PLANTS Project East Inventory Team Manager

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £29,217 - £32,153 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Edinburgh

This exciting new role will lead the Edinburgh & East Inventory Team for the PLANTS Project – Plant Listing at National Trust for Scotland, a three-year programme to survey, and update the plant inventories at the 39 major gardens managed by NTS across Scotland. Accurate plant records are essential, to ensure legal compliance, safe management of the collections, and for supporting visitor engagement and research. Working with the newly implemented IrisBG database, this project represents a major investment in our plant collections and will result in up-to-date plant records across the Trust. The completed inventory will help us safeguard the collections and will provide our property and gardens staff with a reliable, accessible source of collections information for interpretation and visitor enjoyment.

The purpose of this role is to lead a regional inventory team to deliver region-wide plant collection inventories and to create up to date database entries within the IrisBG database to an agreed schedule. The post will involve extensive travel within the region and occasional visits to other parts of Scotland for project meetings and the post holder will be expected to undertake extended periods of time away from home to undertake garden audits where daily travel distances are impractical.

If you are considering applying for this post on a secondment basis, please discuss with your Line Manager prior to applying to ascertain whether this could be supported.


• Lead on the implementation of the project plan for the regional inventory team, liaising with properties to schedule visits, directing the inventory work and problem solving on the ground, communicating targets and progress to the team, and reporting on progress and operational issues to the PLANTS Project Manager. The post holder will have authority to make day-to-day decisions with the support of the Project Manager to ensure the overall success of the project.
• Be an active part of the delivery team carrying out the plant collection inventories on the ground at properties during the spring and summer seasons using plant identification and research skills to create accurate lists of plants held within the plant collections.
• Lead the processing of the data collected during the inventories. This includes: matching established plants with existing records, creating new records for unregistered plants, and checking the accession records in the database to ensure all data held is accurate and consistent.
• Direct the inventory team’s research into files and plant records to ensure all relevant information is recorded in IrisBG.
• Produce content for social media and NTS blog, as well as contribute to a program of public and stakeholder communication promoting the project.
• Manage the regional team of two inventory officers.
• Develop and maintain effective relationships with the wider NTS gardens team and property staff to facilitate the smooth running of the project and to foster a new culture of record keeping with property teams.
• Actively promote the project and be an enthusiastic advocate for plant recording work by engaging with visitors during inventory work in the gardens.
• Provide training on IrisBG operation and plant record keeping procedures and Trust policies for gardens staff on completion of the database update and hand over the completed dataset to gardens staff.


• A qualification in horticulture/taxonomy And/Or demonstrable extensive experience in a related field.
• Demonstratable plant identification and taxonomy skills.
• Experience in people management with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral when dealing with a wide range of people.
• Strong IT skills including experience of MS office software such as Word and Excel.
• Meticulous attention to detail, in particular when handling large and complex datasets.
• Good organisational and time management skills including the ability to prioritize work and to manage conflicting deadlines.
• Ability and willingness to work outdoors in inclement weather and on rough terrain.
• A driving license, current for driving within the United Kingdom and willingness to travel across Scotland with regular nights away from home.

• Previous experience of computerised plant collection management systems such as IrisBG.
• Experience of large-scale inventory projects.
• Experience of project management.
• An understanding of the legal and ethical issues regarding plant collection management and an interest in heritage horticulture.

Application Deadline: Friday 10/02/2023