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Calling all green thumbs – this Richmond National Trust site is looking for a new Head Gardener

The National Trust is looking for a new Head Gardener to work at a 17th century treasure trove mansion nestled on the banks of the River Thames.

If you are an experienced gardener with a passion for sustainability and a dream to work outdoors surrounded by nature and immersed in history – then this could be the perfect role for you.

Surrounded by lush greenery and open space, Ham House sits on Richmond’s riverside in London. Whilst the historic site might feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city, it is actually situated in Zone 4, only 10 miles from central London.

The site, described by historic travel writer John Julius Norwich as an ‘opulent time machine’, is one of the most significant properties under the National Trust’s ownership and a rare survival of 1600s architecture. An original Stewart property, throughout the centuries Ham House’s redbrick walls have held perilous, political secrets since the outbreak of the English Civil War – some of which historians are still working to uncover.

It is currently the most visited pay-for-entry National Trust property in London, with visitors frequently travelling from near and far to view Ham’s exemplary garden and wider grounds.

With an already sterling reputation for sustainable gardening to uphold, Ham House’s ideal Head Gardener is someone who is climate-conscious, capable of working in collaboration and leading the site’s team small, but dedicated, team of four gardeners and supporting over 50 volunteers.

The garden team currently work across all of Ham House’s 12 acre gardens, which since the 1970s have been meticulously restored and recreated to reflect what historically ‘might have been’ in the 17th century.

Highlights of Ham’s gardens include the highly productive kitchen-garden (produce of which is often sold in the on-site shop or donated to the local food bank), 500,000 spring bulbs planted in the Plats, the Wilderness, and Terrace borders. It’s fair to say that Ham’s gardens have been designed to impress since the 17th century.

The gardening team are also responsible for two flood meadows, which are cared for with conservation in mind.

The National Trust also ask that the successful candidate have a RHS Level 3 (or equivalent) as well as practical gardening/horticultural experience, excellent communication/people skills and be a strong collaborator and leader.

This rare and atmospheric 17th-century house sits on the banks of the River Thames in Richmond. It is the creation of the tenacious Duchess of Lauderdale and her husband, the Duke, who together transformed Ham into one of the grandest Stuart houses in England.

Benefits include a £38,000 per annum wage, free admission into all National Trust properties for the employee and one other person and significant discount in the charity’s shops, restaurants and holiday cottages.

General Manager of Ham House and Gardens, Megan Tanner, said the new Head Gardener would play a key role in contributing to whole property decision-making and direction.

“We are looking for candidates who can provide the vision needed to champion Ham’s pioneering and welcoming garden, that’s doing its part to tackle the climate emergency.

“Now is the perfect time to join our team, as we look for a leader to further our commitment to climate conscious and innovative gardening in this internationally significant setting.

“This is a challenging but rewarding role and I am looking for an exemplary and inspiring individual to lead our garden with a mixture of energy, creativity, and a spirit of collaboration.”

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