Assistant Head Gardener
We're looking for an Assistant Head Gardener who can inspire confidence in the team, adapt quickly to new ways of working and apply their technical knowledge to a range of different tasks and lead on small projects. If you're up to the challenge, then we want to hear from you!
This role includes some out of hours working including weekends.
What it's like to work here
As the National Trust’s first acquisition, the visitor experience at this Norfolk estate focuses on how and why the Trust began. The team are always looking for hard-working people with a passion for customer service and there are opportunities across the board. You're likely to need your own car to get here, and the friendly team and vast estate make Blickling one of our most popular tourist destinations.
The Blickling Estate covers almost 5,000 acres of which 55 acres of gardens sit alongside the Jacobean mansion and welcomes 200,000 visitors each year. Within the wider estate nine holiday cottages enable our guests to experience a wide variety of properties. Each garden is individual ranging from those surrounding an 18th century Grandstand Tower, to a Manor House, but all have their own charm. Due to the location of the properties being spread across the estate you will often be working away from the main garden.
What you'll be doing
Blickling Estate is a magical place to visit anytime of the year so imagine what it’s like to work here. The Assistant Head Gardener's role is all about the conservation and preservation, as well as the day to day management and maintenance of one of the finest Gardens in the Eastern Region. Green fingered and hands-on with people management experience, you’ll assist in making sure that Blickling is maintained to a high standard and be passionate and enthused by plants. This role includes helping to create new attractions that not only enhance the 'Spirit of Place' but also provides our visitors with an exceptional experience. This role will include a range of practical horticultural tasks to develop, enhance and conserve the garden and contribute to the delivery of projects.
You’ll be responsible for managing the garden team and volunteers on a daily basis and must be confident in maintaining a high level of horticultural standards, prioritising workloads across the garden and thinking about the bigger picture and vision for the garden. You’ll love working outdoors and understand that our gardens and grounds areas significant as our mansion houses and our historical places. Our visitors tell us how much they enjoy the peace and tranquillity of our well-kept outdoor spaces, which makes your role vital in making sure they have an amazing experience. You'll also be confident working with local partners and other interested groups.
Who we're looking for
We're looking for someone who is creative and thinks outside the box, and who can help share our magical story with visitors and supporters of all ages and backgrounds. In order to be successful in this role you’ll have;
- Experience managing teams of gardeners and volunteers
- A love for sharing your knowledge and experience with volunteers, staff and team
- Excellent organisational and communication skills
- RHS Level 3 (or equivalent) as well as practical gardening/horticulture experience
- An excellent understanding of horticultural techniques and plant identification
- Experience of using garden machinery
- A NPTC PA1/PA6 spraying qualification
- An understanding of Health & Safety and sustainable garden practices
- A full driving licence
Benefits include flexible working whenever possible plus free parking at most locations. You’ll be entitled to discounts in high street stores and cinemas, National Trust shops and NT cafes, and have free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18).
Your health and wellbeing is important to us and is supported through generous annual leave and the option to buy additional days (minimum contract length applies), a cycle to work scheme, subsidised health cash plan and confidential access to a free support service 24 hours a day should you need it.
Your future financial health is helped by an employer matched - up to 10% of basic salary - contributory pension scheme and you can further your career with training and development tailored to you.
All of this and the opportunity to give something back to your community with up to 5 days of paid volunteering per year!