Landscape News Winter 2023

Page 1

Landscape News Winter 2023

The official journal of the British Association of Landscape Industries


Celebrating the National Landscape Awards 2023


A slippery slope: introducing a new code of practice


Designing and building sustainable landscapes


BALI Chalk Fund students of the year



at the Garden of Cosmic Speculation withit’s it’svast vast landscapes, landscapes, sculptures andand Here at Here the Garden of Cosmic Speculation with sculptures gardens we are never short of jobs to do. We already have a SXG mower for cutting the gardens we are never short of jobs to do. We already have a SXG mower for cutting lawns and one TXG tractor, so to help with the workload we purchased another TXGS24 the lawns and one TXG tractor, so to help with the workload we purchased another 23hp subcompact tractor. TXGS24 23hp subcompact tractor. “With the front loader and bucket fitted it’s largely used for excavating and landscaping “With the front loader and bucket fittedtrailers, it’s largely used forgrass excavating purposes. It’s also used for towing transporting cuttingsand and landscaping leaves for purposes. It’s also used for towing trailers, transporting grass cuttings easy disposal. With the two tractors we can run the PTO’s and systems offand one leaves trailer can unload attachedwe to the tractor. If weand cansystems attach something for easyand disposal. Withinto thea trailer two tractors canother run the PTO’s off one to them, then we into can use it. trailer and can unload a trailer attached to the other tractor. If we can attach “ISEKI exactly something tooffer them, thenwhat we we canneed, use they it. are reliable, comfortable and safe to use. I would recommend these machines to absolutely anyone.” “ISEKI offer exactly what we need, they are reliable, comfortable and safe to use. I Ben Wakefield, Portrack House would recommend these machines to absolutely anyone.” Ben Wakefield, Portrack House

Contact your Contact your Local Dealer Local Dealer to tobook book a demonstration a demonstration on your site today! on your site today! Iseki Versatility 190x277 mm.indd 1

11/08/2023 16:58


National Chair’s Welcome DEAR MEMBERS


023 has been a year of finding a flexible approach with clients in my own business. Their decisions sometimes seem to have taken longer, with client expectations remaining high. I have spent time working with our designers and suppliers, discussing realistic deadlines and then relaying the programme of works to our clients. I have also had to pay far higher deposit amounts to secure products, especially for bespoke items, including stone and steel. However, I am finding this is not the case for all products – timber seems to be more affordable than it was six months ago.

When good communication and understanding are in place, this can still work for all parties. With this understanding, our clients have been accepting of our requests for higher deposit payments. Most clients have been amenable and happy to wait a little longer to work with the people and products they want. With your Association membership, we will always support your ways of working. You are the best in the industry, and we need to remain confident that people want to work with us because of how we do things, not because we are fast and cheap. Don’t overpromise. Continue with your high standards and clients will always say thank you for your skill and knowledge at the end of the build.

Despite the Government pushing many deadlines back, there are still legal, tangible goals to meet to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. There are commercial projects ahead for our members to contribute towards those goals – tree planting (rumour has it we are little off the current goal of 30,000 trees by 2025…..) irrigation projects,

blue/green infrastructure that now is a given requirement with such projects.

In amongst these challenges, we know we need to bring more people into this incredible industry. I am so excited to see the progress being made by fellow Board member, Jake Catling and BALI’s Landscape Skills and Careers Manager, Jonathan Pettit, towards delivering the BALI Academy. Turn to page 12 for further insight on this. The energy of those delivering this Academy is evident in the punchy, bullet-train description. More please! Congratulations to all the new members who have joined BALI. I hope you really engage with the Association to feel as supported as possible. Get involved regionally – next year the South West region has a visit to The Newt in Somerset already booked. It’s these inspirational visits that make me appreciate the industry I work in.

By the time you read this, the 2023 National Landscape Awards ceremony will have been held and we will all know who our Principal, Special and Grand Award winners are. Everyone in that room is the very best at what they do. Thank you to all of you for ensuring the standard of work being entered at the awards just keeps getting higher and higher. Head to page 24 to see the full listing. Thank you as always to the Landscape House team – Jaswinder, Diane, Wayne, Emily, Owen, Nicky, Cheryl, Jasmine, Katharine, Fran, Ruby, Sarah, Samantha, Kerrie, Jonathan, and Joanna. You have worked your socks off for members, and it really shows. I always feel inspired by the energy at Landscape House. The team are passionate about serving you, the members, and ensuring you are fully supported. Thank you.

New members (9 September - 23 November 2023) Accredited Contractor Midlands • Hosta Grounds Care • JJH Landscapes & Construction

North Thames • LJH Contractors

• Playground Facilities

South Thames • Trees-UK of Bromley

Have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy spending time with your family and friends and check up on those who might be finding it a difficult time of year. Lots of people do. Enjoy the New Year and look forward to all the opportunities ahead. There will be many. Best wishes,

Tessa Johnstone National Chair

Accredited Supplier North Thames • Sewells Reservoir Construction

South Thames • Landpro




Editor’s Welcome


’m still reeling after a fantastic day celebrating the National Landscape Awards in London. The ceremony is a great experience and showcases so many amazing designs, quality builds and great businesses; it makes you very proud to be involved in this wonderful industry.

You can read more about our Grand Award-winning project, Battersea Power Station Phase 2 Roof Gardens, created by Willerby Landscapes on page 10. For a full round-up of the National Landscape Awards ceremony and all the Award winners on the day, see page 24. Plus, Richard Gardiner caught up with the BALI Chalk Fund Student of the Year winners on page 48.

We’ve also had a fantastic year of events, with the regional committees, support by Fran Bienek really demonstrating their commitment to supporting members and organising a wide range of events across the UK. I was lucky enough to

attend the Fullers Mill event, and was a great opportunity to meet members and feel spoilt with a private guided tour of the stunning gardens. Even with this year’s events concluded, events, including the regional AGMs, are already being scheduled. See the events listing on page 50 and keep an eye on the website for the most up-to-date listing.

Editor: Katharine Hughes

As we reached the end of the year, I would like to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas and New Year, and look forward to what I hope will be a successful 2024.

Designed by:

Technical Officer, Owen Baker has been working hard in the background to develop a slopes code of practice, designed to fill the knowledge gap associated with landscape maintenance work on slopes. Owen provides a summary on page 31.

Best wishes, Katharine Hughes

E: T: +44(0)24 7669 8656 M: 07800 573351 Sales: Joanna Pieprzak E: T: +44(0)24 7518 5614 Registered address: British Association of Landscape Industries Landscape House Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire CV8 2LG

Print and mailing: Copy Deadline (Spring 2024): Tuesday 6th February 2024 Front cover: Willerby Landscapes - Battersea Power Station Phase 2 Roof Gardens - Grand Award winner 2023


Contents 6 8

Chief Executive’s Report

Association News

15 Member News

24 Feature: National Landscape Awards 2023










31 Technical

40 Sustainable Landscaping 44 Interview

46 Member Benefit Spotlight

48 BCF Students of the Year 4



Another fantastic year celebrating excellence

at the BALI National Landscape Awards


t’s always a pleasure and an honour to showcase our members’, outstanding professional achievements at the BALI National Landscape Awards. Members have continued to report that 2023 has been another busy year, albeit there is an air of caution in the commercial market which is seeing a slight reduction in the number of projects and schemes coming forward.

The entries received for this year’s BALI Awards continue to demonstrate the importance of using skilled professionals to undertake work, whether it be in a small domestic garden or on large ground maintenance contracts. We have once again, seen a great number of entries in this, the 47th year of the BALI National Landscape Awards. This has undoubtedly demonstrated the improving quality and service delivery that only BALI members offer and achieve. With 1,000 guests at the Awards, I’m sure you would agree it was a tremendous industry event and I would like to congratulate all of the Award winners this year, along with the Principal, Special and Grand Award winners announced on the day.

Once again, I would like to express our very sincere gratitude to our Chair of the Adjudication Panel, John Melmoe and to his panel of industry experts, for their professional commitment to the task of selecting this year’s award winners. They have awarded 69



winning schemes to 50 of our well-deserving members at locations across the country and given time to detailed desk studies of all the international projects received. They undertake an enormous amount of work on our behalf to maintain the reputation and integrity of the BALI Awards. Each year, the benchmark of excellence is raised, and I am delighted to say that 2023, has been no exception. Every entry is given their fullest attention to ensure the winners are those BALI members most deserving of an award.

On behalf of the Board and wider BALI membership, I would like to thank them for the enormous amount of work they undertake to ensure the reputation and integrity of the National Landscape Awards is maintained. As standards increase, so does the difficulty of the judges’ task and I applaud the judges for their

continued passion for finding and awarding accolades where deserved. I would like to congratulate every BALI member who entered this year and acknowledge the achievements of those who have ultimately been successful.

The judges and the awards process have been very capably coordinated and project managed by Emily Feeney from Landscape House. Once again, without the commitment shown from Emily, the whole awards process would not have run so smoothly.

Membership feedback survey

As you will be aware, we recently conducted our annual membership survey and we have not had the response we were hoping for this time around which is disappointing, and only provides a snapshot of where we are in our delivery on our membership


Greensport Trading T/A Inscapes Princiapl Award winnners Soft Landscaping (non-domestic) under £500K

targets. The survey provides you with the opportunity to feed back your thoughts about the Association and your membership, as well as help shape the future strategy and business planning so that we focus on you, our member, which forms very much in our values and strategic imperatives in the strategy signed off by the board last year. I would encourage more of you to engage with us in this way as it helps to assess if we’re getting it right! So, a huge thank you to those of you who did provide your feedback. Watch out for the results in the new year.

House of Lords Inquiry into Horticulture

Despite its economic contribution, horticulture and landscaping is widely misunderstood and poorly promoted. Governmental oversight is patchy, and both the professional and amateur horticulture sectors are facing challenging circumstances that could put their future in jeopardy. Throughout the inquiry, we have seen the extraordinary potential of the horticultural sector to deliver on the net zero agenda. The ornamental sector underpins a significant proportion of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan; it provides the conditions for an array of biodiversity to thrive, opportunities for natural carbon capture and support for urban landscapes through ambitious greening programmes.

Key challenges of the sector include:

• A lack of cross-departmental working, poor ministerial oversight and the lack of a dedicated horticultural strategy • A long-term skills and education gap, leading to a poorly planned and managed seasonal migrant worker scheme and an ill-informed National Careers Service • Poor roll-out and communication on the forthcoming peat ban, with a lack of funding into research on alternatives

• Lack of long-term funding for research and development, particularly for automation and robotics, including strategic core funding for key institutions • Poor understanding of the mental and physical health benefits of community gardening and social prescribing.

If these challenges remain unaddressed, the “future of UK horticulture looks bleak” the House of Lords report states. Yet, with the right support, policies and funding, the UK horticultural and landscaping sector can become a world leader in sustainable practices and policies that will ensure generations to come can enjoy the full variety of produce grown in Britain and the development and maintenance of superb green spaces.

devolved matter, the inquiry focused largely on the horticultural sector in England. The Committee held 24 public oral evidence sessions, of which I took part in representing BALI, its members, and the wider industry to provide leadership of the landscape sector, received 96 pieces of written evidence, and went on four visits.

Regional AGM’s

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Regional AGMs in the new year and I hope that as many of you as possible will try to attend these very valuable networking sessions. There are some exciting guest speakers and events coming up. Please watch the BALI website events pages for the most up-todate information at

In the meantime, on behalf of the Landscape House team, may I wish you and your families a very happy festive season and your business every success in 2024, in which I hope, your Association can play a part in supporting your endeavours to a successful business year. Kind regards,

Wayne Grills Chief Executive

The Horticultural Sector Committee was appointed in January 2023 by the House of Lords to consider the development of the horticultural sector. As agricultural policy is a




Membership renewals moving online


e are excited to announce a significant update regarding our membership renewal process. As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance efficiency and convenience, we are transitioning to an online renewal system. This strategic shift aims to streamline the renewal process, making it simpler, more accessible, and environmentally friendly for all our valued members. The days of losing your renewal form in a pile of paperwork, or the reminder being lost in the post are now past! Renewing your membership will now be quicker and easier than ever, with the process set up online. With all fields pre-populated, members will simply need to check that there are no changes to their company information or update any information that has changed. The online process also includes secure online payment gateways, whether you pay by card, purchase order or direct debit. This means you will be able to complete your renewal in minutes.

