Careers in our gardens

National Trust gardeners at work at Cotehele, Cornwall

Searching for a green-fingered career change or a way to develop an existing horticultural career? We have many opportunities for you to develop a career in gardening, regardless of your level of experience.

We look after some of the most important and ground-breaking landscape parks and gardens in Britain. These contain the works of major garden designers in history, including William Kent, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe.

Our gardens also showcase examples of every development in British garden design from Elizabethan to the modern styles.

Covering an area the size of Guernsey, our 200 gardens and 100 landscape parks support a vast range of historically and botanically important plants collected over the last 400 years from around the world. 

All of these gardens require our gardening teams to have specific knowledge and skills applicable to different historic gardening styles, and we’re committed to developing the people and skills to look after these special places.

Growing the next generation of gardeners

Launching in September 2017, the National Trust is piloting new Horticultural Apprenticeships under the Government Trailblazer scheme. 

During their work-based, salaried placements, each apprentice will be hosted by a National Trust garden, gaining crucial knowledge and experience in heritage and biodiversity, alongside general gardening skills. 

As well as on the job training, the apprentices will take part in five week-long training courses at Pershore College, Worcestershire, as they work towards Level 2 qualifications. 

Applicants don’t need any previous qualifications, just a passion for gardening. 

For more details or to apply, please visit:

Working in partnership to develop horticultural careers

Since 2015 we’ve been working in partnership with the Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme (HBGTP) run by English Heritage to recruit and train the gardeners of the future.

The placements are full-time salaried positions and include garden visits, guided research and plantmanship training. 

The two-year course offers practical skills training and includes studying for the Royal Horticultural Society Diploma in Horticulture, Level 3.

During their placement, the HBGTP trainees benefit from a structured learning programme and are assigned a supervisor and a mentor to guide and support their practical training. Our trainees keep a technical diary and undertake research projects and weekly plant identification tests.

HBGTP trainees receive a full-time employment contract with their garden, which pays no less than the National Minimum Wage. 

The two-year programme also includes registration with Capel Manor College to undertake the RHS Diploma in Horticulture Level 3. This includes four intensive study blocks at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire. In addition, there are two skills certificates and an extra Historic Gardens module.

We’ll be recruiting new trainees in February 2018, due to start in September 2018.

Visit the Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme website 

For details or to apply please visit the Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme website.

The garden team standing beside renovated pond and garden of The Bath at Bodnant Garden

Search for a role with us 

Visit our jobs website to discover that perfect gardening opportunity. From entry-level jobs, to head gardener and consultant positions, we have a wide range of roles to suit you. You’ll also find interviews with gardeners from across our properties giving you an idea of what it’s like caring for our special places.