Summer Landscape News 2022

Page 1

Landscape News

Summer 2022

The official journal of the British Association of Landscape Industries


Medal rush for members at RHS Chelsea


A new strategy for a bright future


What next for landscape machinery?


Mark Gregory: Go big or go home

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Chairman’s Welcome DEAR MEMBERS


hope that this publication of Landscape News finds you and your family safe and well.

I would like to start by paying tribute to Neil Huck who sadly passed away in May following a short illness. Neil had an immense passion for his work in the UK Landscape Sector and as a former chairman and board director for 18 years. We will be forever grateful for Neil’s enormous contribution to the Association and the industry at large.

World Green Roof Day

As I write this piece, the UK green roof market including suppliers, installers, specifiers and manufacturers have been busy commemorating World Green Roof Day #WGRD2022.

Many Association members play a pivotal role in the UK Green Roof market and have been proactive in driving education and understanding in this area, and celebrating green roofs all over the world and the many benefits they bring to people and nature.

Contractors the well-deserved overall Supreme winner.

Elmtree Garden Contractors, Supreme winners at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards

Tower of London Superbloom

I am really looking forward to visiting the recently opened Tower of London Superbloom this summer. The new naturalistic landscape scheme has been designed by Historic Royal Palaces, working with Grant Associates – Landscape Architects and planting design consultant Nigel Dunnett. Accredited Contractor Landform Consultants and Mark Gregory have meticulosity installed this amazing legacy project. Superbloom will be a classic example of where

Pro Landscaper Business Awards

Kind regards, The stunning tower of London Superbloom c/o Mark Gregory

New members (21 March – 6 June) Accredited Contractor

Scotland • Armstrong Gardens and Landscapes • Greenbelt Group Midlands • J A Kent Services (East Midlands) North Thames • D. Honour & Son (Landscape)

Superbloom will yet again show the impact of high-quality design and landscaping from Association members and the positive impacts they can bring to the UK built environment. When the display ends in September 2022, the new natural landscape created to support it will remain in the moat as a permanent Platinum Jubilee legacy. I would like to personally congratulate all of the new Association members listed on this page. I look forward to meeting you at event or industry event soon. BALI is a fantastic organisation to be part of and I would encourage you to get involved with your regional events.

Lego and Minecraft have joined in the #WGRD2022 celebrations.

I was delighted to be asked to be a Judge for this year’s Pro Landscaper Business Awards for Supplier members Eljays44. The quality of the entry submissions was outstanding and a credit to the industry with Association members winning 12 out of 16 categories, and Elmtree Garden

landscaping and tourism entwine to be no doubt an Eco Tourism legacy project.

• Hammersmith and Chiswick Landscapes T/A HCL South Thames • Beaufort & Rampton Landscapes • Walworth Garden

South West • Freedom Garden Services

Accredited Supplier

Richard Kay National Chairman

South West • Eco Sustainable Solutions

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East Anglia • Azpects

North West • Northhort • Oasis Rooftops

Training Provider

• VertEdge

South Thames • Alex Radoi

Midlands • GSCUK T/A Ground Screw Centre UK North Thames • Elite Metalcraft Co. South Thames • Creepers • Greenwood Plants

Associate Contractor

Associate Individual

South West • Elliot Newman

Midlands • Pragmatic Consulting


• Driveway Builders


• ESAD Services Group




Editor’s Welcome



his year the Association celebrates a landmark birthday as the UK’s leading Trade Association for landscape professionals turns 50. Remaining true to its core values to support, promote and inspire its members and be leaders of an environmentally, ethically, and commercially sustainable landscape industry, the Association has grown to count landscape contractors, landscape architects, garden designers, suppliers and training providers among its valued members.

“50 glorious years” on page 28 pays homage to how the Association came to fruition and the pioneering founders behind its birth. We continue the theme of celebration and enthusiastically reveal the Association’s ambitious three-year strategy on page 24, setting out the roadmap through to 2025 as we look ahead to an exciting and bright future.

It wouldn’t be Summer Landscape News without mentioning RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and wow what a spectacle it truly was. I had the pleasure of catching up

with Mark Gregory, Managing Director of Landform Consultants to learn more about the showstopping MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future Garden, awarded Best Construction Award (Show Garden). Find out where he continues to get his inspiration from and his predictions for the future on page 38 in our interview “Go big or home!”

Technical Officer, Owen Baker brings us up to speed with the ever-evolving changes to the use of rebated fuels and how the Association has been bringing the issue to government on page 30. In our Education segment on page 48, William Innes-Taylor of Oak View Landscapes takes a walk down memory lane to share his inspiring journey into the industry and the people who helped shape his career along the way. As always, we hope that you enjoy reading this edition and if you have any topics that you would like to see covered, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Best wishes.

Olivia McCullough

Contents 6 8

Chief Executive’s Report

Association News

16 Member News

24 Feature: Strategy










30 Technical 38 Interview

41 Member Benefit Spotlight 48 Education

50 Events



Editor: Olivia McCullough E: T: +44(0)24 7669 8656 M: 07800 573351 Sales: Diane McCulloch E: T: +44(0)24 7518 5614 Registered address: British Association of Landscape Industries Landscape House Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire CV8 2LG Designed by:

Print and mailing:

Copy deadline (Autumn 2022): Friday 12 August 2022

Front cover: MEDITE SMARTPLY ‘Building the future’ Show Garden, RHS Chelsea 2022. Image c/o Oliver Dixon

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Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Association resets its strategic plan for the next three years


s the Association celebrates its 50th anniversary, as well as reflecting on past achievements it looks forward to building on those successes in the future through setting a new strategy. The last business strategy was set out in 2016 and focused on supporting members to become industry leaders, promoting the industry in both public awareness and career choices, and inspiring everyone to achieve the highest standards. The new strategy has reset the vision, mission, values and strategic imperatives that will support the achievements over the next three years and act as a communication framework. I just want to take a moment to thank my fellow board members for their time and commitment in developing the new strategy along with those staff involved at Landscape House. Please see more about the new strategy on page 24.



Lobbying – Rebated Fuels

On your behalf, the Association has been lobbying government on the issues surrounding rebated fuels. On Monday 16 May I, along with Technical Officer, Owen Baker met with Craig Williams MP (Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer) regarding the recent

introduction of rule changes to the use of rebated fuels. Having briefed Craig Williams on the issues that the landscape industry now finds itself in with the removal of the use of red diesel, the Association highlighted the following areas for discussion:

(L-R) Owen Baker, Craig Williams and Wayne Grills

CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPORT • Our top priority is for the Government to recognise landscape construction and maintenance as a part of its definition of horticulture. Despite the integral role it plays in cultivating our green spaces, both private and public, landscaping is currently denied the advantages of being a part of its parent sector, horticulture. Changing this would give it appropriate support, such as access to rebated fuels. • Alternatively, providing a temporary exemption from the incoming restriction of rebated fuel use. If the Government cannot fit landscaping into the definition of horticulture, we call for landscaping to be exempt from incoming duties on rebated fuel. And instead, have a phased transition over 5 years, keeping our ability to use rebated fuel and particularly red diesel in the short-term. The industry fits within the parameters of those industries already reliant on red diesel, and its significant contribution to the UK economy should be acknowledged.

• Manufacturers of equipment must be incentivised to develop new, green technology. Consultation with manufacturers has revealed little development of new technologies, meaning operators will continue to use existing power sources - and pay higher fuel prices for at least five years from now.

The meeting was successful, and the Parliamentary Private Secretary understood what an important part our industry plays in creating and maintaining green spaces for the benefit of its economic, social, health and environmental contributions - but of course will be bound by government policy.

This was a great potential move forward for the Association and its members to be able to hold discussions at this level in government, and we will be meeting again soon to further explore the options available and will keep you up to date on the progress we make.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

I just wanted to update you on what was a fantastic Chelsea Flower Show

for the Association. First of all, I would like to congratulate all those Association members that won medals and were recognised for their extremely hard work and huge efforts in the build up to Chelsea.

We had a completely different design for our trade stand which was focussed more this year on the Association and the stunning landscapes that you, our members design, build and maintain. This really captured the public eye and many of our members commented on the professional look also. What was most impressive from an Association perspective was that whilst manning our stand, I noticed a real sea change in the type of enquiries we were getting. For the first time in my 11 years, I was seeing and hearing members of the general public understanding the value of their green space and what was even better, they were also understanding of the need to use an Accredited professional to undertake the work. This is fantastic news as it means that the message is getting through and if the pandemic has helped with that, then there is some further good to have come out of COVID-19.

Membership renewal

We have received a great response to membership renewal this year. I would like to thank you for your continued commitment and support for your Association and would remind you to make the most of your membership benefits. Check out the member benefits article on page 41 to find out what you may not be taking advantage of.

Case study; One of our members reported that they had made use of the BALI HR and H&S service and as a result, had managed to cease contracting with an HR Consultant saving £24K a year which went straight to their bottom line! Make sure you are not paying for things twice over or missing out on the benefits on offer through your membership.


I am sure you will remember that the Association rebranded and as a result of which and due to COVID/ Brexit we extended the period of time for members to look to renew the branding on your vehicles, websites, clothing, paperwork and e-mails etc.

The December 2022 deadline is fast approaching, and I would request that you ensure you are using the most up to date branding to help with the consistent messaging and to ensure that clients understand who the British Association of Landscape Industries is and what your Accredited Member status stands for. Best wishes.

