Lonely Planet Writer

This Cornish island is looking for a new gardener with the agility of a mountain goat

A picturesque island in Cornwall is looking for a new head gardener, but only those comfortable with abseiling and in possession of strong agility skills need apply.

A view of St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall.
A new gardener is being sought for St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. Image by fotoVoyager/Getty Images

The job vacancy has opened up on the tidal island of St Michael’s Mount, which is located in the south of England. and was formerly the home of a Benedictine priory. It was acquired by the St Aubyn family following the English Civil War, and is currently inhabited by James and Mary St Aubyn, known as Lord and Lady St Levan, who moved to the castle with their four children in 2003.

Plants and trees on St Michael's Mount in Cornwall.
The gardener will need to have a head for heights. Image: akrp/Getty Images

According to the posting on the island’s website, the job comes with its own house in the village and the chance to become part of what it says is a “friendly island community.” The successful candidate will need to have a good head for heights, and be able for physical challenges. “Gardening on a rock in the middle of the sea isn’t for the faint-hearted, nor is abseiling from the battlements of a castle,” it says. “But the Garden Team on St Michael’s Mount take all this in their stride, as well as the general terrain, which would challenge the most agile mountain goat.”

A view of St Michael's Mount is located off the coast of Cornwall.
St Michael’s Mount is located off the coast of Cornwall. Image by ©john finney photography/Getty Images

The oldest surviving buildings on the island date from the 12th century, and it has an unusual plant collection, and grows succulents like aeoniums, aloes, echeverias and sempervivums all year round. The successful candidate will work closely with Lord and Lady St Levan and garden designer, Michael Harvey, and will continue to develop the plant collection using species that thrive in one of the UK’s most challenging environments. The plant collection on the island has been honed since the Walled Garden was built in 1780, and now supports an array of herbaceous and tender perennials.

St Michael's Mount seen from Marazion beach.
St Michael’s Mount at low tide seen from Marazion beach. Image by ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Located 500 yards off the coast of Cornwall, St Michael’s Mount is reached by ferry from Marazion. A causeway is the only land route between the island and the mainland, but it becomes submerged under water at high tide. The island is one of Cornwall’s major attractions, welcoming 350,000 visitors last year.

To learn more, please see the official job listing here.