Park Manager

The Wildwood Trust

Herne Bay, Kent
£35,000 - £40,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent 01227 712111 Marianne Benson

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Friday, 04 August 2017

The Wildwood Trust is seeking an experienced Park Manager to manage our British Wildlife Visitor centre at Herne Common near Canterbury, Kent. The Park Manager will manage teams of staff, operations, specific projects & day to day commercial activities at the park. The role will report to the Chief Executive, and will have the remit to manage all operations with a role to develop, exploit and manage all secondary spend opportunities whilst ensuring that the Park is running smoothly and efficiently.

The role will involve motivating and managing diverse teams, working with Managers to ensure cost effective operational management, project managing the building of new animal enclosures, facilities management and grounds, playground & building maintenance. This post will ideally suit someone who is an experienced manager with a background in the leisure/zoo industry.


Job Title: Park Manager
Function: Managing the Wildwood Canterbury Visitor Centre
Salary: £35,000 to £40,000
Responsible to: Chief Executive

Principal Duties

Operations Management: Visitor Services, Café, Rangers, Keepers

You will directly line manage senior staff in the following teams;

1. Café: Food sales in our café 
2. Ranger team: Facilities, woodland management, maintenance& construction 
3. Keepers – animal care 
4. Visitor Services – sales, ticketing and membership recruitment.

Primarily this role will involve managing the team leaders and their budgets; keeping the teams working together effectively across the Park to deliver a first-rate visitor experience.

Your key task here will be to manage the operations of the Park and its teams and to implement Wildwood’s strategic plans and the policies set out by our Board of Trustees and directed by the Chief Executive. Central to this will be a customer focused attitude to our activities, ensuring all efforts are aimed at giving our visitors an outstanding experience.

You will drive forward our programme of upgrading and building animal exhibits & facilities, getting the best from operational teams and ensuring cross co-operation internally and with the team in Devon or any future centres.

A focus on membership recruitment will be required meeting targets and publicising our charitable work.

Ground maintenance in curating our woodlands (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) will be an important element of the role.

You will need to project manage all new developments in line with the Trust’s strategic plans and agreed work programme.

Team Leadership

The recruitment training, motivation, development and performance management of Wildwood staff and volunteers to achieve the agreed objectives and ensure effective day to day operational management, safety and customer service.

Developing, leading and inspiring the team to meet performance objectives through clear communications, setting positive work standards and ensuring all staff and volunteers are committed to and engaged in developing the business.

Human Resources and Health & Safety Management

You will act as the competent person in dealing with Health and Safety in the park and work with the Office Manager to ensure all our systems are properly documented and adhered to in accordance with our H&S advisors and insurers.

You will deal with all day to day Human Resource issues for your teams with the assistance of the Office Manager and our appointed advisors.

Financial Administration & Reporting

You will be required to facilitate financial administration for the Park, including the shop and restaurant whilst having overall responsibility for the budgets of managers at the Park.

You will provide assistance to the finance department in preparing budgets, project costs, profit margins, labour costs and other strategic data as required.

You will be expected to work towards increasing the park's profitability and reducing wasted costs.

You will be responsible for preparing operational reports for the Chief Executive and Board of Trustees and reporting to the Trustees at their meetings against targets set out in our Strategy.

Skills, Knowledge & Experience


  • At least 5 years experience of successfully managing diverse teams in excess of 40 people in an attraction environment
  • at least 5 years experience in managing sustainable growth in a customer service or leisure management role and profitable operations
  • At least 5 years successful project management experience.
  • Experience of managing budgets in excess of £1 Million
  • A demonstrable interest in British Wildlife and its conservation.


  • Proven track record of facilities management
  • Animal management or zoo experience
  • Suitable Health and Safety training & qualifications

Other Considerations

1. The post is advertised as a full time
2. Appointment will be subject to a three-month probationary period.
3. Understanding of and sympathy with Wildwood’s role as a conservation body would be helpful.
4. No person shall be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, ethic or national origin, religion, colour, age or disability. As an equal opportunities employer, applicants for staff vacancies shall be short listed for interview and appointed purely on the grounds of their suitability for the post as laid out in the advertised job description
5. Wildwood operates a no smoking policy in the Park and in its offices.

Employment Package

The salary band for the Park Manager is £35,000 to £40,000 depending on skills and experience. Finances permitting, salaries are updated once a year to allow for the rate of inflation. Subject to targets to be set for cost reduction and increased profitability annual bonus payments may also be made.

Normal working hours are a 37.5 hour week, plus a half an hour for lunch. Due to the nature of the work you will be required to work bank holidays and at least one day per weekend. The holiday allowance is 30 days a year, this includes statutory holidays.

Appointments are subject to confirmation after a three-month probation period.

Procedure for Applicants


Application is by C.V. and letter. The C.V. must contain the following information:

  • Name, address, contact phone numbers at home and work (for discreet calls only)
  • Employment history
  • Educational history

Your letter should cover the relevant skills and experience that you believe you will bring to the job, paying careful attention to the requirements of the job outlined above.

You should give two referees to whom we can turn for a confidential reference, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer. References will only be taken up for those candidates chosen for interview or, with regard to current employer, on offer of contract.

Applications will not normally be acknowledged. If you would like yours to be acknowledged, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

Applications should be sent to Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 7LQ.

The closing date for applications is 4th August 2017.

Interview & Selection Procedure

Interviews and selection tests will be held at Wildwood Trust Offices at Herne Common by arrangement during the following two weeks after the closing date for applications.

Please mention when responding to this ad.