Fruit Tree Specialist - The Newt in Somerset - Horticulture & Estate
The Newt in Somerset has ancient woodland, historic gardens and far reaching views. It is a unique destination with Hotel, Spa, Restaurants and much more. Visitors can take a tour of the gardens, deer park and cyder press, dine in the Garden Café and visit our farm shop. Expecting to attract some 150,000 visitors per year, The Newt in Somerset is a vibrant and thriving attraction, animated throughout the seasons by special events, workshops and education programmes.
High quality cyders require high quality fruit, and to that end, we purchase locally grown apples to supplement the small tonnage of fruit currently produced on the Estate. With the oldest cider orchard being in growth year 6 this year and the youngest in year 2, the yields will increase year on year.
The Newt has invested in legacy, standard cider apple orchards, with 70 varieties from over 3000 trees. The most recent orchard (Home Ground) was planted in Jan 2019 and won best standard orchard at the Royal Bath & West Show. Considerable time, effort and investment has been spent establishing the current cider orchards and the task of maintaining them is now a full-time responsibility. In addition to these orchards, the Estate has a crab apple orchard in the Visitor car park area, an exceptional quality apple maze and sculpture in the public garden and several Estate tenancy properties with small orchards to care for.
There are also plans for cherries, walnuts and persimmons orchards to add to the portfolio.
The successful candidate will have a broad spectrum of responsibilities, working directly for the Cellar Master, but also with the horticultural team.
The plan is to develop and expand our own horticultural team in order to have a fruit tree specialist department, covering jobs such as pruning, mowing, thinning, spraying, tree repair in order to take ownership and ensure first class maintenance work is conducted, whilst minimising expense on outside contractors. The Fruit Specialist will manage this specialist department to ensure that the orchards are kept in first class condition.
Outside of this remit, there are also opportunities to travel and take specialist knowledge and experience to Babylonstoren and the associated vineyards.
- Cider orchards: (The list covers responsibility, and third party, contract assistance in these tasks is expected where the task is too large scale for a small, Estate team).
- Research & advising on new projects (cherries/walnuts/persimmons/vineyards and organising implementation of new projects.
- Overseeing and liaising with third party contractors to ensure value for money and quality of work carried out on the Estate orchards.
- Health of the trees, including watering during long, dry periods for newly planted trees. Prevention and treatment of diseases and pest damage
- Liaise with specialist, contact agronomist agronomist, if necessary, for advice & recommendation for tree health maintenance
- Grass kept at suitable length
- Integrity of tree guards
- Integrity of deer fencing
- Harvesting fruit
Skills and Experience
- Degree level qualification in horticulture, specialising in fruit
- Agronomist background with in-depth knowledge of soils, pests and diseases and latest treatment
- Relevant horticultural training for top fruit trees and fruit production
- Suitable commercial experience of top fruit tees
- “Hands on” experience of managing of top fruit orchard
- Planning and organising skills for maintenance and new projects that arise
- Flexible, and enjoys being an effective member of a small team
- IT skills for reports, planning, correspondence etc (MS Office suite)
- Ability to operate orchard machinery (any certificates an advantage)
- Ability to travel within the UK and overseas including full and UK driving license.
Excellent Benefits package available from day
- Exceptional working environment, fresh estate grown meal provided each day
- Annual Performance Bonus
- 30% discount in the shops across the estate
- 30% discount at restaurants across the estate
- 30% discount on Newt cyder and Babylonstoren wine
- 50% discount in the Spa
- Anniversary stay in the hotel each year, Dinner bed and breakfast.
- Discounted hotel stays for staff
- Family pass to access the estate
- Entry passes for friends and family to access the estate
- Family Events 3 times per year
- Access to internal/external training qualifications and programmes
- Cross Training and career development opportunities