Head Gardener: The Laskett Gardens, Much Birch, Herefordshire


Job title:                       Head Gardener

Location:                     The Laskett Gardens, Much Birch, Herefordshire

Accountable to:          Chief Executive

Staff reports:              The garden team – currently three gardeners

Closing date:               7th February 2022

This is a rare opportunity to take responsibility for a garden, created by Sr Roy Strong and his late wife Julia Trevelyan Oman, that is well established in terms of its significance and reputation. The successful candidate will have a key role in the work that Perennial will do over the coming years to take the wonderful private garden that Sir Roy has so generously given to us and establish it as a leading visitor destination for garden lovers across the UK and abroad. This will require a gardening leader with vision, top level horticultural knowledge and skills, excellent team building skills and a passion for the project of developing The Laskett as a must-visit and repeat-visit garden.

Overall purpose 

  1. Through high standards of garden and landscape management and garden maintenance, ensure that the history, ecology, evolved design and artistic integrity of The Laskett Garden and other grounds associated with the site are conserved and presented to an exemplary standard.
  2. To recruit, train, manage and develop staff and volunteers to achieve high standards of garden presentation and visitor satisfaction.
  3. To build a culture that makes involvement in the garden a rewarding, rich and enjoyable experience for visitors, volunteers and staff.
  4. To identify and develop opportunities for the promotion of the garden and the development of the visitor experience.


Main responsibilities and duties

  1. Management of gardens and landscape
    1. To be responsible for the maintenance and management of the garden and its associated landscape within an approved budget.
    2. To maintain high standards of garden and facilities presentation at all times.
    3. Responsible for the day to day running of the garden and supervision of staff, volunteers and contractors to ensure that appropriate horticultural and service standards are maintained.
    4. To ensure that the visitor facilities are maintained to a high standard and that any defects are dealt with in a timely and effective manner.
    5. To ensure that the retail, catering and visitor facilities are managed effectively, including stock ordering, control, health and hygiene regulations, food handling, cleaning and maintenance.
    6. To oversee the management and delivery of educational, training and skills activities and events, utilising the facilities and buildings within the site.
    7. To undertake the direct delivery of activities on selected topics relating to horticulture and the garden.
  1. Financial Management:
    1. To ensure that all takings and banking is completed and accounted for in accordance with the organisations financial procedures and policies.
    2. To manage allocated budgets, prepare and provide bids for capital expenditure and small projects associated with the site.
  1. Staff management, training and development:
    1. To be responsible for staff and volunteer recruitment, training and development of competencies to deliver agreed maintenance and presentation standards and to be responsible for staff welfare, discipline and other employee issues in consultation with the organisations central support team.
  1. Projects and coordination:
    1. To lead on site-based garden and visitor services projects and
      to manage and oversee the work delivered by external contractors or agencies.
    2. To ensure a coordinated approach for all site-based garden maintenance, development, visitor facilities and services and to effectively manage change as appropriate.
  1. Business Development and Public Relations:
    1. To work with the marketing team to explore and deliver initiatives both nationally and regionally to increase awareness of both the charity and its gardens.
    2. Where appropriate explore and support local marketing opportunities to encourage greater access for visitors, to identify and engage in opportunities which promote the charity and the garden as a high quality visitor attraction.
    3. To act as site representative, promoting the charity and the garden to ensure positive relationships.
  1. Documentation:
    1. To ensure that all site documentation is maintained and distributed where appropriate.
    2. To create and maintain records relating to changes to the garden through maintenance, restoration and conservation.
    3. Maintain appropriate records for the effective management of staff, equipment, machinery and health and safety on site.
  1. Other:
    1. Any other duties as instructed by the line manager that may be required within the general purpose of the job.


PERSON SPECIFICATION (E = essential; D = desirable)

  1. Qualifications
    1. RHS level 3 or equivalent qualified by experience (E)
    2. Holder of PA1/PA6 pesticide application licence (D)
    3. Holder of CS30 – Chainsaw Maintenance and Crosscutting licence (D)
    4. Holder of HSE recognised First Aid at Work certificate (D)
  1. Experience
    1. Managing a garden of quality to a high standard (E)
    2. Staff management within a horticultural, conservation or visitor attraction setting (E)
    3. Experience of visitor attractions (E)
    4. Representation and speaking in public (D)
    5. Health and safety in a garden environment (E)
    6. Working with and leading volunteers (E)
    7. Willingness to develop professionally and to undertake training (E)
  1. Circumstances
    1. Holder of a full UK driving licence (E)
    2. Able to fulfil the physical requirements of the role including carrying heavy loads, kneeling, digging, sweeping etc (E)
    3. Able to work outdoors in all weathers (E)
    4. Able to work flexibly, including weekend rotational working hours in season (E)



General:          This is a full-time post.          

Location:         The Laskett Gardens, Much Birch, Herefordshire

Salary:             c£28,000 + benefits

Hours:             37.5 hours per week

Pension:          up to 7% employer’s contribution to matched employee contribution to the charity’s stakeholder pension.

Holidays:        25 days per annum plus Bank holidays

General:          Sick pay; death in service benefit (3 x salary); Perennial has a number of well-established flexible working policies including ‘buying’ extra (unpaid) leave, time off for dependents, variations to normal working hours


Please complete an application form to be considered for this role. 

The outline of terms and conditions are provided for information only and do not represent a contract.