Head of Gardens - National Trust
Swindon/ London - Flexible
Salary: Competitive

With the help of its supporters, the National Trust has taken care of the country’s special places for nearly 125 years, ensuring that its vibrant history and nature is preserved for generations to come.

The gardens in our care are some of the most important, iconic, and well-loved. The National Trust takes great pride in caring for these living works of art to a high standard and in welcoming visitors to share in their beauty.

We are now looking for a Head of Gardens to drive a strategic approach to our gardens and to make the most of their ability to inspire and delight for public benefit. You’ll be an inspirational leader and will help to bring our conservation and engagement activity together in exciting new ways, leading a step-change in how we connect with visitors through our gardens.

The Role

• Drive the National Trust's strategic approach to gardens and provide outstanding and inspirational leadership to the professional communities of gardens & Parks Advisers and Gardeners

• Work collaboratively to find innovative ways to connect gardens and audiences, while maintaining and enhancing the National Trust's reputation for horticulture, plant expertise and garden design, by developing and implementing relevant policies, standards and frameworks.

• Create a unifying, organisation-wide approach to making the most of National Trust Gardens and influence at Director level to ensure gardens are built into all appropriate areas of wider trust strategy delivery

• Work with and through National Trust property and regional teams to ensure the highest standard of conservation and presentation in Trust gardens

• Be the lead for innovation, commissioning relevant gardens research; introducing best practice and technological improvements where appropriate; and working with others to manage change and growth effectively

• Commission and lead initiatives to provide central support for Trust Gardens

• Lead the gardens community to support delivery of our strategy, understanding and advising on how staff skills & capabilities need to change over time.

• Be an authoritative, external voice for the Trust and support central directors though horizon scanning within your area to identify and prioritise emerging challenges and opportunities

The Candidate

• Extensive in-depth knowledge and experience of current best practice in horticultural conservation, presentation and plants in gardens, parks and landscapes.

• Broad knowledge and significant experience of the application of conservation principles in heritage settings is desirable.

• Broad knowledge and experience of current best practice in engaging the public and various audiences with gardens.

• A passion for gardens and the ability to enthuse people and audiences.

• Strong leadership and people management skills.

• Experience of people leadership across multidisciplinary teams.

• Outstanding communication, presentation and influencing skills with internal and external audiences at all levels.

• Diplomatic and assertive with strong negotiation skills.

• Creativity and innovation; able to inspire others with new approaches and ideas.

• Strategic thinker; can exploit opportunities to align to National Trust’s strategy.

• Ability to build mutually beneficial, high level partnerships.

• Influencing and advocacy skills to a high organisational level.

• Experience of working in a cross functional way across an organisation to deliver tangible results, including delivering through other teams, sponsoring or delegating projects.

For an informal and confidential discussion, please speak with our advisors at Berwick Partners; William Pringle or Leia Clancy on 020 7529 3090.

Closing date for applications: 18th December 2019

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