Irish Seed Savers Association

Scarriff, County Clare
€25,000 - €30,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

www.irishseedsavers.ie info@irishseedsavers.ie +35361921866

Reference: Orchard

Sectors: food, farming & horticulture, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Monday, 4th March 2019  

Title: Horticulturalist
Reporting to: General Manager
Hours: 35-40 Hours per week (5 Days) – 9am-5pm Monday to Friday (plus occasional weekend work for events and workshops)

Immediate start (March/April 2019), this is a two year contract, which may be extended to a longer term subject to funding.

Co-ordinating the requirements of the conservation orchards and fruit tree nursery, this role is leading and overseeing the team of 3, reporting to the General Manager and Department of Agriculture’s crop protection unit and plant genetic resource division. This role is mainly focusing on conservation and curation of the national heritage fruit tree collections as well as to ensure long-term tree health and continued nursery propagation and management of fruit tree sales, in line with our remit to make available heritage fruit tree varieties for public benefit.

This is an exciting opportunity for those eager to contribute to the important work curating biodiversity collections.


We require a Horticulturalist to lead the Orchard-Nursery team in curating the heritage apple tree collection; maintaining the land; and leading the full cycle of tree sales. Working as part of a three strong team, this role will lead on the important work in protecting our heritage fruit trees. Reporting to the General Manager, the successful candidate must have a full driving licence; be fluent in English, be computer literate, and have experience in leading teams and managing projects and have experience with operating and maintaining farm machinery.

Key Responsibilities of this Role:

Orchard Management

  • Curate the heritage Irish fruit tree collections in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture’s Crop Protection Unit and Plant Genetic Resource Scheme
  • Orchard management and land management for nursery propagation
  • Full cycle of propagation of fruit trees for sale both bareroot field grown and containerized
  • Planning and maintaining rotations
  • Research and updating collections (Fruit picking and display, variety observations and records)
  • Observations; Photography; Record keeping
  • Submissions for funding and collaborations
  • Manage our key performance indicators in collaboration with Department of Agriculture’s Crop Protection Unit and Plant Genetic Resource Division
  • Ensure our work with fruit trees are compliant with Irish regulation and EU legislation, according to DAFM Plant Health requirements and recommendations.
  • Machinery operation
  • DIY (fencing; basic maintenance of equipment, fixtures, irrigation)

Team Leadership

  • Supervise team and volunteers
  • Participate at co-ordinator meetings and staff meetings
  • Manage and work alongside team for effective priority management
  • Health and Safety management to ensure proper procedures are followed and required training and practices are in place.

Education Outreach

  • Participate in ISSA events both onsite and offsite to promote our heritage fruit tree collections
  • Participate as Tutor in ISSA quarterly workshops in orchard management (design, grafting, planting, budding, pruning, etc.)
  • Represent Irish Seed Savers at relevant networks and projects
  • Contribute written articles for ISSA newsletters and ezene
  • Customer care (tours, events, visitors, phone/email correspondence)

Key skills required for this role are as follows:

  • Energetic and interested in conservation
  • Horticulture certification preferable (other relevant qualifications will be considered)
  • Proven experience in gardening or farming
  • Proven problem solving skills for crop health management
  • Nursery experience desirable
  • Ability for outdoor physical work
  • Experience operating and maintaining garden/farm machinery
  • Full Driving License
  • Fluent in English
  • Project Management experience essential
  • Computer skills (Microsoft Office) required to document works, support conservation research work, and prepare reports;
  • Good customer service skills
  • Strong team leader and team player
  • Self-starter

Tasks may be assigned which are outside of the above expectations, as per the requirements of your supervisor, and the Organisation.

The successful candidate is expected to be a team leader, team player as well as have the ability to work on their own initiative.

Please apply by sending your CV and cover letter detailing your background and suitability for this role. Deadline for submission: Monday 4th March 2019

Interviews expected to take place week of 11th March 2019

Start Date from 1st April 2019

Who We Are

Irish Seed Savers Association CLG have been in operation since 1991, focusing on conserving and preserving heritage rare heirloom and heritage seeds and fruit trees to protect Ireland’s long-term food sovereignty in this ever changing climate. Located in Scarriff, in Co. Clare, we run a 20 acre organic farm containing gardens, orchards, nursery and the country’s public seed bank.

What We Do

Our work involves growing produce for seeds, curating the country’s heritage apple tree collection: conservation and preservation in our live seed bank; research on native and heritage seeds and fruit trees; making these seeds and trees available to the public at large to continue on this growing and preserving cycle; and educating and raising awareness on the importance of protecting our food sovereignty.

For further information or to apply please email your application through to info@irishseedsavers.ie

Deadline for submission: Monday 4th March 2019

Irish Seed Savers is a conservation non-profit enterprise, Charity Number 13989. For information on our work and to get involved please go to www.irishseedsavers.ie

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