Wayne Grills Chief Executive




Obituary Neil Huck 1954-2022


here was a palpable sense of shock at Landscape House when news reached us on Wednesday, 11 May, that our friend, Association colleague, and industry stalwart Neil Huck had passed away in the early hours at the age of 68. How could we lose someone whose name was synonymous with BALI, and whose influence on the Association and the UK landscape industry is beyond measure, at such a comparatively young age?

This quiet, unfailingly goodhumoured, man worked tirelessly for many years in and around the landscape industry and contributed enormously to the Association during his 18-year tenure on the BALI board, including as chairman from 20042006. He was highly respected and deeply valued and gave so much of his time, knowledge and passion to the Association and to individual BALI members. And all this whilst fulfilling his role at Ground Control, first as Senior Contracts Manager and, from 2010, as their National Group Training Manager, a role that saw Neil travelling the length and breadth of the country. Neil had always had a passion for training and development and made it his life’s work to ensure that people in our industry were as safe

as they could be, not only through his own training delivery but through the myriad of industry groups and committees on which he sat on behalf of the Association, and the wider industry. As BALI Technical Director, Neil drove forward a raft of groundbreaking initiatives, including the Register of Land-based Operations (ROLO) training scheme and the National Highways Sector Scheme 18, leading to the development of the LISS/CSCS industry skills card. In short, there was very little related to industry training and standards that Neil wasn’t involved with. For more than 10 years he also served as a board member of the European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA) and was Vice President until 2021, when he finally stepped down. ELCA has collaborated with BALI across many projects over the years and has jointly lobbied the European parliament on several issues affecting our industry; Neil was instrumental in this vital lobbying work. He was a member of the Nonnative Invasive Species Stakeholder Group with Defra and also heavily involved in the EU’s End Waste Strategy on Green Waste. Qualifying with the RBG Kew Certificate in Horticulture in 1981,

In memory of Alistaire Gilchrist


t was with sadness that we learned of the passing of Alistaire Gilchrist, founder member of the Association, on Tuesday 1 March 2022.

Alistaire, beloved husband of Doris, loving Dad to Linda, Alan and Ian, a much-loved grandfather, brother and father-in-law.



Alistaire, a qualified civil engineer (FICE) was a Chief Civil Engineer for the Scottish Industrial Estates Corporation. When the Scottish Development Agency came into being in 1976 Alistaire was appointed Head of the new Environment Division. During his tenure he became closely involved

Neil’s career before joining Ground Control included seven years as Grounds Manager for Center Parcs. After 21-years with Ground Control, Neil left to set up as an independent training provider - Raintree Training Ltd - and became chair of the landscape, horticulture, arboriculture, and forestry Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group. At the 2019 National Landscape Awards, he was bestowed with Life Membership of the Association in recognition of his huge contribution to the industry. Wayne Grills, Chief Executive, said: “Neil was a much-loved and respected individual who worked tirelessly for many years to drive the landscape industry forward. He attended too many industry meetings to mention, on a vast array of subjects. He had an enormous knowledge base and was keen to share his experience and collaborate with others. He was a remarkable individual and a fellow Manchester United fan who will be deeply missed, and we will be forever grateful for Neil’s enormous contribution to the Association.” Neil was a proud father and grandfather, and we offer our very deepest condolences to his wife Wendy and to his family.

with the Association as many of the schemes carried out had a significant landscape element. Alistaire joined the adjudication panel for the National Landscape Awards in 1995.

Our deepest condolences go out to Alistaire’s family and friends at this difficult time.

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Best Show Garden built by Landscape Associates


Best Construction Show Garden built by Landform Consultants

Kate Gould’s ‘Out of the Shadows’

Perennial’s People’s Choice winning garden

Medal rush at RHS Chelsea for Association members


embers of the British Association of Landscape Industries’ have once again triumphed at the world’s greatest flower show winning an astonishing 14 medals and an array of Best Awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This year saw an exciting return for RHS Chelsea Flow Show to its usual May date, following a September 2021 show, during an iconic Queen’s Jubilee year. There have been 39 gardens at the show including 13

Show Gardens and 12 Sanctuary Gardens and BBC Studios Our Green Planet & RHS Bee Garden designed by Joe Swift’s Feature Garden (and built by Accredited Contractor, Landform Consultants). The Best Show Garden Award was bestowed on A Rewilding Britain Landscape, built by Accredited Contractor member Landscape Associates. The Best Construction Award (Show Garden) went to MEDITE SMARTPLY

Building the Future, built by Accredited Contractor Landform Consultants.

Best Sanctuary Garden and the Best Construction Award (Artisan/Sanctuary Garden) went to Out of the Shadows, designed and built by Kate Gould.

The People’s Choice Best Show Garden went to The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ designed by Richard Miers and built by Stewart Landscape Construction.

Our members’ medal-winning gardens are in full below:

Gold medals

Show Gardens MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future Built by Landform Consultants The RNLI Garden Built by Cultura Group

Morris & Co. Built by The Garden Builders

A Rewilding Britain Landscape Built by Landscape Associates

The Meta Garden: Growing the Future Built by The Landscaping Consultants

Sanctuary Gardens Out of the Shadows Designed and Built by Kate Gould MBALI A Garden Sanctuary by Hamptons Designed by Tony Woods MBALI Built by Garden Club London The Boodles Travel Garden Built by The Garden Builders

Silver-gilt medals

Show Gardens Hands Off Mangrove by Grow2Know Built by The Landscaping Consultants 10


Sanctuary Gardens Connected, by EXANTE Built by Nicholsons

The Plantman’s Ice Garden Built by The Plantman

Silver medals

Show Gardens The Perennial Garden ‘With Love’ Built by Stewart Landscape Construction Container Gardens A Mediterranean Reflection Built by Landform Consultants

Training Provider Sparsholt College received a Silver-gilt medal in the Floral Awards in the Great Pavilion for their Home from Home show garden. A huge congratulations goes to all Association members involved in this iconic show, and for once again consistently showcasing the best of the landscaping industry.

Read more about the RHS Chelsea gardens at

New-look stand unveiled at RHS Chelsea


he Association revealed a new eye catching stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, designed especially to help raise awareness to the importance of using Accredited professionals, to promote how the public can find an Association member near them, to highlight the work of our members, promote career opportunities available with GoLandscape and to aid with general queries. We were delighted with the level of interaction and enquiries and the notable increase in public awareness towards the importance of using Accredited landscape professionals.

The Association team will next head to RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and RHS Tatton this July.


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Support the largest landscaping awards in Europe


his year’s National Landscape Awards are in full swing with first deadline entries for Accredited Contractor, Group and Designer members having closed on the 1 June and final deadline entries for the International, Supplier Exceptional Service and Employer Excellence categories having closed on the 6 July. This year’s submissions are now with their allocated judges who will be performing their site visits throughout July and August, as well as reviewing desktop submissions all in time for their deliberation meeting at the end of August. The panel will present their findings to each other and Chairman of the Judging Panel, John Melmoe. Also in attendance at the three-day meeting will be Chief Executive, Wayne Grills and Events Project Manager, Emily Feeney. Each entry is presented, discussed and scrutinised to ensure consensus of the panel.

Winners will be announced at the start of September where promotion of winners and sponsors will be taking place through multiple industry publications, social media and via winners themselves. This is



why there is no better time to support the Awards through the many sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsoring the largest landscaping Awards in Europe, which welcomes over 1,000 guests annually, promises to elevate your business with brand awareness and generating new business. It reinforces client confidence in your brand, builds trust, significantly expands your reach and positions your company as an integral part of the landscaping industry – don’t just take our word for it. “The National Landscape Awards are a magnificent showcase for the landscape industry, showcasing projects that the industry can be proud of. Johnsons of Whixley are proud to sponsor the Awards for over 20 years and support BALI in its endeavours to promote professional landscapers and landscape suppliers, in what is an environmentally driven industry.” Johnsons of Whixley – Accredited Supplier member and Sponsor of the National Landscape Awards.

Limited sponsorship opportunities remain available, for further details contact Diane McCulloch via telephone on +44(0)24 7518 5614 or via email at For general enquiries contact Emily Feeney via telephone on +44(0)24 7518 5613 or via email at

Emily Feeney, Events Project Manager

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A great turnout for Choose It. Move It. Plant It

Regional events in full swing


egional events are officially back with a bang and busier than ever. The return of important events such as RHS Chelsea and of course the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, that many enjoyed in outdoor spaces across the country, has ignited a renewed passion for coming together again. And our Regional Comittees of professionals have gone above and beyond to provide a range of opportunities for all members to enjoy. Our industry has arguably never been busier than in recent times, and therefore our members and their skills are in high demand. Our dedicated Regional Committees have responded by tailoring regional events and networking to meet the soaring demands of professionals in need of advice, CPD to expand their skills and chances to make new connections within the Association.

Recent examples have included a live presentation and Q&A with the HMRC on the changes of use to red diesel; ‘Cut through

Regional events offer a fantastic opportunity to network



the noise – get great clients’ webinar, Plant Passporting advice from APHA, ‘How to Improve your Environmental Impact’ webinar, the hugely successful Choose it. Move it. Plant it. South West event and a private tour of the AELTC, Wimbledon and more.

Green-tech and ICL kindly hosted an exclusive tour of Wimbledon

We look forward to sharing further details regarding exclusive, behind the scenes tours of exciting projects and venues across the country, evening dinners with inspirational speakers and creative networking and lunch events.

Our Mental Health First Aid initiative has continued to help members to make their businesses safer and more supportive places. Some members have already reported that their new accreditation has positively impacted their team and improved staff retention, where vulnerable team members may have previously been lost from the business.

