Assistant Gardener and Dog Walker

Snitterton Hall
Matlock, Derbyshire
£20,000 to £22,000
Closing date
14 Nov 2021

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The Assistant Gardener and Dog Walker is required to work in a household team maintaining a large private home near Matlock and its 4 acres of gardens. The garden currently contains fine topiary, lawns, herbaceous borders and a walled vegetable garden and the owners are looking to further develop the plantings over the next few years.

The Assistant Gardener will work under the direction of the Head Gardener; and will have responsibility for the garden when the Head Gardener is away.  The Assistant Gardener will also have the main responsibility for walking (morning and afternoon) the two dogs owned by the owners.    


Duties will include everything necessary for the smooth running of this private family garden.

Tasks will vary on a daily basis as determined by the Head Gardener and the owners and will include:

• Soil cultivation, digging, forking, mulching, watering, raking, weeding, edging,

pruning, seed sowing, bed preparation, planning and planting

• Clipping of hedges and topiary pieces

• Lawn maintenance and cultivation

• Management of compost bins and, where necessary, disposal of garden rubbish by burning or otherwise

• Planting and maintenance of plants in the ‘planters’ in the ‘greenhouse’ above the swimming pool

• The use and maintenance of hand tools and basic light machinery and plant

• The safe use of garden machinery including cylinder and rotary mowers, strimmers, leaf blowers, hedge cutting equipment and chainsaws

• To respond to emergencies and assist other departments

• To be aware of Health and Safety requirements noting that all duties must be carried out in compliance with current Health & Safety at Work legislation

• To ensure all equipment, machinery and buildings are secure

• To keep the mess room and tool sheds clean and tidy

• To be aware of and report any security risks

• To be able to apply garden chemicals where appropriate and safe to do so

• To undergo training as required

• To keep the gardens, thoroughfares and footpaths clear and free from litter and debris at all times

• To rake gravel on garden paths (and replenish as necessary), as required – and at least weekly

• To walk the two family dogs first thing in the morning, and last thing in the afternoon – 45/60 minutes each time

• To clear up after the dogs on the lawns and paths in the garden

• To carry out gritting, salt spreading, snow cleaning, as necessary, including highway and footpaths through the gardens and grounds.

• To be cross-trained in the required daily and weekly maintenance checks for the swimming pool and reflection pool to provide cover for the handyman (illness, holidays etc)

• Due to the nature of the position, flexibility will be required throughout the year. Work of a non- horticultural nature will need to be included on occasions – for example, if the owners are away, and the post holder is a driver, then taking the dogs to/from kennels may be required

• Emergency cover may require attendance outside normal working hours (eg on weekends) but this will be very rare

In addition to the Head Gardener and the Assistant Gardener, the owners also employ a full-time housekeeper and a full-time handy man; they work as a flexible team, covering each other during periods of leave and absence and providing support to each other.  The successful applicant will be expected to be part of this same team and work in a similar way, especially during periods of inclement weather.




Qualifications & Experience:

• a minimum of three years Gardening experience

• competent in using all the usual garden/horticultural machinery

• City & Guilds at Level 1 and 2 or the equivalent

qualification and PA1/PA6 are preferable

• Clean Driving licence

Personal Qualities

• Loyal to the family and high standard of confidentiality

• Self motivated

• Enthusiastic

• Willing and able to learn more about plants and gardening

• Physically fit – due to the nature and requirements of the role

• Capable of heavy work – the garden is in the Peak District, and there are a lot of steps/slopes up and down which machinery must be moved, or top dressing/manure shifted

• Able to work in all weather conditions including rain, snow, etc.

• Able to adapt to change

• Works to high standards

• Ability to take direction

• Ability to work in a team

• Able to work unsupervised

• Sense of humour

• Must like dogs

• Non-smoker



Hours of work:

Normal hours of work are based on a 40-hour week but with hours annualised to reflect the seasonal nature of the job. It is possible that longer working hours will be necessary during the Spring and Summer months balanced by reduced hours in the Winter. There is a 30-minute lunch break and a ten-minute break in the morning and the afternoon.  Covid protocols permitting, coffee and tea are provided during these breaks in the family kitchen.

Subject to the above, normal hours are regarded as 8.00 am - 4.30 pm.

Due to the nature of the position, flexibility will be required throughout the year and emergency cover will need to be provided on rare occasions at weekends or outside normal hours.


According to experience and qualifications but expected to be between £20,000 and £22,000


28 days per year (calculated pro rata for the first calendar year), including all Statutory Holidays


Opportunity to participate in contributory scheme on commencement of employment.

Probationary period:  Six months

Notice period: One week during probation, 2 months thereafter

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