Head of Gardens
The gardens in our care are some of the most important, iconic, and well-loved in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Trust takes great pride in caring for these living works of art to a high standard and in welcoming visitors to share in their beauty.
We're now looking for a Head of Gardens to lead an organisation-wide initiative to making the most of our gardens and their ability to inspire and delight, providing public benefit. You’ll help us make a step-change in our ability to connect with visitors through gardens, bringing our conservation and engagement activity together in dynamic new ways which will resonate with 21st century audiences.
What you'll be doing
No two of our gardens are the same, and your day to day role will reflect that. You'll work with our internal gardens specialists, from regional gardens advisers to head gardeners based at properties across the organisation, as well as external professionals. You'll come to understand wider property priorities, and engage with others to ensure that NT gardens play a strong role in helping our places to thrive. At a national level, you will be part of a heritage focussed team, but you will work closely with many others from Visitor Experience to Membership and Support, from Commercial to Communications.
As the Head of profession, you'll have and continue to build the external networks we need, leading senior level relationships with key partners to ensure we are at the forefront of research and innovation, and are working with others to help train and build the professional gardens community of the future.
Who we're looking for
You’ll have an impressive background in working with gardens, a commitment to research and long-term sustainability, and a desire to innovate. You'll understand how to engage people through stories, programming and high presentation standards. Both a team player and a leader, you will be able to build strong internal and external networks, and to work in, and inspire, multi-disciplinary teams.
To be considered for the role, you’ll need to have:
- Relevant professional qualification in horticulture – and hands on practical experience
- Exceptional leadership skills, able to motivate and inspire others
- Creativity and innovation, ability to drive cultural change, leading change
- A record of creating and driving strategic approaches across the organisation
- Stakeholder management with influencing and negotiating skills
- Experience and understanding of the application of conservation principles in heritage settings
- Preferably, have had management of a garden or complex site in a vibrant and dynamic way, with multiple ways to engage with visitors and members
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!
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