Brantwood Estate Worker

(Permanent full-time post)


An excellent opportunity has arisen for an experienced Estate Worker to join the small team on a historic estate at Brantwood, Coniston on a full-time, permanent basis. This role would suit a well-rounded Estate Worker with at least 2-years’ experience in publicly accessible historic gardens and estates. Brantwood is John Ruskin’s former home, now a museum surrounded by a stunning 250 acre estate comprising of shoreline, ornamental gardens with specialist horticultural areas, native planting, woodland gardens, farmland, semi-natural ancient woodland, heath and fell with documented nationally rare species. Gardens and managed historic landscape make up around 40 acres of the total acreage. This provides a diverse & stimulating opportunity for a creative and sustainably minded Estate Worker.


Applicants for this vacancy should have demonstrable experience in a range of areas and desire to expand their skill set. The successful candidate needs to be physically fit in order to manage the steep, uneven terrain as the garden and estate stretch from shoreline to fell-top on a steep incline.


Brantwood has a strong desire to maintain the grounds as an ecologically complete cycle – using the timber from our land to create items for use on site, composting waste from these processes and in turn using that compost on the estate, replanting areas to ensure a healthy sustainable woodland. A willingness to work in sympathy with these natural processes is essential.


As well as producing greenwood items from the estate, working in the coppice areas, with our semi-natural ancient woodland, shore line, heath, flower rich hay meadow, estate trail and both rare and invasive species, the Estate Worker’s role includes lawn care and hedge maintenance, maintenance of hard-landscaping features such as paths, benches and fences in all garden areas, to a high aesthetic standard e.g. within the herbaceous borders, native herb garden, kitchen garden, propagation areas, fern garden, alpine plantings, orchard, shrubberies, the formal allegorical garden and around the house. The care of lawns is also assumed to be organic although some areas, e.g. carpark, are occasionally sprayed with Glyphosate. We encourage applicants with ecological and artistic enthusiasm and a strong desire to work at Brantwood. An amount of additional in-house training will be offered where possible.


Brantwood is currently re-structuring its staff team in order to focus more attention on the gardens and estate. This position is an excellent opportunity to work, initially, under an enthusiastic Head Gardener, then under a newly appointed Estate Manager, within a small team of staff and volunteers. The successful applicant will be employed initially for a probationary period lasting six months, they will be confirmed in post subject to satisfactory completion of the probationary period.


Brantwood is rurally located with the closest bus stop a brisk walk away, as such we encourage non-driving applicants to consider carefully their ability to access this location at all times of year, in all weathers


Job Description:


Typical duties – An enthusiasm to support our small team in any aspect of estate work is essential however typical duties may include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • Assissting with the felling and extraction of trees;
  • Contributing to Health and Safety paperwork, e.g. dangerous tree surveys;
  • Processing timber for firewood and for use on the estate;
  • Managing coppiced areas;
  • Assisting with woodland crafts e.g. making greenwood products such as fence posts, paling fences, trellis panels, riven wood for fences and path edging and for numerous other uses on the estate; carrying out charcoal burns;
  • Fence erection and repairs;
  • Dry stone walling;
  • Hard landscaping projects;
  • Pond maintenance and repair
  • Path maintenance of garden and estate paths, carpark and other hard standing areas.
  • Maintenance of the estate infrastructure including drains, gutters, and paving;
  • Lawn care to include scarification, aeration, mowing and edging etc
  • Hedge maintenance including trimming and replanting if necessary.
  • Carrying out other duties as required to help with the running of Brantwood


Person Specification:


Essential Skills:

  • Good knowledge of native flora and fauna;
  • Experience of carrying out woodland and estate work;
  • Experience of using general garden machinery including pedestrian lawnmowers, hedge-trimmers, strimmers and leaf blowers;
  • A desire to learn;
  • Willingness to be resourceful and adaptable;
  • Physically able to cope with manual work and steep uneven terrain and willingness to work outdoors in all weathers;
  • An awareness of environmental issues and best practices in land based work areas;
  • Ability to work alone and in groups;
  • Good written and verbal communication skills both with colleagues and the public;
  • An ability to work safely and within H&S guidelines;
  • PA1 & PA6 spraying qualification or willingness to obtain;


Desirable Skills:

  • Experience and relevant current chainsaw qualification – LANTRA chainsaw maintenance, cross cutting and felling small trees qualification;
  • Interest in gaining experience in tools/equipment for working with timber both in the forest and in a workshop;
  • Experience of tool maintenance and repair
  • Experience of using chippers, shredders and brushcutters
  • Experience of producing H&S documents e.g. Risk Assessments, COSHH
  • An interest in non-native flora
  • Experience of managing invasive species
  • Knowledge of Ruskins work and principles
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience of working with the public
  • Stem injection, minimal calibration and/or stump plug herbicide treatment qualifications.


Brantwood is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds.


This role is offered PAYE at £19,760 – £20,800 per annum, depending on experience, for a 40hr week. Standard work-days are negotiable (e.g. Mon-Fri) but must be between 8.30am – 5pm, occasional days outside of your normal hours may be necessary. 28 days holiday per annum (including Bank Holidays). The post is permanent subject to successful completion of a 6 month probationary period.


Please direct applications and questions to Bethan Pettitt, Head Gardener, at Phone calls are welcome but please email in the first instance: 01539 441396. Applications should consist of an emailed CV and cover-letter detailing your suitability for the post. Closing date: 08/07/21

Brantwood is an independent registered charity - The Brantwood Trust Coniston Cumbria LA21 8AD Telephone: 015394 41396 Fax: 015394 41263