Sheldon

Practical outdoor all-rounder

Overview of the role

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  • The purpose is to provide a well-kept, safe and restful environment for guests to explore and enjoy. 
  • The post includes care for the grounds, amenity/decorative gardening, general maintenance/repairs of the buildings and co-ordination of work by trades such as electricians, plumbers and builders.  

Working relationships

Your line manager will be the Warden, Sarah. You will collaborate with other senior members of community and staff. You will work alongside paid staff, currently Lawrence who works 3 days/week. The role is being created from parts of other roles, your initial training will be with Carl (Founder and Lay Chaplain), Simon (Estate Projects), Hillary (vegetable and amenity gardening) and Sarah (trades liaison). On workparties you will lead teams of volunteers. 

How the role looks day to day

Your work will often be dictated by the season, the weather, availability of colleagues, and carrying out jobs when disturbance to guests can be minimised. Much work is planned on a seasonal pattern including as grass mowing, strimming and weeding in the spring and summer, leaf blowing and border cleaning in the autumn, maintenance of trees, hedges, hard landscaping and gutters in the winter. There are interesting additions like preparing the open air theatre for concerts or putting up a marquee for an event.You would manage smaller projects that emerge such as renovations, small building works, etc and have responsibilities in any future construction projects. You inherit a site and buildings in good condition and the support of an experienced team around you.

Essential skills

This role could be characterised as 'jack of all trades and master of some'. You will be able to evidence skills in most of the following

  • Small toolbox for minor running repairs. Working out what's wrong then fixing or booking trades, ordering parts, etc
  • Garden hand tools and greenhouse. Management of herbaceous borders, vegetable growing, fruit trees, soft fruit, handing baskets. Cultivating, weeding, pruning, etc 
  • Workshop electrical tools. Basic workshop fabrication using drill, saw, sander, etc.
  • Small garden machinery such as strimmer, hedgetrimmer and lawnmower for care of lawns, banks, hedges, etc
  • Safe use and care of smallholder vehicles such as RTV, ride on mower and compact tractor 
  • General building tasks such as cement mixing, block laying, painting and decorating, etc
  • Perhaps specialist (certificated) skills such as chainsaw
  • Safe use of chemicals such as weedkillers
  • Practical day to day computer skills especially Outlook (emails and calendars) and Word, internet, plus basic use of Excel in order to manage your own task list, collaborate with colleagues, keep records, do research, order from suppliers, etc.

About you and your experience

  • You are self-motivated and happy working alone, collaborating or leading and enabling colleagues. 
  • You might have previous experience running estate premises or perhaps a role such as a National Trust ranger or other retreat centre. 
  • You will have or gain certification for tasks where safety legislation requires. 
  • You can can plan and organise well.
  • You enjoy working outdoors in most weathers and have the physical strength and stamina to sustain an active and practical lifestyle.