Why the change?

The decision to transition to online membership renewals aligns with our commitment to delivering an improved and user-friendly experience to our members. This transition offers several benefits:

Convenience: Accessible from anywhere at any time, our online renewal system will allow you to renew your membership with ease and flexibility. 8


Time-saving: Say goodbye to paperwork! The new online process significantly reduces the time and effort required to renew your membership. Instant confirmation: Upon completion of your renewal, you will receive immediate confirmation and details, providing you with peace of mind and certainty. Eco-friendly approach: Going digital helps us reduce our environmental footprint by minimizing paper usage and promoting sustainability.

How to renew online

To renew your membership online, simply follow these steps: 1. Visit

2. Log in to your member account using your credentials 3. Follow the prompts to complete the renewal process, ensuring all required information is accurately provided 4. Make the renewal payment using the secure online payment gateway

Once the renewal process is complete, your membership certificate will be available. In addition to moving the renewals process online, we will no longer be issuing paper certificates – your membership certificate will be available to download from your member area of the BALI website.

Not only will this reduce the carbon footprint of the Association through a significant reduction in paper, but the costs associated with the renewal process will be significantly reduced, allowing us to focus on delivering even greater benefits to you, our members. We understand that change may come with initial adjustments, and we are here to ensure a smooth transition. To aid in this process, we will be providing guides and assistance to familiarise you with the new online renewal system.

Your continued support and membership are highly valued and appreciated. We are committed to providing you with the best possible service and experience, and this upgrade is a testament to that commitment. In saying this, members will still have the option of completing their renewal by post, or over the phone if you prefer, but we do encourage all members to use the online process.

The membership renewal process for the 2024/25 membership year will commence in January, with the Early Bird offer of 2% valid until mid-February.

As ever, your Membership team is on hand to help with any questions or help guide you through the process. Contact the team on, or call 024 7669 0333.




Groundsmaster 3300

Groundsmaster 4000

Tackle the lot with Toro. Commercial mowers for all conditions. Choose essential productivity, durability and all-season versatility with Toro’s range of groundscare machinery. With heavy-duties, triple flails and cylinders and rotaries, you’re all set. And they’re available for immediate delivery.

Get MORE from your turfcare partner this year: More products . More advice . More training . More finance Reesink UK LTD is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Images shown for illustration only.

RT2265 CS In stock range ad for BALI.indd 1

15/08/2023 10:45


Willerby Landscapes

presented with 7th Grand Award


t this year’s National Landscape Awards ceremony, the Grand Award was presented to Accredited Contractor Willerby Landscapes, for Battersea Power Station Phase 2 Roof Garden, having also won the Principal Award in the Regeneration Scheme – Over £500K category for the project. The Judges commented: “The statistics on this incredibly impressive project illustrate both its complexity and the high levels of project management and technical and horticultural skill required to bring it to successful fruition. Every aspect of this scheme, from planning and design, site preparation, health and safety, and logistics, to the craftsmanship, horticultural expertise, and detailing, has been exemplary. Where problems are seen as opportunities to excel and perfection is the collective goal, it is little wonder that the industry has long been used to using this contractor’s achievements as a benchmark. It seems they have raised that benchmark once again”.

Located on the south bank of the river Thames, the iconic Battersea Power Station, built between 1929 and 1935, was decommissioned in 1975, and remained empty until regeneration work commenced in 2014 to transform the 43-acre, Grade II* listed site into a mixed-use development, including residential, bars, restaurants, office space, shops and entertainment space. Due to the sheer scale, the project was phased, with Phase 2 including the development of the numerous gardens, courtyard, terraces, balconies and walkways, designed by Andy Sturgeon Design, and LDA 10


Design, with all landscaping works completed by Willerby Landscapes.

For the preparation, over 100 detailed layout drawings were created, coordinated with lighting locations, drainage outlets, uneven parapets, privacy screens and level changes. A major challenge at all stages of the project was logistics, especially with a number of different main contractors on site, all requiring site access, as well as access to the tower cranes. Over 100 specialist suppliers collaborated, supplying services products, materials, equipment and labour for the delivery of the landscaping works, which was broken down into key areas.

Switch House East (level 6) – residents roof garden: The design ethos of the Switch House East garden reflects fire and heat, core elements of the Power Stations past. Horticultural grit mulch and resin bound gravel patches offer a ‘scorched earth’ back drop from which plants selected for their fiery colour and form, emerge like flames from the furnace. Switch House East (level 2) – lightwell gardens: To create a lush primaeval planting scheme nestled within the depths of the disused power station, a microclimate that has been captured and preserved in a time capsule.

Boiler House (level 11) – residents roof garden: The Boiler House roof garden is also known by the reference ‘Sky Garden’ - the garden in the clouds. Each villa has

its own private garden, yet the design aspirations, the success of the planting, planters and material finishes, allow it to read as one without fences or partitions. The skylight contributes to the space, reflecting the sky and putting a feeling of space into the roof terrace.

Switch House West (level 6) – residents roof garden: This slender garden was devised as a reference to the waterside setting of the power station. Like the River Thames, the garden meanders between communal seating areas with ‘bankside’ raised planters featuring plant species which exemplify movement and flow. The project also included the Switch House West (level 3) communal courtyard, nine terraces, balconies and walkways, which opened up the roof-top access to the residential properties, plus the Building Maintenance Units garage enclosures, large gate structures to the BMU enclosures and a series of raised timber clad planters for terrace-to-terrace subdivisions.

For a full round-up of this year’s National Landscape Awards ceremony, see page 24, or visit

20 years of unparalleled expertise in wildflowers Recognised as the UK’s leading organisation for those seeking knowledge and products to develop biodiverse wildflower spaces. Wildflower Turf Ltd offer; � Wildflower products, including; • Wildflower Turf™ (plastic-free) • MeadowScape Pro™ (peat free) • MeadowSow™ seed � Training � Consultancy services � Research services Bespoke mixes available across all product ranges.

Photo credit: Paul Upward Photography

Scan to discover more about our plastic-free and peat-free products Tel: 01256 771222



The BALI Academy Our vision for dynamic, skill-focused training


n the latest edition of Landscape News, we’re thrilled to bring you exciting updates on the BALI Academy, igniting a renewed sense of vigour and enthusiasm within the landscaping industry. Our journey began with a bold vision - one that places industry-driven, skill-focused training at the forefront, catering to the evolving needs of individuals in the field. BALI’s unwavering commitment is to empower the entire industry by opening the doors of the Academy to landscaping businesses across the nation. We’re breaking free from traditional limitations, exploring the dynamic concept of approving training providers as satellite centres for the BALI Academy. This forward-thinking approach allows the Academy to flourish organically, responding to demand and needs in various regions, eliminating the notion of a fixed, one-size-fits-all model. The Academy’s essence lies not in replacing existing qualifications but in expanding horizons. We’re pioneering the

creation of high-quality training modules, addressing areas not covered by conventional training provisions.

Our quest for excellence leads us to establish a robust partnership with a distinguished Awarding Organisation, bringing their invaluable expertise in teaching, learning, and assessment to the Academy standards. This collaboration not only adds depth but also radiates credibility, elevating the standards developed by BALI.

At the heart of our innovation, two dedicated working groups have emerged within BALI: The Development Group, comprised of industry experts, is crafting the very standards that we hope will reshape the industry. The Strategic Group, on the other hand, is meticulously planning the Academy’s setup and seamless rollout to the industry. Our mission begins with developing and submitting these standards to our partnered Awarding Organisation for approval. These standards come to life with technical data

sheets and guidance notes, fortifying the learning experience. Detailed lesson plans are in the pipeline, promising a comprehensive educational journey. To ensure the Academy’s dynamic effectiveness, we’re staging pilot events in the spring of 2024. These events, fuelled by small groups of eager learners and trainers, will act as crucibles, refining the standards for seamless delivery. Our commitment to quality reverberates through the BALI Academy. We’re diligently working on providing guidance and “train the trainer” courses, setting the stage for standardised excellence. These courses precede our pilot events, ensuring a uniform and impactful approach.

As we press forward, we acknowledge the hard work ahead, but we’re motivated by the remarkable progress already achieved. The BALI Academy is more than just an idea; it’s an evolving force in the landscaping industry. Stay tuned for the latest updates.

Jake Catling BALI Academy Director

Jonathan Pettit Landscape Skills & Careers Manager 12



Regional Committees end the year on a high!


ontinuing momentum throughout the last few months we have had a multitude of regional events to continue engagement across the regions. We are grateful to our regional committees for their passion and continued support, giving up their time to support the events and networking opportunities we provide to members.


The most recent event for this region was a visit to George Davies Turf for the ‘Riding the Waves of Business’ event. George provided a history and insight into their company, as well as giving the opportunity to view some fantastic machinery including a Firefly harvester on display from Harrowden Turf, Sovereign Turf, JCB and Hook Up Solutions. Following an overview of membership benefits, the highlight of the day - the “what business has cost us” discussion and Q&A with Richard Kay, Ben Parkinson, and George Davies covered a range of subjects including mental health challenges, business recruitment, staff retention and personal

development. The speakers discussed elements of their own career journey and things they would and wouldn’t change if they could start again. “A great event to attend, huge attention to detail went into the organising, technical insights and demonstrations were interesting, splendid food and a good atmosphere”.

North Thames

The final event of the year for this region was a fantastic visit to British Sugar TOPSOIL, Wissington factory. With it being sugar beet campaign season, there was a presentation giving great insight into the business before the site tour. In addition to the BALI regional event, British Sugar TOPSOIL hosted a session for Writtle College students earlier in the day.

South Thames

Back in September we visited The Walled Garden at Knepp Estate. Head Gardener, Charlie Harpur was a fantastic host leading with an interesting and inspiring presentation on the Walled Garden experiment before giving a tour of the rewilded garden. Here he passionately spoke about a new way of thinking about how a garden can function as a dynamic ecosystem, working with nature to create and maximise opportunities for wildlife.

“I do many garden visits, and love much about them, often coming away with a new idea, an odd plant or material. But it is rare to find myself stating a garden visit as simply ‘Wow’. Loved the whole garden, felt affirmed, inspired and immersed in what is possible to benefit people and the planet”.

South West

The committee have been keen to engage with members and has held a few informal get-togethers in local pubs, providing a great opportunity to make new connections and collaborations.

The most recent event was a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum, a fantastic day learning about the Grade 1 listed landscape and botanical garden. With thousands of species, and over 100 Champion trees – named this if they are one of the tallest or have the widest girth, members were taken on a guided tour from Forestry England learning about the provenance of many species and he research undertaken to protect the future.

Yorkshire & North East

Party at Palmers was a fun supplier social, giving members the opportunity to network and learn more about the products and services provided by the suppliers exhibiting. In addition to the business opportunities, the event also included Magikman the magician, food and the fantastic local band The Cardinals.

“Party at Palmers was a great event and executed to perfection giving us the opportunity to network with other industry professionals and potential new customers”.

Supplier discussions at Party at Palmers









0344 800 1947 t e w












Tis the season to be… savvy


ith the winter season drawing upon us all and bringing a period of reflection, at Overtec, we find it is one of our busiest times of the year, with businesses utilising their downtime to analyse and evolve their operations to invest in change. There are many drivers for change this year, from the cost-of-living crisis pushing up overheads to an environmental need to be more sustainable. This winter could be the ideal time to review priorities and future directions to meet targets both financially and morally.

