MEMBERS of Cumnock's Things Tae Dae group have been doing voluntary work at Dumfries House.

They have been spending Friday mornings helping staff at the estate’s Kauffman Education Gardens ­— which is much appreciated.

As well as helping maintain the garden, the group have been learning about gardening and cultivating vegetables.

Staff have thanked the dedicated volunteers for their ongoing commitment to the estate over the past six years.

Chris Jones, education gardener at Dumfries House, said: “The Things Tae Dae group are some of the longest serving volunteers on the estate. The group assisted with clearing the scrub in 2012 and have been here helping us maintain the gardens ever since.

“The Kauffman Education Gardens would not be here without them and we are incredibly grateful for all their hard work.

"Between them, the volunteers have cut acres of grass, rotavated countless vegetables beds, planted thousands of leeks, dug many sacks of potatoes and sown thousands of seeds.

"It is a privilege to work with such a positive and committed group of volunteers.”

Thousands of school pupils visit the gardens each year to learn about the skills involved in cultivating and cooking vegetables as part of The Prince’s Foundation food and horticulture education programmes.

James Menhams from Cumnock,​ who has been a member of the Things Tae Dae group for several years, said: “I come to Dumfries House every week to help out in the education gardens.

"I really enjoy planting seeds and it makes me very proud when I see people enjoying the plants that have grown from them."

The 61-year-old, who is also a talented artist, continued: “I’ve learnt a lot about gardening since I started volunteering at Dumfries House. I like spending time outside and working at Dumfries House inspires me to draw pictures. I’ve given some of my art to staff at Dumfries House.”

Robert Kay, who is also part of the group, added: "Volunteering at Dumfries House is interesting for me as I was brought up on a farm in Auchinleck and so I enjoy being outside. I've made some really good friends here and like working in the gardens with them."

Fellow Things Tae Dae member Andrew Jardine, who lives in Mauchline and is a member of Mauchline Horticulture Society, added: “I get pleasure from planting something and seeing it grow to become something you can eat. I look forward to every Friday as the Things Tae group are a great bunch of people and Dumfries House is an incredible place to work.”