Head of Estates and Landscape

Painshill Park Trust Ltd
Cobham, Surrey
Salary & on-site accommodation Circa £37,000 - £40,000 DOE
Closing date
28 Aug 2022
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Head of Estates and Landscape

Reports to The Director, with key relationships with the Finance Director, and the Head of Visitor & Commercial Services.

About Painshill

Painshill is a Grade I listed 18th century landscape garden of international renown, attracting over 250,000 visitors a year. Inspired by landscape paintings and the Grand Tour through Europe, the Hon Charles Hamilton created Painshill between 1738 and 1773, as a living painting.

After years of neglect, the grounds fell into disrepair and in 1981, Painshill Park Trust was established to restore the landscape to its former glory. A registered charity, Painshill Park Trust is managed by a team of staff and volunteers dedicated to ensuring the history and heritage of Hamilton’s vision for Painshill can be enjoyed by everyone ‘walking around the work of art’, discovering dramatic follies, calming waters and simply stunning views.

Our staff are part of Painshill’s ambitious plan to drive up visitor numbers and membership through visits to the Landscape, Tea Room and Garden Shop. A programme of ticketed Events throughout the year enhances our portfolio alongside Forest School, children’s seasonal camps and birthday parties, educating and encouraging future generations to enjoy the benefits of nature, history and the outdoors.

About the Role

The Head of Estates and Landscapes is responsible for the care and development of the garden areas of the Park, managing the garden to ensure it is maintained and developed to the highest horticultural standards required by the Painshill Park Trust in accordance with the Park’s Masterplan and Conservation Management Plan and as agreed with the Trust management.

As part of the property team, the post holder will promote the visitor experience within the gardens.

This role involves line management responsibilities for the supervision and training of staff, students and volunteers. The post holder will be expected to take the lead with administrative responsibilities such as keeping up to date records on Health and Safety, machinery records, plant data base information, training records, COSHH assessments and relevant other records for the effective management of the estate.

Suitable accommodation within the grounds is provided as an essential part of the package for the successful applicant.

Main Responsibilities and Tasks

Garden Maintenance & Conservation

  1. To ensure the spirit of Charles Hamilton is kept alive in the garden by careful consideration of plant selection, style of planting, and preserving the uniqueness of the garden.

  2. Working with the Director and the Landscape and Restoration Committee, to review and implement the Conservation Plan: exploiting opportunities, addressing environmental impacts and ensuring that the plans accommodate and promote best practices.

  3. To maintain and order adequate, appropriate and necessary sundries and supplies promptly, within budgetary limitations and following advised financial procedures as directed by the Finance Director.

  4. To ensure that all areas of planting, pruning, cultivation, pest control and presentation meet the high standards expected.

  5. To ensure that pests and diseases are effectively controlled by the safest and most ecologically friendly means possible and as considered appropriate.

  6. To ensure that all garden areas are maintained to the highest possible standards. Ensure the health and integrity of the plant collection.

  7. To plan a sequence of work to ensure that safe access is maintained for all users of the park.

  8. To manage day to day aspects of garden presentation and cyclic maintenance, delivering

    exemplary standards of garden and landscape management.

  9. To oversee the correct identification and recording of plants both in the garden and nursery

    areas and ensure that plant records and historical information are maintained.

  10. To maintain the National Collection in accordance with Plant Heritage rules.

Staff Management

To be responsible for the daily supervision and co-ordination of the Estates and Landscape Team to ensure that:

  1. All staff have clear instruction in their daily work routine, delegating where appropriate

    to those with specialist skills or responsibilities and ensuring staff receive appropriate development training and support, including involvement in Personal Development Reviews for members of the team. To supervise the Team's work programmes (day to day and longer term) helping to develop the skills of the workforce, students and volunteers.

  2. New employees, trainees, students and volunteers are introduced to the garden through a recorded induction process and receive appropriate training and safe instruction before carrying out work.

  3. Volunteer groups or individuals working in the garden carry out effective and useful tasks which either allow the Estates and Landscape Team to concentrate on specialist responsibilities or help to deliver tasks which might not normally be achieved by the Team. The Head of Estates and Landscape will coordinate and work closely with Landscape Volunteers, to ensure that they are utilised effectively across the whole garden; are trained and equipped to do the tasks they are asked to carry out; and that they have a positive experience and have opportunities to develop.

