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Assistant Head Gardener

National Trust
Midhurst, West Sussex
Salary: £28,400 per annum
Closing date
26 Sep 2021
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Job Details

We're looking for an Assistant Head Gardener who can inspire confidence in the team, adapt quickly to new ways of working and apply their technical knowledge to a range of different tasks and lead on small projects. If you're up to the challenge, then we want to hear from you! 

Salary: £28,400 per annum.

Contract Type: 37.5 hours per week on a fixed term contract for 24 months                        

Woolbeding Gardens is a beautiful 21st Century Garden with artistic colour themed borders set within garden rooms and a collection of follies which merge into the surrounding landscape. The Pleasure Garden created by the Bannerman’s in the early 2000's adds a romantic atmosphere with the Lake, Waterfall, Chinese Bridge and River God. The team of dedicated gardeners strive for horticultural excellence and high standards.

As a key member of the gardens team your role will involve running the day to day operations of the gardens, working with staff and volunteers to help develop the gardens and the garden team. You'll be responsible for the direct line management of 5 people, but will need to look after the day-to-day leadership of up to 6 members of staff and daily teams of volunteers. You'll make sure the team has all they require to complete their work to a high standard.

As Assistant Head Gardener you'll have organisational and logistical skills to create work plans, ensuring maintenance is kept up and no task is missed. You'll also be responsible for a number of cyclical compliance tasks. You'll introduce new ways of working with confidence and inspire your team to follow your lead whilst working practically in the garden.

Working closely with the Gardens and Outdoors Manager you'll utilise your technical expertise and organisation to be able to deliver the consistently high standards that Woolbeding is known for. Woolbeding Gardens is a garden of change and innovation and high horticultural practices in the National Trust. So we want someone that is creative and thinks outside the box, and who can help share our magical story with visitors and supporters of all ages and backgrounds.

There will be lots of opportunities for your own personal development as you’ll have a supporting role for the implementation of a range of projects and many smaller in-house renovations. You'll also build a network of contacts, both inside and out of the National Trust, knowing who to work with in order to complete a varied spectrum of tasks effectively

We're looking for someone who has:

  • Experience managing teams of gardeners and volunteers, including performance development
  • Excellent communication and organisation 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
  • Experience of working in a formal garden with good plant knowledge.
  • Knowledge of herbaceous borders and artistic plant layout.
  • Ability to maintain and demonstrate high horticultural standards.


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:

Do you have the vision to transform our outdoor spaces for the future?

What makes the National Trust a special place to work?

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