Overtec are advocates of lean management principals and use their InForm solution to help clients save costs through paperless job scheduling, despatch and reporting, asset management, reducing admin and travel time, and improved compliance. The innovative technology offers a scalable, cost-effective solution to quickly design, build and deploy a

cross-platform mobile data capture solution to employees with little or no IT expertise. The InForm technology also supports businesses to increase their sustainability and work towards a Net Zero status through the elimination of paper waste by switching operations over to a digital solution.

If efficiency is at the forefront of your priorities, one of your New Year’s resolutions may be to ensure technology is helping to streamline operations. Overtec’s user-friendly InForm solution enables clients to manage sites and tasks innovatively from an individual’s smart phone or tablet device. Ben Shand, Operations Director at Scofell, comments “We can send accurate reports to clients on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to fit their requirements, improving our efficiency and professionalism. We are also now able to capture how much time is spent on each site which allows us to accurately cost the contract at renewal. Our business has really seen time saving benefits, the system is an integral part of our business’s future as we continue to develop it with Overtec’s ongoing support”.

As a BALI Accredited Supplier and national award winner in the 2023 Supplier Exceptional

South Yorkshire’s sustainability champions honoured at prestigious awards ceremony


he second annual South Yorkshire Sustainability Awards, celebrating the region’s eco-conscious leaders and their remarkable efforts to reduce their environmental impact, culminated in a dazzling black-tie awards ceremony in September. Among the well-deserved winners, Accredited Contractor The Green Estate Community Interest Company was the recipient of the prestigious Recycling

Initiative of the Year award for their groundbreaking Green Waste Recycling Facility. This pioneering initiative, established in 2004, has revolutionised the recycling landscape in South Yorkshire. Lian Noriega-Waite, Senior Production Manager at The Green Estate comments “We were honoured to receive this award in recognition of the service and products we have developed. It is another step in our ambition for the organisation in becoming

Service category, we strive to improve and transform the everyday operations of all sizes, from large multinational landscaping companies to local SMEs, enabling them to make the positive shift towards leaner and more sustainable operations. To celebrate the 2023 Award, Overtec are offering up to a 23% discount with no minimum monthly spend or fixed-term contract for all BALI members. For more information or a live demonstration, please contact: or telephone 01925 748 190.

a centre of excellence for adaptation and resilience and this service will become a showcase of a core element of growing engaging, adaptive and resilient urban places”.

The Green Waste Recycling Facility was conceived as a response to combat the issue of fly-tipping of green waste in Sheffield housing developments. Today, it not only provides a convenient local drop-off site for green waste but also plays a pivotal role in diverting organic matter away from landfills, effectively reducing the carbon footprint associated with green waste transportation.

This facility serves a wide range of customers, including local landscapers, universities, local councils, and domestic gardeners. The heart of their operation is the production of certified PAS100 peat-free compost, which boasts a complete lifecycle. Any excess material generated during the screening and shredding process is transformed into biomass, ensuring zero waste. In an era where the race to achieve netzero emissions is of paramount importance, the South Yorkshire Sustainability Awards continue to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contributions made by businesses, organisations, and individuals across the region. Beyond acknowledging the accomplishments of those already embarked on their sustainability journey, these awards aspire to inspire and motivate the broader community to embark on their own path towards meaningful change.



MEMBER NEWS landscaping products. Each day-long course comprises four sessions covering the different types of products offered. As well as product-specific information, the course covers broader issues, including sales and the support that Talasey offers.

Training on tap at Talasey to boost industry’s landscaping skills


s WorldSkills UK – the charity that is contributing to the UK’s drive to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education – announces its National Competitions programme for 2024, Accredited Supplier, Talasey has issued a timely reminder that training and support are available all year round.

Product and Training Director Lavinia Dowson from the company – which is one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of landscaping solutions – champions landscaping skills and is keen to signpost the

different ways that contractors, designers and landscapers can access support as part of a commitment to driving up skills. The two flagship initiatives are open to anyone – whether they are new to the industry, time-served, fresh out of education or coming to landscaping from other careers.

The Talasey Training Academy (TTA) The TTA offers two areas of training. The first is product awareness courses that are designed to provide attendees with the knowledge to understand the company’s

The second area focuses on product installation and offer a blend of classroom and practical learning, providing delegates with knowledge and understanding of installing landscaping products in a domestic setting. Current courses include the installation of stone paving, porcelain paving, artificial grass, and composite materials. There is an additional course covering basic site setting out and preparation for domestic landscaping projects.

Why does Talasey do this?

Talasey is on a mission to drive up the standards in the UK by improving the skills of landscapers, designers and contractors who work in our industry. And the thinking behind it is simple – the better the skills, the better our industry is at showcasing the finest products to create stunning outdoor spaces encompassing different paving, cladding and composite materials in homes, public spaces and other outdoor areas.

• In the short term, rent rather than buy equipment

• In the long term, finance the purchase of an asset

The difference between profit and cash flow


rofit and cash flow are both key elements of a healthy, growing business, but business owners need to understand that they measure completely different things: profit is the remainder of sales revenue after costs have been deducted; cash flow is the money that flows in and out of a business during a set period of time.

It is entirely possible for your landscape business to be profitable while having poor cash flow. If this is true for your business, you must take immediate action to make improvements as cash flow is the lifeblood 16


of your business and can determine its financial outlook.

Here are some tips for improving the cash flow position of your business:

• Send invoices out immediately after work has been completed • Include stage payments in your terms and conditions • Ensure debtors are chased up on or before the due date

• Clearly state your payment terms on your quotes and the due date on your invoices

Bookkeeping may be a mundane task, but it is essential to monitor the cash flowing through a business. Preparing cash flow projections can be one of the most important ways to gain sound insight into your business and its financial health. Not only will you understand the cash position of your business, but it will alert you to potential problems before they arise and can mean the difference between the success and failure of your business.

If numbers are not your thing, you can easily outsource this task to a bookkeeper who will ensure the information they provide is accurate and help you understand the meaning of the numbers in your cash flow projections.

SoilsCon 2024

Wednesday 28 February, 9am-4.30pm


fter a four-year break, SoilsCon is making a much-awaited return to the industry calendar and to the elegant Phyllis Court in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, giving landscape contractors and designers, landscape architects and specifiers, housebuilders and developers, topsoil manufacturers, local government officers, and professionals from across the wider industry, a day of invaluable and targeted professional development, discussion, and debate.

Organised by BALI Accredited Supplier and leading soil science and landscape consultancy Tim O’Hare Associates, the conference will focus on practical approaches and solutions to the key soil issues and challenges of the day.

The speaker line-up of leading industry experts will cover a range of topical subjects that will broaden delegates’ knowledge of the functions of soil and their key role in delivering Biodiversity Net Gain, carbon capture, and flood management. Tim O’Hare, Principal Consultant, Tim O’Hare Associates

Soil health and functions in landscapes – a practical approach

Healthy soils fulfil essential services that are central to the delivery of social, economic and environmental sustainability in landscapes, and which help combat climate change. Tim’s talk will examine various soil functions responsible for these services and look at opportunities for optimising them within landscape projects. Dr Iain Gould, Associate Professor in Soil Science, University of Lincoln

Organic matter and soil quality

Iain’s talk will focus on how and why increasing soil organic matter levels can provide us with multiple benefits, including soil structural improvement, better workability and handling,

longer-term nutrition release, alongside added climate resilience. Ways in which organic matter can be built up, or lost, in soils will also be discussed. Helen Elks-Smith FSGD, Elks-Smith Landscape & Garden Design But it’s just dirt..

We talk of soils, whilst many of the professionals we work with when creating gardens talk of ‘dirt’ and ‘mud’. Are we talking about the same thing? Does the language used impact what happens on site? And does that matter? Helen will illustrate her talk with images from her portfolio. Tim White, Senior Associate, Tim O’Hare Associates Soil considerations for the delivery of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

This discussion on the relevant physical and chemical properties of UK soils in relation to creation of the standard BNG habitats will include the influence of varying soil types, outline requirements for an appropriate soil assessment to inform design and biodiversity expectations, myths and misconceptions, and treatment options. Jennifer Mui CMLI, Director, MRG Studio Low-fertility soils in climate change-resilient landscapes

At Woolbeding Gardens in West Sussex, a sodden paddock was transformed into twelve naturalistic ‘Silk Road’ gardens, from the dry Mediterranean Bursa to subtropical woodlands of China. We will consider how low-fertility soils can be used to create sustainable, biodiverse landscapes as the climate crisis challenges our native habitats and environments.

Katherine Iles, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, and Ryan Coghlan, Senior Landscape Architect, ARUP

The use of biochar and dolerite in the landscape

A high-level overview on what biochar and dolerite materials are and brief description of their benefits. The talk will describe current uses and potential opportunities, with a particular focus on climate resilience and soil health. Kevin Barton CMLI, FLI, Director, Robert Bray Associates

Hard-working soils: the challenges of bioretention raingarden soils

Hydraulic conductivity, pollution filtration, healthy planting, rainwater storage, drought resilience, silt accumulation: the demands on soils within bioretention rain gardens are manifold and often conflicting. Kevin will explore a range of approaches to bioretention soils that have developed across the country as well as look at precedents from abroad that might hold valuable insight into this contentious topic. The popular Soil Surgery, open to delegates who may have specific soil issues, will take place during the day’s networking periods. Members of the Tim O’Hare Associates team will be on hand to provide initial guidance and advice.

Register for SoilsCon 2024 now by visiting BALI, LI and SGD members can obtain a special delegate rate of £95 + VAT per person (nonmembers £125 + VAT), to include lunch and all refreshments throughout the day. Travel links to Phyllis Court, either by road (M40, M4) or rail, are excellent, with collection from Henley railway station available on the day. For further information email or call 01491 822653.



Turning grey to green

Green-tech provide products for children to play and learn in newly created green spaces


sgol Ffordd Dyffryn (YFD) is a primary school in Llandudno, Wales that is working hard to offer its young pupils a green space in which to play and learn. In partnership with Conwy Borough County Council and Wild Elements, a not-for-profit social enterprise, the school wanted to create green spaces for the children of YFD to immerse themselves in natural materials and greenery. The site was selected due to its severely grey infrastructure and lack of green space. Wild Elements is dedicated to getting people in North Wales outdoors and connecting them to nature, improving their lives, opportunities, and aspirations.

The school received a recommendation from another Local Nature Partnership Coordinator in Cardiff and after seeing the successes of their project they felt it was the best way forward to source the green infrastructure for the school site. Gareth Lloyd - head teacher of YFD comments: “we felt the products offered by Green-tech were one of the few that we were satisfied to have green infrastructure installed on a Centre Based Child Care education estate”.

Accredited Supplier Green-tech supplied everything but the trees for this project which included 45 Hedera Helix Woerner Living Ivy Green Screens and 45 bespoke Planters in three different colours.

The living Green Screens provide instant and effective screening and are perfect for projects where an instant privacy green fence is required. They provide rigid, secure and evergreen barriers which are low maintenance and easy to install. As well as being much more attractive than traditional fencing, they are an environmentally conscious choice that supports an array of wildlife and helps absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to provide cleaner air. 18


To ensure the green screens stay hydrated, a Mona irrigation watering system was supplied for each screen. The Mona System is a 100% water-efficient, subterranean plant irrigation system and provides cost-effective tree and planter irrigation. The system acts as a reservoir to hold water and distribute it to the plant’s roots as and when required to ensure they remain healthy and grow.

Gareth continues, “Following the success of the Cardiff project under the same Welsh Government grant, we hoped to replicate the work as it was a big hit with the Cardiff primary school children. One of the main concerns raised in the project’s infancy was the lack of shade in the school. During the warmer months, it can become overwhelmingly hot for the children. We intended for the Ivy Screens to provide an adequate source of natural material shading for the children. We also wanted the Ivy Screens to be a space for the children to play, hide and immerse themselves in their games. It has made a huge impact to the children’s wellbeing and is greatly appreciated”. Green-tech supplied 12 bespoke planters for trees in three different colours, and 12 containerised anchor systems to secure each tree discreetly without impacting on

the overall design. In addition, 16 bulk bags of Green-tree topsoil, which is manufactured using organic compost and overburdened sand from quarries and perfect for projects focused on environmental sustainability and green credentials, was supplied.

