Royal Hospital Chelsea

Grounds & Gardens Manager

Chelsea, London (Greater)
04 Sep 2019
30 Sep 2019
Full Time
Contract Type

The RHC is a historic institution providing sheltered accommodation (Long Wards) and full nursing care where necessary (the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary) for some 300 retired soldiers, known as In- Pensioners. It ensures Army veterans are provided with the support and comradeship they need in recognition of their service to the Nation, and safeguards their historic home for the veterans of tomorrow.

All roles within the Royal Hospital Chelsea (RHC) have an integral part to play in contributing to the achievement of the Hospital’s Strategy and Vision.

This role will maintain excellent presentation of the grounds of the Royal Hospital to a high standard that befits an institution of national importance.

Overall accountabilities

  • Being responsible for the effective maintenance and management of the grounds within an approved budget.
  • Being responsible for the day to day running of the grounds and supervision of staff, contractors and volunteers to ensure that appropriate horticultural standards are maintained.
  • Ensuring that exemplary standards of horticultural husbandry and plantsmanship are maintained during all the seasons.
  • To attend and participate in the Heritage Steering Group meetings


  • To be responsible for the maintenance of the grounds trees and to identify required arboreal work throughout the year and to arrange and oversee the triannual tree survey.
  • To be responsible for turf maintenance including Bowling Green and other sports surfaces which includes cricket, football and tennis.
  • To support In Pensioners with their allotments and raised beds.
  • To be responsible for glass houses and the production of seasonal bedding plants and floral arrangements.
  • To be responsible for the maintenance of a wide range of horticultural machinery.
  • Answering public enquires for personal or educational purposes relating to the RHC grounds, its collections and historical background in general.

External contractors

  • Close liaison with users of the grounds including major events such as RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Masterpiece and Global Champions.
  • Establishing parameters to insure the protection of the grounds during and after functions, events and filming, including the recommendation of preparatory work and levels of on-site supervision.


  • To control, record and be responsible for the annual expenditure of the grounds budget.
  • To be responsible for ensuring correct payroll information is sent to Finance.
  • Plan and prepare capital expenditure forecasts.

Health & Safety

  • Overseeing management of contracts and contractors on the site in respect to the gardens and landscape, ensuring works are carried out in a safe manner and to the standard appropriate for the site and in conjunction with other activities on site.
  • Responsible for safe working practices, safe people, safe equipment and safe areas.
  • Ensuring that all of the grounds are fully compliant with H&S legislation and procedures in accordance with RHC policy to include appropriate risk assessment, reporting and training.

Leadership Expectations

The Grounds Manager is responsible for managing, training and directing a small grounds team, consisting of Deputy Grounds Manager and five grounds staff.

Essential Skills

  • Good practical skills and extensive experience in all aspects of horticulture.
  • Strong communication skills both verbal and written.

Desirable Skills

  • Good IT skills. Microsoft 365
  • Knowledge of Exchequer 365 and Rota Horizon. ( on-site training given)

Knowledge and Experience

  • Relevant practical horticultural experience in all fields, in particular: seasonal maintenance, plant knowledge, arboriculture, machinery and sportsgrounds practice.
  • Management experience of both people and events.


  • Ideally a Diploma or HND. Candidates should also hold necessary certificates in the use of general gardening equipment.
  • Knowledge of safe use of horticultural chemicals ( Herbicides, fungicides Insecticides)
  • A full, valid driving license is required.
  • A recognized Health and Safety certificate.

Note: All RHC employees are expected to be flexible in undertaking the duties and responsibilities for their role and may be asked to perform other duties, which reasonably correspond to the general character of their role and their level of responsibility.

Closing Date: 30/09/2019

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