West Lexham is a 22 acre family run retreat centre based around heritage farm buildings, converted for overnight stays, treehouse cabins and bell tents for glamping in the woods.
It is run on renewables and best practice principles. The land includes a fresh chalk stream and lake running through formal gardens that give way to water meadows and woodland. It consists of a beautiful maintained formal garden which blends into the wild. The water meadow and range of habitats mean that the biodiversity is extraordinary. They have planted every indigenous shrub and tree and many wildflowers to improve this.
The Head Gardener would be manging a small team to develop and maintain the recreational gardens. They would work alongside our Head Grower who runs the biodynamic kitchen garden to supply food for retreats and café.
The successful person would also be working alongside the owner, who used to be a garden designer. Plans to develop new areas are in place and the person must be capable of maintaining the grounds and gardens to ensure the right balance of maintenance and wilderness is met all year round.
Key skills and experience:
- An intuitive understanding of plants, trees and the subtlest workings of nature.
- Advanced organic horticultural knowledge.
- Use of all of tractors and garden machinery.
- Knowledge of maintenance and servicing of tractors and garden machinery.
- IT literate.
- Experience in leading and training a team.
- Experience in Health & Safety and risk assessments.
- Experience in creating systems to optimise efficiency at work.
- Experience in running budgets, purchasing and ordering.
- Warmth and Friendliness with the visiting public.
Important aspects of the job:
- To understand the balance between leaving nature to do her thing and human intervention to make a garden.
- Have a very creative side and desire to make everything beautiful.
- Bring joy and calmness along with healthy work ethic.
- To be extremely tidy and keep tools and stores immaculate.
- Be an excellent communicator.
- Ability to build a culture of responsibility and trust.
- To be systematic and efficient, while training others to be the same.
- Be able to strategically plan the maintenance in the garden.
- Be able to effectively timetable work for the team.
- To build an annual maintenance calendar with notes added year on year.
- Continuingly looking about how to improve the garden.
- Willing to commit to a long-term relationship with our beautiful piece of land.
- Working harmoniously with the wider team.
- Creatively developing the garden to be a healing and teaching tool.
- Being customer facing and willing to do inspiring tours for guests.
- Competitive rates of pay depending on experience and skills
- 29 days holiday per year
- Full time hours are 40 hours per week, Monday-Friday 52 weeks per year
- Support & Guidance – You will be guided and supported by a dedicated team
- Excellent work environment
- Casual dress
- Dog friendly site
- Staff discount in the café
- Help with Accommodation is a possibility
- Free Parking
Salary £25,000 – £28,000 per annum depending on experience. Accommodation a possibility.
The ideal candidate must be able to work with nature at the deepest levels and share the overall vision for the gardens to become healing and teaching tools for their guests. West Lexham are committed to creating experiences and environments which serve the healing, wellbeing, and the creative engagement of our visitors, and wider community. It is at heart a healing journey in a healing place.
For more information about this exciting opportunity, please contact Rebecca on 07771 655879