Rookery Manager

Permanent employment - full time

Salary: Up to £35,000 per annum depending on experience

Closing date: 01 Apr 2022 - Interviews will take place at the Rookery Gardens

Reporting to: The Board of the Streatham Common Co-operative

How to apply: Please email a CV and covering letter to

About the role:

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for someone who is passionate about developing and sustaining an award-winning park that is much visited and cherished by a diverse local community. We are looking for an experienced manager who is passionate about protecting and enhancing parks and open spaces in urban areas but is also very flexible and adept at managing a variety of different interests, needs and operational challenges. The Rookery has a rich history and wonderful ornate gardens that need to be managed sympathetically to respect their heritage but also developed sustainably to ensure they thrive for another hundred years. We want someone who will build on all of this and take The Rookery one step further to be a Gold Award London in Bloom winner!

About you:

The successful candidate will demonstrate that they are outgoing and enthusiastic, capable of inspiring staff and volunteers alike, while being accountable to the SCCoop Board for the management of a successful and cost-effective operation. You must have operational experience of managing projects and providing the leadership necessary to delivering outcomes with the involvement a wide range of individuals and stakeholders. It will be vital to have direct experience of running a hands-on operation requiring the delivery of reactive and planned maintenance of physical features. Experience in Parks and Leisure Management or experience managing a public garden is desirable and a qualification in horticulture would be advantage.


To be responsible for, and accountable to the Board for ensuring effective:

1. Business Performance: Accountable to the Board for delivery of the SCCoop business plan including the service delivery contract with LB Lambeth. Supporting the Board in effective decision making and good governance, including helping them to stay abreast of sectoral developments and providing timely and regular reporting at Board meetings.

2. Operational Management: Development and implementation of a sustainable horticultural planting and maintenance plan for The Rookery Gardens, that will support wildlife and maintain the high horticultural and conservation standards, beauty and tranquillity for visitors

3. Line Management: Accountable for the performance and development of the team which includes a Head Ranger, Head Gardener, an Apprentice, a Senior Administrator and a Groundsman, and other staff that may be recruited as project and funding opportunities arise. Adhere to the Cooperative Movements Values and Behaviours. Development and implementation of a detailed strategy for recruiting, inducting, managing and supporting volunteers

4. Financial management: Accountable to the Board for delivery of income and expenditure as agreed in the business plan budget.

5. Asset management: Maintenance and adequate servicing of all fixed assets and tools pertaining to the portfolio

6. Communications: Accountable for ensuring regular and appropriate communications to the SCCoop Board, and other key stakeholders including Friends of Streatham Common, Streatham Common Community Garden, Lambeth Council, Community groups and contractors. Provision of timely content for the marketing and communications plan. Development and implementation of a clear community engagement strategy with all key stakeholders including the establishment and maintenance of relationships with a range of community groups including those representing disadvantaged, BAME, LGBT+ and/or vulnerable groups

7. Fundraising activities: Provide strategic and practical input to financial plans and developments, including bid writing for funding and to help identify and establish new revenue opportunities. Plan the events calendar with the events partners to deliver a coherent series of monthly and seasonal events, such as the regular Rookery Markets and Christmas event, safely to a high standard with the dual aims of building positive community engagement and generating income. Participate in regular weekend event. Approximately one day per month for Rookery Market. Time off in lieu will apply


1. Skills:


• A self-starter with operational management experience

• Strong leadership, management and team building skills

• Ability to manage gardens, woodland and open common land

• Demonstrate an entrepreneurial approach towards improving services, raising revenue, attracting external funding and identifying and delivering funded projects.

• Customer-focussed approach

• Positive and enthusiastic

• Self -motivated achiever and able to motivate and inspire others

• Good communicator, trainer and coach

• Possession of a range of practical skills for the care and presentation to a high standard of formal heritage gardens and their plant content

• Good basic skills in the care and operation of garden machinery, hand tools and equipment

• Able to undertake work of a physical nature

• Ability to work effectively and maintain good relationships with external stakeholders and contractors

• Computer literate, i.e. experience of using MS Office software, and an ability to learn and use other software used by SCCOOP


• First Aid certificate

• Health and safety qualification (e.g. IOSH)

• Driving licence

2. Knowledge


• Understanding of health and safety legislation and practice

• Numerate and literate to an appropriate level for the role

• Understanding of best practice in relation to managing staff

• IT literate to intermediate level

• Understanding of the impact of climate change in the context of the Rookery

• Understanding of the principles and benefits of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the workplace


• A relevant qualification in horticulture (e.g. degree level/NVQ level 2/RHS level 2) or equivalent demonstrable comparable experience.

• An understanding of the issues relating to work in an historic environment

• PA1 and PA6 regulations in relation to pesticide use

• Awareness of SCCoop’s purpose, vision and mission

• Knowledge of current urban park management issues.

3. Experience:


• Team leadership and performance management

• Experience of managing volunteers

• Experience of managing contractors

• Demonstrate good practical horticultural knowledge and experience

• Experience of health and safety management

• Use of garden machinery

• Experience of overseeing, managing and reporting on budgets

• Experience of applying EDI related working practices within recruiting and management of staff and volunteers


• Experience of managing change

• Experience of working with consultants

• Experience of working for a social enterprise and/or not-for-profit organisation

• Experience of working within an historic environment