Garden & Estate Manager

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £35,579 - £39,358 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Brodie Castle

Brodie Castle Estate:

Brodie Castle is set in a 75 acre “policies” estate of mature trees, avenues and mixed woodlands with a large man-made pond. Moreover, it is the official custodian of Ian Brodies national Daffodil collection, which is considered to be of great horticultural importance. It maintains strong links to the Brodie family, whose ancestral seat this was for its entire history. The estate is well visited by dog walkers and local people and is used as a park throughout daylight hours.


This job exists in order to ensure that the garden and policies elements of Brodie Castle are managed and maintained as an internationally recognised garden and landscape of outstanding horticultural importance, contributing to the property’s overall conservation and development, and its enjoyment by visitors and supporters.


The Key Purposes of the job will be met by:
1. Ensuring the conservation and practical maintenance of the garden and policies, whether through delegation to other staff/volunteers, or personal participation – in terms of:
a. Practical horticulture (e.g. including managing trees safely and shrubs, herbaceous and bog plants, half-hardies, annuals and bulbs; turf care; pest/disease/weed control; composting and soil improvement; hard-landscaping and path care; plant propagation; plant sales management);
b. Plantsmanship (e.g. the identification, knowledge and understanding of this high caliber plant collection, including recording [using Demeter database], and labelling of individual plants and recognized collections);
c. Research and development (e.g. research into historical precedents and practical contemporary solutions to inform proposed activities and projects; support to the planning, design and implementation of restoration and/or development projects);
d. Interpretation (e.g. through the development and delivery of events such as introductory talks, presentations, guided tours or practical demonstrations and workshops, garden trails, digital media and contribution to guide-books or leaflets). The Head Gardener will take an active role in promoting the garden and property.
2. Manage the property maintenance team to deliver the annual programme of planned preventative and reactive maintenance across the whole site including all buildings:
a. Collaborate with other heads of departments and the regional buildings team to ensure a clear maintenance plan is created and delivered for the whole estate including and prioritizing all legal compliance matters. This process will be overseen by the Operations Manager.
b. Manage the maintenance team to deliver the maintenance plan.
c. Contractor management: Ensure the maintenance team are working with all departments to oversee all onsite contractors and that they are managed as per our policies including health and safety requirements.

3. Ensuring an appropriate management regime of the garden and policies that includes the management of:
a. staff and volunteers (e.g. recruitment, induction, direction, development, performance management) such that they are fully equipped, organised and motivated to undertake their duties to the required Trust standards;
b. budgets (e.g. helping set future budgets, phasing, monitoring, pro-active and re-active adjustments to current budgets, managing project finance) such that the gardens’ finances are in line with budget within the context of the wider property and project budgets;
c. health, safety and the environment in line with stated Trust policies and approaches to ensure the health and welfare of all users;
d. machinery and equipment (e.g. ensuring timely and appropriate repairs, purchases and servicing) and its use (e.g. training, risk assessments and HAVS logs);
e. recognition of the Trust’s Environmental Policy with respect to sustainable gardening activities, including energy, water, peat & pesticide-use;
f. daily, weekly, yearly and longer-term management and operational workplans and reporting in the context of the property’s statements of significance, action plans and heritage garden management plan (and contribution to preparing these plans) to ensure that activities are prioritised and planned to optimise the use of resources;
g. customer service and care from garden staff/volunteers, and in the broader sense of facilities and “visiting experience”, to ensure that the properties’ reputation for excellence is maintained and enhanced;
h. administration to enable gardening activities to be undertaken and recorded efficiently;
i. When projects within this department are identified, take the lead on the project management.

4. Participating fully in the property’s wider “management team” including
a. supporting the Operations manager strategically and practically with the operation of the properties, and assuming the role of “duty manager” as required
b. taking an active role in promoting the gardens and properties through digital media, events, workshops, presentations, and talks.
c. Managing turf areas, traffic flow and protecting the estate landscape features during major events including supervision of contractors
d. Snow, ice, and storm management
e. Out of hours and during open hours: Fire and security duties including weekend working on a rota basis or when the need arises

Application Deadline: Sunday 25/02/2024