We are continuing to offer the Mental Health First Aid courses to Association members at a 50% discount, with dates available throughout the year. Go to now to secure your place.

Feedback from previous participants

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Civils & Green Urbanisation

Limited sponsorship opportunities remain available For further details contact Diane McCulloch via telephone at +44(0)24 7518 5613 or via email at

For general enquiries, contact Emily Feeney via telephone at +44(0)24 7518 5613 or via email at | BALI_Awards | baliawards


Green-tech launch Landscape Spotlight Competition

Deadline to update use of branding

31 DECEMBER 2022


embers are being reminded that the deadline of 31 December 2022 is approaching to update any use of the previous BALI branding to the refreshed identity. In 2021 the Association undertook an extensive rebrand, unveiling a fresh new look as we headed into our 50th anniversary year, marking a brand-new chapter in the British Association of Landscape Industries’ history.

Spearheading the brand refresh was a bold, new and contemporary identity, alongside an update to terminology more accurately reflecting the process businesses go through to obtain accreditation. The previous ‘Registered’ name for companies who have passed the stringent vetting processes became ‘Accredited’, e.g. Accredited Contractor, Accredited Designer, Accredited Training Provider etc. The ‘Affiliate’ category

changed to ‘Supplier’, as it is a word that better describes that category of membership.

The refresh also brought changes to the way the Association communicates its identity. The acronym ‘BALI’ was dropped, except where relevant in brand names like the BALI Chalk Fund and BALI-NCF. As ‘BALI’ is often confused with non-industry terms, the Association’s new identity advertises a greater public-friendly position, simplified so it only displays the full company name that better describes the service offer. Members can login to their member’s area to download the Accredited logo and brand guidelines (if your membership category permits), order vehicle stickers, download Use the Professionals leaflets and access your membership benefits portfolio. Visit


ccredited Supplier Green-tech are asking to see your projects and are offering you the chance to get your latest landscape project in the spotlight.

Between now and 31 August 2022 tweet or post a picture of your latest landscape project tagging @Green-tech or email photos to and you will be entered into a competition to win the Green-tech Landscape Project Of The Month. All entries will be judged by the Greentech team and a project will be selected each month. The winning project will receive a Champagne Gift Set.

In addition, an overall ‘Grand’ winner will be chosen when the competition closes and will win two VIP tickets to the prestigious National Landscape Awards hosted on Friday 2 December 2022, along with an overnight stay in London.

Sales Director Richard Gill commented: “Green-tech is the headline sponsor of the National Landscape Awards, and we are delighted to be providing two free tickets to join us and our guests at this prestigious event. Tickets are always in high demand and the opportunity to join the Greentech tables is rare; so, this, along with an overnight stay in London, is an amazing prize. There are many fabulous landscape projects going on and we’re looking forward to shining the spotlight on a few of them.” Visit for more.

Old ‘Registered’ branding



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ashel Palace sits amidst the green hills and landscapes of Tipperary and is steeped in a rich back story dating back to the 1730s. The historic Hotel, its buildings and landscapes have been meticulously restored by Mulcahy Construction after it closed in 2015. Reopened in March 2022, its interior details have been upgraded and redesigned with a nod to its original splendour and the exterior rooftops have been transformed from a grey barren expanse to rich green swathes, courtesy of its classified EverRoof® artificial green roof system installation.

Prestigious Irish hotel gains vibrant green EverRoof® treatment

Atop the six manor buildings of the Hotel and alongside the three-acre gardens and spa, the EverRoof team set to installing over 10002 metres of their EVR1 artificial green roof system. Taking seven of the team six days to complete, deliveries and works were scheduled carefully to fit in with the broader construction programmes. From the earliest site visits to

Hy-Tex UK’s Grassmat™ Supreme supplied to Folkestone Coastal Park


ccredited Supplier Hy-Tex UK are delighted to reveal that they recently supplied over 1,000m² of GrassMat™ Supreme to Folkestone and Hythe district council. The in demand pre-seeded erosion control blanket - which is exclusively supplied by Hy-Tex - is a biodegradable textile, pre-sown with seed and fertilizer. The environmentally friendly grass matting provides an easy method for effective vegetation restoration and erosion control on a wide variety of landscapes from lawns to steep slopes.

Folkestone and Hythe district council, the local authority close to where

Hy-Tex’s offices are based, were eager to restore an eroded bank area located at the Lower Leas Coastal Park in Folkestone. The bank in question is situated directly underneath the renowned Leas Cliff Hall, one of Kent’s premier entertainment venues.

The weather-beaten slope was in serious need of restoration after years of neglect in an area that was prone to vandalism. The local council reached out to Hy-Tex for assistance and found that their GrassMat™ Supreme product was the ideal solution. The council discovered that the organic grass matting was quick and easy to install, with the establishment of vegetation

inspect and prepare an installation plan to the final completion, Frankie Nolan, Project Manager at Mulcahy Construction, praised EverRoof’s detailed considerations of timings, weather conditions and access: “Working with EverRoof has been A1 from the offset. We had a clear vision of installation dates – weather allowing – and there was clear communication.”

Andy Driver, Sales and Marketing Director, EverRoof added: “It was a pleasure to be involved in this expansive project, which demonstrates how EverRoof can transform roof spaces - a breath-taking result with that stunning backdrop of Tipperary.” Find out more about EverRoof, part of Accredited Supplier Evergreens UK Group at

evident in the project’s timeline from start to completion. This has in turn created and transformed a previously unwelcoming tired looking area into a visibly pleasing stunning green space, much to the local council’s delight after multiple reports of positive feedback from members of the public. Folkestone & Hythe district council opted for a custom conservation seed mix, ideal for coastal habitats, that contained 26 UK native wildflowers and nine grasses. The high-quality seeds and granulated fertilizers hugely improve plant growth and are precisely proportioned and scattered to provide uniform germination.

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Introducing Azpects


ccredited Supplier Azpects specialise in developing and manufacturing products to create and maintain outdoor hard landscaping. Their mission is to deliver products that make typical construction and care challenges easy and less frequent.

Their comprehensive range includes products to help establish surfaces – including patios, paths and driveways - and products to help clean and protect surfaces including paving, decking and ornaments.

Azpects began in 2009 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. Their two founding directors discovered an innovative product which they knew could benefit landscape professionals across Britain. They launched EASYJoint in January 2010, and it has fast become the UK’s leading product for joining patios, paths and paving. Now celebrating their tenth anniversary, the Azpects range has grown to include over 40 products aimed at both

The Azpects team employs extensive skills developed within the chemicals industry to formulate solutions which solve customers’ challenges quickly and effectively, and they have developed unrivalled experience within the sector by listening to customers and answering their needs. Azpects remains a small, close-knit team focused entirely on the satisfaction and service of our loyal customer base. Already market leaders amongst professional landscapers and builders, 2018 saw the launch of our extensive new range of products aimed specifically at gardeners and consumers, now exported widely across Europe and the United States. In 2016 the first branch office in Texas was opened, with more distribution hubs planned in the USA and Canada. The R&D team continues to refine the existing range and seek new solutions to challenges met by landscapers and gardeners every day. Find out more at

LANDSCAPE returns to Birmingham this September


ANDSCAPE – the UK’s premier landscaping exhibition, looks to showcase the industry more than ever before by bringing more exhibitors, more visitors and even more features to Hall 3 at the NEC - National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on the 28 and 29 September 2022.

LANDSCAPE is thrilled to continue partnering with The British Association of Landscape Industries and welcome members along to this year’s event. LANDSCAPE hosts over 250 exhibitors with a vast collection of industry-leading products, services and innovations for the design, build and management of exterior and interior landscaping projects. LANDSCAPE 2022 is the trade event you will not want to miss, and the best part is - it’s all free! The LANDSCAPE Show is the chance of the year to network with professionals at the top of their game at the largest event the industry has ever seen. LANDSCAPE is proud to say that 86% of visitors are very likely to recommend and use an exhibitor for a future project, and the exhibitor list continues to go from strength to strength, year on year. The extensive exhibitor list ensures that when they say that there is “something for everyone”, they really do mean it. 20


This year alongside the highly anticipated CPD accredited seminar programme, LANDSCAPE will be introducing some brand-new features including a Student Showcase by London College of Garden Design, and an additional program of ‘How to’ Seminars for anyone in the industry to learn, be inspired and expand their skills. Back again at the central bar area, LANDSCAPE will be hosting the incredibly popular PechaKucha 20x20 and Meet the Designer programme. LANDSCAPE’s Women in the Industry Day was so well received in 2021 that it’s back with an additional Networking Morning running in conjunction with #YesSheCan. Also back this year is the highly anticipated design competition, which will be focused on Wildlife Friendly designs and supported by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust. Both the exhibition and all seminar sessions are free to attend. For more information or to register to attend the show, simply visit the registration page online. Expect the biggest names in landscaping to feature in the 2022 line-up and be sure to keep an eye on LANDSCAPE’s social media channels for the latest updates and be the first to hear about even more reasons why LANDSCAPE 2022 is the show you do not want to miss.

Further information can be found online at

Email: Phone: +44 (0)20 7821 8221 Twitter: @LandscapeEvent #LANDSCAPE2022 Instagram: #LANDSCAPE2022

Leading water feature and irrigation specialist wins Outdoor Building Services Company of the Year


ccredited Supplier Waterscapes are pleased to have been awarded Building and Construction Review’s Outdoor Building Services Company of the Year in what is their 20th anniversary year.

