Head Gardener

National Trust
TN14 6BA, Sevenoaks
27,735 PA
Closing date
18 Apr 2021

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Full Time
Gardening Jobs

Job Details


An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the garden team at Emmetts Garden team as Head Gardener. The Emmetts Garden team work within the Chartwell Portfolio which also cares for Chartwell Gardens, 1500 acres of West Kent Countryside and Quebec House Garden. Whilst you will be based at Emmetts Garden there will be great opportunities to work on shared workdays within the Garden and Countryside team across the portfolio. In addition to your direct responsibilities as Head Gardener a fundamental part of the role will be to support and deputise for the Gardens and Countryside Manager.


What it's like to work here:

Emmetts is a truly wonderful woodland garden with a strong horticultural interest which was developed by the Lubbock’s family who were keen plant collectors of their time. The garden designed in the style of William Robinson featuring a Rock Garden, Rose Garden and fine tree collection. Emmetts sits on one of the highest points in Kent and as such commands stunning views over the Weald an Area of Outstanding, Natural, Beauty. Emmetts is extremely popular with young families who enjoy the tranquil surroundings and the safety of the gardens. The gardens are popular with garden enthusiasts too and we now receive over 140,000 visitors a year.


What you'll be doing

You will need to be self-motivated, a real people person and show strong leadership at all times. Through the seasons you will lead the Emmetts Garden team consisting of a Gardener and an Assistant Gardener and 40 volunteers with the day to day management of the gardens including the creation of work plans. You will support the Garden and Countryside Manager with the future direction and development of the gardens. You will ensure that the gardens are presented to highest horticultural standards possible and have a good eye for detail, plant identification and care.


This is an extremely exciting time for Emmetts Gardens we are part way through restoring many garden features and are completing a brand-new composting facility. We will be restoring the plantings and water features in the North Garden in the coming years. Key projects coming up will be to complete the restoration of the North Garden, reinstate lost views and structural elements including a lost hedge and improvements to paths.


In the role as Head Gardener on occasion you will be a stand in Duty Manager, you will share this responsibility with other senior members of the team on a rota. Weekend working is an essential requirement of the role and you will work one weekend in four sharing this responsibility with the garden team and managing the rota.


Please see accompanying role profile


Who we're looking for In your application please provide details of how you meet the criteria for this role.


Experience of 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 An understanding of Health & Safety and sustainable garden practices 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 articles:

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