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Head Gardener - Liverpool

The National Trust
Liverpool, Merseyside
32,955 pa
Closing date
29 May 2024

Job Details

Head Gardener - Liverpool


This is an exciting new opportunity to join us at Speke Hall, leading a team of brilliant, engaged, and talented gardeners who work to deliver horticultural excellence and incredible public benefit. Speke Hall has a 8-acre garden that surrounds the beautiful grade I listed house and consists of ornamental lawns, a productive kitchen garden and orchard, a stream garden, yews, ponds, and so much more. In addition we care for the domestic sized gardens at the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. 
As the General Manager for over 25 years, I have delighted in the transformation of the formal gardens under the stewardship of talented Head Gardeners. There is so much more to do here. The Head Gardener will be supported, and encouraged to continue the journey of improvement and development. Please click here to hear more about this opportunity from myself.
Hours: Full time 37.5 hours per week, includes some weekends and bank holidays on a Duty Manager Rota
Salary: £32,955pa
Contract: Permanent 
Interviews: 10th June which includes an orientation tour where you'll have a chance to meet some of the team you'll be working with
Please include a covering letter (no more than 1 page A4) with your application stating what key experience and practical skills make you the ideal candidate to take our aspirations forward.
If you have any questions about this role please contact either our General Manager: or our Gardens and Parkland Consultant:

What it's like to work here

Reporting to the General Manager, you'll play a key role in shaping our vision at the Liverpool properties portfolio. You’ll be part of our Property Leadership Team holding accountability for day to day maintenance and long-term planning for the garden. Your garden / office workload split is anticipated to be 70/30. 

Surrounded by 85 acres of woodland we welcome 225,000 visitors per year, Speke Hall is a fast-growing visitor business, and we have exciting plans, including restoring the grandeur of our gardens, inspired by a Garden Conservation Management Plan.

We all work to support each other each day, looking after each other's well-being and caring for this special place that visitors come to enjoy. You'll join this fantastic team and play an integral part in telling the story of Speke Hall and conserving it for years to come.

Click here for more information about this location

What you'll be doing

As Head Gardener you'll lead on ambitious garden restoration projects, giving you the opportunity for hands-on creativity and dynamic gardening as well as managing a team of two full time staff and a growing community of volunteers. Increasingly we manage our gardens with low or no pesticide input and more resilient to climate change needs. 
You'll share your passion for gardening by working with the visitor experience team to champion our cause and engage visitors with the beauty, nature and narratives of our garden. You’ll ensure everyone feels welcome through modelling inclusive leadership and working with other members of the team to make changes that improve access to the garden. Working relationship with experts from our internal consultancy, you'll connect yourself externally to ensure you are always learning from others and identifying partnership opportunities where relevant
You’ll set and deliver your own operating and conservation budgets and be responsible for the safety and compliance within the garden. You'll be responsible for strategising, organising and prioritising the team’s tasks, as well as your own. You’ll also be a key and effective member of the property leadership team as a head of department. You'll work to implement a robust Garden Management Plan, using the conservation management plan, to ensure a clear strategy for the garden at Speke Hall.
Please see attached role profile for further information.

Who we're looking for

Ideally you'll have experience in a similar role and knowledge of managing a historic or public garden site, in all its complexity. 
We'd love to hear from you if you're:
  • horticulturally experienced, preferably in a similar role and visitor-facing setting, along with RHS level 2 in horticulture, or equivalent vocational experience
  • a leader of people, empathetic and willing to motivate and inspire your team of 3 staff and 60+ volunteers. 
  • able to carry out physically demanding tasks outdoors in all weathers, on a site with mixed topography and be a proficient computer user
  • competent in operating typical garden machinery and equipment
  • highly organised and focused, to deliver the departmental planning, budget management and compliance, as well as support for garden events and programming. 

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

• Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary

• Free entry to National Trust places for you, a guest and your children (under 18)

• Tax-free childcare scheme

• Rental deposit loan scheme

• Season ticket loan

• EV car lease scheme 

• Perks at work discounts such as gym memberships, shopping discount codes, cinema discounts

• Holiday allowance up to 32 days relating to length of service, plus holiday purchase scheme, subject to meeting minimum criteria.

• Flexible working whenever possible

• Employee assistance programme

• Free parking at most Trust places

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.


The National Trust is committed to promoting and preserving those places of natural beauty and historic interest for which it has the privilege to be responsible for the benefit of the nation, for everyone for ever.

The Trust is proud of what has been achieved over the last 126 years and is determined to maintain those high standards of conservation, stewardship and curatorial care for which it has been recognised throughout the world.

Its achievements have enabled the general public and the Trust’s members and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside, coastline, gardens, historic buildings and collections, all of which encapsulate so much of the history of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a duty to tell that history in a complete, balanced and accurate way, and without judgement.

The National Trust continues as a guardian of the past, and for the future, to uphold its duty to maintain and enhance what has been entrusted to its care.

Company info
The National Trust

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