4. A positive team spirit and effective cooperation are maintained between all members of the Painshill Team, allied with flexibility to allocate staff where they are needed on a daily basis.

Customer Care

  1. To support the property's educational and life-long learning commitment by promoting the work of Painshill Park Trust and the restoration project.

  2. To conduct, as required, guided walks, tours, presentations, lectures, demonstrations and public events. To respond to enquiries and give information as and when requested in order to promote the work of Painshill Park Trust and the Team.

  3. To assist in the production of visitor information, including leaflets, notices, guidebooks and other forms of property interpretation.

  4. To work closely with others to ensure the maintenance of a positive visitor experience; planning and implementing work keeping public access, safety and interest in mind and improving communications directly and generally.

Operational & Financial

  1. To understand financial data and assist in the efficient and effective daily management of the Estates and Landscape Department.

  2. To prepare bids/budgets for capital or restoration projects, liaising with colleagues in other departments to monitor carefully all contracted work on site.

  3. To be responsible for delegated budgets, and ensuring that adequate supplies are maintained to service the garden’s fixed assets.

  4. To lead weekly Team meetings to plan and co-ordinate work schedules

  5. To keep abreast of modern techniques or new products relevant to the Team and

    encourage others to exchange and share information.

Health & Safety

  1. To ensure that Health and Safety restrictions and regulations are adhered to at all times.

  2. To be responsible for the Estates and Landscape Team's observance of all Health and

    Safety at Work Regulations as set out by the Painshill Park Trust in accordance with

    its statutory obligations.

  3. To ensure that safe systems of work are carried out, i.e. - risk assessment and work

    place inspections and COSHH, to ensure that neither employees, volunteers, trainees,

    students nor visitors are put at risk

  4. To ensure that all machinery and equipment is maintained and operated to

    manufacturers’ recommendations and recorded as required.


  1. To maintain the security of the garden and to report and act upon any criminal act or emergency outside normal working hours.

  2. To assist in any measures needed to protect plants, garden ornaments, tools, machinery and buildings from theft or damage and to protect Painshill Park Trust property.

  3. To assist others, as required, with duties of opening/closing visitor access points.


  1. To undertake, at the request of the Director, any other duties and responsibilities that are compatible with the overall scope and authority of the appointment.

  2. To maintain a duty of care to avail themselves of the technical expertise that is available.

  3. To promote and represent Painshill Park Trust's work and policies at all times.

  4. To maintain high levels of horticultural and customer service standards at all times.

5. To be accountable for their own development through the Trust’s Appraisal process, seeking out opportunities to learn new skills and undertake relevant training as required by the Trust.

All employees are expected to work within the terms of their contract of employment and adhere to Trust policies.

This job description is a guide to the nature of the work required of the Head of Estates and Landscape. It is not wholly comprehensive or restrictive and does not form part of the contract of employment. It may be amended from time to time to meet the needs of Painshill Park Trust.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience


  •   National Diploma, NDH or HND in Amenity Horticulture or NVQ Level 2/3 (or equivalent) as well as practical gardening/horticultural experience

  •   Good levels of literacy and numeracy - to GSCE level or equivalent

  •   Computer literate

  •   An excellent collaborator and leader

  •   Hands-on management style

  •   Full driving licence & Tractor licence

  •   Ability to keep accurate records

  •   Good degree of plant knowledge

  •   A commitment to climate-conscious and sustainable gardening

  •   An understanding of and sympathy with the importance of the spirit of place in maintaining and developing a historic garden

  •   Ability to produce and implement garden maintenance plan for the estate

  •   Ability to produce accurate planting plans

  •   Ability to work on own initiative, with minimum supervision

  •   Experience of operating, servicing and maintaining varying types of garden machinery

  •   Ability to give presentations/talks to groups


  •   PA1 & PA6 Pesticide Qualification (essential within six months of appointment)

  •   First aid at work certificate (essential within six months of appointment)

  •   Experience of being involved in garden restoration projects


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