Seasonal Gardener

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £22,672 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Haddo House

Haddo House

Haddo House is located around 5 miles from the village of Tarves, set within extensive country park, it is a magnificent example of a Scottish stately home in the Palladian style. The elegant and luxurious interior are home to an extensive art collection, including 85 paintings of Aberdeenshire castles by acclaimed Victorian artist James Giles

An exciting opportunity to be a part of the on-going development of the Haddo House terrace gardens. The gardens are a vibrant and exciting garden to work within.

Its long and varied history underpins the whole estate and its management with the gardens forming an integral part of the overall visitor experience. The gardens are always evolving within its historical framework both as a plantsman’s garden and as a living work of art. We are seeking a suitably skilled and motivated individual to join us to continue its reputation and extend its interest to all visitors.

Outside the terrace garden, there are a series of informal lawns and landscape trees which lead the visitor in to the wider designed landscape and join with the Country Park and the impressive Scots Mile.

This regionally significant House and the wider country park welcome over 200,000 visitors a year; a competent and enthusiastic gardener is required to complete and compliment the staff structure. An eye for detail as well as flair for creating a beautiful visitor environment is essential.


Under the direction of the First gardener in the first instance but reporting to the Head Gardener, to ensure that the garden and estate are managed and maintained to a high standard in line with the aims and objectives of the National Trust for Scotland.


1. Assisting with general horticultural duties to the required standards expected by the Trust and for the maximum safety of, and enjoyment by, visitors. Activities may include:
a. Grass-cutting, strimming, hedge-cutting and raking/collection
b. Cutting of lawn edges
c. Hand-weeding of beds and borders
d. Weeding, watering and feeding
e. Planting out ( under direction of staff)
f. Application of mulches

2. Assisting with general property maintenance duties and for the maximum safety of, and enjoyment by, visitors. Activities may include:
a. Refuse disposal
b. Raking gravel paths

3. Assisting as required with the general enjoyment of the gardens and estate by:
a. Responding to general visitor enquiries
b. Assisting at events held within the garden or on the estate

4. Assisting with interpretation activities such as answering basic horticultural enquiries from visitors and providing clear and accurate plant labeling.

5. Working with the full time staff to foster positive relationships with local communities, visitors and promoting the work of the Trust, and actively seeking opportunities to increase Trust membership

6. Working with volunteers to ensure they deliver required outputs at the appropriate standard and gain benefits from their volunteering

7. Ensuring compliance with the Trust’s health, safety and environment policies and procedures to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and visitors. This includes recognition of the Trust’s environmental policy with respect to sustainable gardening policies.

This role does not require you to undertake a criminal records check.


 No formal educational qualifications required – but previous gardening or grounds-keeping experience is highly desirable
 Driving License, valid for driving within the UK


 Should be experienced with a wide range of hand tools and basic machinery / equipment (e.g. lawn mowers, strimmer) or willing to be trained
 Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, confident in interacting and dealing with a wide range of people, and able to represent the Trust
 Some practical knowledge of Health and Safety processes and the ability to work effectively within these processes
 Capable of working effectively within a team environment, but equally able to work unsupervised
 Good organisational and time management skills – including the ability to prioritise work where necessary
 Must have a genuine understanding of, and belief in, the work of the National Trust for Scotland

 A genuine love for gardening and garden maintenance is highly desirable
 Experience of working in a garden open to the public
 Competent IT skills sufficient for use of the internet and for completing intranet training modules
 Ride-on mower experience


People Management
 Will work closely with the Head Gardener and Gardener and other property staff
 Will regularly work with a team of garden volunteers
 Will have daily interaction with members of the public of all ages and abilities

Finance Management
 Not a budget-holder but will be expected to take responsibility for effective management of Trust resources in the allocated areas (e.g. compost, materials etc)

Tools / equipment / systems
 Will be a frequent user of powered tools such as mowers, strimmers, hedge-cutters
 Will be a frequent user of hand tools such as spades, forks, trowels, rakes, hoes, shears and secateurs

The Key Responsibilities, Scope of Job, and Required Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge reflect the requirements of the job at the time of issue. The Trust reserves the right to amend these with appropriate consultation and/or request the post-holder to undertake any activities that it believes to be reasonable within the broad scope of the job or his/her general abilities.

Other information
This job involves considerable outdoor physical activity in all weathers.

Application Deadline: Friday 14/04/2023