There was a lot of products to be delivered and it was important that the delivery schedule met the needs of the school, without interrupting them, as well as Wild Elements installation plan. “It was logistically impressive!” comments head teacher Gareth Lloyd. “Thanks for sorting the delivery to run so smoothly, one wagon in, the next one to follow”, Tom from Wild Elements adds.

Julieanne Quinlan, Local Nature Partnership Coordinator for Conwy adds, “the experience with Green-tech has been a wonderful one. James, their Sales Advisor, has been incredibly helpful and patient throughout the entirety of the project. We cannot thank Green-tech enough for making this project come to fruition. It has been a big hit with the school and the children, and we have great hopes for the future pupils of Ysgol Ffordd Dyffryn. Diolch yn fawr (thank you very much)”.


01256 398008

Nurseries Producing over two million container plants a year Multiple UK production sites Access to over 400 UK and European Growers Experienced sales team with years of product and market knowledge Plant Healthy Certified

01902 376500

Boningale Ltd



MEMBER NEWS blue hollies available, and the mix of Blue Maid and Blue Prince ensures a profusion of bright red berries in autumn and winter. Late summer pruning will reveal dark purplish-green stems, which add to the ornamental effect.

Burkwood osmanthus

Practicality Brown expands their Instant Hedging


ccredited Supplier Practical Instant Hedge™ produced by Practicality Brown at their nursery in Iver, Buckinghamshire is now available in an expanded range.

This quality, mature ready-grown hedging has already been on the market for several years, growing the classic evergreen and deciduous species. Practicality Brown is known as an innovative company (they co-developed the very first Instant Hedge in the late 1990s) - whether it is growing for Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew or introducing a new species of instant hedge, we are always looking to

provide top-quality products for commercial and domestic situations.

The range of Practical Instant Hedge™ now has two new evergreens: • Ilex meserveae Blue Maid/Prince or Blue Holly

• Osmanthus burkwoodii or Burkwood osmanthus

Blue Holly

Ilex meserveae Blue Maid/Prince has dense, lustrous, blue-green, spiny leaves from purple stems and tiny, white flowers are produced in spring. These cultivars are some of the best

Osmanthus burkwoodii is a dense, slowgrowing, evergreen. The glossy, finely toothed, dark green leaves beautifully offset by highly scented, jasmine like, white flowers in mid and late spring. If pruned after flowering, it will increase the blooms for the following year.

Practical Instant Hedge™

Practical Instant Hedge™ is an award-winning mature hedge grown in 1m long pieces. It is particularly easy to handle and plant, with no transplant shock. Grown with care and attention at the tree and hedge nursery in Iver, Buckinghamshire, this premium mature hedging product, grown with top quality plants, can be planted all year round. The addition of these attractive new instant hedges brings the range of evergreens to eleven species, with five deciduous to complete the offering. There is a Practical Instant Hedge™ for all gardens. Book a visit to our nursery in Iver, or to talk to our Horticultural team on 01753 652022 to find out more.

the artwork seamlessly amalgamates with the existing topography.

Carefully selected through extensive research by Troika and the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, the trees comprise both native and non-native species. The planting design prioritises sustainable, resilient, and adaptable specimens that can withstand climatic changes without relying heavily on irrigation and maintenance.

Blakedown Landscapes selected as main contractor for permanent public artwork at Cambridge University


ccredited Contractor Blakedown Landscapes is excited to announce its appointment as the main contractor for a groundbreaking permanent public artwork to be located in the new JJ Thomson Garden at Cambridge University’s West Cambridge site. The JJ Thomson Garden is the first of four new green spaces that form ‘The Weave’ an interconnected series of landscapes linking the site from east to west and north to south.



The public artwork, conceived and designed by Troika a collaborative contemporary art group with a focus on the intersections between technology and the physical world, takes the form of a constructed landscape and comes together as a ‘real world version’ of a virtual tree library that would be used to train powerful AI for modelling a woodland landscape. With a composition featuring 15 different tree species, a collection of diversely coloured and textured grasses and white grid lines undulating across its surface,

Notably, the trees will be arranged in a grid in alphabetical order, creating a unique juxtaposition of nature and artifice. Each tree will be labelled with its Latin and common name engraved into the marble grid lines with a tag linking it to an online archive. Stepping into this artwork will be akin to entering the digital world of a computer, blurring the lines between the virtual and physical realms.

Chris Wellbelove, Director of Blakedown Landscapes said “we are proud to be involved in this innovative public art installation. With our expertise in delivering high-quality landscaping and civil engineering projects, we are committed to ensuring that Troika’s design is translated seamlessly into reality. This collaboration represents the intersection of art, technology and nature and we are excited to be creating a truly unique and immersive experience for both”.








1st OCTOBER - 31st DECEMBER 2023


MAKITAUK.COM/REDEMPTION Claims can be registered online from 1st October 2023 and must be registered within 28 days of purchase for qualifying models. Qualifying models must be purchased by 31st December 2023 to qualify and registered within 28 days. T&C’s apply – See website for details.

BALI.indd 1


423 3 3023 4

08/11/2023 11:03 am


Focus on carerelated gardens


ccredited Designer Debbie Carroll MBALI, garden designer and author, has been busy throughout summer and autumn speaking at a range of events, sharing insights into what it takes to ensure care-related gardens are actively used long after the designer has left.

Following a workshop at RHS Wisley on behalf of London College of Garden Design, she spoke at the Care Show Birmingham and was selected to speak for the 7th time at the UK Dementia Congress. This is the leading evidence-based event in the UK, aimed at improving care and support for people living with dementia across a wide range of sectors. She was also excited to get to speak at FutureScape London as part of their Nurture Theatre programme. The attendees at all these events got to see inside the publications and tools in the ‘Why don’t we go into the garden?’ series – evidence-based

resources created to support care homes, garden designers and other therapeutic specialists to enable residents to engage with their garden more - co-authored with fellow designer Mark Rendell.

Debbie has also seen the build phase get underway on a roof garden at Rochdale Infirmary, supporting a dementia ward and staff area, which she co-designed with the local RHS Community team and is being built by Wilmot Dixon. This is an exciting project supporting the well-being and recovery of dementia patients, as well as providing a space for staff to relax, with further support planned to ensure the space is actively used beyond this build phase. Do get in touch with Debbie if you would like to include her work in your event or as part of ongoing training for your practices as part of CPD in this area of design.

Granite Setts offer BALI member discount


ccredited Supplier Granite Setts UK is a leading supplier of granite setts, cobbles, kerbs, and tiles in the UK, and as a family-run business, strive to offer excellent, personal service to their customers. Granite Setts UK was set up by Managing Director Ken Mansfield with the sole aim of providing UK businesses and homeowners with high-quality granite at affordable prices.

Granite is a stunning and durable stone with many excellent applications in landscaping and construction. Granite can be used to create a head-turning external area that will retain its good looks for years and, as a natural stone, will add real character. The granite is quarried



from the beautiful Iberian Peninsula, a region known for its superior granite quality, and comes with Declarations of Performance to show its compliance with BS EN standards.

Granite Setts offer both naturally split and finished products in silver grey, yellow gold, pink, fine grain, dark grey, and black granites, and hold a large stock in the UK for fast shipping nationwide. The most popular dimensions for setts and cobbles are 100x100x50mm, 100x100x100mm, 200x100x50mm, and 200x100x100mm, all of which are held in stock at their Orpington premises. Free sample packs are available to UK customers to help ensure the colour and finish chosen is perfect for the project - please follow

the link to our website to arrange to have one posted

Granite Setts UK is also proud to introduce a unique granite decking solution for external applications. This beautiful and functional system combines a hardwearing, slip-resistant granite surface with an understructure inspired by the raised access flooring industry. We are proud to be accredited members of BALI and, as relatively new members, would like to introduce ourselves and offer a 5% discount to other members. Please email to discuss significant discounts on wholesale orders of granite setts, kerbs or tiles.


READYHEDGE At Readyhedge, we’ve been growing and delivering hedging of uncompromising quality for over 20 years. With plants irrigated, fed and trimmed in the field or container by experts at every stage, Readyhedge is the home of instant hedging in the UK.

01386 750 585

Looking for a sustainable mulch for your next garden project? Apsley Farms’ soil improving mulch is packed with essential NPK nutrients. Acts as effective insulation to protect soil from extreme weather, suppress weeds and repels slugs and snails whilst improving soil structure and health. Free from peat and waste. Creates added visual appeal to borders and beds. A 100% sustainable by-product of green energy at Apsley Farms.

100% peat free

peat free

Delivered in 730L bags or loose loads

01264 554433 Nationwide delivery

Willerby Landscapes receive the Grand Award 2023


Willerby Landscapes crowned Grand Award winner at the 47th National Landscape Awards


n Friday 1 December 2023, Wayne Grills and the team, along with headline sponsor Green-tech, welcomed the industry to the Great Room at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel, for the 47th National Landscape Awards, where 24 Principal Awards, four Special Awards, two BALI Chalk Fund Overall Top Students of the Year Awards and the Grand Award were presented in front of an audience of over audience of 1,000 industry professionals. This year’s Awards ceremony was hosted by comedian, business leader, podcaster, writer and entrepreneur Cally Beaton, who entertained guests by talking about the realities of daily life, which, for Cally involves learning about bonobo monkeys!

Willerby Landscapes presented with 7th Grand Award win!

Willerby Landscapes scooped the Grand Award for the stunning Battersea Power Station Phase 2 Roof Gardens, Principal winner of the Regeneration Scheme - Over £500K category, sponsored by Green-tree Topsoil. The regeneration of this iconic Grade II* listed building opened access across 13 levels of semi-public and private open space, with 5 distinct garden spaces and numerous terraces, balconies and walkways. Read more about the project on page 10.

Four Special Awards presented

Sponsored by Re-flow Landscaping Workflow Management Software, the Special Award for Community Education Champion was presented to Steve Warren Brown of YGS Landscapes for developing the initiative, ‘My Wacky Forest’. 24


What the judges described as a ‘brilliant concept’, YGS Landscapes owner Steve Warren-Brown used his own funds to bring his concept to reality. Steve has developed My Wacky Forest – a pilot project to establish the first urban micro forest in a school environment. Children at Mount Wise Community school are now using their very own urban micro forest to learn more about trees, the flora and fauna that rely on them, and their irreplaceable role in nature. Steve has written a number of beautifully illustrated storybooks about My Wacky Forest, with characters such as Super Mushi

the mushroom helping to entertain, inform and educate young children and support teaching staff.

The Award judges said: “Steve Warren-Brown is a passionate advocate of nature and the environment and believes that engaging with children at a young age in a fun way to teach them to love and respect our fragile eco-system will deliver the environmentalists of the future”. Best Design & Build, sponsored by Springbridge Direct, was awarded to We Love Plants for Windmill Bank. Designed with an eye for detail and a


Special Award - We Love Plants Windmill Bank © Marianne Majerus

The Garden Design Company celebrate their Principal Award win

passion for plants, the garden provides a unique, sensory experience. From quiet nooks filled with flowers waving in the breeze to beautiful trees and sprawling lawns, this enchanted escape invites visitors to revel in its charm. The judges commented on the project’s balance of sustainability and beauty, the repurposing of existing paving and the use of quality plant material supported by high-quality workmanship and ground preparation, all executed to perfection.

The Garden Design Company was awarded the Best Newcomer to BALI Special Award for Pip’s Wildlife Pond. The existing modest pond within the 5-acre ground was replaced with a dramatic 250m2 wildlife pond, boasting a boardwalk leading to a cantilevered deck. Deep marginal shelves are generously planted, with the grass path around the pond open to a variety of vistas as it seamlessly nestles adjacent to the edge of an established mixed native woodland. The pond is now home to a wealth of wildlife, including ducks and frogs, with deer, foxes and badgers being regular visitors. With the highest number of first-time entrants the judges have seen for many years, the Best First Time Entrant Special Award, sponsored by Makita UK, was hotly contested. The judges singled out Urban Earth SW for Herons Reach, due to the expertise and quality execution demonstrated by a very young team of landscapers. This beautiful riverside home

now has an expertly installed driveway approach, terraces and garden that sit effortlessly within the surrounding landscape.

