Volunteer gardeners



Volunteer Gardeners can be exposed to a number of easily avoidable hazards.  This guidance has been produced to help volunteers identify these hazards, making their involvement safe and enjoyable, and should be followed by all volunteers.

Protective Clothing and Equipment

·         The following equipment should be used at all times by volunteers undertaking gardening:

·         Reflective hi-visibility waistcoat to clearly highlight volunteers to traffic and pedestrians

·         Gloves to minimise contact with and noxious or dangerous plants

·         Suitable footwear and clothing

Please bring some suitable gloves and hi-visibility waistcoat.

Noxious and Sharp Plants

You may encounter noxious or sharp plants, which you should be treated with caution.  Always wear gloves and a long sleeve top.

Gardening Tools

You should always follow the manufacturers instructions when using gardening tools.  Ensure all tools are placed in a clear and visible place to ensure people don’t fall over them.  Forks should always be placed stood up or forks facing downwards.  Safety catches and blade covers should be on, if not the gardening tool is not being used.

Lifting and Handling Materials

Volunteers should be aware of the risk of injury by carrying heavy items such as compost, so do not attempt to lift and carry heavy materials.  To avoid injury, the following basic principles of manual handling should be applied:

·         Make sure an item is safe to handle with no sharp edges

·         Decide if an item can be safely moved either by one or two people

·         Only try to move an item if this can be done so without straining

·         When lifting an item, bend the legs and keep the back straight

Uneven and slippery ground

The ground can be wet, uneven and slipperty.  Suitable footwear should be warn, with a good support and tread.

Young Volunteers

While it is beneficial to get young people involved in gardening, age plays a big part in the ability to recognise and avoid risk.  Accordingly, volunteers under the age of 18 should be supervised by parent or guardian. 


Volunteers should not participate in litter picks unless they understand and accept that participation is entirely at their own risk.  Volunteers are not working for, or on behalf of Follifoot with Plompton Parish Council, therefore the Parish Council will not be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of the actions and omissions of volunteers or this guidance.











Prepared by the Parish Clerk

May 2014