Logo: Lukesland Gardens

Lukesland Gardens

Gardening, Grounds and Domestic Work

Lukesland has 10 hectares of mature woodland gardens set around a valley on the southern edge of Dartmoor. With its well-drained, acidic soils and mild oceanic climate, Lukesland is home to a wide range of Himalayan temperate montane plants, particularly rhododendrons and magnolias. It is principally a spring garden, but also has striking autumn colours: public openings in these seasons attract between four and five thousand visitors. More details can be found on the website.

The small Lukesland estate includes several areas of moorland (see and, plus some commercial woodland.

Lukesland has been in the Howell family for over 90 years, and the gardens are the product of the hard work of many generations of gardeners working with this family and its predecessors. The scope of work outlined below offers an individual or a couple the opportunity to be part of the garden’s history of evolution.

The current owners are seeking a person, or more likely a couple, to work on the tasks outlined below in any combination. Initially this is expected to be one full time equivalent, dovetailing with existing staff, but may become more.

Gardening and Grounds Work

  • Mowing, strimming, hedge cutting and leaf blowing.
  • Weeding, including heavy hand-weeding (e.g. brambles and nettles).
  • Tree care (i.e. chainsaw work, but not climbing), cutting and pruning.
  • Clearance of overgrown areas and bonfires.
  • Planting and seedling care.
  • Growing vegetables and fruit, and management of greenhouses.
  • Propagation of rhododendrons and other plants for our own use and for sale.
  • Herbicide spraying and pest control.
  • Production of firewood for domestic use.
  • Maintenance of streams, ponds, paths and drives; repairs to stone walls and streambanks.
  • Participation in design decisions and modifications to the landscaping.
  • Periodic work activities in the woods (usually ride clearance etc.).
  • Periodic work activities on the moor (usually tree care, stone walling, fencing and gates).
  • Occasional care of chickens.
  • Basic maintenance of electric- and petrol-driven machine tools.
  • Care of garden furniture (oiling, painting, etc.).
  • External building maintenance (gutters, drains, painting, etc.), including ladder work.

Domestic and Tea Room Work

  • Cooking for the Tea Room (all home-made food).
  • Assisting management and serving in the Tea Room.
  • Providing relief staffing on the gate.
  • Cleaning in the house and holiday cottages, including washing and ironing.
  • Cleaning after garden openings.
  • Support for the management of occasional events.
  • Interior decorating.
  • Periodic care-taking role.


  • The position(s) will be either salaried or on a self-employed basis, to be negotiated to suit the successful candidate(s). Remuneration will be benchmarked to similar positions on large estates.
  • Accommodation can be arranged if necessary.
  • The position(s) will include flexible working times to fit with the spring and autumn garden opening times, with corresponding additional time off in the summer and winter.
  • Personal protective equipment will be provided.
  • A clean full UK driving licence is essential. Chainsaw, strimmer and spraying certificates are also required; if necessary, support will be provided for obtaining essential training and certification.

Please apply via email to

Closing Date: 12/08/2022  Location: South Devon

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