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JOB Ref: EC7904

Head Kitchen Gardener

Head Kitchen Gardener Required

A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced and hands-on ‘Head of Productive Gardens’ in Somerset, for an exclusive privately-owned historic estate that opens to the public throughout the year.  Visitor attractions include garden tours, cider making, a farm shop, hotel and spa, café and estate walks, with additional attractions being added currently to this varied and unique estate.

A Head of Productive Gardens is sought following the departure of the recent postholder after 3-years’ commitment to the role.  Very much a hands-on position, the new postholder will be responsible for productive growing operations across multiple areas including the main public kitchen garden, hotel kitchen garden, market garden, mushroom house and several greenhouses.  Applicants for this position should be accomplished, expert growers having successfully run a similar scale of productive garden or commercial growing enterprise.  Applicants will ideally have first-hand experience of the above in a busy public garden, will enjoy engaging enthusiastically with garden visitors and guests, and will be happy to lead tours, workshops, talks and events.  The estate and component parts of the complex aim to practice horticulture to the highest standard, with the productive garden being central to this objective.

The productive gardens team work closely alongside the hotel and Garden Café chefs to supply fresh seasonal produce to all the food outlets on the estate, as well as the Farm Shop, focussing on high quality as well as the interesting, unusual or locally relevant produce.  Reporting to the Director of Horticulture, the Head of Productive Gardens is responsible for a small team (4-6) of permanent gardeners as well as part-time pickers/harvesters and interns.

Applicants for this position should have the following skills and experience:

  • First-hand experience of managing a successful productive garden at a high level.
  • Experience and proven ability in the management of a team of up to 10 people.
  • Broad-ranging horticultural expertise with evidence of appropriate academic qualifications.
  • Thorough, precise and well organised.
  • An eagerness to provide the highest level of visitor experience.
  • The candidate will be a hands-on, hard-working, energetic person with excellent team working skills and the ability to communicate across all levels and to adapt their style to meet individual needs.
  • Act as an ambassador and expert to external audiences, i.e. the media and visitors to the estate.
  • Adequate IT skills for implementing efficient management systems and records are an essential requisite.
  • Full and clean UK driving license.

This is a full-time permanent role with a salary in line with experience and a workplace pension offered.  Hours of work are flexible, though typically will include five days out of seven.  Holiday entitlement is offered at 30-days per annum including Bank Holidays.  Professional membership and reasonable professional development and training costs will be covered by the employer.

This is a rare and varied opportunity to join a beautiful estate and to benefit from the reward of playing a key role in its development going forward.

SALARY:        Circa £35,000 DOE

LOCATION:  Somerset

JOB No:          EC7904

If this Head Kitchen Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Mark Read on 01233 733510 or

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Thank you for the interest you have shown in this Head Kitchen Gardener vacancy.  Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications that we receive, it is not possible to respond to every one.  Therefore, unless you hear from us within the next 14 days, your application for this Head Kitchen Gardener vacancy will have been unsuccessful.

Tagged as: Head Kitchen Gardener, Live Out

Recruitment Specialist Mark Read