24 Principal Awards presented

Langlea Garden Design & Construction received the Principal Award for Domestic Garden Construction - Under £30K by sponsors Redux for Ebb & Flow, a simple but beautifully executed project with a delightful indoor/outdoor theme. The Principal Award for Domestic Garden Construction - Between £30K - £60K sponsored by Composite Prime, went to Vu Garden Design & Landscaping for Private Garden in Longfield, a contemporary design complementing the renovated property.

Langlea Garden Design & Construction received a second Principal Award from sponsors Johnsons Nurseries for the beautiful Molten : Radiate in the Domestic Garden Construction - Between £60K - 100K category. The judges noted the high-quality paving, decking, cutting-in and joinery to deliver a beautifully constructed scheme.

The most hotly contested category of this year’s awards - Domestic Garden Construction - Between £100K - £250K sponsored by Van den Berk Nurseries, was awarded to The Landscaping Consultants for Bristol Gardens, a scheme requiring a huge amount of offsite planning, which resulted in a garden installed with passion and executed to perfection.

Special Award - The Garden Design Company, Pip’s Wildlife Pond

Named after the client’s spaniel, Pip’s Wildlife Pond, a 250m2 pond incorporating a boardwalk leading to a cantilevered deck, received the Principal Award in the Domestic Garden Construction - Over £250K category, sponsored by Europlants UK for The Garden Design Company. The exemplary planting and imaginative use of materials secured the first Principal Award win for We Love Plants for Windmill Bank in the Domestic Garden Construction - Soft Landscaping category, sponsored by Green-tech.

Moving on to the non-domestic categories, sponsors Bourne Amenity presented the Principal Award for Soft Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - Under £500K to Greensport Trading T/A Inscapes for Parliament Square Garden, which was restored into a beautiful and impressive garden befitting the location. Elite Landscapes won the Principal Award for the beautiful One Thames City in the Soft Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - Over £500K category, sponsored by Hillier Nurseries. Despite the complicated logistics, the combination of project management, client liaison and good horticultural knowledge has resulted in a beautiful urban space.



he at sun ’ s r ays con tain ed ...


Our 3 reservoirs hold more water than 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

,t T h e r a i n w a t e r i s c o l l e c t e d s th l t cyc e po are har vested, and th are re our peat-free compost

We care about your patch and ours. Sustainability is incredibly important to us. That’s why we’ve built reservoirs to supply all of our water needs, extended our water harvesting network across 80% of our nursery, installed solar power on our buildings, expanded our collection of electric vehicles and grow the majority of what we produce ourselves.

A Family Run Business at the Forefront of UK Horticulture

Great quality soil that’s

tried, tested and responsibly sourced. British Sugar TOPSOIL is analysed by industry experts and gives me confidence of achieving consistently good results, whatever the project.



Container Shrubs

01432 845200

0870 240 2314

Landscape20 and HortLoam are compliant to BS3882:2015


H Sivyer Transport, sponsors of Hard Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) Under £500K, present the Principal Award to Greenside Landscapes for Westminster Fire Station, where the original turning circle and exercise yard has been transformed into a relaxing outdoor space for residents.

2022 Grand Award winner Maylim received the Principal Award in the Hard Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - Over £500K category, sponsored by MCM, for Regent’s Place Phase Two, transforming the area into a welcoming and sustainable outdoor space.

Chief Executive Wayne Grills

The Principal Award for Community & Schools Development, supported by GoLandscape, went to Urban Forestry (Bury St Edmunds) for Botesdale Recreation Ground, a scheme that has transformed the space and is encouraging community engagement.

Category sponsor Ground Control present the Principal Award for Regeneration Scheme - Under £500K, to Landform Consultants for the imaginative Hale Cemetery. The use of reclaimed materials and lovely planting has created a place for reflection and contemplation for cemetery visitors. For Regeneration Scheme - Over £500K, sponsored by Green-tree Topsoil, Willerby Landscapes took the Principal Award for the complex Battersea Power Station Phase 2 Roof Gardens, which included the creation of rooftop gardens, sunken courtyards, lightwells, walkways, roof terraces and balconies, all delivered to the highest quality.

National Chair Tessa Johnstone and Honorary Treasurer Richard Stone

Sponsors of Grounds Maintenance - Free Public Access, Reesink UK handed the Principal Award to idverde for The Regent’s Park. One of London’s eight Royal Parks covering 395 acres, the maintenance

BALI Chalk Fund Overall Top Students of the Year

The trustees of the BALI Chalk Fund are thrilled to announce the winners of the Student of the Year at the National Landscape Awards. This year heralded a change, with two Awards presented by Nick Coslett for Landscaping and Garden Design. Read more about the winners on page 48.

Garden Design

Craig Atkinson has changed career from graphic design and is already freelancing with two top designers - Luciano Giubbilei and Tom Massey. His tutor Andrew Fisher-Tomlin has flagged him for success. The panel considered he is a name to watch and has time to develop his career from such a promising start.


Russell Fletcher from the Wiltshire College at Lackham Park has studied a two-year L3 course in Horticulture / Landscape Supervisor which he passed with distinction. He has vision to become a landscape assessor and lecturer within the college and inspire future students and encourage anyone to consider landscaping as a career. The panel considered career change with his responsibilities showed his commitment to gaining landscape skills and knowledge and that he will be a benefit to the industry. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE > LANDSCAPE NEWS WINTER 2023



Special Award - Urban Earth SW, Herons Reach

Guests enjoying the reception

Maïtanne Hunt MBALI and The Garden Builders, Principal Award Accredited Designer & Accredited Contractor Joint Submission

Dinner in the Great Room



George Davies Turf, Principal Award Supplier Exceptional Service

team show commitment, enthusiasm and engagement, which is reflected in the high standards achieved.

Nurture Landscapes receive their first Principal Award of the day from sponsor Kress in the Grounds Maintenance - Limited Public Access category for Chiswick Park, where the client and contractor work in partnership to continually improve the environment and biodiversity.

Maïtanne Hunt MBALI & The Garden Builders receive the Principal Award for Accredited Contractor & Accredited Designer Joint Submission by sponsors Easigrass for Sky Entertaining. A strong, simple design for an awkward space, with build challenges overcome through teamwork created a chic and functional entertaining space. Taking home their second Principal Award for Braze in the Interior Landscape Installation, supported by BALI Chalk Fund, was Nurture Landscapes. The design approach supports the client’s brand and enhances the offices’ interior design.

Interior Landscape – Maintenance Principal Award was received by GP Plantscape by category supporter Thrive, for Abrdn - 1 George Street, where the varied plants are all thriving despite the challenges posed by the building’s environment and lighting levels. The transformation of Headstone Manor Recreational Ground, which includes an improvement in the water quality, reduction in flood risk and enhancing biodiversity and ecological connectivity, saw Ground Control win the Principal Award for Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement, category supporter ED&I Charter Group.

Sponsors of the Design Excellence - Overall Scheme Under £50K, Wright Landscapes presented the Principal Award to Elaine Rutherford MBALI for Golborne Garden, where the empty plot was redesigned to retain the heritage of the site, providing a space to relax and entertain. Lynne Marcus MBALI received the Principal Award in the Design Excellence Overall Scheme Over £100K, sponsored by Frosts Landscape Construction, for Private

Residence in Hampstead, where the scheme cleverly incorporated garden buildings required by the client and fully complements the style of the house.

The Principal Award winner in the International category, sponsored by Landscape Institute was awarded to Beijing Sunshine Landscape Co. for Lan Xi Shang Yuan, designed with enormous consideration and respect for the culture and traditions of this region of China. The Supplier Exceptional Service Principal Award, sponsored by idverde was presented to George Davies Turf, where the company’s vision ‘to go above and beyond’ is not simply a sound bite but inculcated across the workforce.

Finally, Employer Excellence - Turnover Over £2.5M, sponsored by HL Services, went to Acre Landscapes, who demonstrated the company’s commitment to staff empowerment and development and its determination to put inclusivity at the heart of its employment practices.

A copy of the Award Winners brochure, detailing all the winning projects and companies on the day is included with this edition of Landscape News. If you would like a digital copy, please contact Entries for the 48th National Landscape Awards will open in late February 2024. Awards images: Philippa Gedge



M&M TIMBER GARDEN BUILDINGS A range of buildings to suit every size and style of garden or outdoor space.

XTEND BUILDINGS A range of contemporary insulated garden buildings to balance work life, available in three sizes, and supplied with a 15 year structural guarantee.

Xtend Buildings

GAZEBO COLLECTION Round timber gazebos to suit every size and style of garden, available with choice of timber, cedar or thatch roof and range of accessories.

Thatch Roof


3m, 3.6m, 4m, 4.7m



5.1m, 6m

0333 003 5133

3.5m Cedar Roof M&M Timber is a division of the Forest Garden Group Ltd


5.1m, 6m

Square 3.5m

Timber Roof

Square 3.5m

3m Hexagonal with cedar roof

RETREAT SHEDS Available in three colour the Retreat Sheds provide space to store your tools, pot your seedlings or a haven to do a bit of DIY.

• Garden Furniture • Arches • Pergolas • Obelisks • Fruit Cages • Plant Supports • Metal Raised Beds & Planters • Trade discount available Trade brochure & enquiries:

0333 400 1777


0333 003 5133 M&M Timber is a division of the Forest Garden Group Ltd


A slippery slope

The Association launches code of practice document

Written by Owen Baker, Technical Officer (Policy and Research)


he Association’s own accident statistics, together with industry data, report landscape operatives suffer a disproportionately high number of accidents and near-misses when completing landscape maintenance tasks on slopes.

Working on slopes, and particularly operating machinery on slopes, is a high-risk activity which poses a variety of hazards. Research by the Association revealed incidents on slopes commonly involve one of two scenarios:


Operator loses control of ride-on machinery:

• Machine loses traction or becomes unstable due to gradient

• Machine over-turns with operator on-board


Operator slips or trips whilst using pedestrian or hand-held equipment, resulting in:

• Operator falling

• Operator losing control or struck by equipment Common causes of incidents include:

• Machine over-turning due to the gradient of the slope

• Loss of traction between machine tyres and slope, causing the machine to slide • Sharp steering input from the machine operator, causing the machine to tip

• The operator of pedestrian equipment slips on the slope

• The operator of pedestrian equipment trips on the slope • Inadequate maintenance of machine/ equipment

Landscape operatives have suffered life-changing or even fatal accidents whilst undertaking landscape maintenance work on slopes. Despite advances in technology and a range of highly capable machinery on the market, the figures associated with accidents on slopes continue to plague the industry. Safely completing work on a slope without accident is not a dark art or a matter of luck;

as with any other high-risk activity, successful completion arises from several measures being implemented: • Comprehensive review of the site • Appropriate equipment

• Knowledgeable and experienced staff • Detailed briefing document

• Regular review of processes

You don’t know what you don’t know

Through liaison with members and their research, the Association discovered there is a knowledge gap associated with landscape maintenance work on slopes; guidance available online is difficult to find or too generic to be of use. Even the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website provides little information specifically for the landscape industry.

Therefore, in consultation with the BALI National Contractors Forum (NCF) and HSE, the Association undertook a project to identify best working practice when working on a gradient, to collate this information and disseminate it as a code of practice document. The information within the document is the combined knowledge and experience of established landscape contractors who, over decades, have developed techniques which have allowed them to consistently complete potentially hazardous tasks on slopes without incident.




The document covers operational issues associated with the use of rideon machinery, such as lawnmowers and tractors, as well as pedestrian or hand-held equipment such as grass trimmers and knapsack spraying devices.

The notes below are a summary of the information contained within the document. The full version can be downloaded from the ‘help and advice’ section of the Association’s website.

