Head Gardener

Godinton House
Ashford, Kent
£35,000K - £38,000K
Closing date
14 Jun 2021
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Job Details

Head Gardener

Godinton House Preservation Trust

Godinton House, Great Chart, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP

Godinton House is a Jacobean mansion set in 12 acres of spectacular gardens, last landscaped by Reginald Blomfield in 1898.  They include an Italian garden, rose garden, significant herbaceous borders, walled garden, terraced lawns and vast formal yew hedging.   The house and garden are set in a traditional parkland with ancient oaks and chestnuts, and the Trust’s wider estate.

The maintenance of the gardens to a high standard for visitor interest is a priority for the Trust in association with its charitable purpose of preserving the house.  The garden is also host to an active and very successful education programme for school children, and a series of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

The gardens are currently managed by a team of three permanent garden staff, up to two garden trainees, some self-employed contractors, and a small team of volunteers.  The team works alongside a wider staff community in the house and on the estate, managed by the Godinton House Preservation Trust.  

The Role

The Trust is seeking to appoint a new Head Gardener to perform the following role:

  • Responsibility for the management of all aspects of the gardens.  This will include extensive ornamental plant management, lawn and hedge care, plant propagation, glasshouse work and kitchen gardening
  • Collaboration with other team members to deliver the Trust’s objectives including involvement in the education and events programme, to include hosting school visits and adult education horticultural workshops 
  • Management of the garden staff team including team leadership and development, and recruiting and supervising volunteers and apprentices
  • Supervision of health and safety in relation to garden staff and machinery

The Head Gardener will report to the Estate Manager day to day and directly to the Board of Trustees as required, and manage the existing garden team.

The Individual

We are looking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic individual with the following attributes:

  • Excellent plant knowledge and hands on garden management experience
  • Preferably previous experience as a Head Gardener or in a senior capacity
  • A proven track record in a leadership role responsible for performance management and in supporting and developing a team
  • Good communication skills, and enthusiasm and confidence to engage with day visitors and lead educational groups
  • Competence in relevant health and safety legislation applicable to the role, and proficiency in use and management of garden machinery

The Package

  • A competitive salary package dependent on experience and is offered with a pension
  • The position is to start  from mid July 2021
  • Daily working hours are 8 am to 5 pm plus weekend hours for watering and other duties, in rota with other staff, and some weekend working such as to host workshops and attend exhibitions in the garden
  • Accommodation can be available on terms to be agreed.  
  • Holiday entitlement is 20 days annually plus bank holidays

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted with a covering letter to Rob Duggan (Estate Manager) at recruitment@godintonhouse.co.uk, by 11th June 2021.    Applicants selected for interview will be invited to attend at Godinton House, where Covid-19 secure arrangements are in place, and are encouraged to visit the gardens beforehand.

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