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Head Gardener

Posted 6 February by National Trust Ended


We are looking to recruit a rare breed of horticultural brilliance - a Head Gardener with a wealth of experience, a creative and artistic eye, sound plant knowledge and inspirational leadership skills to work across two exciting and different properties in the Midlands.

What it's like to work here

Wightwick Manor and Moseley Old Hall are part of the West Staffordshire Portfolio.

You will be on of a team of 3 gardeners and nearly 40 volunteers who support our designed landscapes and outdoor spaces at Wightwick and Moseley. Everyone plays a valuable part to make this special place as beautiful and vibrant as it can be, continually delighting and inspiring our visitors.

It’s an exciting time to join our team as we work on a development project to revive the Valley area of the gardens at Wightwick, create new plantings and continue the ongoing work to improve presentation standards and bring this Thomas Mawson designed garden back to life. At Moseley we are looking at the wider landscape and opening up areas of the property to visitors that have previously been leased for farming. Thinking of how we can improve the visitor offer for the outdoors and bring the gardens to the fore at the property that is dominated by one story.

Both properties pride themselves in good visitor enjoyment scores and both are locally loved and we want to build on the successes of recent year and develop a year round outdoor offer that encourages our visitors to come back throughout the year. Both properties are open 7 days and this brings challenges to the outdoors especially at Wightwick which is only closed 2 days a year. Both have strong commercial offers but we need to improve messaging in these to show how income generated supports our conservation works both in the houses and in the outdoors.

What you'll be doing

As the Head Gardener you’ll be based across the 2 properties allocating your time depending on need. You will be responsible for the outdoor offer at both sites from the formal terraces and knot gardens around the houses to the less formal woodland areas that include elements of natural play for our family visitors. This is a recently created role within the team and one of the aims is to bring the teams together and work collaboratively. Working with the teams you’ll ensure the Gardens, plant collections and outdoors are developed and maintained to the highest professional horticultural standards and that its distinctive specialness of place is preserved. You’ll implement garden conservation and management plans, based on sound conservation and environmental practices.

You’ll get involved with the interpretation and programming for our visitors. Including helping to promote the garden history and plant collections stories to our visitors. You’ll share your passion for our special place and instil a team culture of exceptional customer service by sharing stories and engaging with our visitors. You’ll also engage with local communities and others in our work and promote a culture of openness and involvement for all.

You’ll lead, motivate and supervise a large team of volunteers, working together to share great standards of presentation. You’ll also be an active member of the leadership team and will use your knowledge and team insights to help make informed decisions. You’ll work with other colleagues across the portfolio and consultancy to constantly improve our visitor offer.

You’ll be part of our Duty Manager rota at both properties providing support across all departments.

Regular weekend and bank holiday working is a requirement of this role. We anticipate this being at least one weekend in four.

Who we're looking for

To deliver this role successfully you’ll need;

  • Significant practical experience in horticulture, supported by appropriate qualifications to RHS level 3 (or equivalent level of vocational experience)
  • Experience of organising garden activities which enhance garden visits
  • Leadership skills including coaching, team development, motivation and communication
  • Good people skills enabling strong relationships to be built and maintained. externally and internally
  • Proven track record of managing budgets, finances and small projects
  • Experience in managing small contracts
  • Good written and verbal communication skills including public presentation, influencing and negotiating
  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledge of all Health & Safety and Compliance requirements relevant to horticulture

The package

Looking after you

  • Health cash plan - from as little as £2.81 per month for you and your dependents
  • Pension contribution match up to 10%
  • EAP and proactive Health and Wellbeing
  • Discounted gym membership

Looking after your career

  • Grow your career through professional training courses across the Trust
  • Develop your skills with an internal secondment
  • Pay review linked to values and behaviours, commitment to progression
  • Income protection due to illness

Unique to Us

  • Work in some of the most beautiful, iconic and unique locations in the UK
  • Free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • 20% off in our retail and catering outlets
  • Discount up to 35% off a National Trust holiday cottage booking

Reference: 34404453

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