Five minutes with… Jamie Walton, Head Grower at Raithwaite Sandsend

Jamie, who joined Raithwaite at the beginning of the year, is our on-site sustainability pro. Here, he tells us all about his big plans for Raithwaite Sandsend

What’s new in the Raithwaite grounds right now?

The “no-dig” organic garden  is our newest addition, but we also recently updated the orchard and the original walled garden, adding productive perennials and beneficial companion plantings. We’re also midway through developing the UK’s first hotel forest garden, a project started in November last year.

Talk us through a typical day for you at Raithwaite.

Now that the main infrastructure for both the no-dig garden and the forest garden is in place, I’ll be spending more time on sowing, growing and building the soil health of our gardens. This means supporting the beneficial microorganisms that form a thriving and fertile soil ecosystem.

What’s next for the Raithwaite gardens?

We already employ organic practices throughout the gardens, but we’re in the process of having all areas of our grounds follow the Soil Association organic standards. The forest garden is an ongoing project and we’re slowly introducing a diverse selection of trees, plants, herbs and even fungi.

How can guests get involved?

Our gardens and grounds are open to guests to explore. They can take an organic starter plant from our no-dig garden as a memento of their stay with us, to grow at home. We’re also planning on introducing tours, educational courses and wild foraging events in the near future.

What’s your top tip for sustainable gardening?

Focus on the health and wellbeing of your soil and the life within it. There are more microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil, than humans on earth. Healthy soil results in healthy plants, and in turn, healthy plants help to support healthy humans.

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