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Head of Horticulture and Curation

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham, West Midlands
Salary £45,000 - £47,500 gross per annum and generous holiday allowance.
Closing date
21 Jul 2024

Head of Horticulture and Curation (HHC)

We are looking for an experienced and motivated horticulturist, curator and inspirational leader to join the Senior Leadership Team. The role provides a unique opportunity to engage at senior leadership level in such a significant restoration and regeneration project. 

The historic botanic gardens, founded in 1829, have entered an exciting period of significant change. We are currently completing the Stage 2 NHLF development grant application towards a £14m capital project which aims to restore the historic glasshouses, upgrade horticultural infrastructure and displays, site infrastructure and improve the visitor experience for all.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG) are keen to see applications from people of all backgrounds and communities and are committed to representing the diverse nature of the city.  The Gardens look forward to receiving applications from all suitable candidates and will conduct inclusive recruitment processes based on attitude, experience, and qualifications.

BBG are also committed to ensuring that no-one invited to interview should be excluded due to financial circumstances and will reimburse travel costs for anyone attending interview.

Purpose of Role

The Head of Horticulture & Curation (HHC) will be responsible for the day-to-day management and development of the Living Collection and supporting environments.

The HHC will play a key role in finalising and delivering the horticultural vision and strategic plan for Birmingham Botanical Gardens as detailed in the current £14m capital programme and set by the Trustees, CEO and SLT. Specifically implementing the collections strategy, maintaining the historic listed landscape, plant health, presentation standards, research advice and leading the Horticultural team in designing and maintaining inspiring horticultural displays and interpretation.

The HHC is responsible for maintaining all plant categories in all the different areas of the Botanical Garden, including the national collection (Cyclamen), all external garden areas and the glasshouses through working closely with the 4 Senior Horticulturists. This will include designing creative new plantings and displays linked to BBG’s strategic objectives to showcase science, addressing biodiversity loss and climate change to the Garden, and to make BBG a top horticultural and heritage visitor attraction in Birmingham and the UK.

The HHC will directly line manage the 4 x Senior Horticulturists are and responsible for the wider horticultural team (botanical horticulturists, trainees, plant record assistants and approximately 50 volunteers) please see the current organogram for information.

The HHC is directly responsible to the CEO.

Salary £45,000 - £47,500 gross per annum and generous holiday allowance.

Access to personal development and support; relocation package can be discussed.


Ideally, we are looking for candidates with suitable experience in the following areas:


Substantial experience of working in a collections-based garden in a senior capacity

Demonstrable and extensive experience in effective leadership and management of a team of horticultural staff

Experience of designing and developing features for public gardens

Experience in managing National Collections

Experience of producing written resources (e.g. interpretation material, articles for magazines)

Experience of Plant conservation programmes and research

Experience of delivering horticultural or botanical courses for adults


Understanding of the strategic needs of a garden/organisation including capital work programmes

IRISBG Plant Records/Garden Mapping and modern systems of plant classification

Comprehensive knowledge of the diversity of the Plant Kingdom

Knowledge and experience of Health and Safety within a Gardens setting

An understanding of the not-for-profit sector, preferably showcasing a knowledge and interest in the broader botanical heritage and cultural sectors

Understanding of biodiversity loss and climate emergency and suitable horticultural responses


Botanic Garden Diploma, ND, HND or BSc. in horticulture or a subject relevant to the plant collections of BBG

RHS level 3 or above

FEPA PA1, PA6 and PA9 Qualified

Valid and full UK driving licence


Experience of practical plant conservation projects

Effective team leadership and performance management

Computer literate with experience of MS Office software, and able to use databases accurate

The ability to explain horticultural procedures to trainees and volunteers with diverse backgrounds

Able to support the writing of fundraising requests

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