Accurate measurement and recording of gradient

A thorough assessment of slopes is key to ensuring their maintenance is tackled safely. This process can be carried out quickly and accurately using a pre-installed app on an iPhone called ‘measure’, or with a pocketsized inclinometer. Devices such as these are widely available and affordable.

The gradient of slopes is likely to vary across a site, so it is important this information is recorded, highlighted, and matched to appropriate equipment. Following the site survey, a map may be created to highlight gradients, obstacles and prescribe suitable equipment.

Google Maps, which is available widely and compatible with most devices can be used to record information such as gradient, terrain and suitable machine, as well as photographs of the site. This can be shared with operatives either via printed documents or online, accessed via smartphone or tablet.

No two slopes are the same

The nature of landscape maintenance results in work being undertaken throughout the year, which means the risks associated with a single slope may evolve throughout the course of a maintenance season. Sites will evolve throughout the year in terms of terrain, obstacles and the weather.

When surveying a site for the first time, consider the location of obstacles such as benches, signs and play equipment. Manoeuvring machinery around obstacles on any slope increases the risk of losing traction – particularly when the grass is wet. Where possible, activities involving machinery on slopes should be planned to avoid significant steering inputs around obstacles. Operatives must assess sites during each visit using their knowledge and experience. Ensure operatives are trained to recognise changeable site factors such as holes dug by animals, tree roots, low-hanging limbs on trees – and of course the weather.

Consideration of surface conditions is particularly important when undertaking works on a slope; a common cause of accidents arises from failure to consider the effect wet 32


grass has on the ability of machinery and operatives to work safely on slopes.

Machinery selection

A range of machinery is available for undertaking landscape maintenance tasks on either flat ground or ground with a minor gradient, as well as specialist machinery capable of working on steeper gradients. This may include:

• Grass trimmer or brush cutter • Walk-behind mower or flail • Ride-on machine

• Remote controlled machine

Research carried out by the Association revealed grass trimmer, brush cutter and walkbehind machinery are commonly used on sites which exceed the working parameter of the machine and safe working practices, due to the perception of reduced operator risk.

The use of specialist machinery alone is not guaranteed to protect operators and third parties from risk when undertaking landscape maintenance tasks on slopes. Furthermore, the use of specialist machinery does not guarantee compatibility with all types of slopes and working conditions.

Maintenance of equipment is essential

The importance of ensuring equipment is correctly maintained should not be underestimated, since it is frequently a contributory factor in incidents. In addition, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) places responsibilities on businesses and organisations whose employees use work equipment.

Regular inspection of equipment is required to identify whether work equipment can be operated, adjusted and maintained safely, with any deterioration detected and remedied before it results in a health and safety risk. The detail of an inspection varies in its extent from a quick check before use (prestart check), to a weekly check and more extensive examination. The inspection regime will depend on the equipment, its use, and the conditions to which it is exposed. Equipment can be inspected by anyone who has sufficient knowledge and experience, including in-house staff by using manufacturer recommendations.

Continuous review is key

As with all effective processes, working on slopes demands regular review of risk assessments and safe working practices.

Supervisors should ask the following questions:

• Is the method established appropriate or are changes needed? • How effective is the current training?

• Is there a need for external training for specific activities or machinery?

• Have all reasonably foreseeable circumstances and risks been anticipated?

Reviews of incidents, accidents, ill health reports and near misses can also help managers identify potential flaws in systems.

The Association would like to thank members of the BALI National Contractors Forum for their support throughout this project.

Members can access the Slopes code of practice here: health-and-safety/slopes Owen Baker Technical Officer (Policy and Research) LANDSCAPE NEWS WINTER 2023


We’re fully stocked for the new planting season Green-tech is the largest supplier of tree planting materials in the UK • Huge range of shelters, guards, spirals, stakes, canes and sundries, in stock and ready for dispatch • The largest official distributor of Tubex shelters



Bringing you new and innovative products • Rainbow Terra shelters, the first and only certified soil biodegradable tree and vine shelter • Made from UK wood and plant-based resin, Rainbow Terra Shelters have excellent light transmission, ensuring optimum growth

Delivering a sustainable future for tree protection • Extensive range of sustainable and biodegradable tree planting products, including NexGen, Tubex Nature and Rainbow Terra • Collection and recycling service, providing new life for used shelters and spirals

And we’re here to help • Fast turnaround and flexible delivery options • Competitive pricing and excellent customer care




Pr ou d of to La th be nd e B He sc AL ad ap I N lin e at e S Aw io p ar na on ds l so r

Call us today on 01423 332100 or visit

@crowdersnurseries @WCrowder&SonsLtd


Smart Space




Creating healthier urban spaces in harmony with nature. GreenBlue Urban’s unique suite of products operate as the interface between nature and the built environment. Discover more on GreenBlue Urban by visiting

T: +44 (0)1580 830 800 E: W:

Creating healthier urban spaces in harmony with nature


Lost in translation:

the challenge of managing clients


rom a client’s perspective, commissioning a landscape designer or contractor is likely to be a daunting task. Whilst most have probably used a tradesperson before, the duration and sums of money involved in a landscape project may far exceed those they are used to. Whilst domestic clients with the means to pay for the services of a designer or contractor are likely to have sufficient disposable income, with skill and experience in their own profession, unless they are tradespeople themselves or have experience of managing a construction project few will understand the mechanics of a landscape project, including design, construction, and project management. Many clients may also underestimate the budget required for a landscape project.

Being commissioned by a client also represents a challenge to a designer or contractor; they are entering into an agreement with a party whom they are unlikely to have any experience of working with, and have nothing in common – other than the desire to create a new garden.



A working relationship is like any other relationship; both parties will have different skills, experience, and attitudes. Third parties are also unpredictable; it is possible the client will be impatient, indecisive, or demanding at any point during a project, and management of this can be challenging.

Deciding not to proceed with a client who has shown an interest in your services but displays negative character traits during an initial meeting is easier said than done, particularly if your business model focusses on a particular geographic area or client demographic.

If, during the early stages of a working relationship, a prospective client displays character traits that differ from those you would expect from a client, take time to reflect on the likelihood of a successful working relationship developing. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

An experienced designer or contractor will be aware that managing an agreeable client is no different from a difficult client. Providing the designer or contractor has clearly communicated their working procedures with

the client, and the client has accepted these, there is no ‘wrong’ approach.

A high proportion of disputes the Association is asked to resolve arise when communication has not been conducted successfully and the expectations of either party are not met. This break-down in relationship often occurs towards the end of a project when most of the construction work has been completed and the client refuses to pay the final instalment. It is at this stage that previously amenable clients may represent more of a challenge to manage, particularly if they have not received the service they were expecting. Mindful the number of disputes is rising, particularly amongst high-value projects, the Association would like to share the following advice to members looking to fine-tune their project management skills.

1. Always use a contract

Contracts are an essential part of a project, regardless of budget. A good contract will outline to the client how the entire project process will be conducted, from initial meetings, communication of design documentation, construction, and


completion. In essence, a contract sets out the rules of the game!

Without a contract or adequate communication regarding the terms of engagement, it is likely the client and contractor will make assumptions – which are unlikely to reflect reality.

Whilst the law does not require businesses to issue a physical contract to their domestic client (a contract will still be in force regardless, the terms will simply be implied or agreed orally), most legal professionals agree a formal contract represents a clearer method of outlining rights, obligations, and responsibilities in relation to a project. As a reminder, three contract templates are available to members, for download and use without charge from the technical section of the Association website: • Design only • Build only

• Design and build

The resulting contracts have been laid out to resemble a manual or FAQ document for the project, which can be used as a reference for both parties.

2. Use payment terms that reflect the project components Since no two projects or clients are the same, your approach to charging the client for the work provided should reflect this.

Schedule 3 of all three contract templates allow designers or contractors to specify their own payment terms, and to help with this, the Association has recently launched a template Excel document that offers suggested variations of payment schedules for members to use.

Most members will be familiar with the principle of a deposit and staged payments, but as the cost of materials and budgets increases, the Association urge clients and contractors to ensure their nominated payment schedule aligns with a project – and protects them in the event of a dispute.

A suitable payment schedule will protect the contractor by ensuring: • Materials required for a job are purchased with funds supplied by the client • The liability for bespoke, non-returnable materials is placed on the client

• Additional costs and project variations requested by the client once an initial contract and specification has been agreed do not place the designer or contractor in a vulnerable financial position • The member is protected from clients who place unreasonable obstacles in the way of final payments

The payment schedule should work in unison with the contract, design documents and specification. If an agreement has been made for the client to release staged payments once a completion threshold has been met, ensure the criteria for this threshold is clearly outlined and agreed with the client. For high value or complex projects, consider breaking the project deliverables into detailed, but measurable, work stages, including the materials required. Ensure you are paid at regular intervals upon completion of each work stage, and that the client is made aware of each task via the contract specification.

Take photographic evidence of each task you complete and share this with your client as part of the project file. This will ensure you highlight work competed to the client and you build-up an evidence file. This is particularly helpful for documenting hidden works such as footings, sub-bases and drainage, and if the client does not observe every stage of work completed, for example if they are on holiday or absent from the property for periods.

3. Ask the client if they are happy with the works provided throughout the process

Assign a contact within your business for the client to liaise with, and ensure they maintain a dialogue with the client throughout the project. This contact should ask the client (either verbally, or electronically) on a regular basis to confirm they are satisfied with the works progression. This verification should be recorded and held on file. Any negative response from the client should be acted upon as a priority.

To help support members understand the principles of payment methods, and know how to implement the new payment templates in their own projects, early next year the Association’s technical officers, Richard Gardiner and Owen Baker will host a webinar. Look out for details of how to sign up soon.

Owen Baker Technical Officer (Policy and Research)



ROLO – to raise the standard of health and safety, environmental awareness, and reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. ROLO courses are CITB approved on behalf of Build UK, and are specially designed health, safety and environmental awareness courses, developed by the Association, for employees of companies operating in the land-based industry. Three levels of training courses available:

Apply for a LISS/CSCS card to unlock your individual and/or companies potential with the following benefits: • Enables you to work on live commercial land-based/construction sites • Enables the ability to tender for commercial work that requires a LISS/CSCS SmartCard • Recognising your qualifications and training experience • The latest industry specific health, safety and environmental awareness knowledge




Industry accreditation cards withdrawal by 2024: Card holders who obtained their cards via industry accreditation will need to complete the relevant qualifications in order to apply for their LISS/CSCS card from 1 January 2025.

Find the right course for you: *ROLO is a mandatory requirement to obtain a LISS/CSCS card


deal yourself a

Plant Healthy


The Landscape Centre, Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley, Kent BR8 7PS Tel: 01322 662315 Web: MCM BALINews_Win23.pdf 1 14/11/2023 11:57:21

Soils and aggregates nationwide Sourced and supplied in volume Bagged or loose, direct to site Rapid testing, waste managed C








e: t: 0330 128 1030

Inspiring sustainable landscaping


ndustry understanding of sustainable practices, including waste reduction and recycling, water conservation, renewable energy and ethical sourcing continues to develop and grow.

As our knowledge and experience develop, the positive impact our work can have on reducing and offsetting carbon emissions, improving biodiversity and minimising landfill, and sustainable working practices becomes clearer. At present, the decision to employ techniques and materials that reduce these impacts remains that of the member or their client, but this driver alone is leading to many exciting projects.

Earlier this year, the Association met with Accredited Garden Designer Jilayne Rickards MBALI and Tecwyn Evans, Director of Accredited Contractor Living Landscapes.

Both members have chosen to research and employ landscape design and construction techniques which minimise the environmental impact of projects. Motivated by a desire to work on projects which reflect the need for reform in the industry, both members have invested considerable time in developing techniques that show a demonstrable reduction in carbon emissions. 40


Earlier this year, Jilayne and Tecwyn worked together to create a show garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show: The Fauna and Flora Garden. The project represented their combined knowledge and experience of creating landscapes which seek to reduce the impact on the environment.