“We were both surprised and honoured to receive this award and appreciate the recognition for our efforts to improve the quality and standards within the landscape irrigation and water feature construction sectors,” stated Paul Jeffery, Managing Director. Waterscapes is a leading water feature and irrigation specialist with over 30 years combined experience producing and installing projects for corporate, municipal and private clients across the UK.

Over the past 12 months, Waterscapes has excelled in sales in comparison to forecast, Paul explained further: “Overall we were targeting a 10% increase in sales but to achieve double that was fantastic and could only be done with the dedicated people employed here at Waterscapes in both our engineering and office-based staff. Over the past 12 months we have been buoyant. Despite certain restrictions in place on construction sites relating to COVID-19 and some shortages in material supplies, we have had the busiest year since starting the business in 2002. We have managed to increase turnover by just under 20%, expanding all of our sectors, consultancy, irrigation and water feature installation and maintenance services. It was a bumper year and everyone in the

business worked so hard to achieve this incredible success.” A recent product release in the irrigation market is from Rain Bird. Waterscapes use various irrigation and water feature manufacturers, and the new product available from Rain Bird is the ESPLX-IVM which is the latest in irrigation technology and the latest product to be added to Waterscapes’ portfolio.

The Rain Bird ESP-LXIVM has a simple to use interface and advanced diagnostics making it the best irrigation controller on the market. Using 2-wire communication, it is designed for the largest and most demanding landscapes, such as communal landscapes, schools and sports fields, parks and public spaces, or large industrial and commercial sites and business parks.

Over the past two years, Waterscapes has reached out to expand its customer base which has led to a increase in turnover and required an increase to 34 members of staff. Its year-on-year strategic business structure echoes growth and sustainability allowing the company to keep a close eye on operating costs to improve efficiency where it can. With COVID-19 leaving such a devastating impact on the economy around the world, Paul described the effects it had on the company and the industry as a whole. “Both water features and irrigation as trades within the landscape sector, are considered finishing trades.

Generally, any economic impact felt by the construction industry can take up to three or four years to filter through, as we would be working on live projects of which construction may have commenced several years before. In some ways this delay from any economic impact helps a finishing trade because it gives time for the rest of the construction sector to settle and regroup, lessening the impact to those involved in the finishes. It also offers time for contractors to explore the market and add customers to also smooth any fluctuations that may occur.”

Going forward, Waterscapes’ short and long-term goals are similar to each other. The company will continue to steadily grow and build upon its reputable design and quality installation and maintenance services it offers. It will continue to invest in its current and future staff providing training for specialist work activities but also in areas such as environmental impact and mental health. In closing, Paul mentioned, “a skilled, happy and rewarded workforce is the key to any successful business.” For more information visit





Luxuria Landscapes


omestic garden maintenance and landscaping contractor, Luxuria Landscapes, introduce us to their business and share more about their projects in and around the South Thames region.

Can you tell us a bit about Luxuria Landscapes?

Luxuria Landscapes offer a variety of services such as regular garden maintenance, lawncare, garden lighting and fencing right through to large garden projects predominantly in Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire. Luxuria Landscapes is the sister company to Luxuria Property owned and managed by David Rudelhoff since 2015. With a desire to grow and expand, Luxuria Landscapes was created in June 2019 following the acquisition of local company TPMC.

How has the company evolved over time? What have been the main challenges and changes that you have overcome? Our biggest focus has been getting the right team members and leadership in place to create the strongest possible foundation. In the early stages we grew too quickly so decided to re-focus the



business and its priorities. Thankfully, we now find ourselves in a really strong position with a fantastic, well-rounded, experienced and passionate team.

What have been your highlights over the years?

The acquisition of TPMC and making that transition was a great success. It was a special time for us as a company as it marked the growth and evolution of Luxuria. Another highlight was a completed project from 2019, ‘Bishops Heath’. We worked in partnership with Accredited Contractor Greensport Trading T/A Inscapes on the scheme. That particular project went on to win a National Landscape Award for ‘Best Domestic Garden Construction over £250K’. At the time we weren’t yet members of the Association but being part of an award-winning project was the driving force behind us wanting to become an Accredited Contractor ourselves. We are also incredibly proud of our Orchard Court project which is why we have entered it for consideration into the 2022 National Landscape Awards.

What does the future hold for Luxuria?

Luxuria Property would love to work on larger projects particularly something commercial. Luxuria Landscapes is proud to have almost 60 clients whom we offer regular garden maintenance to. For our future vision we would really like to get more involved in large scale domestic landscaping.

How long have you been members of the Association? Our application was approved in April 2021.

What does it mean to you to be a member of the Association?

We are proud to be members of the British Association of Landscape Industries as the accreditation is not simple like many others. It is a true sign of quality and professionalism, the highest accreditation in Europe I believe. We have also attended two National Landscape Awards’ ceremonies at JW Marriott Grosvenor House as guests, and we would be honoured if we were to win an award for our work which we so rarely showcase. Find out more about Luxuria Landscapes at

Green-tech use soil conditioning technology for prestigious Manchester ring road planting scheme


project was commissioned by Manchester City Council, to improve the landscaping of Great Ancoats Street in Manchester. The main contractor was Colas and the Landscape Contractor, Plano Landscape Contractors. Product/services supplied: ArborRaft tree pit system, amenity tree soil, anchors, irrigation, tree pit design & cad plans.


Great Ancoats Street is one of the main arterial routes around the city centre and is a key part of the Manchester and Salford Inner Relief Route. Averaging 37,000 journeys most weekdays, it is an extremely busy road. The neighbouring areas of the Northern Quarter and New Islington have undergone major improvement in recent times and the area around Great Ancoats Street is a prime location for both residential and commercial development.

Manchester City Councils plan to landscape the area focused on making the route more attractive and ensuring the area is natural extension of the city centre. It included planting in excess of 70 trees and laying new pavements to line the route.

Green-tech involvement

Green-tech was asked to advise the best way to integrate tree pits into the project. One of the key considerations was the amount of lateral force that would be transmitted from the highway loads. The project had several challenges to overcome; the main one being the level of

lateral loading from traffic, which made the use of geo-cellular units impractical. Another was the extremely narrow width of some of the central reservations, and how to maximise the rooting volume. After debating various options, a plan of action was agreed that featured a combination of two solutions:

For the tree pits within pavement areas ArborRaft units act as an extremely rigid, geo-cellular sub-base replacement, supporting the paving above, as well as protecting the friable, organic topsoil below from compaction. Working on a raft principle, a key benefit of using the ArborRaft System is that no plastic extends into the actual tree pit rooting area, unlike traditional deep-pit crate systems.

Developed specifically for tree and shrub planting, TerraCottem Arbor comprises a mix of specialist hydro-absorbent polymers, growth precursors and volcanic rock. These dramatically improve water retention and microbiological activity, giving the trees a great nutritional boost during the allimportant establishment phase. The white hydro-absorbent polymers expand many times in size when saturated, holding onto the water, and releasing it back into the soil during dry spells. The polymers will carry on doing this for a minimum of eight years, well after the trees have become established. To save time and labour on site, Green-tech pre-mixed the TerraCottem Arbor with the Amenity Tree Soil ready for use. Green-tech’s Specifier department in conjunction with MJM, designed and produced CAD drawings for the tree pits, which once approved by COLAS and the engineers, went before Manchester City Council for final sign off.

Over a period of eight months, Green-tech delivered 1,300 tonnes of Amenity Tree Soil pre-mixed with TerraCottem Arbor, ArborRaft soil and subsoil, over 800m2 of ArborRaft units, 1.1kms of gtRootbarrier® 325, along with 70 tree anchors and Mona Link 24 irrigation reservoirs. Learn more at

For the narrow central reservations, a more structural soil was required; one that could stand up to the lateral loading from the heavy ring road traffic. Green-tree Amenity Tree Soil was selected for its ability to cope well with compaction; even when consolidated, it retains its open structure, allowing free movement of air, water, and nutrients throughout the soil. It is a blend of native washed sand, the primary function being structural, with a small amount of PAS100 organic green compost added to help with growth. However, this does result in quite a fast-draining soil, with only a small amount of organic content. To combat this, we used a supplementary soil conditioner, TerraCottem Arbor.




2022 – 2025

A new strategy for a bright future


s the Association celebrates its 50th anniversary, it’s a poignant time to reflect on past achievements and look forward to building on those successes in the future. The last business strategy was set out in 2016 and focused on supporting members to become industry leaders, promoting the industry in both public awareness and career choices, and inspiring everyone to achieve the highest standards.

The Association has fulfilled many of the ambitions set out in 2016. The National Landscape Awards have gone from strength to strength, highlighting the quality and creativity of our members. The ‘GoLandscape’ programme has begun to deliver results in developing future landscape professionals and business leaders. BALI has lobbied on behalf of members, raising awareness of the industry’s issues and challenges, most recently in relation to the use of red diesel. And membership has grown, now encompassing representatives of all aspects of the landscaping industry. The board wishes to thank every



individual, company and organisation that has supported BALI to make it the Association it is today.

But as we all know, time doesn’t stand still, and nor can we. Over the winter, the board of directors has been working on the strategy that will see the Association through the next three years. Chief Executive, Wayne Grills, led the process, starting with a review of our vision, mission and values. “These are the statements that underpin our business,” he said. “It’s important to make sure they reflect the organisation we are and the ambitions we have. A strong set of statements will keep us focused on the end game and help sense-check the decisions that affect our future.” For clarity, the board agreed up front to use the following definitions: • Our vision is our long-term ambition, what we want to become • Our mission is about what we do, who we serve and how we serve them

• Our values are the way we behave. Starting with the vision, the board recognised that whilst membership

is growing strongly, it is not the only association serving this industry, and many members belong to more than one association. It was generally agreed, however, that BALI has the most stringent accreditation process, the strongest reputation and a greater ability to provide opportunities for members. The board felt that in the long-term, BALI membership – and the accreditation that goes with it – can become a key business tool for everyone working in this industry. The new vision was created to reflect that ambition: To become the essential accreditation partner for all landscaping professionals.

