CEO Job Description for Plant Heritage

CEO Job Description for Plant Heritage

  • About Plant Heritage

    Plant Heritage is the leading cultivated plant conservation charity in the UK. It was established 45 years ago with the aim to conserve the diversity of garden plants.  The charity set up the National Plant Collections® scheme, with 700 collections currently registered, supported by Persephone, an online plant recording system.  Our Threatened Plants Research Programme identifies plants at risk and our Plant Guardian scheme encourages individuals to conserve single plants in their home or garden. 

    Most of our conservation work is undertaken by volunteers, with 7 paid staff in the office (the majority are part time) who oversee the conservation work and manage the charity’s membership. Our membership of passionate plants people is based around the UK, and we have 28 local groups which provide activities on a local level.

    Find out more at


    CEO Job Description

    The Chief Executive Officer will lead Plant Heritage to achieve its aims and create an ambitious, dynamic environment where everyone can achieve their potential. As well as leadership and management experience, this role calls for an ability to create a compelling strategic vision and lead a team to deliver impact. Knowledge of charity law and an ability to ensure compliance across all areas of activity will be important. Financial acumen to create a sustainable financial strategy is a key part of this role to ensure that our ambitious plans can be resourced and realised.

    Skills required for the role of CEO:

    Required experience and skills

    • Previously held a senior role in a charitable, commercial or horticultural / environmental entity with a proven track record.
    • Good understanding and proven experience in a broad spectrum of fundraising and funding initiatives
    • Experience of income generation at a senior level
    • Demonstrable leadership of a small team with diverse skills
    • Excellent financial planning and budget management
    • Experience of growing or scaling an organisation
    • Ability to execute an agreed, risk-assessed action plan with deliverables
    • Excellent communications skills
    • Knowledge of HR and managing people in a compliant way
    • Ability to develop and comply with policies and procedures.
    • Understanding of PR and marketing strategies including analysis of digital and social media data
    • Knowledge of charity law and governance requirements
    • Knowledge of and commitment to the charity’s mission


    Beneficial experience and skills

    • Served on a charity board as a paid member of staff or a trustee
    • Experience of a CEO role in a charity
    • Experience of digital transformation in a charity
    • Delivery of a digital subscription product  
    • Working with a membership organisation and with volunteer networks
    • Experience of line management, including managing performance and overseeing personal development.



    • To develop, with the board, a strategic plan for the next 3-5years that delivers on the charity’s objectives
    • To develop a business plan in line with the board’s strategic direction
    • Monitor impact and key indicators of the organisation’s performance
    • Create and deliver plans, allocating resources in a viable way
    • Provide oversight, direction, and leadership to the organisation
    • Manage finances within an agreed, multi-year budget as part of a financial strategy
    • Test and analyse the feasibility of innovative, income generation, marketing, and PR initiatives, then deliver them or oversee their delivery
    • Ensure regulatory compliance and the administrative activities of the charity are carried out effectively and accurately
    • Ensure the voices of key stakeholders are heard and considered
    • Develop a culture in line with the charity’s values, which is inclusive and focuses on the needs of those it serves and other customers and stakeholders
    • Represent the organisation to the media, at external events, and with other parties
    • Report information and feedback to the board of trustees and board sub-committees as required


    Code of Conduct:

    It is the responsibility of the CEO to:

    • Act within the governing document and the law – being aware of the contents of the Charity’s governing document, its agreements, and the law as it applies to Plant Heritage
    • Act in an open and transparent way with relevant persons in relation to the provision of all charity activities
    • Act in the best interest of Plant Heritage as a whole, considering what is best for the charity and its beneficiaries and avoid bringing Plant Heritage into disrepute.
    • Work considerately and respectfully with all – respecting diversity, different roles and boundaries, driving an inclusive culture.


    Salary and benefits:

    • £50,000 - £60,000 dependent on experience full time
    • Possibility to work part time (minimum 4 days per week), with pro rata pay
    • 23 days holiday, plus bank holidays
    • Contributory pension



    Plant Heritage office, Stone Pine, Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QD (adjacent to RHS Garden, Wisley)


    To apply:

    Please send a CV and a covering letter to Gill Groombridge, Business Manager ( by 8th November 2023.

    For an informal chat please ring Gill on 01483 447540.


eg: plant genus, common name, county, collection holder name.