Construct rock gardens

Business Sectors (Suites): Horticulture
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 31 Jan 2019


This standard is for those who construct rock gardens.

If you are working with chemicals or machinery you should be trained and hold a relevant certificate if required.

You must carry out your work in a way which will minimise the impact on the natural environment and enhance its nature, conservation and recreational value.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. assess site conditions to establish their suitability for rock garden construction 

  2. be aware of hazards associated with the rock garden site and the proposed work

  3. select, prepare and use the required material and equipment safely and correctly

  4. wear suitable clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE)

  5. choose stone for the rock garden construction according to specifications, functional and aesthetic requirements

  6. identify safe access routes for materials and equipment prior to commencing the work

  7. handle materials and equipment safely and correctly

  8. construct rock work correctly according to specifications

  9. leave the rock garden site safe, tidy and ready for planting following completion of work 

  10. maintain communication with colleagues and others involved in, or affected by, your work

  11. confirm that work is carried out in a manner that minimises environmental damage

  12. process waste safely and correctly in accordance with relevant legislation and organisational requirements

  13. carry out your work in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements, codes of practice and organisational policies

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to assess the suitability of site conditions for the construction of rock gardens 

  2. hazards associated with the construction of rock gardens

  3. the types of tools and equipment required to construct rock gardens and how to prepare, use, maintain and store safely and correctly

  4. the type of clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for the activity

  5. the criteria for selecting access routes for materials and equipment for constructing rock gardens

  6. the types and application of stone used in rock garden construction 

  7. the principles of arranging stone in rock gardens

  8. the safety requirements when lifting and handling stone 

  9. the characteristics and purposes of different rock gardens

  10. the potential hazards resulting from unsafe finished construction

  11. the importance of maintaining communication with those involved in, or affected by, your work and how this should be done

  12. the potential sources of waste and adverse environmental and ecological impact and how these can be minimised

  13. how to handle, transport and dispose of waste in accordance with relevant legal and organisational requirements

  14. the typical problems that may arise when constructing rock gardens and how to deal with them correctly 

  15. your responsibilities under relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, codes of practice and organisational policies


A.      carry out the following types of rock work to construct rock gardens:

  1. outcrops

  2. scree and moraine

  3. valleys
  4. cascades
  5. steps

B.      handle materials in both of the following ways:

  1. manually
  2. mechanically

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





​Rock covers: outcrops; scree and moraine; valleys; cascades; steps.

Specifications: drawings, schedules, method statements, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), manufacturers' guidelines, organisational policies. 

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Gardener, Landscaper

SOC Code



structure; rock; plants; garden