This lofty ambition will only be achievable if the Association is truly valued by its members and the wider industry. The board set out the new mission to encompass everything BALI already does but brought into sharper focus so that it can be measured against in the future: We represent, support and accredit the landscape industry, providing training, professional advice and opportunity to members, and quality assurance to their clients.

Strategy 2022 – 2025 The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) was established in 1972 as the UK’s representative trade association and accreditation body for the landscaping industry, which is worth £29 billion annually. Our membership comprises interior and exterior landscapers, designers, grounds maintenance contractors, and companies supplying industry-related products and services. Membership of BALI requires a commitment to delivering professional excellence by continually raising standards across the industry.



To become the essential accreditation partner for all landscape professionals.

Support endeavour endeavour


Encourage innovation Encourage innovation

We represent, support and accredit the landscape industry, providing training, professional advice and opportunity to members, and quality assurance to their clients.

• We help people to identify identifyand andachieve achievetheir theirambitions ambitions • We invest investtime timeand andresources resourcesinindeveloping developingskills skills • We collaborate collaborateand andshare shareknowledge knowledgefor formutual mutualbenefit bene t ways ofof doing things in in every area ofof our business • We look lookfor forbeter better ways doing things every area our business behaviour • We nuture nurturecreative creativethinking thinkingand andentrepreneurial entrepreneurial behaviour encourageand andreward rewardnew newideas, ideas,wherever whereverthey theycome comefrom from • We encourage

Celebrate excellence Celebrate excellence

• We set and uphold high highstandards standardsfor forourselves ourselvesand andothers others expertiseto toadd addvalue value • We use our expertise rewardhigh highperformance performance • We recognise and reward

Demonstrate leadership Demonstrate leadership

• We anticipate anticipateand andreact reacttotothe theneeds needsofofothers others • We take a long-term view, working workingtoward towardaacommon commongoal goal • We promote ethical, ethical,environmental environmentaland andcommericial commercialsustainability sustainability

Strategic imperatives Lead the industry

Build the membership base

Be relevant to end-clients

Future proof the organisation LANDSCAPE NEWS SUMMER 2022


FEATURE (cont.)

Wayne Grills, Richard Stone, Paul Downer, Matt O’Conner and Richard Kay

Finally, the board reviewed the Association’s values to make sure they reflect these ambitions and are relevant to both colleagues and members. Wayne explains, “We want everybody that works with and for BALI to recognise these values and behaviours in their interactions with us. We developed them around four key themes and expanded each into a set of behaviours to help everyone represent the Association we aspire to be.”

Support endeavour

• We help people to identify and achieve their ambitions

• We invest time and resources in developing skills

• We collaborate and share knowledge for mutual benefit

Encourage innovation

• We look for better ways of doing things in every area of our business • We nurture creative thinking and entrepreneurial behaviour • We encourage and reward new ideas, wherever they come from

Celebrate excellence

• We set and uphold high standards for ourselves and others • We use our expertise to add value • We recognise and reward high performance



Demonstrate leadership • We anticipate and react to the needs of others

• We take a long-term view, working toward a common goal

• We promote ethical, environmental and commercial sustainability

The new vision, mission and values are the foundations of the new business strategy. Chair of the board, Richard Kay, explains their significance. “It’s easy to look back on the last 50 years and feel pleased with everything we have achieved, but there is still so much more to do. The new vision, mission and values demonstrate our ambition for the future and our commitment to building BALI into the leading trade association for our industry.”

The new strategy was developed by first considering the Association’s stakeholders, starting with the industry and the membership, but also considering those clients who rely on members for their landscaping needs and the colleagues in BALI who are tasked with delivering the strategy. The board focused on identifying an overarching goal for each stakeholder group, presented as a ‘strategic imperative’ that reflected the Association’s ambition.

The first imperative is to lead the industry. This Lead the means setting industry the standards that the whole industry aspires to and upholding those standards through regular accreditation. It means engaging with government on the issues that affect members’ businesses and livelihoods. It also means collaborating with other associations and organisations to help the industry overcome its challenges. Finally, the board discussed the difficulties of attracting new recruits and agreed to renew its focus on promoting landscaping as a career opportunity and addressing the known skills shortage through training and development. Richard Kay believes that industry leadership is a key role for the Association. “As the foremost trade association, it is our job to represent the whole industry, not just our members. If we can help improve quality, support new entrants, and make sure that landscaping businesses are not hindered by legislation, then we can make a big difference to everyone involved in this industry.”

GoLandscape continues to inspire the next generation of landscape professionals

The second strategic imperative is Build the membership to build the membership base base. Wayne Grills recognises that BALI would not exist without its members, saying, “We are grateful for the continued loyalty and support of so many landscaping professionals and businesses. A key part of the new strategy focuses on delivering the right experience to members so that we can continue to grow. That means tailoring our offer so that membership benefits are relevant for different types of businesses. We know, for example, that some smaller organisations really value the business support we offer, such as our HR advice service, whilst larger members tend to be more interested in other aspects, such as a lobbying voice.”

Be relevant to end-clients

The third strategic imperative is to be relevant to end-clients. The board felt that promoting the importance of using an accredited landscaping professional

would not only help members grow their businesses, but also establish BALI as an arbiter of quality. Richard Kay elaborates, “We want all BALI members to use their accreditation and for end-clients to seek out BALI accredited businesses when beginning landscaping projects. We are going to develop our online directory to make it a valuable resource for clients and provide new opportunities for members.”

The final strategic imperative is to future proof the organisation. The Association has changed a lot over the last few years and the board wanted to recognise and help meet the demands that are being made on the organisation. The strategy includes major investment in the key areas of policy, education and marketing, as well as in systems and processes to help the Association work more efficiently. Other elements of future proofing include culture development to reflect the new values and strategic plans for ethical, environmental and commercial sustainability. Wayne Grills is keen to start looking at succession planning too. He says, “One of our values is to

Future proof the organisation

support endeavour, and part of that is helping people to achieve their ambitions. By creating new management opportunities and a young board, BALI will be able to identify and develop talent, making the Association stronger for the future.”

The new strategy runs from 2022 – 2025 and will be implemented by a series of sub-groups, each concentrating on one strategic imperative. These groups are currently setting priorities for the coming year and working on delivering some of the immediate ‘quick wins’.

Richard Kay is keen to thank his fellow board members for their hard work in developing the new strategy. “As a board we are ambitious for BALI and committed to its success, but we must remember that every board member offers their time on a voluntary basis whilst also running their own businesses. This piece of work will set us up for future success and I hope very much that members will get behind the new strategy and the board as we implement the plan.” For more detail on the strategy, visit




The Garden Company Private Residence in Sarratt, Hertfordshire

50 magnificent years of landscaping distinction


his year the Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary and it seems a fitting time to look back and remind ourselves of how it all started, and the pioneering individuals who brought the British Association of Landscape Industries to fruition half a century ago.

Where it all began

It was in 1971 that a handful of luminaries decided that the burgeoning landscape and horticulture industry, with its existing small representative groups, deserved its own dedicated Trade Association. This would exist to raise standards of training and

Jeffrey Berhhard OBE of Bernhard’s of Rugby (Bernhard’s Nurseries)



workmanship across the industry, to support its members, and promote them to their potential customers.

Jeffrey Bernhard OBE of Bernhard’s of Rugby (Bernhard’s Nurseries), who was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the HTA’s Landscape Group at the time, headed up the steering committee for the new association. In 1972, with the support of other industry names including Geoffrey Chalk (Managing Director of Gavin Jones Nurseries at the time) and Les Bailey (then Director of Blakedown Nurseries), the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) was born.

The Association soon began to attract many other well-known landscaping companies as members. Jeffrey Bernhard became the Association’s first National Chairman, and the very first conference and AGM was held that same year at Merrist Wood College near Guildford, Surrey. Reflecting on the achievements of the past, Jeffrey Bernhard OBE commented: “It is with considerable satisfaction that I have witnessed the organisation I was privileged to Chair at

its very beginning develop into an authoritative voice of the landscape industry.”

Looking back over the years there have been a number of notable achievements of which the Association can be justly proud. It was thanks to BALI, following a suggestion and subsequent lobbying by Peter Jennins OBE, the Association’s National Chairman from 1978-1979, and his committee that the National Garden Festivals would eventually be given the go-ahead.

Taking place in Liverpool, Stokeon-Trent, Glasgow, Gateshead and Ebbw Vale between 1984 and 1992, these wonderful advertisements for landscaping and horticulture resulted in the much-needed regeneration of socially and economically derelict industrial areas across Britain. A recent parallel is BALI’s and its members’ major contribution to the planning, construction and subsequent maintenance, in collaboration with other key industry and professional bodies, of London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

GoLandscape has been inspiring the next generation Photo credit: Howy White

Graduate Gardeners Grand Award Winner 2021

PWP Landscape Design – Grand Award Winner 2020

Celebrating excellence

The National Landscape Awards were introduced shortly after the Association was established and developed over the years into the largest landscaping event of its kind in Europe. One of the original aims which remains true today, was to draw attention to the standards of professionalism achieved by members and, in so doing, raise standards across the wider industry. Winners over the years have received their awards from such names as Chris Beardshaw, Lord Sebastian Coe, David Domoney and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and the annual Awards ceremony now attracts c. 1,000 guests from amongst the great and the good of the landscape industry to London each December. Emily Feeney, Events Project Manager commented: “The National Landscape Awards provide the industry with a platform in which to showcase and improve their business and celebrate their achievements both within and outside of the industry. They are an important way to promote the best of

the best that the landscape industry has to offer and continue to go from strength to strength.”

the industry – go into schools, colleges and resettlement organisations, to promote careers in landscaping.

