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Head Gardener

National Trust
Belton House. Belton, Grantham
£32,304 per annum
Closing date
31 Jan 2021
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Job Details

We're looking for a Head Gardener who can be an inspiring leader in one of the National Trust’s most significant gardens. The Grade I registered, 4 hectare 18th and 19th century gardens are set within a 17th century parkland of over 250 hectares. The gardens include a conservatory, Dutch and Italian Gardens, Pleasure Grounds, wilderness and lakes. The gardens are supported by a nursery area and regional and national support in plant collections management and conservation, including a Conservation Management Plan.

We want someone who can apply their expertise and technical knowledge to ensuring our historic knowledge and future plans for the gardens are implemented to high horticultural and presentation standards. We need someone who will work with confidence with our existing team, our members, and visitors. We’ve got great plans, if you're up to the challenge, then we want to hear from you.

The Head Gardener's role is all about the big picture and delivery of long-term plans in the garden. An eye for conservation, preservation, day to day management and maintenance will be required to handle one of the finest Gardens in the country. You’ll have extensive plant knowledge, be green fingered and hands-on.

You’ll have strong people management experience and you'll lead with confidence, inspiring your team with a clear vision for the gardens. You’ll understand the standards required of a Nationally Significant garden and you’ll make sure that Belton House is maintained and presented consistently and well. You’ll lead your team to deliver a wide range of practical horticultural tasks. You’ll develop, enhance and conserve the garden and ensure the smooth and professional delivery of projects.

This role involves working with the rest of the Property Management Team to influence and support the development of new plans and projects. You'll play a key role within the team at Belton House as we work together to meet the challenges the future brings, keeping our offer in tune with our 'Spirit of Place', while giving our visitors an exceptional experience.

You’ll be accountable for the day-to-day management of the garden staff and volunteers, but will have strong delegation skills to a responsible Deputy Senior Gardener. You must have the confidence, knowledge and experience to maintain a high level of horticultural standards. You’ll prioritise and allocate tasks appropriately and within budget while always thinking of the bigger picture and the vision for the garden. You’ll conserve and build on the restoration work and planning that has already been done.

You’ll understand that our gardens and grounds are as 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.

In your application please provide details of how you meet the criteria for this role:

  • Experience of managing teams of gardeners and volunteers
  • Experience and evidence of excellent communication and leadership skills across property or in collaboration with regional teams
  • A love for sharing your knowledge and experience with volunteers, staff and team
  • An understanding of the importance of connecting what we do with our members through leading by example on visitor experience and engagement
  • 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
  • An understanding of Health & Safety and sustainable garden practices


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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