, cycling and attending concerts. There will be more time for travelling with my wife and spending more time in my own garden!”

Steve Brackenbury, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s service manager, grounds technical, commented : “Richard will be missed by so many people, who were used to seeing him looking after Sewerby Hall Gardens. The gardens always look immaculate, which is largely down to Richard’s hard work and commitment to his work. I would like to thank Richard for his service and wish him the very best for a well deserved retirement.”

Marie Gascoigne, general manager, Sewerby Hall and Gardens, added: “On behalf of everyone at Sewerby Hall and Gardens, we wish Richard all the very best for his retirement. Richard has been an extremely valued member of the team, whose work has been admired and enjoyed by more than a million visitors since Richard took up the role of Head Gardener in the year 2000.

“We will all miss Richard, not only for his hard work and dedication, but for his friendliness and the absolute pride that he takes in his work.”

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