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Head Gardener

National Trust
Closing date
15 May 2022
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Job Details

A rare opportunity has arisen to become our new Head Gardener at Mottisfont!

We can offer you an amazing working environment in our world-famous gardens, with plenty of scope for creativity and development. Please read our welcome pack for more details.

Salary: £37,245 pa.

What it's like to work here

Located in the idyllic riverside gardens, between ancient trees, bubbling brooks, and rolling lawns Mottisfont is full of surprises. Full of art, and featuring a colorful garden year-round, Mottisfont is a popular visitor attraction and the team is always on hand to provide a fantastic experience for all. The wider estate includes 1600 acres of woodland, tenanted farms, and Curbridge Nature Reserve, as well as relaxing walks.

Mottisfont is home to a beautiful riverside garden offering a sensory treat with glorious old-fashioned roses which are also left to produce ornamental fruit in autumn and winter.

Click here for more information about this location

The property is open 7 days per week, 363 days of the year; our busiest times are Easter, June, School Holidays, and Christmas. We are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Weekend work is a requirement of the role. There is a garden team rota shared between the team to make sure there is a Duty Gardener on property every day of the week. As part of the Property Leadership Team, you will also be part of the duty management rota. Duty Managers coordinate the property team daily and take charge if any problems arise at weekends. The rotas currently mean working one weekend every 6-8 weeks.

What you'll be doing

As our new Head Gardener, you'll work collaboratively with our fantastic and dedicated garden and property teams to engage and inspire people, take forward an ambitious vision for the future and bring a ‘wow factor’ to our world-famous garden through horticultural excellence. You’ll be able to balance the conservation of our historic Grade II Listed Garden with welcoming and engaging visitors throughout the year. Please see the attached role profile for more information on knowledge, skills, and experience. 

As Head Gardener at Mottisfont, you will be:

  • Setting an overall vision for the gardens and grounds taking into account visitor numbers and experience and the historic and horticultural importance of the gardens, grounds, and plant collections
  • Leading our team of 8 gardeners plus our volunteer garden teams. Set daily, weekly, and longer-term work plans, and foster a culture of open communication and collaboration.
  • Undertaking practical horticultural management, overseeing high standards of horticultural management and presentation across our formal gardens and wider grounds, plus the propagation of plants both for planting out in the gardens and for sale in our shop. 
  • Fostering communication with visitors and the public on both horticultural practice and gardens interpretation, through our dedicated volunteer teams, through events, and through collaborating with our visitor experience and communications teams  
  • Working in collaboration to identify funding and resources to deliver enhancements, improvements, and projects
  • Leading on the Rose Garden Restoration project, aiming to ensure that our National Collection of pre-1900s shrub roses is conserved and enhanced for the next 50 years, along with the carefully designed companion planting, and walled garden and visitor infrastructure
  • Managing garden budgets, and collaborating with the General Manager and relevant teams on shared budgets
  • Setting and leading standards relating to environmental practice, in line with the National Trust's ethos
  • Responsible for compliance against legislation including the health and safety of the team, tree safety in the 'payzone', and environmental legislation. 

For more details please see our standard Head Gardener role profile and our welcome pack.


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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