1-year Cyclamen Traineeship

Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG) are pleased to announce the Cyclamen Society will be funding a 1-year Cyclamen traineeship. As a trainee you will be focused on improving the cultivation, display and curation of our National Collection of Cyclamen, based at BBG.

You will have the opportunity to learn from expert growers and develop under the guidance of both the Horticultural team at BBG and those in the Cyclamen Society. Throughout the traineeship you will be supported to apply for a travel scholarship and to visit other collections of Cyclamen, learn about pest management, propagation, irrigation, plant records, living collection strategy as well as social media. Your role as a trainee will be instrumental in creating the first display of the collection in many years at the gardens as part of a horticultural winter festival. This is an exciting and rare opportunity for those seeking a career in horticulture.


BBG is one of the most historically significant Botanic Gardens in the UK; a sole survival of its type from the group of early 19th century Botanic Gardens.  The registered Grade II* landscaped Gardens occupy 15 acres, 1 mile from Birmingham City Center, and opened to the public in 1832.

A diverse botanical world that enhances all our lives: our mission is to support plant biodiversity and an understanding of its importance to the natural environment through conservation, education, engagement, and enjoyment.


The collection of Cyclamen at BBG that was established in 2005 was granted the National Collection status by Plant Heritage in 2016. Since then, the collection has grown further and is housed in the nursery complex at BBG. The Gardens intends to develop a horticultural winter festival to be able to display the National Collection in February after a significant period in the back of house. A trainee is required to learn about the collection, develop good practice for cultivation, curation, propagation, and display of the collection across the medeterainian and alpine houses.


To complete practical training in the management of a National collection of Cyclamen at BBG. To be supervised by the Alpine and Woodland Senior Horticulturist also learning from experts from the Cyclamen Society. To contribute to excellent cultivation, display and curation of the National Collection in the nursery and various display glasshouses at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  To complete weekly work diaries, update plants of the week and create a @CyclamenSocietyTraineeship Instagram account to develop the profile of the National Collection and furthermore contribute to Cyclamen Society publications.  To complete practical training in the cultivation, propagation, and display of the collection, other alpine plants as well as auditing and maintaining plant records on the database.  To include nutrition, irrigation, environmental control, integrated pest management, correct selection of growing media.  To participate in Alpine and Woodland garden team activities and cover weekend duty watering on a rota. To contribute to the visitor experience and engagement of stakeholders such as giving tours of the Cyclamen collection. 


    • In the cultivation, display and propagation of Cyclamen.  
    • In working with and learning from skilled volunteer experts, in practical horticultural tasks to a high standard.  
    • In the management of a glasshouse living collection, from labelling to correctly recording plants moves etc. 
    • In the ability to execute and plan horticultural tasks in agreement with Line manager. 
    • In undertaking all horticultural tasks in line with risk assessments health and safety legislation, COSHH assessments. 
    • In social media and marketing, to support Instagram account development. 
    • To be trained in practical integrated pest management programme for own areas and management of plant nutrition, including Pa1 and Pa6. 
    • In house Health & Safety training, Tractor training, for example. 
    • Learn about and implement horticultural polices relevant to your post such as plant quarantine procedures. 
    • In house training on plant propagation. 
    • Plant nutrition. 
    • Placements at other Botanical Gardens and supported to apply for travel scholarship bursary funding to view Cyclamen in the wild.  


  • To complete assigned weekly work diary, plant of the week, seasonal plant identification tests. 
  • Curation and plant records – supported by curator to create a collection management plan. 
  • Health and Safety legislation.



  • To be an ambassador for the genus Cyclamen, BBG, The Cyclamen society. 
  • To work in accordance with BBG’s values and behaviours, to ensure that you are working hard and go above and beyond to deliver excellence to maintain and improve BBG for current and future generations.  
  • Positively contributing to ensuring that the BBG work environment is one that supports Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion for all – including, but not restricted to: staff, volunteers, trainees and apprenticeships, members of the public. 




  • To regularly attend and contribute to team activities – including team hits, meetings and covering other areas. 
  • Work alongside a team of garden volunteers, other apprentices, trainees interns. 
  • Undertake training on horticultural tasks as agreed by Line management and supervisors. 
  • To follow work schedule, completing routine tasks efficiently, identifying tasks and contribute to weekly meetings and work planning. 
  • To use initiative and follow instruction of staff. 
  • Have regular contact with the Cyclamen society and complete weekend duty work. 


  • Carry out all horticultural tasks to a high standard. 
  • Take responsibility for designated areas, if necessary, to ensure high horticultural standards are reached and kept to.  
  • Assist in the updating of electronic plant records database/spreadsheets. 
  • Strive for Horticultural Best practice, reflect and appraise own work. 
  • Develop a collections management plan for glasshouse display and Nurseries in line with the Living Collections Strategy. 
  • Be trained in and deliver a horticultural winter festival display showcasing the Cyclamen collection.

Please click here to download the PDF for further details and person specification. 

Contract Type:1 year fixed-contract, starting date: ASAP

Salary:National Living Wage – Full time – will consider 4 days a week to support attendance on horticultural studies.

To apply: Please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk

Application Deadline: This will be advertised on a rolling recruitment until the post is filled. 

Interviews: Starting from week commencing  26th September 2023

Birmingham Botanical Gardens are keen to see applications from people of all backgrounds and communities and are committed to representing the diverse nature of the city. The Gardens look forward to receiving applications from all suitable candidates and will conduct inclusive recruitment processes based on attitude, experience, and qualifications. BBG are also committed to ensuring that no-one invited to interview should be excluded due to financial circumstances and will reimburse anyone attending interview (related costs must be supported by receipts) if required.