Head Gardener

Wilmslow, Cheshire
18 Aug 2017
10 Sep 2017
Full Time
Contract Type

Head Gardener

 £25,935 pa

Permanent f/t (37.5 hrs pw)


Ref: IRC55417


We are currently looking to appoint a Head Gardener. The role will include leading, organising, developing, supporting and motivating our team of gardeners and volunteers, and working alongside other departments to support the visitor attraction, develop effective visitor and community engagement and deliver high standards of conservation.

What it's like to work here

Quarry Bank Garden is a 13 acre garden, created in the early 19th century by the Greg family, who were the founders of Quarry Bank Mill and then subsequently, the largest cotton production business in the country. They established this beautiful picturesque garden in the grounds of Quarry Bank House, and used the setting of a dramatic sandstone valley alongside the River Bollin, to great effect.

The key components of the garden are: a productive walled kitchen garden, a tropical plant house and vineries, a parterre planted with seasonal bedding, woodland borders, herbaceous borders, formal lawns, meadows, ponds, rockeries, an allotment garden associated with the Apprentice House and an extensive collection of early Rhododendron hybrids. Much of the garden is on sloping ground which provides both opportunities and challenges in developing and maintaining the garden. The garden team currently comprises three full time gardeners (including the head gardener), three part time gardeners, a part time business support role, and 60 volunteers. This team look after the continued development and maintenance of Quarry Bank garden, as well as the Apprentice House garden and other gardened areas on the site.

What you'll be doing

Our new Head Gardener will be involved in delivering some outstanding developments as specified within the Conservation Management Plan and Garden Maintenance Plan. These include developing the garden immediately around Quarry Bank House, which includes a large sandstone rockery; and creating a historical representation of a mill worker’s garden in the workers’ village. There is also scope to develop a woodland planting scheme in an area of the garden known as Ferney Brow, a steeply sloping semi-wooded area.

They will supervise the maintenance and continued horticultural development of the garden, providing a sense of beauty, tranquillity and also excitement for our visitors. The garden will be open this winter for the first time and a key objective for the Head Gardener will be to create and support all year round visitor interest, through all the changes in the seasons; whilst also welcoming, accommodating and mitigating the impact on conservation of increasing numbers of visitors.

At Quarry Bank we pride ourselves on our great teamwork, our passion for this extraordinary place, and our positive and dynamic attitude, which has allowed us to successfully deliver rapid change and a highly complex and high profile project; with exciting opportunities ahead. You will play a vital role within this team and we would expect our new Head Gardener to demonstrate this positive attitude to their work, the garden team and the wider property team.

The role involves some weekend working.


Who we're looking for

To deliver this role successfully you will 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.

•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


Closing Date: 10 September 2017

For more information and to apply please click the application button below.

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