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Claire Woods appointed as Gardens Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that looks after Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, has appointed Claire Woods as its new Gardens Manager.

Bringing a life-long passion for horticulture and over 30 years’ professional experience, Claire will lead a team of experts, caring for and growing in Hillsborough Castle’s important and historic gardens. These cover 100 acres of ornamental grounds, peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens.

Claire’s role will include managing the ongoing maintenance, and the growing in of the new schemes in the Castle grounds, from implementing spectacular planting schemes to coordinating all horticultural training onsite. She will also oversee the continual work in re-presentinghe Castle’s four-acre Walled Garden and the development of a Lost Garden.

Claire Woods, Gardens Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Gardens Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. It’s a fantastic time to join the team and whilst we have almost completed a major project to transform large parts of the grounds, we have further ambitions to continually develop these areas across the seasons.

 “As an enthusiastic ‘plants’ person I’m keen to explore how we develop the plant collection to create picturesque views and use locally grown and native plants in gardens and grounds to promote biodiversity and sustainability.  I am looking forward to welcoming visitors to explore Hillsborough Castle’s stunning gardens in April and beyond.”

Claire brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role, through previous roles with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. She has continually advocated the importance of horticulture for all, from the production of food crops to the creation of aesthetically beautiful and historic green spaces in which to live, work and play.

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens will open daily to the public from 18 April 2019, following a five-year, £20 million investment and project transformation.

Claire succeeds Stephen Martelli, following his 14 years at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens as Gardens & Estates Manager.