Developing the landscapers of tomorrow has been another cause for celebration over the years. Following its project management of the WorldSkills UK Landscape Skills Gardening Competition for many years, which provided a public platform for young landscapers to demonstrate their landscaping skills and compete against their peers from the UK. The Association continues to work with schools, colleges, career changes and the Armed Forces Resettlement Programme to promote landscaping as a career through its GoLandscape initiative.

Membership has grown from c. 230 in 1975 to c. 1,000 today and the disciplines represented among the membership have grown too. Moving forward into the business’ new three-year strategy continuing to build membership will be a top priority alongside leading the industry, continuing to be relevant to members’ clients and future-proofing the organisation.

Sowing the seeds for the next generation of landscapers

Officially launched in 2016 and supported by the BALI Chalk Fund, its dedicated website provides vital information and guidance for anyone wanting to take up a career in the landscape sector. GoLandscape Ambassadors – volunteers from across

What next for the Association?

Who knows what the world of landscaping will look like when the Association celebrates its 60th anniversary but there is no doubt that the Association and its membership will be there, at the front, shaping and leading the industry as they have always done, by example. Read more about the Association’s new three-year strategy on page 24.




What next for landscape machinery?


uring the 2020 Budget the Government announced it was considering removing the entitlement to use rebated fuel from most sectors – including landscape maintenance and mowing machines – from April 2022 onwards, to incentivise the development and adoption of greener alternatives.

This statement represents a bitter pill to swallow for operators of dieselpowered equipment in the landscape industry, who are now required to run most machines on duty paid fuel whilst colleagues in the horticulture and agricultural sectors continue to benefit from the savings that use of rebated fuel provides.

For the Government to reach its objectives, it also needs to ensure that the tax system incentivises users of polluting fuels like diesel to improve the energy efficiency of their vehicles and machinery, invest in cleaner alternatives, or just use less fuel.

Easier said than done for the landscape industry.

A consultation document at the time advised:



For operators running ride-on mowers with diesel engines the only realistic option in terms of reducing environmental impact, adopting greener alternatives, and improving the energy efficiency of machinery - is currently to use less fuel.

The industry has invested in greener technology where possible; most landscape contractors make use of battery technology in hand-held landscape equipment such as blowers, hedge trimmers and brush cutters as well as running a fleet of hybrid and fully electric cars and vans for staff. Adoption of green technology for larger, ride-on equipment – the sort of equipment that uses an internal combustion engine – is a challenge for the industry; whilst a handful of manufacturers have released battery-powered pedestrian mowers, the industry has yet to see a batterypowered ride-on mower or tractor with the runtime to satisfy a busy landscape contractor.

While some manufacturers of construction equipment now offer a battery-powered option for small excavators and dump trucks, this technology is currently confined to equipment with relatively short duty-cycles. Ideal for digging graves in a cemetery, but not cutting hectares of long grass.

Research by the Association has revealed the landscape industry is caught in an awkward middle ground in terms of equipment development. Existing battery technology is not suited to the long duty cycle of ride-on mowers, while the relatively small size of the sector does not warrant the same level of technological investment the vehicle and large construction industry is benefitting from. The Association has contacted manufacturers regarding release of new, green technology, but have not been provided with a clear indication of when affordable, green technology will come to market. The Association also recently met with a manufacturer of construction equipment, who confirmed they were developing hydrogen engines for larger construction equipment only, with no indication of timeframes. In the absence of clear guidance from the Government or suppliers of equipment regarding introduction of greener alternatives, the Association contacted research institutions within the UK to investigate the likely timeframes associated with new, green technologies for the landscape industry.

Battery technology

Researchers believe the supply and use of battery technology such as that found in handheld landscape maintenance equipment will likely spread up to ride on machines over time. There are a couple of factors that back-up this theory: 1. There is currently huge demand at present for batteries as many automobile manufacturers develop new technology to fulfil the first wave of consumer demand for EV product. Battery factories take around three years to build and the supply chains longer, but many battery plants are being built all around the world with batteries

that will, over time, be suitable for applications such as larger landscape equipment.

Currently supply is limited, and prices are high for all, especially for those that do not have significant market leverage – such as the landscape industry. This situation will change over time as supply and demand settles. This period is likely to be at least 3-5 years from present day, when researchers expect more affordable supply of high-grade batteries to become available.

2. Battery chemistry and battery technology is improving at a significant rate. Researchers expect over time smaller machines are likely to adopt Lithium Iron Phospate (LFP) batteries. These are lower cost than the technology currently going into mid/high end cars and offer greater cycling capability – ideal for landscape applications. As the technology develops it will provide better performance and lower cost to equipment manufacturers.

Industry moving forward

All avenues explored by the Association suggest alternatives to traditional internal combustion engines in landscape equipment are at least 5 years off, meaning operators are at the mercy of fuel prices for the foreseeable future. In light of the burden placed on the landscape industry by the transition to duty pad fuel from April 2022, the Association met with government during May 2022 to highlight the plight of the sector once more. The Government were receptive to the Associations concerns and invited them to submit a suite of evidence in relation to this.

While the Government made no commitment in relation to future rebated fuel use by the landscape industry, armed with research carried out internally and data submitted by members, the Association will continue to look for a temporary solution that reflects the important role the industry plays in relation to maintenance of green spaces.

Hydrogen technology

Researchers believe hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen combustion will be developed for heavy duty applications, but that this is unlikely to be commercially available until late 2020s/early 2030s. Researchers warn this technology may never be economically viable for smaller equipment due to high costs, but this may change in the future.

Owen Baker – Technical Officer (Policy & Research)




Working together to reduce industry accidents


he Association’s National Contractor’s Forum (NCF) is a specialist group set up to lobby on important issues and address key challenges within the land-based sector. In this issue of Landscape News we take a closer look at the huge strides that they have been taken to help make the industry safer.

What is the National Contractor’s Forum (NCF)?

The forum was established with the aim of furnishing members and their employees with knowledge and training, which would result in fewer injuries and accidents.

Its constituents are drawn from different sectors of the industry, creating a formalised group of influence. It provides the landscape management, maintenance and construction sectors with a structure through which they can communicate across and beyond the industry. Within this remit the forum aims to:

• Develop training materials based on insight gained from the forum • Provide training courses to address specific areas of accidents and near misses

• Work with manufacturers to develop safer products

• Use benchmarks to compare landscape construction and maintenance with other industries

• Share knowledge with the wider landscape and horticulture industries

Using data to drive positive change

Accident and near-miss data shared by members of the forum with the Association has enabled BALI to analyse and identify trends in accidents and near misses within the industry.

Thanks to the contributions of forum members, the data submitted has been of sufficient number and quality to allow detailed analysis. Over 12,000 near-miss and 1,000 injury records have revealed trends in accidents and near misses which have already been used by the forum to develop training initiatives. Of the accident data submitted, most are minor injuries, although more serious RIDDOR incidents are also logged. Data collected by the forum during 2017 and 2018 revealed that, along with pedestrian mowers,

hedge trimmers and brush cutters were responsible for the highest number of accidents and nearmisses. Consequently, together with Accredited Supplier STIHL, courses were developed to educate staff on the correct way of transporting, operating and maintaining hedge trimmers and brush cutters. This training resulted in a 52% increase in examination score amongst course attendees, which the BALINCF hope will lead to a reduction in accident numbers reported by members. This will be monitored.

A slippery slope

The Association believes that there is considerable potential behind the analysis of accident and near-miss data. Initial analysis has revealed there are several common injury themes, which BALI would like to explore and raise awareness of.

(continued on page 34) 32


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Working together to reduce industry accidents (cont. from page 32)

Recently members of the forum have turned their attention to the hazards of working on slopes. The landscape industry is frequently challenged with maintenance activities that involve a gradient of some description. Maintenance of slopes cannot always be avoided or ‘designed out’ of operations; Association members maintain grass on a wide variety of sites, many of which require vegetation to be managed for the purpose of inspection, site security or amenity. Such sites include water reservoir embankments, underground defence installations as well as amenity slopes which form part of a park, housing estate or commercial development. One thing that unites all slopes is risk. The variable nature of slopes means the risk they pose to operatives working on them varies accord to factors including: • Weather

• Location in relation to other hazards (traffic, water course)



• Terrain

• Obstacles

• Surface

The considerations facing those who either manage safety or undertake work themselves on slopes are numerous and require careful planning. The consequences of not managing the risk are serious; there have been numerous fatalities and serious injuries that have arisen whilst operatives have been undertaking maintenance activities on vegetated slopes. The majority of serious or fatal accidents on slopes involve ride-on machinery. Incorrect operation has historically led to machinery overturning and injuring the operative or led to the operative coming into contact with moving parts. Whilst the most serious accidents are reported to the HSE, it is likely many more less serious injuries or near-misses occur without record – with only luck protecting operatives if similar circumstances occur in the future.

