Traineeship Information

The Historic and Botanic Garden Training Programme (HBGTP) is managed by English Heritage. The HBGTP is an unrivaled opportunity for passionate individuals committed to establishing a career in horticulture.

You can earn a salary while developing your professional skills in some of the best historic and botanic gardens that the UK has to offer!

What we offer

The programme is delivered over one year and consists of a full-time salaried placement within an historic or botanic garden. The scheme has benefited over 300 trainees to date, with many trainees going on to top jobs within the industry. Placement gardens vary each year, with prestigious historic gardens such as Osborne House, Audley End and Wrest Park having hosted trainees previously.

Who should apply

HBG traineeships are suitable for people looking for practical experience, who may or may not have a horticultural qualification. During your placement, you will complete 3 written projects based on your placement garden. You will also keep a technical journal, and will undertake regular plant identification tests.

Scheme Summary

  • 1 year full-time, paid practical placement in an historic or botanic garden.
  • Work alongside the gardening team throughout the seasons.
  • Develop practical skills and increase plant knowledge.
  • Learn about the key aspects of managing an historic garden.
  • Complete 3 projects, a daily technical journal and weekly plant idents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to apply?

Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to apply, but must be able to demonstrate some prior paid or voluntary experience working in the horticulture sector.

How do I apply?

Application is done online. Throughout March an ‘apply now’ button will be available on our website homepage. Click this button and you will be taken to an external job application page to complete an application form.

How do you select candidates?

Given the opportunities that the HBGTP offers, there is strong competition for the limited number of placements. Applications will be reviewed by HBGTP staff and gardeners at the chosen placement gardens. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at placement gardens during May and the start of June. The interviews will include a practical element.

What does a traineeship involve?

You will experience a 12 month traineeship in an historic or botanic placement garden. You will be expected to work a standard working week alongside the garden team. You will also be given a half day per week for study. You will complete 3 projects, maintain a daily technical journal and undertake weekly plant idents which you will submit to the scheme for feedback. As a trainee you will also be fully funded to attend an autumn trainee seminar and spring study tour.

Further details can be found in the trainee handbook at:

How many places are available each year?

There are usually between 10 and 20 traineeships available each year, with some gardens hosting more than one placement.

When does the placement start?

Trainees are usually required to commence work in the first working week of September.

What about funding?

Candidates are paid a salary of at least the National Living Wage.

Does the HBGTP offer accommodation?

Some gardens offer accommodation, however, you must be prepared to meet the costs of your accommodation from your own salary.

What do I get for completing a traineeship?

You will get an ‘HBGTP Certificate of Completion’ along with 12 months’ experience in a prestigious garden, providing that first crucial step towards a career in horticulture.

If you would like to discuss a placement on the scheme, please contact the Training Manager, Elinor Davies, during working hours on:

Tel: 07979 401784 Email: [email protected]

My Thoughts...

It was exactly the kind of training I needed in order to gain entry into the industry. No garden would have given me a job with the limited experience I had prior to the placement, but with the HBGTP I got an immersive ‘on-the-tools' experience which really improved my prospects.

Mike Roberts, Trainee at Ness Botanic Gardens