Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: Grade 2 Upper (£22,797 – £24,071) per annum

Location: Castle Fraser

Castle Fraser is situated in the foothills of the Grampian Mountains. Only 3 miles from the village of Kemnay the estate is set in the rolling farmland of Aberdeenshire with mixed forestry plantations nearby. The history of the Fraser family goes back to the 15th century with parts of the Castle itself date back to 1576.
The walled garden and shrubbery area forms part of the larger design laid out by Thomas White in 1795. The walled garden is a modern interpretation of an older layout with herbaceous plants / fruit and vegetable production as well as themed areas of planting. Adjacent is a modern woodland garden with woodland play area for children and families.

The wider polices include parkland trees – avenues and drives, meadows and forestry plantations.
This regionally significant House and its outstanding garden and landscape attract around 30,000 visitors a year; a competent and enthusiastic gardener is required to complete the compliment the staff structure. An eye for detail as well as flair for creating a beautiful visitor environment is essential. There is much scope for developing within the role in the near future to add to the aesthetic of the property.

To ensure that the garden, grounds and related policies of gardens are managed and maintained as nationally recognised gardens of outstanding historical and horticultural importance; contributing to the properties’ overall conservation and development, and its enjoyment by visitors and supporters.
The role of ‘Gardener’ as a key member of the team, will be heavily involved in the implementation of development plans for the gardens and wider designed landscape.

• Undertaking practical maintenance of the garden e.g., managing trees and shrubs, herbaceous plants, and bulbs; turf care; pest/disease/weed control; staking, plant nutrition, composting and soil improvement to the required standards expected by the Trust and for the maximum safety of, and enjoyment by visitors including other professionals in the horticultural industry;
• Contributing to the management, conservation and development of the garden by plant propagation, cultivation and production of seeds, and the maintenance of appropriate plant records and labelling;
• As requested, assisting with education/interpretation activities such as introductory talks and guided walks;
• Fostering positive relationships with local communities and organisations and promote the work of the Trust.
• Supervising and working with volunteers and/or staff members to ensure they deliver required outputs at the appropriate standard, and gain benefit/satisfaction from their activities;
• Undertaking such other reasonable duties as may from time to time be required to ensure the smooth running of the property as required by the Operations Manager.
• On occasion, contributing to the review and development of annual operating plans and operational workplans for the gardens;
• Ensuring compliance with the Trust’s health, safety, and environment policies and procedures.

• A formal qualification at NVQ/ SVQ Level 2 in amenity horticulture supported by knowledge and demonstrable work experience in an amenity garden context.
• Current driving licence valid for driving in the UK.

Skills, Experience & Knowledge
• Practical experience in general amenity gardening ideally in a garden open to the public with a strong knowledge of plants and their identification
• Demonstrable skills in plant husbandry, particularly fruit and vegetable production, trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, turf culture and pruning with an eye for detail.
• Competence in the use of basic tool and machinery and their maintenance.
• Practical knowledge of Health and Safety processes and procedures and the ability to work effectively within these processes.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; confident in interacting and dealing with a wide range of people; and able to represent the Trust.
• Good organisational and time-management skills – including the ability to prioritise work where necessary and also the ability to work using own initiative, in the absence of direct line management.
• Competent IT skills sufficient for maintaining plant records, use of the internet/intranet, assisting volunteers, on-line learning etc.
• An understanding of the aims and objectives of the National Trust for Scotland.
• Living the values of the National Trust for Scotland and encourage colleagues to do the same
o The ability and willingness to understand others’ perspectives and to consider the impact of your actions on them and to adapt your actions as necessary.
o The ability and willingness to learn and try new things, to be flexible and step outside of your comfort zone.
o An open and honest way of communicating, ready to ask others for their ideas and to be open to hear and consider different points of view.
o A pro-active approach to taking initiative and to driving forward ideas and projects designed to improve daily operations and deliver an exceptional visitor experience.

• Experience of working in a mixed-team that includes short-term/seasonal staff and/or volunteers.
• An appreciation of Scottish garden history in a general context;
• Current First Aid certification (or willingness to train and use);

The current duties of this job do not require a criminal records (Disclosure Scotland) check to be carried out.

People Management
• Not a line manager but will supervise volunteers and staff under instructions from Head Gardener;
• Will work closely with other property colleagues, and will have some interaction with other technical/specialist advisory colleagues based in other locations and departments (e.g. other NTS Gardeners in the region)
• Will have regular (daily) interaction with members of the public and guests of all ages and abilities.

Finance Management
• Not a budget-holder.

• Will be a user of driven vehicles such as ride-on mowers and tractors;
• Will be a frequent user of powered and hand tools such as, mowers, strimmer’s, hedge-cutters; all other tools as required in a general gardening context

Application Deadline: Friday 06/01/2023