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Assistant Head Gardener

National Trust
Chartwell, Mapleton Road, Westerham, TN16 1PS
£31,500 pa
Closing date
7 Aug 2022
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Job Details

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the garden team here at Chartwell as Assistant Head Gardener. You'll be joining at a time where we are looking to the future. This is an opportunity to level up your skills and help develop exciting new multi-year projects that embrace conservation and inspire people to share our passion for gardens of all kinds.

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 interested in achieving ambitious things with us, then we want to hear from you!

What it's like to work here

Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home and the place from which Sir Winston drew inspiration from 1924 until the end of his life. Many of the rooms remain the same as when the Churchill family lived at Chartwell and today it is our job to share the stories of their lives here as well as care for this much-loved home and their cherished possessions. 

The Chartwell team work within the Chartwell Portfolio which also cares for Emmetts Garden, Quebec House and the West Kent Countryside. Whilst you will be based primarily at Chartwell, from time to time there will be exciting opportunities to work on shared work days within the Garden and Countryside team across the wider portfolio.  There will be lots of opportunities for your own personal developments 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


What you'll be doing


As a key member of the gardens team your role will involve running the day-to-day operations of the gardens in collaboration with the Garden and Countryside Manager.  This will involve working with staff and volunteers to help develop the gardens. You'll be responsible for the leadership of 4 people, supporting and empowering the team to complete their work to the highest of standards.


This is a great opportunity to learn the skills needed to be a Head Gardener in the future. With a Chartwell and West Kent Countryside Conservation Plan in place, and more projects still to undertake, the Assistant Head Gardener role is a perfect development opportunity to level up your career and prepare yourself for the future. We pride ourselves on providing a supportive environment where one can grow and learn in your role, with training and development opportunities.


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.


Who we're looking for


  • 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?

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