Members who visited the flower show will agree that the result was a glorious snapshot of central Africa, and a fantastic representation of sustainable landscape design and construction.

Both Jilayne and Tecwyn agree there is a growing trend amongst domestic clients towards more sustainable solutions in garden design and construction.

From a design perspective, Jilayne has noticed clients increasingly express an interest for environmentally sensitive options during the design stage. Designers and contractors play a crucial role in steering clients towards sustainable choices and creative solutions. Examples include reusing materials, repurposing space, and increasing planting for environmentally friendly landscapes. Combined with willing clients, working with landscape professionals eager to research

© Simon Bourne Photography

and employ new techniques is essential to the success of a project.

Tecwyn: “I’ve worked with Garden Designers who inspire me to be even more sustainable by focussing on different approaches, for example habitat regeneration”. Identifying and agreeing on a definition of sustainability is important for the success of a project but does pose a challenge in terms of identifying a measurable target. Tecwyn acknowledges that, as an industry, “the act of ‘being sustainable’ can be difficult to measure and currently there is little understanding on how to develop more sustainable working practices”. Jilayne notes, “The words sustainability and sustainable are banded around. What sustainable means to one person is completely different to someone else. We need to be clear about what it means. In theory, sustainable means that you can sustain it forevermore. So, when you talk about sustainable practice, there’s probably not anything that falls into that band. Ultimately, everything has a lifespan, everything has an endpoint”.


Tecwyn also concedes that embracing a sustainable model of working is challenging. “Initially you spend a huge amount of time scratching the surface and researching companies and products to get to the truth of their environmental claims. But once you have those connections, you create a sustainable supplier list, which makes everything easier. And it’s continually developing - we used a lot of new suppliers at Chelsea that I now use”.

Jilayne agrees, adding “Over time, everything takes a little less time. But it is an ongoing process; companies get taken over, so you need to ensure they still align with your values”. In the absence of clear definitions within the industry, both Jilayne and Tecwyn work to their own set of sustainability values, considering the environmental impact and carbon footprint as much as possible.

However, the availability of sustainable materials and approaches can vary, and clients may require guidance in implementing these practices. Cost considerations also come into play, as there can be a trade-off between sustainability and expenses. Tecwyn concedes, “Making sustainable choices can be exceptionally challenging on a small budget, because your decisions on materials will, to a point, be governed by cost

and potentially limited to cheaper options. That’s the unfortunate reality, which is understandable. But you are still able to make sustainable choices – for example, Indian sandstone is a cost-effective option, but has a high carbon footprint. However, reclaimed Indian sandstone is available – even cheaper than buying new – and you’re reusing a product. It highlights the importance of the Designer and Contractor informing clients of all options”.

The creation of the Fauna and Flora show garden at RHS Chelsea highlights the ability to create a beautiful green space, whilst considering and minimising the environmental impact. As Jilayne and Tecwyn note, nothing can ever be truly sustainable, but by showcasing environmentally considerate working practices, the knowledge sharing and inspiration for the industry and public to embrace can only serve to encourage positive change. Jilayne: “Because the nature of the charity involved was that of international conservation, we aimed to create the gardens as sustainably as we possibly could. The first step was to go concrete-free, despite the structural elements we would require. Thankfully, Tecwyn’s response was ‘great - how can we do that?’ I knew then that we were going create a really special and inspirational garden”.

Practicalities of sustainable solutions

With the theme and design created, the practicality of constructing the garden, which rose up to 5m high, without using any concrete for retaining walls or to support the waterfall, and using non-indigenous plants became the next challenge.

Tecwyn: “Our initial plan for the retaining walls was to use gabion cages, as this needed to support about 12 tonnes for the 5m high, stone waterfall. However, we realised the metal from the gabion cages was pushing our carbon footprint up, plus the unique design meant we also struggled to get the structural calculations. I did some research on how we were going to do this and came across the wonderful Geogrow Rootlok system. Their team came in with their engineer who did all the calculations for us - it was perfect!” The Rootlok system is an engineered environmentally friendly system, providing a permanent soft solution for green walls and retaining structures. But this shift resulted in losing some space in the garden, which meant reworking the design to ensure it remained true to the vision.


Jilayne Rickards MBALI and Tecwyn Evans © Simon Bourne Photography




Insitu boulders before use in the Fauna and Flora garden

In addition, the garden also supported raising awareness with the public about making small changes in their own garden practices, including reusing and recycling, rather than replacing. Jilayne: “The paving that we used at the front of the garden was kept particularly small and tight intentionally, because, do we need to have so much paving? Do we need to put it on concrete? We clearly don’t. If you have a small amount of paving, then you can have a larger amount of planting and increase your biodiversity, which is a cheaper option. The show garden was full of ideas like that for the public as well to take away”.

The boulders used to create the waterfall and throughout the garden were a waste product from an agricultural farm in Scotland, courtesy of CED Stone. “After the show, we returned the boulders to CED Stone, who then sold them on. This type of circular economy is a really wonderful thing to be supporting” says Jilayne, who also notes all the materials used for and around the kiosk were recycled – from the timber to the bicycle and the height in the garden created from re-used existing site soil. The design also incorporated plants indigenous to Africa, but the majority sourced from the Eden Project, where they had been grown chemical-free, pesticidefree, in plastic pots that were either recycled or were recyclable. And ultimately, nothing from the garden went the landfill. After the show, the garden was relocated by Jilayne and the Living Landscapes team to the Eden 42


Project, installed in the Rainforest Biome.

As with all show gardens at Chelsea, the intention is for those operating at the highest level within the industry to demonstrate what is achievable – but also to start trends. Jilayne: “One of the key things we wanted to achieve with this garden is to inspire - landscape contractors, designers and anybody else who’s thinking about doing a show garden that this is how it can be done – with as little impact as possible. Of course, there’s no such thing as a fully sustainable show garden, but you can actively reduce your carbon footprint. I firmly believe you can still create a stunningly beautiful garden without doing quite so much environmental damage. But perhaps we also need to start looking at what is beautiful – the glitzy, concrete-filled show gardens of the past might not be so beautiful anymore”.

The show garden has most recently received industry recognition, receiving the Pro-Landscaper Sustainability & Biodiversity Award in the Commercial Design Category. The judges commented, “this impressive project demonstrates sustainability at its core at each stage of the design, construction and relocation. The approach exceeds best practice and shows what is achievable with a clear vision and innovative thinking. The story behind this is as impressive as the garden. Creating an awardwinning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden that meets demanding self-imposed environmental criteria is a powerful demonstration to the wider landscape sector of what can be achieved when sustainability is the driving force behind project concept and delivery”. The industry is still at the beginning of its sustainability journey, and for those starting to investigate the environmental impact of their work the myriad of information can be bewildering.

As a member you will benefit from belonging to an Association home to industry thought leaders and experienced staff. The Association acknowledges its important role in sharing best practice either through its own research, or via the pioneering work of members.


We need your support We’re making progress, but together, our voice could be louder. Join our Ambassador programme and help inspire, encourage and support the next generation of landscapers. For more information please contact us at the email below, or scan the QR code to complete an expression of interest.


Nathan Webster:

balancing aesthetics and ecology in garden design


arlier this year, at just 24 years old, Nathan Webster won a gold medal for his Young Designer Garden ‘Off the Grid’ at RHS Flower Show, Tatton Park. In addition, the garden was awarded Best Young Designer Garden, Best Construction (Young Designer Garden) and People’s Choice (Best Young Designer Garden).

Readers may also recognise Nathan as a previous winner of Pro Landscaper magazine’s ‘30 under 30’ as well as a member of the team who won a BALI award in 2019 for their design of a hill-top garden for a private residence. There can be no denying that Nathan was well-placed for a career in the landscape industry. From an early age, Nathan spent summers working for the family business, Wright Landscapes, starting in the maintenance team and moving into different departments each year including project management, estimating and labouring onsite, helping him build experience across a range of disciplines. When the time came to choose a career, Nathan had no doubts as to what he wanted to do: “I always knew my career would be in the 44


landscaping industry. Not because of any family expectations, but because I enjoyed it. But for a long time was unsure whether I wanted to go into the contracting or design side”. By the end of school, Nathan knew it was design he wanted to focus on.

“For design, you need knowledge of both hard and soft landscaping. I had an understanding of hard landscaping and loved paving, but up until that point hadn’t been keen on doing the plants. But once I started delving into learning about plants, soil science and planting, I really started to fall in love with it”. “I felt that to work on the contracting side, you need a level of confidence – to be strong willed, which wasn’t me when I was younger. I’ve always loved art and had a creative mind. So the choice to focus on design was easy – you can give it lots of flair, and I believe I’m designing for the future. I love the biodiversity and ecological considerations you need to take into account - there are so many variables to consider in the design process”. Nathan completed Level 3 in Horticulture at Reaseheath College and then to Chester University, achieving a degree in Landscape

RHS / Neil Hepworth

Architecture. When not studying, Nathan was working at Wright Landscapes.

It was whilst studying at Reaseheath College that Nathan first tasted success; he was on the student team who designed award-winning show gardens at RHS Tatton Flower Show in 2018 and 2019. What is the secret to Nathan’s success at RHS Tatton in 2023?

“During the process of developing the garden for RHS Tatton, I progressively became aware of the importance of telling a story. I’ve always wanted to create a space like this, focussed fully on sustainability”. The concept of the garden is for an individual to live in a natural setting – ‘off the grid’, and contains a cooking and outdoor seating area, outdoor shower, veggie growing, indoor living space and outdoor shower, all set within a natural wooded environment. The importance of promoting biodiversity and sustainability in landscape projects of all sizes is beginning to gain traction in the industry, but widespread growth relies on students being taught these principles.

Nathan Webster

When Nathan was at university only three years ago, the course content covering sustainability and biodiversity was still limited. “As part of the course, we looked into ecology, and biodiversity net gain to put into projects, but it wasn’t spoken about in too much detail”.

“If you want to get to where you want to go, you’ve got to try hard, get as much experience as you can and get your qualifications”.

However, this is starting to change. “Speaking to one of my college lecturers about what’s on the curriculum now, there is a lot more time spent looking at reusing, upcycling and sustainability than before. They seem to be really drilling it into the students. In hindsight, more focus should have been placed on this 10 or 20 years ago, but at least we are moving forward now”.

The Association is seeing this increasing focus in the industry. Many planning departments are already mandating ecological survey and enhancements as part of the planning process, with greater emphasis on climate positive designs. With the introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain in January 2024 we are likely to see more of this.

Nathan always seeks to go beyond the planners’ expectations.

“Personally, I’m always pushing it, not only because it will help get through planning, but also you are helping the overall scheme, as you are taking out existing shrubs or hedges on many schemes, removing habitats, which definitely need replenishing, in order to sustain the existing wildlife”. But what if these requirements don’t align with the client’s expectations of what they want their garden to be? Many clients remain primarily focused on the aesthetics and functionality of their garden. Nathan acknowledges this remains a challenge.

“When we discuss what private clients want in their garden, they pull out their phone and show me ideas they would like to consider or styles they like. I’ve even been shown other people’s gardens with the client wanting theirs even better! I work with that, designing clients’ dream garden, but building in ecological solutions, such as habitat piles or wildlife corridors to ensure biodiversity remains. Supporting the environment within a private garden doesn’t have to be an eyesore, but it definitely has to be considered and built into a design”.

concerning the ecological and environmental impact of having a new garden designed and built. “Not all clients, but the majority. It can be hard to sit in front of a private client trying to discuss the need to consider biodiversity when their focus has been on the design. Many of our clients warm to having ecological surveys and considering the net gain side of the work. But just as many are not interested. In saying that, a few years ago nobody was interested, so the awareness is definitely increasing”. With the recent announcement of the RHS Chelsea 2024 Gardens, is this something Nathan is looking towards?

