bckr | Chelsea Physic Garden seeks new Trustee with legal and governance expertise
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Chelsea Physic Garden seeks new Trustee with legal and governance expertise

Chelsea Physic Garden seeks new Trustee with legal and governance expertise

Closing Date
10 May 2021
Time Commitment
4 board meetings a year

Since 1673, Chelsea Physic Garden (CPG) has occupied four acres of land on the edge of the Thames. It is London’s oldest botanic garden and contains a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful and medicinal plants which have changed the world.

First established by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to grow medicinal plants, this extraordinary garden in London has had wide-reaching impact. The Garden’s unique microclimate and location has also allowed many of its gardeners throughout its long history to grow plants not frequently found outside in the UK, including the UK’s largest fruiting olive tree.

The Garden became an independent charity in 1983 to promote and preserve the four-acre space; its mission is to demonstrate the medicinal, economic, cultural and environmental importance of plants to the survival and wellbeing of humankind. A highly-performing and well managed staff team, under the Director and senior leadership team, handles the day-to-day operations of the Garden, its trading subsidiary, and its public and community activity programmes.

Today, the Garden is in a period of large-scale project development as it moves toward a celebration of its 350th anniversary in 2023. The first phase of the project is focused on the restoration and re-presentation of the Victorian Glasshouses (which will cost £2.6m), and their important and fragile collections. There has been a successful National Lottery Heritage Fund grant award and match-funding capital fundraising appeal.


Role specification

CPG’s small, dedicated team of staff works alongside the Trustee Board and the various Sub-committees that report into it, benefitting from their knowledge and support to ensure that the Garden is a vibrant and successful operation. Trustees work together to form an effective, accountable governing body for CPG, ensuring that it adheres to its charitable objectives.


Person specification

As part of prudent succession planning, Chelsea Physic Garden seeks an individual with legal and governance expertise.

They are not required to be a charity expert, but should have a broad understanding and awareness of the principles of charity law. They will be able to comment on legal issues which come before the Board, and will understand the context in which CPG operates. Finally, applicants will ideally bring a personal interest in gardens and plants.

The Garden is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion amongst the representatives who serve on the Board and for it to be representative of the communities within which it works now and in future. As such, it is keen to encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates from all cultural or socio-economic backgrounds.


Board composition

Michael Prideaux, Chair
Cathy Arnold
Colin Chisholm
Sukie Hemming
Anna Jobson
Paul Gray
Tony Kirkham
Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd
Michael McGonigle
Nghi Nguyen
Sarah Speller



CPG welcomes applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where candidates from underrepresented groups can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.

Terms of appointment

This role is unremunerated, but reasonable, pre-agreed travel expenses will be reimbursed. There are four Board meetings per year. Meetings are currently held virtually, and going forwards there will be a mix of virtual and in-person meetings at the Garden. The appointment is for a three-year term, which can be renewed twice at the discretion of the Board.


This process is being run in-house by the organisation, who will view the applications without edits. We therefore advise applicants to avoid using ‘see CV’ or ‘please call me to discuss further’ in your application as it may restrict your chances of progressing to the next round.

Connected parties

This organisation has requested that candidates do not contact them directly. Instead, if you know someone at the organisation, please mention it in your Reason for Application. Members who do not respect this may risk having their membership terminated.


For application details, please get in touch directly with nurole.com enquiries@nurole.com