Assistant Head Gardener

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £25,603 - £27,318 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Crathes Castle


To assist and support the Head Gardener in the conservation, care and presentation of the property’s garden and policies, ensuring that all areas are maintained to the highest standards and to the enjoyment of all visitors and supporters, whether through delegation to other staff/volunteers, or personal work. The garden is managed, maintained, and developed as an internationally- recognised garden of outstanding horticultural importance, contributing to the property’s overall conservation and development, and its enjoyment by visitors and supporters.


• Practical horticulture. This includes tree management & professional tree inspection; managing herbaceous plants, annuals, and bulbs; lawncare; pest/disease/weed control; composting and soil improvement; hard landscaping; glasshouse care, plant propagation; biosecurity.
• Resource management. Ensuring effective and efficient use of machinery, equipment, materials, and all other resources.
• Participating fully in the property’s wider Estate “management team”, deputising for the Head Gardener as required. This may include attendance at regional meetings & events when required.
• Plantsmanship. e.g., the identification, knowledge, and understanding & management of a large & diverse plant collection, including recording [using IrisBG database or other], labelling of plants, identifying and conserving rare plant collections.
• Staff and volunteers. Assisting with recruitment, induction, supervision, direction, development, and performance management, to a high level, to ensure they are fully equipped, organised, and motivated to undertake their duties to required standards, and further develop their skills into the future.
• Input into daily, weekly, yearly, and longer-term operational work plans and reporting in the context of the properties’ statements of significance and action plans (and contribution to these action plans) to ensure that activities are prioritised and planned to optimise the use of resources.
• Health, safety, and the environment in line with stated Trust policies and procedures to ensure the health and welfare of staff/volunteers/ visitors/ service providers. This will include shared responsibility for staff & NTS compliance paperwork, policies, and procedures.
• Working to the Trust’s Environmental Policy with respect to sustainable gardening activities & net zero ambitions, including energy, water, peat, and pesticide use.
• Customer service and care delivered to a high standard to ensure that the property’s reputation for excellence is maintained and enhanced.
• To work closely with the Head gardener in Research and development. e.g., research into historical precedents and practical contemporary solutions to inform proposed activities and projects; support to the design and implementation of restoration and/or development projects.
• Garden & Estate Interpretation, through the development and delivery of events, projects, literature, signage, talks, demonstrations.
• To play an active & pragmatic role in the assistance of administration to enable gardening activities to be undertaken and recorded efficiently.

Application Deadline: Sunday 23/07/2023