“Absolutely! But RHS Chelsea is a whole different world. For the garden at RHS Tatton, we were lucky it was close to our premises so we could nip back if we needed to change or add anything. But Chelsea! For Chelsea, I feel you have to have something completely different theme and look for the Show Garden – something that has never been seen before. I’ve already got some ideas, so watch this space”.

Nathan feels the drive for sustainability within domestic projects is largely driven by the landscape architect and designer. There continues to be a lack of awareness




Four Services powered by Quest


uest has been providing human resources and health and safety solutions for membership organisations throughout the UK for over 20 years. Their reputation for quality of service has enabled them to establish longlasting relationships with many prestigious organisations, including the British Association of Landscape Industries.

By integrating the latest technology and innovative insurance, with a highly experienced team of business partners, Quest has become a market-leading provider. They have made it their responsibility to fully understand client needs before personalising solutions. This ensures that Human Resources, Health and Safety and training solutions complement your organisations’ strategic plans, helping to concentrate on achieving your goals.

Quest has developed a complete solution to client Human Resource and Health and Safety needs. With all the elements of support, security and protection being provided by Quest ‘under one roof’. Keeping abreast of ever-changing employment and health & safety legislation can be time-consuming and costly – especially for businesses without their own HR and H&S departments.

Let Quest help you take the pressure off human resources and health & safety by introducing you to their Four Services, offering total protection and peace of mind.



What’s included?

As a member you have access to four key services through Quest, making your life easier and ensuring you have everything you need for your business. These services include a HR service, legal service, health & safety service and tax service, as well as a dedicated hotline and vast document library containing over 800 free downloadable templates for common HR and operational needs.

The HR Service provides employer-focused HR and employment law support. From disciplinary to long-term sickness, persistent absence to redundancy and holiday pay, Quest has you covered. The Legal Service helps to support your business with specialist advice in addition to 200 downloadable templates. From company law to debt recovery, suppliers and contracts and online trading. The H&S Service provides an easy-tofollow guide to health & safety compliance, from policies and risk assessment forms to workstation management, lone working and working at heights.

The Tax Service provides answers to your questions or helps you resolve issues relating to VAT and tax, including VAT and tax return form help, partial exemption, HMRC enquiries/ investigations and tax calculators.

One-2-one review

As a member, you are also entitled to a free, no-obligation, one-2-one review with a Quest

Business Manager. This will check your levels of compliance; advise on any issues you may have and then give an honest appraisal of what you need. Contact to make a request. “Quest is a fantastic service offered as part of our membership. The extensive HR, health & safety and legal libraries of documents, templates and information have been exceptionally helpful for our business. On the rare occasions that we can’t find the information we are looking for in the document libraries, the legal advice line has helped fill in the blanks. The advisers are knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to help. This is why Quest has become our first port of call whenever we need to expand our knowledge and look for advice”. Helen Grant, Office Manager Berrys Garden Company

Where do I start?

To access the helpline members can call +44(0)116 243 7881 for unlimited 365-day access to an experienced specialist advisor.

To access the website and gain access to the template documents and online calculators visit The membership team are always happy to help with any queries you have relating to this benefit, or any others, so feel free to contact a member of the team on (+44)024 7669 8658 or via email at

Switch to battery tools with no compromise on power or performance Fast-charging and long-lasting, choose the Kress 60V Commercial Range of outdoor power equipment for new levels of power for all types of landscaping professionals. An impressive line of commercial gardening equipment, with a performance battery platform that stands strong in harsh conditions and delivers unparalleled reliability - all without the high costs and hassles of petrol. No downtime

Long service life of batteries, backed by 8-year warranty

Powerful performance

Long service life of tools, backed by 5-year warranty

Lower operating costs

Zero emissions

Lower maintenance costs

Low noise

Speak to your local garden machinery dealer today to learn more


The best of the best

BALI Chalk Fund Top Students of the Year


very year, the trustees of the BALI Chalk Fund call upon each member college to select their best landscape student, with each student chosen winning a £100 cash prize. Those students are then automatically entered into the national competition where the BALI Chalk Fund Trustees assess the applications and decide on their Student of the Year. However, this year was different. For the first time, the trustees decided to open up the awards to independent training providers that are members of the Association, and in addition, a second prize has been introduced for garden design students.

After some tough deliberations, the trustees selected their two winners for 2023, believing both have what it takes to be stars of the future. Each winner receives a cash prize of £500 for themselves, and a further £500 for their training provider, as well as two tickets to the National Landscape Awards in London, on Friday 1 December. I caught up with the winners shortly after they were notified, to find out more about them and what the future might hold.

The winner of the Landscape Student of the Year is Russell Fletcher, a mature student

studying Level 3 Lantra diploma Horticulture/ Landscape Supervisor. Russell has been selfemployed since he was 16, working in the family construction business for over 15 years, but he found the travel, long hours and unpredictability of self-employment incompatible with family life and wanted to be more involved with and enjoy his young family, so he signed up on the Level 2 Apprenticeship at Wiltshire College’s Lackham Campus, and to say he found his calling is somewhat of an understatement! In addition to the course itself, Russ found employment as a gardener on the college campus, and has established himself fully within the Lackham team, not just as a gardener, but now he has graduated, he is also teaching, with his eyes firmly set on becoming an assessor within the college. Ask Russ about teaching and he has an evangelical presence overflowing with enthusiasm, he is passionate about attracting more students to the landscape industry, in particular, Russ is disappointed that landscaping is still so maledominated and plans to put that right! During our short but uplifting (for me) conversation, I mentioned BALI’s GoLandscape initiative and the role of our ambassadors. Before I could even ask if he might be interested in joining the ranks, Russ blurted out “I’m already doing it!”. As well as inspiring his own 7-year-old son, Russell also takes time to talk to primary age children sparking their interest in nature, and horticulture.



Plan and rendered garden designs by Craig Atkinson

As well as having an inspirational impact on the people around him, Russ has improved the environment at Lackam too, turning an unused parking area into a prairie garden in partnership with a with a colleague. Russ says “this was a long slow project, having been used as a car park, the ground was dead, we had to add organic matter and work hard to increase the biology in the area before we had any confidence that plants would survive, let alone thrive, but we are really pleased with the results”.

Despite the number of strong applications this year, Russell proved to be a standout winner in the Landscape category, Chair of the judges Nick Coslett said “Russell’s application jumped off the page, with very detailed and positive information, not only from Russell, but from his Assessor Victoria Fiander too. All the judges felt that Russell will go on to have a very positive impact on the wider industry, and that’s what we really like to see from our applicants, we wish Russ every success in his career and look forward to meeting at the awards ceremony in December”. In the new Student of the Year category, inviting applications from design students, Craig Atkinson from the London College of Garden Design (LCGD) has come out on top. Another career changer, Craig shone while completing his Garden Design Diploma, using knowledge and experience gained in

his previous career to accelerate his entrance into the landscape industry. During our conversation, Craig was quick to credit the college, he said “one of the great things about the LCGD, is that they have some impressive alumni, who are happy to come back and work with the students, that’s how I met Tom Massey, we chatted, and seemed to get on well, so I asked if I could work with him, he agreed and I have been working with him on a freelance basis, including helping out on The Royal Entomological Society Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year”. Craig sets his sights high, also reaching out to Luciano Giubbilei, and securing more freelance work, including a working trip to Mallorca.

Chalk Fund Trustee and Student of the Year judge Paul Cowell said “Craig has demonstrated his proactive nature, and desire to work at the top level, learning from experienced and talented industry figures, he seems set for an impressive career”, this echo’s comments made by Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Director at the LCGD, he said “Craig was our top student last year but also achieved one of the highest aggregate scores that we have ever awarded. Over the past 15 years we have trained many designers who have developed great careers in garden design, who have set up their own businesses or gone to work for some of the leading practices in the

UK and overseas. I am sure that in a few years, Craig will be one of those ‘names’ that people will be noticing”.

I couldn’t think of two more deserving students to win this year’s Student of the Year competition. The trustees look forward to congratulating both winners in person at the National Landscape Awards, in December, at London’s prestigious Grosvenor House, and we will be following their respective careers with great interest and invite Russell and Craig to keep us informed of their progress.

The Student of the Year competition opens in March each year and applications close towards the end of May. If you are a tutor at a member training provider and have a standout student, please visit to start your application.

Richard Gardiner BALI Chalk Fund Trustee LANDSCAPE NEWS WINTER 2023



A look at what’s to come

Confirmed dates for industry shows and events 2024. Correct at time of print. For the most up-to-date listings visit 31 January

Regional AGM: North Thames

22 February

Regional AGM: Yorkshire & North East

1 March 18 - 21 April

Regional AGM: Midlands

RHS Urban Show, Manchester

21 - 25 May

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

2 - 7 July

RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

17 - 21 July 15 - 16 October

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park Trade show: FutureScape London

World Child Cancer’s Nurturing Garden © Giulio Giorgi

No Adults Allowed Garden © Harry Holding

• The Landscaping Consultants - The Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond with the National Trust

RHS Chelsea 2024 gardens announced


he RHS has launched the Chelsea Flower Show 2024! The themes of the show from the launch centre around water and tree’s, with the RHS stating the show will be ‘the greenest Chelsea yet’.

Gemma Lake, Chelsea Show Manager: “This year we are working closely with all our garden designers to bring the most sustainable gardens we can to the show. They are using ecotechniques, low carbon materials and processes that are not only reducing their impact on the environment, but also reducing our waste at the end of the show”. 50


BALI Accredited members will once again be showcasing their expertise, with the following gardens confirmed for the 2024 show:

Show Gardens

• Landform Consultants - The National Autistic Society Garden • Landform Consultants - Stroke Association’s Garden for Recovery

• Landscape Associates - WaterAid Garden • Stewart Landscape Construction - St James’s Piccadilly: Imagine the World to be Different

Feature Gardens

• Landscape Associates - The RHS No Adults Allowed Garden

Sanctuary Gardens

• Landesigns - World Child Cancer’s Nurturing Garden

• Living Landscapes - The Freedom from Torture Garden: A Sanctuary for Survivors • Stewart Landscape Construction - The Wonderstruck Garden

Congratulations to all Accredited members for securing a prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden. We commend your commitment to sustainability and innovative design. We’re excited to see what 2024 brings to the show, with a special highlight on eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and promoting environmental responsibility!


Acre Landscapes Ashlea

Beijing Sunshine Landscape Co.

Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute Bluestone Landscapes DDON Planning and Design Co.

Elaine Rutherford MBALI Elite Landscapes Ellicar

Gardens by Keltie & Clark Gavin Jones


Geogreen Solutions T/A ABG Installs George Davies Turf GP Plantscape Graduate Gardeners Green Acorn Landscape Design & Construction Greenside Landscapes Greensport Trading T/A Inscapes Ground Control HG Landscapes idverde James Scott MBALI Landform Consultants Langlea Garden Design & Construction

Lynne Marcus MBALI Maïtanne Hunt MBALI Maylim Nurture Landscapes NWL Contracts T/A Neil Walker Landscaping and Driveways Overtec PWP Landscape Quality & Service Shenzhen Hope Design Co. Stephen Ogilvie The CGM Group (East Anglia) The Garden Builders The Garden Company


Creating healthier urban spaces in harmony with nature

Green-tree Topsoil

UK LIMIT ED | @BALI_Landscape | balilandscapeuk

The Garden Design Company The Landscaping Consultants The Plantman Tony Benger Landscaping Urban Earth SW Urban Forestry (Bury St Edmunds) VMS Vu Garden Design & Landscaping We Love Plants WH Bond & Sons Willerby Landscapes Wright Landscapes YGS Landscapes

ZinCo SolarVert system for biosolar roofs to achieve increased biodiversity and green energy on one roof space

Your Green Roof System Supplier • The UK‘s most comprehensive product range for podium decks and green roofs • Tested system build-ups with ETA certification (European Technical Assessment) • Landmark projects all over the globe • Technical support you can rely on • 40 years of expertise • Nationwide, fast deliveries • UK stock ZinCo Green Roof Systems Ltd. . . T: 01993 229700 .

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.