Muddy Spades

WOULD you like to



Weekly wage


Working week

Mon to Fri 8am to 5pm Total hours per week: 40.00

Expected duration

27 months

Possible start date

21 Mar 2021

Apprenticeship level

Intermediate Level 2 (GCSE)

Intermediate Apprenticeship standard.

Horticulture and Landscape Operative

Apprenticeship standard

Horticulture and Landscape Operative Level 2 (GCSE)

Requirements & prospects

Muddy Spades is a small family Landscape and Grounds Maintenance company is seeking to appoint an Apprentice Gardener. This company provides a great starting point for you to learn a career in Horticulture. You will be involved in all aspects of gardening including:

  • Turf care
  • Planting, Pruning, Weeding
  • Tree works
  • Water feature maintenance
  • Environmental and ecological improvement and management

You will attend Sparsholt College where you will be required to learn about horticulture & landscaping, to include:

  • Plant nomenclature – botanical and common names
  • Plant Science and soil science
  • Environmental protection
  • Industry understanding
  • Plant health, growth & development
  • Soil cultivation
  • Tools, equipment & machinery
  • Maintain hard structures
  • Vegetation control

Working in all weathers you will be keen to learn and be able to work on your own or within a team. You will be provided with practical instruction and experience to support your day release at college whilst obtaining a nationally recognised qualification in horticulture & landscaping. Some assessments will be made whilst you are working on site. Please note that assignments may involve study in your own time, including use of the Library and ITC at college.

Desired skills

  • Effective oral and written communication skills necessary to meet the duties of the post
  • Aptitude to communicate effectively with colleagues and members of the public
  • Evidence of customer/client care skills
  • Good teamwork skills

Personal qualities

  • The ability to develop new skills in horticulture and a willingness to learn about plants and landscaping
  • A demonstrable ability to establish and sustain good working relationship within a team environment or the ability and initiative to work alone
  • A real interest in working in a parks or landscape environment
  • An interest in a career in Horticulture and landscaping
  • Interested in wildlife conservation and the environment
  • Enjoys working outside – sunshine or rain
  • Must be physically fit
  • Able to follow instructions and work independently
  • A sense of humour
  • Polite and friendly attitude

Desired qualifications

  • Minimum GCSE C/4 or above or equivalent in maths & English

Future prospects

A permanent position may be offered upon successful completion of the apprenticeship with the potential to progress to team leader in horticulture.

Things to consider

This is a physically demanding role where you will be required to work outside in all weathers.

You need to be able to get to work each day and to be able to get to Sparsholt college for day release so preference will be given to applicants that have their own means of transport.


Training provider


Applications for this apprenticeship are being processed by Sparsholt College Hampshire


Karen Jackson 01962 797452

Level 2 Horticulture and Landscape Operative apprenticeship standard, which includes:

  • Pa1
  • Pa6
  • Emergency first aid
  • Apprentices without Level 2 English & maths must achieve level 1 and take the test for Level 2 prior to taking their End Point Assessment

Apprentices will need to achieve the EPA’s to achieve their apprenticeship:

  1. On-line knowledge assessment – a 60-minute online test containing 40 multiple choice questions
  2. Practical assessment EPA – a range of 3 practical activities taking no more than six hours undertaken in controlled conditions with responses to verbal questioning from the Independent End Point Assessor.  The apprentice will undertake two tasks from the core tasks and one task from the optional route – Horticulture or Landscaping
  3. Professional Discussion EPA – An hour-long professional discussion under controlled conditions between the EPA and the apprentice to allow the apprentice to demonstrate their knowledge

You will be required to attend Sparsholt College on a day release basis to learn about horticulture, to include:

  • Health & Safety
  • Use and maintain non-powered and handheld powered equipment
  • Use and maintain pedestrian controlled equipment
  • Environment protection
  • Plant identification and nomenclature – Latin and common
  • Vegetation control
  • Soil science and cultivation
  • Plant establish & maintenance
  • Plant grown
  • Plant health
  • Establish & maintain amenity areas
  • Survey and mark out sites for Landscaping features
  • Construct hard landscape features
  • Maintain hard landscape features

Gardener/Grounds Maintenance

Weekly wage

£16,729 - £26,371 a year

Working week

This post is full time, working the following hours per week: February to November 8am – 5pm (includes 60 minutes unpaid lunch break) January and December 8am – 4pm (includes 30 minutes unpaid lunch break) Occasionally the garden department need to work outside regular times. This is managed on a flexible working arrangement There is also the requirement to work weekends and some bank holidays; this responsibility is rotated around the department.


Company pension

Possible start date


Job Description

The Gardener will work within a small team which adhere to Covid-19 strict guidelines.

The following duties are the responsibility of the Gardener/grounds maintenance

General ground maintenance including sweeping and litter removal, mechanical and chemical weed control, manual and mechanical ground cultivation, leaf clearing, path maintenance.

Pruning: shrubs and wall shrubs.

Border maintenance: weeding, forking, cutting back, lifting and splitting, planting, staking, tying in, deadheading and watering.

Turf maintenance: mowing using various types of machines, scarifying, spiking, top dressing, re-seeding, weed control, pest and disease control, repairing and renovating lawns.

Hedge maintenance.

Maintain machinery and vehicles, which will include, servicing and checking the condition of machinery as appropriate and keeping accurate records of machinery.

Perform duties as part of team, but also to work independently when required.

Abide by health and safety rules and regulations.

You will be provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment, which must be maintained at all times.

Keep accurate records of chemical and dangerous substances used.

The list of duties and responsibilities is not exhaustive and you may be required to carry out alternative tasks as instructed by your supervisor to ensure the Department can operate an efficient service at all times.


  • Gardening: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Grounds maintenance: 1 year (Preferred)

Essential skills

  • Good plant knowledge and understanding of correct horticultural practices.
  • Experienced in all aspects of pruning wall shrubs, roses and ornamentals.
  • Good physical fitness.
  • Proven ability to drive tractors and operate relevant machinery.
  • Proven ability to work in a team or alone.
  • Clean UK driving licence.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability to have a flexible approach to the work environment.


CS30/31 chainsaw certificates.

Certificate for Safe Use of Steps & Ladders.

Manual handling certificate.