Although information required to safely undertake works on slopes is straight forward, it can be elusive.

Guidance on the Health and Safety Executive website is not industry specific, nor does it provide sufficient instruction on correct procedure for assessing risks and devising a suitable method statement.

Provision of industry-specific guidance is something the Health and Safety Forum wish to develop over the coming year and join other industries who have worked with the HSE to jointly develop guidance which helps reduce industry accidents.

Accident and near-miss data shared by members of the forum with the Association has enabled BALI to analyse and identify trends in accidents and near misses within the industry.

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4 ways telematics can optimise your mixed fleet

t can be challenging to stay ahead of the rapid advancement of technology, especially when you work in a sector like construction or plant hire. However cutting-edge telematic solutions like the one provided by Accredited Supplier ABAX will help you cut business costs while maximising profits – read on to see how.

1. Technology will do the work for you

Running a profitable construction company entails having the right equipment, materials and people together on the jobsite simultaneously, and the logistics to make that happen is time consuming.

A connected telematics solution gives you the insight needed for optimal planning by consolidating data from all fleet assets into one single interface, meaning you know the status of every single tool, equipment, vehicle and machine in real time.

Leverage your data so you can get: • Easy to run profitable projects • Cost savings – less fuel and no extra hardware • Maintenance control - less downtime for vehicles and machines • Asset tracking made easy to reduce loss and theft • Working hours verification and accurate timesheets or invoices • Overview of assets within a project • Machine data for a replacement strategy

and faster to get an overview of all company assets in one map. Now you can get easy access to daily updates on driver performance, asset location, maintenance, fuel use and idling on all company vehicles and machinery.

Brand neutral platforms like the ABAX Smart Connect can be used as an add-on to the in-depth OEM data. Most operators and fleet managers will benefit by using both a brand neutral platform, for example, ABAX Smart Connect, which is ideal for a quick daily overview and user friendly reports, while machine administrators can still log into their OEM platform to gain deeper insight like error codes and diagnostics for repairs.

3. Asset tracking side by side with your fleet

There are other types of assets that aren’t technically part of a fleet, but are no less crucial to projects like excavator buckets, power tools, generators and pumps. If assets like that are left behind at a site or get misplaced, it will delay your project. Fortunately, fleet managers can track these assets in the same platform as the main fleet. Depending on the size of the asset, there are multiple solutions available such as long term

battery devices and Bluetooth tags that can fit your need.

4. Data will help you keep the engines running

Scheduled reports will allow you to shift from reactive fixes to proactive maintenance. The data pulled from your mixed fleet will give you a great insight to plan for upcoming maintenance and repairs, which creates a competitive advantage by keeping your largest investments fully operational. Higher availability of equipment through optimised servicing, as well as a more efficient use of the machinery, helps your operation become more productive and profitable on every project.

ABAX telematics units are selfinstallable, provide HMRC compliant data and offer live-tracking solutions, all allowing you to access actionable location and usage data on all your assets – and via one easy-to-use interface. Mixed, large and small fleets can all be tracked in an efficient and cost-effective manner, whilst also provide vital reporting data on demand. If you’re looking for your fleet to make financial and productivity savings, then ABAX could be the solution for you. Go to or call 01733 698888.

2. Collecting data into one unified view

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Go big or go home! ‘King of Chelsea’ Mark Gregory on Landform Consultants’ Best Construction win at RHS Chelsea

Photo credit: Oliver Dixon



Photo credit: Oliver Dixon

Mark Gregory, Landform Consultants


his Platinum Jubilee year saw the welcome return of RHS Chelsea Flower Show back to its traditional May date for the first time since the pandemic. Visitors flocked to the world’s most famous flower show with increased enthusiasm. They admired the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, transformed with stunning horticultural displays and gardens bursting with native plants and naturalistic designs and to see how the awarding of medals unfolded.

This year, the much-coveted Best Construction Award (Show Garden) went to MEDITE SMARTPLY Building the Future, built by Accredited Contractor Landform Consultants and designed by Sarah Eberle. This atmospheric edge-of-forest garden had a feature building at its heart constructed using MEDITE SMARTPLY sustainable and innovative wood-based panel products to illustrate the future of sustainable landscapes and buildings. It was inspired by natural vertical rock strata and topped with a green sloping roof. A waterfall cascaded over the building to a pool below. Olivia McCullough, Landscape News Editor, caught up with Mark Gregory, Managing Director of

Photo credit: Oliver Dixon

Landform Consultants to learn more about what the accolade meant to the affectionately known ‘King of Chelsea.’ OM: Firstly, huge congratulations on winning Best Construction at RHS Chelsea. Tell us a little bit about the MEDITE SMARTPLY garden and what made it so special?

MG: The scale of the garden wasn’t something that anyone had ever seen before, in terms of its size and form. It was a huge leap of faith for the entire team involved as none of us could be sure if it woud really work out. It was certainly very ambitious! OM: What were some of the key challenges that you faced with this project?

MG: Working at height and the timescales both presented challenges, but that’s what Chelsea is all about - pushing yourself and the team. Everything about this project was big - big ideas, big trees – but I don’t want a simple Chelsea, you either go big or you go home! In terms of challenges and scale, it’s right up there with the 2019 Welcome to Yorkshire Garden. OM: Can you tell me about how the project came about? Who approached who?

MG: Nadine Charlton, a friend of Sarah Eberle’s who used to be an

exhibitor building luxury children’s play houses introduced us to MEDITE SMARTPLY – and the conversation began about how we could present this new technology in a different way and showcase the sustainable material that has exceptional longevity. OM: How long is the entire process of putting a Show Garden like that together, from initial discussions to completion?

MG: It could be up to two years, so for next year I am committed to three gardens already including one of my own designs. Things really hot up from the end of August when you are procuring and sourcing all the way through until December. There’s a lull in January, then from March onwards everything steps up and it’s non-stop! OM: How did you feel when you heard the news that you had won Best Construction? What does winning an award like that mean to you and the team?

MG: Ironically, I wasn’t there! I was building a pop-up garden in another London location (at The Four Seasons Hotel) when I got the call. It was definitely a good day, and to then meet The Queen was a bonus. Really it was the perfect Chelsea!




Photo credit: Oliver Dixon Designer Sarah Eberle Photo credit: Oliver Dixon

Photo credit: Oliver Dixon

OM: What motivates you to keep coming back for more?

MG: It’s a strange way to make a living and it’s in our companies’ DNA. It’s the adrenaline and buzz that keeps you coming back, and not necessarily about the gold medal. Show Gardens are the perfect project really with a set beginning, middle and end. You just cannot run over.

These types of projects show our clients that we can deliver again and again, and are an amazing experience for our team members. Where else can you be exposed to the best of the industry like that? We’re competing against a standard and not each other and the camaraderie is amazing – you all have to work together. Contractors are the backbone of that show and being a part of Chelsea is inspiring, keeps me fresh, and allows us to benchmark ourselves – to deliver something world-class consistently. It’s such hard work but you wouldn’t do it unless you didn’t love it. I have it bad! In Great Britain we are worldclass at delivering flower shows. RHS Chelsea to me is the pinnacle of gardening excellence in the world. To be part of that is inspiring; it’s the catwalk of horticulture.



OM: How do Landform Consultants manage the juggling of building RHS Chelsea gardens with the day-to-day client projects? How do you utilise your in-house resource? MG: It’s always part of our plan, we organise meticulously, we allocate our squads and we prepare our business. Communication is without doubt key along the way. My role is to step in if there’s a wobble anywhere and free up clarity, to keep the contracts running and look at pinch points. I’ve learnt to not wade in and let the team problem solve, that’s maturity on my part and a coming of age. OM: In terms of the future, what do you think will be the key themes and trends that we will be seeing in the landscaping industry and in Show Gardens?

MG: Rewilding, nature, a lot more sustainable practices and sourcing of sustainable products. I think we will in the future need to show our carbon footprint, how you offset it, and also how you will relocate the Show Garden. I think we will see pre-build and modulisation of gardens to help with the relocating – that will be a game

changer. That’s the future right there. Minimise waste, minismise packaging and a focus on sustainability. OM: What is next for Mark Gregory and Landform Consultants?

MG: Building a pop up garden at Windsor, then two gardens at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, some time off in the summer and then a number of domestic garden projects in the pipeline. It’s a very busy time and I’m feeling really optimistic. We are also building up an emporium at our base in Chobham, Surrey where people can unite to look at demos, guest speakers, plants, sculpture and have a coffee surrounded by amazing and cool things. We keep pinching ourselves, does it get better than this? There have been so many incredible projects recently - RHS Hilltop, the Tower of London – which is like buiding a garden on the world stage for everybody to look at. How special is that?



A spotlight on marketing


s a member of the UK’s leading Trade Association for landscape professionals, you can access a range of carefully selected and hand-crafted benefits. From legal expertise to networking opportunities there are many ways to reap the rewards of your membership. From the 2021 Annual Members’ Satisfaction survey it was evident that marketing and promotion via the Association was a valued member benefit with 88% rating the Landscape News quarterly journal as good or excellent and 87% rating the Who’s Who Directory as good or excellent. In this issue of Landscape News we shine a spotlight on the marketing opportunities available to you and how to make the most of them.

Login to BALI members’ area

Each member organisation is able to login to the ‘MY BALI’ area of the website and access a range of useful tools, from order forms for branded vehicle stickers to document templates to videos of past webinars. The area is your digital go-to hub to support your every need. The members’ area is where you can also update your company profile details as shown on the website, add projects, testimonials and update copy for inclusion in the Who’s Who printed directory.

