Head Gardener

Selly Oak, Birmingham
Starting salary is £22,734 per annum - (FTE: £25,260 per annum)
11 Jan 2017
03 Feb 2017
Part Time
Contract Type

Role summary

Overall management and care of Woodbrooke’s gardens and grounds, ensuring an appropriate balance is maintained between conservation, amenity use and health and safety. Contributing to the development of a renewed vision for future use of the grounds to support our learning programme and our commercial needs.



  • Working to the Head of Services, the post-holder will be required to manage the Garden Assistant (part-time, seasonal) and volunteers working in the grounds and garden. Some volunteers are local and others stay for a few weeks or months at Woodbrooke.
  • Working collaboratively with other teams in the areas of reception, accommodation and conference reservations, catering, housekeeping, volunteer co-coordination, and learning provision, in the use of Woodbrooke’s gardens and grounds, including use of open fires.
  • Responsibility for managing the yearly cycle of work that is needed to keep our grounds, green spaces and gardens to the highest standard.
  • Developing a garden and grounds development & maintenance plan driven from our estates strategic plan
  • Recruitment, supervision and support of volunteers and paid employees working in the garden and grounds.
  • Obtaining specialist advice when required.
  • Management of any external contractors working in the grounds.
  • Management of the garden budget.
  • Keeping a record of all planting and maintenance work.
  • Management of garden machinery and equipment
  • Monitoring of trees. Especially those near paths, buildings and boundaries for safety purposes.
  • Implementation of health and safety procedures in relation to grounds.
  • Providing talks and guided tours as required.

Human Resources:

  • To recruit, monitor, motivate, train and manage team members relating to the garden and grounds.
  • To work to the Head of Services in relation to performance management and disciplinary issues.
  • To prepare and implement weekly Rota’s to provide effective cover and work patterns for the Garden Assistant and for the Garden Volunteers.
  • To work with the Resident Volunteer Co-ordinator to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for garden volunteers staying residentially at Woodbrooke.

Person Specification

Skills and Attributes:


  • Educated to at least RHS Level 3, or NVQ3 in Amenity Horticulture, or equivalent work experience and knowledge
  • Qualified & competent with the use and maintenance of garden machinery including pedestrian and ride on mowers and hedge trimmers
  • Good knowledge of plants
  • Knowledge of relevant health and safety legislation and practice
  • Supervisory/management experience
  • Basic office IT skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Highly organised and adaptable and flexible in approach
  • Sympathy with Quaker values


  • Experience of organic garden management
  • Experience of managing volunteers
  • Qualified in the use of chainsaws

Working time and location

  • This is an annualised hour’s contract. During a full year you will be required to work 235 days of 7 hours per day, or equivalent. During the busiest nine months of the year we would expect you to work five full days per week. During the quieter three months of the year, we would expect you to work either three days per week, or four or five days at reduced hours. These days to be worked within a seven-day week. The final detail will be agreed with the successful applicant. Salary would be paid in equal monthly instalments.
  • Your place of work will be at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham and this is a live-out position.

Remuneration and benefits

  • Starting salary is £22,734 per annum  - (FTE: £25,260 per annum)
  • Annual leave entitlement for this contract is 30 days per annum (including public holidays) (FTE of 33 days)
  • Employer pension contribution of 6% if matched by employee contribution of 3% minimum
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Free staff lunch and refreshments, and family and friends discounts


Closing date for applications: 12 Noon, Friday 3 February 2017 – interviews to be held week commencing 13 February 2017

Applications should be marked as ‘Confidential’ and sent by email to: Darrell Farnsworth, Head of Services darrell.farnsworth@woodbrooke.org.uk

Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, 1046 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6LJ


Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged.  Shortlisted candidates will be contacted within 1 week of the closing date.