Head Gardener / Gardens & Grounds Manager
We are looking for a Head Gardener / Gardens & Grounds Manager to lead the team of gardeners at Hampton Court Castle.
You will be working on a busy estate with amazing formal gardens to maintain, along with river walks, lawns and a number of smaller private gardens for properties across the estate.
This is a full-time role with normal working hours, although there may be a requirement to work outside of standard business hours at certain times, including weekends and bank holidays.
The salary offered will be competitive and partly dependent on experience. In certain circumstances it may be possible for accommodation to be provided.
Working at Hampton Court Castle
Hampton Court Castle is a 15th century castle located between Leominster and Hereford, operating as a seasonal visitor attraction. Customers come to see our formal gardens, take castle tours, relax in the amazing surroundings and visit our Gift Shop and Orangery Cafe. We also hold a variety of public events throughout the season. In addition, we host fabulous weddings and private functions in the castle, and are in the process of creating a holiday cottage complex on site.
The formal gardens are the main attraction at Hampton Court Castle and feature organically managed kitchen gardens, herbaceous borders, a yew tree maze and various large water features. The estate also boasts river walks, a lake and expansive lawns.
- Overall responsibility for maintaining the gardens and grounds. This also includes maintenance of the wider estate (including some woodland and SSSI land) and all private gardens linked to properties onsite.
- Effective supervision, leadership and training of all gardening staff.
- Ensuring SOPs and health and safety requirements are adhered to by all staff.
- Assisting with garden visitor enquiries and promoting a high standard of customer service amongst the gardening team.
- Contributing to horticultural events and talks about the gardens for day visitors.
- Ensuring equipment and vehicles are tested, licensed and serviced.
- Maintenance of garden structures such as greenhouses and pavilions.
- Working with the Shop Manager for plant and garden produce sales.
- Working with the Cafe Manager for supplying seasonal garden produce for their use.
- Reporting regularly to the directors with financial and operational information.
Skills and Qualifications
As the Gardens & Grounds Manager, you’ll have experience of leading a team within a similar historical garden or country estate.
We are looking for a motivated, positive individual who will inspire their team and deliver exceptional results across the estate, whilst remaining focused on important management and financial tasks. Candidates for this role should have:
- A passion for and great understanding of plants and horticulture.
- Great attention to detail and a desire to maintain the grounds to the highest standards.
- Ability to work well in a team and maintain good relationships.
- Excellent organisational skills.
- Able to adapt to, manage and deliver change through the gardens team effectively.
- Excellent communication skills.
- IT skills with confidence in learning new systems.
- Be commercially astute, able to manage budgets and always looking for ways to maximise opportunities.
- Strong leadership qualities with a friendly and approachable nature.
Some prior experience is essential. Preferably at least a couple of years, including experience working in a kitchen garden, as well as experience of managing others and managing projects.
The candidate must have relevant qualifications: NVQ level 3, RHS level 3, degree level or equivalent.
PA1 and PA6 chemical spraying and CS30/CS31 certificates an advantage.
Good knowledge of and experience with garden maintenance equipment and machinery (strimmers, hedge cutters, chainsaws, mowers, tractors etc) also an advantage.
Location: Hope under Dinmore, Herefordshire HR6 0PN