National Botanic Garden of Wales
Location: LLanarthne, Carmarthenshire
The National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) is spread across a 560-acre site, encompassing the core garden and living collections (approximately 70 acres), and the wider estate, including the Regency Restoration project, Waun Las National Nature Reserve (NNR) and a sustainable working farm.
The NBGW was opened to the public in 2000, and was a Millennium Commission funded project. The Garden is divided into several areas, including: the iconic Great Glasshouse, focusing on mediterranean ecosystems; a nascent arboretum; and the double walled garden, holding systematics beds. In addition, the Garden contains the ornamental Broadwalk, a Japanese Garden and a Tropical House.
The living collection represents 3,200 species, and provides an unparalleled resource in Wales for plant research, conservation and education. Core collections are centred on Welsh flora, alongside taxa from Mediterranean regions. The site contains a national seedbank and science centre. The botanic garden is actively involved in the conservation of Welsh natural heritage.
A trainee will develop the following skills over the course of the 12-month placement:
- Familiarity with a wide range of core horticultural techniques, completed according to best practise and to a high standard. These include weed control, pruning, bed maintenance, planting, and propagation of temperate and tender stock.
- An understanding of the use and upkeep of a range of horticultural machinery including: pedestrian and ride-on mowers, hedge cutters, strimmers, brush cutters and gators or similar.
- Plant identification skills (focused on mediterranean, temperate and some tropical flora).
- Management of the conservation meadows in the nature reserve.
- Working as part of a horticultural team to deliver high horticultural standards.
- Maintaining plant records for botanic garden collections, using the IrisBG database.
Placement opportunity: 1 year
Staff numbers: 18 full-time horticulturists; 3 apprentices
Ease of access: The nearest station is Carmarthen (9 miles away). Both Camarthen and Llanelli (5 miles away) have supermarkets and other amenities. Bus links are limited, so it is recommended that trainees have their own transport.
Accommodation: Accommodation in a shared house is available at a subsidised rate.