Head Gardener (live-out) for Private Estate, Berkshire, UK

Ascot, Berkshire
Competitive and depending on experience
12 Oct 2016
12 Nov 2016
UK 7350
Full Time
Contract Type

For a large Estate in Berkshire we are looking for an experienced, qualified Head Gardener to work full-time, Mon – Fri, 7am – 5pm (time in lieu), live-out from 1st. Feb. 2017 in order to maintain a beautiful estate in Berkshire with a team of up to 12 staff.

The estate comprises of more than 30 acres and includes lakeside gardens, a maze, formal parkland, summer meadows, woodland and a walled garden. These have recently been professionally redesigned, stocked up and replanted to reflect their former glory.

The Head Gardener oversees a team of up to 12 staff and reports to the House Manager.

The duties of the Head Gardener are to:

  • Strategically plan the tasks for the week and further ahead
  • Oversee, train and motivate the team in order to perform tasks on time, to their best ability and to the standards required
  • Report if tasks cannot be achieved and to evaluate resources/ man power available and needed
  • Ensure the operation is kept running smoothly and the estate is ready for the occasional visits from the family
  • Suggest and advise of best horticultural practices
  • Maintain the gardens (which do not require redesigning) to very high standards, which includes overseeing an orchard, looking after lawns and herbaceous borders, choosing and planting vegetables and maintaining fruit shrubs, trimming hedges, shaping ornamental trees, tending to flowers beds and some indoor plants - as well as a flock of chicken. Specialist consultants are hired in from time to time and when required (lawns, pruning etc.).
  • Part of the duties will be to assist with special projects when required.

Good general and excellent horticultural knowledge are required as well as managing the upkeep of all areas. Basic to good knowledge of maintaining garden machinery and tools and their safe use as well as following health and safety regulations are required. No more than an hour of office work is required. 

The Head Gardener must have a good education – a Master degree in horticulture (CertHort -RHS or City and Guilds Horticulture Level 3) or equivalent and at least 5 years’ experience working in renown gardens in the UK, perhaps currently in an Assistant Head Gardener position. A spraying and current First Aid certificates are required as well as a recent DBS security check and written references from former private employers.

Candidates must have great attention to detail, be pro-active, well organized and well presented, able to lead a team by example, able to maximise their performance and efficiency. Assistance with recruiting, may be required. We are looking for candidates who are honest, personable, flexible, responsible and have a high sense of integrity and discretion with a hands-on and meticulous approach, raising the standards. Good management experience is vital with the ability to follow instructions and give clear commands. The skill to write reports is important and conducting staff appraisals may be needed. Candidate must live or be prepared to live within commutable distance.

The work hours are usually Mon- Fri from 7am – 5pm (30min for breakfast, 30min for lunch). The 1 ½ hours extra daily are taken in lieu during bad weather conditions and over Christmas/New Year. A room for breaks is provided as well as uniforms, shoes, lockers, a changing room and a shower. Some weekend work may be required when the family are visiting.

Salary depending on experience, 20 days holidays (2 weeks over Christmas/ New Year get covered through overtime), To start 1st Feb. 2017

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Do you hold a Degree in Horticulture, an RHS Cert. Level 3 or equivalent?

Have you for at leat 5 years worked in large renown private estates?

Do you have excellent people managment experience and planning skills?

Are you meticulour in your approach with very high standards?

Do you have written references from past private employers?

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