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Botanical Horticulturist

Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum
Oxford, Oxfordshire
Grade 4: £22,847 - £26,341 per annum
Closing date
6 Jul 2022
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The role

This is a post for a qualified and experienced horticulturist who wishes to be part of a team of six who cultivate, maintain and develop the collection of plants grown within the outdoor areas of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. The Botanical Horticulturist will be involved in the day-to-day cultivation of the collection, achieving consistently high aesthetic and horticultural standards. The post holder’s enthusiasm for contributing to the planning and development of the work of the team is key. In addition to the horticultural duties the post holder will contribute to some of the Garden’s educational activities. These responsibilities include the training and supervision of trainees and volunteers.

This post offers a unique opportunity to join an enthusiastic team in a busy and vibrant department.



Reporting to the Botanic Garden Curator & Head of Horticulture, you will be responsible for:

  • General cultivation duties. To include watering, feeding, propagation, planting, training and pruning.

  • Lawn maintenance operations.

  • Routine use and maintenance of machinery used by the post holder.

  • Working at height.

  • Application of herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers or biological control agents as required.

  • Labelling and record keeping using the BRAHMS plant database.

  • Reporting potential hazards to your Line Manager and the Departmental Safety Officer

  • Maintaining health and safety records as appropriate to the role.

  • Answering enquiries from the public.

  • Supervision and training of trainees, volunteers and work experience placements.

  • Assisting with the preparation for and the delivery of the schools and public education programme.

  • Assisting with audience engagement by contributing content to the Friends newsletter and to the

    department’s digital and social media presence.

  • Collecting material for teaching and assisting research workers at the Garden.

  • Work and general duties elsewhere in the Botanic Garden and Arboretum on specific projects or when extra help is required, such as supporting the Glasshouse collections.

  • Attending staff meetings and training as required.

  • Other duties, to be defined from time to time, that are commensurate with the grade.


Selection criteria

Essential selection criteria

  • Level 3, or higher, Horticultural qualification (please refer to this website for further information:

  • Practical demonstrable experience in a formal setting, across diverse horticultural collections

  • Good experience in the planning, development and maintenance of a diverse Botanical collection including seasonal displays.

  • Knowledge of a wide variety of plants and the requirements for their successful propagation and cultivation

  • Proficient in the use and maintenance of a range of horticultural tools & machinery

  • Experience of working alongside and leading volunteer groups

  • An ability to communicate passionately and enthusiastically about plants

  • Good written and verbal communication skills

  • Demonstrable effective team working skills

  • Demonstrable intuition and initiative in the working environment

  • Basic computer skills in Microsoft packages


Desirable selection criteria

  • Practical experience of working in a collections-based setting

  • Experience of working in a public setting

  • Experience of working in a glasshouse collection

  • An interest in delivering public education

  • PA1 (safe use of pesticides) and PA6 (Handheld applicators)

  • Full UK/EU driving license


Pre-employment screening

Standard checks

If you are offered the post, the offer will be subject to standard pre-employment checks. You will be asked to provide: proof of your right-to-work in the UK; proof of your identity; and (if we haven’t done so already) we will contact the referees you have nominated. You will also be asked to complete a health declaration so that you can tell us about any health conditions or disabilities for which you may need us to make appropriate adjustments.

Please read the candidate notes on the University’s pre-employment screening procedures at:


Hazard-specific / Safety-critical duties

This job includes hazards or safety-critical activities. If you are offered the post, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire which will be assessed by our Occupational Health Service, and the offer of employment will be subject a successful outcome of this assessment.

The hazards or safety-critical duties involved are as follows:

  • Working at heights

  • Lone Working

  • Work in hot or cold environments

  • Driving on University business

  • Regular manual handling

  • Work with allergens, e.g. pollen

  • Work with hazardous substances


Applications must be made via the University of Oxford jobs website linked in this post.


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