Head Gardener

Southwark, London (Greater)
22 Mar 2019
22 Apr 2019

Role Profile

JOB TITLE: Head Gardener                                                                                      

LOCATION: Southwark

DATE CREATED: 22nd March 2019                                               

Overall Purpose

This job is seen as fundamental by both the Company and its client Southwark Council in order to meet, maintain and raise horticultural standards of the contract particularly in respect of Heritage Lottery Funded works and Green Flag status.   

The post would suit a plants person with an interest in botanical horticulture and is in addition to the operational staffing structure employed to deliver the contractual service delivery and as such will operate in addition to and alongside this structure but without the associated commercial pressures.

To improve all horticultural aspects of the contract by working in partnership with all stake holders in the service provision including the company management team, client officers, parks user groups and all other parks users. Ensuring all activities are undertaken in full accordance with prevailing Health & Safety guidelines.

Main duties and responsibilities

  1. To liaise with Company Contract Manager / Area Supervisor / Council Contracts and Services Team on a daily basis.
  2. To ensure that the Customer comes first, by providing a visible presence with time to communicate on all issues relating to horticulture, adopting appropriate levels of care, relative to the needs of the customer and maintaining a polite, respectful and helpful attitude at all times.
  3. To ensure that the presentation of the Company’s and client assets give the most favourable impression at all times and where a uniform is provided to ensure that it is worn.
  4. To ensure that unsatisfactory performance identified is corrected to contract standards at the earliest possible opportunity.
  5. To ensure that repetitive or serious complaints are referred to the Company Contract Manager / Council Contracts and Services Team  as appropriate.
  6. To ensure all necessary and appropriate standards have been implemented and are operating in accordance with the Company’s Health & Safety Policy.
  7. To provide occasional guided walks, horticultural advice to all stake holders including company management team, client officers, parks user groups and all other parks users.
  8. To provide on the job training and horticultural guidance to the companies operational staff deployed on the contract including the direct daily supervision of one number apprentice.
  9. Supervision and development of apprentice gardener

Skills, knowledge and competencies required

  • H.N.D. (or equivalent qualification) in Amenity / Ornamental  Horticulture
  • Minimum of five years’ experience gained within a horticultural environment.
  • In possession of technical proficiency certificates appropriate to the post.
  • Full current driving licence.
  • Customer care.
  • Demonstrable ability to interpret verbal and written instructions in a manner that facilitates effective working.
  • Excellent and proven communications skills, with the ability to effectively communicate and interface with a diverse range of people including Parks users, visitors, Friends of Groups and all other stakeholders .
  • Good understanding of Health and Safety at work policy and practice.
  • Proven ability to deliver practical horticultural on the job training to both company staff and all other stakeholders.
  • Ability to work to a very high standard without the need for supervision.
  • Dependable and conscientious.
  • Demonstrable ability to work as a member of a team.
  • Lead, supervise apprentice gardener or similar
  • Self motivated and able to initiate new ways of working within a defined framework.
  • Capable of dealing with both routine and non-routine matters.
  • Pays attention to detail, particularly with regard to recording of information to be used by others.
  • Flexible attitude to work.
  • Domiciled within easy travelling distance of contract location.


  1. Customer relations: Proactive and timely reaction to all reports in connection with customer complaints/relations.
  2. Labour management: Accurate and timely submission of paperwork to line management.
  3. Job administration: Prioritise the workload to maximise horticultural output standards, quality and customer satisfaction.
  4. Health & Safety administration: Immediate reporting of accidents and other safety incidents in line with laid down protocols.
  5. Training: To identify training needs within the operational team and then deliver the required on the job training to meet these needs in consultation with the Company Management Team / Council Officers.
  6. Horticultural standards: to maintain and continuously work to improve horticultural standards in specified areas within Southwark Park.
  7. Parks user interface: to develop and maintain by appropriate means regular communications links with all parks users.

Enhanced CRB check required to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of the role

Ensuring Company policies, procedures and operating standards and requirements are adhered to.

The post-holder must be medically fit to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of the role.

Such other duties and responsibilities as may be required for the effective functioning of Operations.  This job description will be reviewed and amended to meet business requirements.

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