Scarriff, County Clare, Ireland
Irish Seed Savers Association

Co-ordinating the requirements of the conservation orchards and fruit tree nursery, this is a full-time role, 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 for 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. The initial contract is for 2 years with the potential for a longer term, pending funding.


We require a Horticulturist 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 to the important work in protecting our heritage fruit trees.


  • Reporting to the General Manager, the successful candidate must have a full driving licence
  • Must be fluent in English
  • Must be computer literate
  • Must have experience in leading teams and managing projects
  • Must 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 Division
  • Orchard management and land management for nursery propagation
  • A 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; Recordkeeping
  • Submissions for funding and collaborations
  • Manage our key performance indicators in collaboration with the 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 the 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
  • The 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 to info@irishseedsavers.ie. Deadline for submission: Monday 4th March 2019

Interviews expected to take place week of 11th March 2019

Start Date from 1st April 2019

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