We are looking to recruit a rare breed of horticultural brilliance - a Head Gardener with a wealth of experience, a creative and artistic eye, sound plant knowledge and inspirational leadership skills to join one of our flagship properties in the Midlands.
What it's like to work here
Attingham Park is part of the North Shropshire Portfolio and is managed alongside Sunnycroft in Wellington, Cronkhill, Lee Brockhurst and Town Walls Tower in Shrewsbury.
We have a team of 4 gardeners, 2 rangers and nearly 120 volunteers who support our outdoor space here at Attingham Park. Everyone plays a valuable part to make this special place as beautiful and vibrant as it can be, continually delighting and inspiring our visitors.
It’s an exciting time to join our team as we work on a project to revive the Pleasure Grounds and reveal the hidden story of our landscape by opening up lost views and planting heritage shrubs. Once Lord Berwick’s mile long perambulation, where he brought his guests to enjoy flowers, fragrant shrubs, exotic trees and far ranging views of his estate, will be transformed to how they would have stood over 250 years ago.
At the heart of the park stands the grand neo palladium mansion which tells the story of the rise and fall of the Berwick family fortune. The working walled garden supplies our restaurant and forms part of the extensive visitor facilities where we welcome over 465,000 visitors every year.
What you'll be doing
As the Head Gardener you’ll be based mainly in the Pleasure Grounds and Walled Garden but with responsibility for the Berwick Memorial Garden (in the Deer Park), the Gardens at the front gates and Tern Lodge and (occasionally) estate cottage gardens. This is a new role within the team and one of the aims is to bring the teams together and work collaboratively. Working with the teams you’ll ensure the Gardens and Pleasure Grounds are developed and maintained to the highest professional horticultural standards and that its distinctive specialness of place is preserved. You’ll implement garden conservation and management plans, based on sound environmental practices.
You’ll get involved with the interpretation and programming for our visitors. Delivering activities to gain visitors’ interest in the gardens, you’ll share your passion for our special place and instil a team culture of exceptional customer service by sharing stories and engaging with our visitors. You’ll also engage with local communities and others in our work and promote a culture of openness and involvement for all.
You’ll lead, motivate and supervise a large team of volunteers, working together to share great standards of presentation and provide technical support and advice to the Sunnycroft Gardener. You’ll also be an active member of the Attingham leadership team and will use your knowledge and team insights to help make informed decisions. You’ll work with other colleagues across the portfolio and consultancy to constantly improve our visitor offer.
You’ll be part of our on call rota to cover incidence out of hours between 6pm and 8am. The likelihood is that you will be on call one week in four and during that time must be available to attend incidence at the property within half an hour. An additional on call payment is provided for this service.
Regular weekend and bank holiday working is a requirement of this role. We anticipate this being approximately one weekend in four.
Please also read the full role profile and additional details attached to this advert.
Who we're looking for
£26,000 - £27,000 per annum (dependent on experience)
To deliver this role successfully you’ll need;
- Significant practical experience in horticulture, supported by appropriate qualifications to RHS level 3 (or equivalent level of vocational experience)
- Experience of organising garden activities which enhance garden visits
- Leadership skills including coaching, team development, motivation and communication
- Good people skills enabling strong relationships to be built and maintained. externally and internally
- Proven track record of managing budgets, finances and small projects
- Experience in managing small contracts
- Good written and verbal communication skills including public presentation, influencing and negotiating
- Attention to detail
- Knowledge of all Health & Safety and Compliance requirements relevant to horticulture
Looking after you
- Health cash plan - from as little as £2.81 per month for you and your dependents
- Pension contribution match up to 10%
- EAP and proactive Health and Wellbeing
- Discounted gym membership
Looking after your career
- Grow your career through professional training courses across the Trust
- Develop your skills with an internal secondment
- Pay review linked to values and behaviours, commitment to progression
- Income protection due to illness
Unique to Us
- Work in some of the most beautiful, iconic and unique locations in the UK
- Free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
- 20% off in our retail and catering outlets
- Discount up to 35% off a National Trust holiday cottage booking