National Botanic Garden of Wales
Location: LLanarthne, Carmarthenshire
The National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) is a centre of expertise for biodiversity, conservation, education, research, and horticulture. NBGW has become an established national institution since opening in 2000, working with partners throughout Wales and internationally. It is a Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) accredited institution. Based in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, the 568-acre estate features a mixed landscape comprising of formal gardens, a National Nature Reserve (NNR), a certified organic farm all within a Cadw Grade II* parkland. On-site facilities include classrooms, laboratories and the National Seed Bank of Wales. Current science work is focused on pollinators, regenerative practises in grasslands and the Welsh flora.
NBGW is a bilingual institution delivering a wide range of services and public benefits. As a tourism destination, NBGW attracts 160,000 visitors and delivers 27,000 educational contacts. It has a flourishing two-year horticultural apprenticeship programme. It has delivered nationally significant grant funded projects such as ‘Growing the Future’ and ‘Biophilic Wales’ which have helped support education, engagement and community horticulture. Partnerships with universities and conservation practitioners foster collaborative research and conservation, collectively advancing the understanding and preservation of Wales’ 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 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.
- An understanding of botanic gardens and their role in research, conservation education and engagement.
Placements available: One
Staff numbers: 18 full-time horticulturists, 1 HGBTP trainee and 3 apprentices
Ease of access: The nearest station is Carmarthen (9 miles away). Both Carmarthen and Llanelli (17 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.