National Trust
BN7 3HF, Lewes
Closing date
24 Jan 2021

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Part Time
Gardening Jobs

Job Details


If you want a career in Gardening, we can offer you some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the UK to work in as well as one of the largest plant collections in Europe.

What it's like to work here

Leonard and Virginia Woolf's 17th-century country retreat. Nestled in the heart of rural Sussex, Monk’s House is a tranquil 17th-century weatherboarded cottage inhabited by Leonard and the novelist Virginia Woolf from 1919 until Leonards death in 1969. Visitors get to know Leonard and Virginia Woolf and the wider Bloomsbury Group by visiting Monk's House. Full of their favourite things, the house appears as if they just stepped out for a walk.

This rare 14th-century thatched hall-house was the first ever building to be acquired by the National Trust! The gorgeous and idyllic setting, with views across the River Cuckmere and the snug thatched and timber-framed house is a property you don't want to miss. It is surrounded by a tranquil cottage garden - could you imagine working here?

What you'll be doing

This role offers a unique and exciting opportunity to lead on the management of the gardens at two of our newly designated ‘little gem’ properties; Monk’s House and Alfriston Clergy House. As part of the little gems model, our smaller teams will be highly valued for creating and bringing to life experiences that, we hope, people will remember for ever.

The gardens at both properties form a significant part of the visitor offer and we are looking for a highly organised and motivated gardener to really push the boundaries and help us set the direction for both gardens. The role will require significant involvement in planning the work programme of volunteers and possibly community groups to deliver the highest possible standard of presentation, horticulture and visitor experience. You’ll write and develop the garden management plans as well as coordinating daily work activities.

This role will require knowledge of a range of practical horticultural tasks in order to develop, enhance and conserve the garden and contribute to the delivery of plans. You’ll be passionate and enthused and knowledgeable about the varied plants within the garden.

You’ll be expected to help out with gardening workshops, tours and helping set up events when needed.

There may be a need, on occasion, for the postholder to act as duty manager or provide keyholder support as part of an out of hours rota.

As you will see this doesn’t look like a traditional gardener role and we need an enthusiastic individual to be on board with the reset proposals around little gems. This role is an opportunity for the right individual to shape the future of two fantastic NT gardens.

Please also read the full role profile attached to this advert

Who we're looking for

Applications from internal employees who are under notice of redundancy are assessed against the minimum criteria listed below. All other applicants may be assessed against other criteria in the advert and role profile.

Any employees under notice of redundancy who meet the minimum criteria will progress to the next stage. In your application please provide details of how you meet the criteria for this role.

  • Significant practical experience in horticulture, supported by appropriate qualifications to RHS Level 2 (or equivalent vocational experience).
  • Ability to use own initiative
  • Ability to set direction.
  • Ability to lead volunteers
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Supervisory skills, able to manage a group of volunteers.
  • Ability to understand the approach needed to reward, recognise and motivate volunteers.
  • Some knowledge of budgets and finance.
  • Knowledge of Health and Safety & Compliance requirements.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.

The package

Benefits for working at the National Trust:

  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Discounts in high street stores, cinemas, National Trust properties and cafes.
  • Free entry to our properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Generous annual leave
  • Subsidised health cash plan
  • Free 24-hour support service
  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
  • Training & Development tailored to you
  • Up to 5 days of paid volunteering for you.


The National Trust is described by its employee gardeners as “dynamic, supportive, inquisitive and fun”, where its beautiful places “lift your spirits naturally” and “somewhere you can expand new skills”. The organisation is currently recruiting for a number of gardening roles. 

Read more in our latest Wonderful Workplaces article: What makes the National Trust a special place to work?

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