See your name in print in Landscape News

The Association’s quarterly journal is distributed both in print and digitally to members and subscribers. It is the perfect place to share news as well as read in-depth features and advertise your company, products and services. If you would like to share editorial for inclusion, please contact Editor Olivia McCullough at

Share news and special offers in the e-newsletter

If you have exciting news or special offers that you wish to share with fellow members, then be sure to send your content with a landscape image to Marketing & Communications Officer, Kiran Lehal by 5pm each Tuesday.

Who’s Who directory

The ‘Who’s Who’ directory is an annually printed guide that includes all Association members, the services that they offer, contact details and more. It is a fantastic tool to get your name out amongst the landscaping industry, so be sure to have your entry up to date.

Visit to see the latest events and webinars or contact Regional Support Officer Laura Doyle if you are interested in hosting a session. Missed a session? Don’t worry, recordings of webinars can be watched back by logging in to your members’ area at

Social Media

Association members design, construct, supply and maintain the most beautiful and quality landscaping projects around. We would love to share in your journey and showcase your work across our social channels. Be sure to tag us into your social posts so that we can celebrate together in the best that the landscape industry has to offer! Instagram: @balilandscapeuk Twitter: @BALI_Landscape

Find out more about all the benefits available at

Webinars and Events

Networking and CPD have regularly come highly on members’ wish-list of benefits that they would like to see, so we are delighted to be providing a full and varied schedule of events.



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Use Class 2 , 3 or 4 ?

INTERIOR and EXTERIOR environments are very different and so treated wood performance levels should reflect this.

Preservative treatment provides added durability. However, it’s a mistake to assume that all treated wood is the same. BS 8417 groups applications for treated wood into Use Classes: INTERIOR


Use Class 2

Use Class 3(u)

Above the ground or DPC, covered

Above the ground (uncoated)

Tiling battens, framing and roof timbers, internal joists, sole plates.

Deck boards, cladding (inc. battens) fence panels, rails and boards.

Use Class 4 Ground or fresh water contact (and exterior structural support)

Fence posts, retaining walls, playground equipment, deck posts, joists and beams.

To get the best from your timber, make sure it’s preservative pressure treated to the correct Use Class To find out more about wood preservation visit:

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resistant to biological organisms and will exhibit the minimum penetration and retention requirements set in BS8417 for a given end use and desired service life specification.

Timber Trade Federation members lead move to quality assured treated wood


s stability returns to the timber industry following the turbulent trading conditions of 2021 the need to quality assure preservative treated wood is again concentrating minds. That’s because members of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) decided in November 2020 to require independent verification of the impregnation process that produces the treated wood they supply and are now working to make this happen.

TTF members account for over 80% of all the wood placed on the UK market. Such a market share comes with responsibilities and taking the lead on treated wood is seen as essential to their customers buying timber that can be trusted.

The key to demand growth

Until now, UK timber traders have shown little appetite to adopt schemes that independently verify treated wood processes and products. Compare that with the USA, Canada and Scandinavia where third-party quality assurance schemes for treated wood have sustained demand for decades it is no small wonder that the members of the TTF now see quality assurance as the key element in the Federation’s Action Plan to build buyer trust and loyalty and grow demand for added value treated wood products. Other key elements of the TTF Action Plan include communication campaigns to highlight how treated wood should be specified and marketed to reflect its application, indoors or out as well as guidance on installation good practice. With these campaigns ongoing until 2023, TTF members are now increasingly focused on how they comply with their commitment to getting the treated wood they produce or source from others quality certificated by a recognised third party. For many wood treaters the route to treatment process compliance is the WPA BenchmarkTM quality scheme operated by the Wood Protection Association (WPA).

The WPA Benchmark QA Scheme has been operating successfully for over 10 years and includes wood treaters in the UK and overseas. Under this scheme, individual treatment plants and the products are certificated by a third-party verification audit as being compliant with national treatment standards. The early adopters of the scheme say that certification has dramatically improved customer satisfaction ratings and WPA reports a significant rise in applications to join the WPA Benchmark scheme from both TTF members as well as the companies that supply them. The journey to quality certification starts with understanding the principles on which the WPA Benchmark scheme is based and what’s involved in the compliance process.

The principle on which WPA Benchmark operates

The British Standard for preservative impregnated wood is BS 8417. Published as a Code of Practice this standard recommends the minimum preservative penetration and retention (‘R’ values) that must be achieved to ensure a wood product is treated correctly for its intended application to meet the 15, 30 or 60 years desired service life options set out in the standard.

Whilst BS8417 recommends the levels of preservative impregnation that must be achieved, it does not state how these critical ‘minimum requirements’ are to be achieved. In this respect, BS8417 points to the WPA Code of Practice: Industrial Wood Preservation for practical guidance. As such, the basic principle on which the WPA Benchmark QA Scheme operates is that wood treated consistently in accordance with the WPA Code of Practice is a durable material,

The wood treater being audited must be able to demonstrate that a consistent relationship – known as the ‘Safe Relationship’ – exists between the penetration and retention requirements and the more easily measurable parameters of the treatment process, such as preservative concentration and pressure cycle. They must also be able to demonstrate how these parameters are controlled consistently in all subsequent treatment activities.

Treater or treated product option

The WPA Benchmark scheme can be used as either an ‘Approved Products Scheme’ or an ‘Approved Treater Scheme.

Approved Products, or product groups are lines for which the production process has been subject to audit and for which the required penetration and retention of preservative is verified and backed by test results . The Scope of products approved will be recorded on a company’s WPA Benchmark accreditation certificate which can then be used in sales and marketing materials aimed at buyers. Approved Treaters are those companies operating a treatment plant or plants that have been subject to audit and shown capable of producing Approved Products under the terms of the Benchmark scheme. Not all treated materials produced by an Approved Treater will necessarily be Approved Products, depending on the scope of products submitted for audit and the commercial objectives of the treater. Detailed information about the WPA Benchmark and guidance on the thirdparty audit process and the evidence that has to be provided is available on request from the WPA.

Pressure treated wood supplied by a member of the TTF will soon come with third-party verification that it has been treated correctly for its end use particularly important that wood used outdoors is timber that can be trusted. Find out more at

The WPA Benchmark™ quality assurance scheme for preservative treated wood was designed specifically for wood and woodbased materials produced for the UK market. It operates on the basis of treaters achieving compliance with the WPA Code of Practice

for Wood Preservation which is the ‘go to’ reference recommended in the British Standard for treated wood - BS8417



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Getting back to your roots


William Innes-Taylor

GO Landscape building real careers

veryone has a story of how they came to join the landscape industry, be that as a school leaver, training at college or university, as an apprentice, a career changer or maybe a Youth Training Scheme. Inspiring people to join the industry so often starts with telling them the story of how you came in and your journey (so far), going on to describe what you love about it and what the future looks like. We hear from William Innes-Taylor, Contracts Manager with Oak View Landscapes about his journey and his long-standing history with the Association and as a GoLandscape Ambassador.

Why landscaping?

I got into landscaping at an early age as I enjoyed working with plants and improving gardens around my hometown in Lincolnshire. From there my interest grew, I looked for more challenging projects and finally decided after college to attend Writtle College to study horticulture. After looking at different avenues of horticulture while at Writtle, I discovered a passion for ‘proper’ landscaping. I then met with Oak View Landscapes and Paul Downer.

How did you hear about landscaping as a career?

I heard about commercial, high-end landscaping through BALI and my former



tutor Greg Allen. We were taught at university about what the Association stands for and the companies that work with it. So, a few others and I really wanted to focus on working for a company with BALI accreditation.

How did you start?

I started mowing gardens, from there I moved into landscaping gardens in my spare time. After studying horticulture then business studies at college and horticultural science at university, I realised I wanted to work in commercial landscaping. Very fortunately I knew what I wanted to do in life, and I enjoy my job and working in a highly professional company with likeminded, quality-driven colleagues.

What has your work history been so far?

So far, I worked for a maintenance company in my early to mid-teen years, then I set up and did my own landscaping work through college up to university. During university I won the BALI Chalk Fund award in my final year, then I became employed with Oak View Landscapes as their Assistant Manager, progressing to Contracts Manager. After a year or so I briefly moved home and started at Tim Wells Nurseries working as their Project Manager on high level schemes throughout the South West.

During my time there I was one of the 30 under 30 ProLandscaper award winners then just before 2019, I moved back to Oak View Landscapes as Contracts Manager overseeing many brilliant landscaping schemes with 33 external staff.

What’s the biggest benefit of being in the industry?

The people in the industry are incredible! There’s a superb bond between good landscapers; we are in a unique industry where everyone is extremely passionate about what they do. Everyone buys into all the work they do, and we are an incredibly caring and professional bunch. Starting in the industry at a young age and being quite inexperienced I must say I have never been made to feel unwelcome. I have always been welcomed and people are always wanting to share their knowledge.

What’s the biggest challenge of the industry?

Recruiting young people into the industry is by far the most significant issue we face; landscaping has never been actively sold as a viable career option. It certainly was not when I was at school. And it should, there is no

reason why it shouldn’t be. There is a good reason why many come into the industry as a second career later down the line. Therefore, the GoLandscape initiative is so valuable.

How important is training and education?

Education and training are vital, it drives employees and rightfully everyone deserves to be competently trained in what they want to do in life. It is important to motivate individuals by training them regularly, keeping the industry professional. You are never too young to train or start a new education. I do think landscaping, or some part of amenity horticulture should be more widely provided in schools and colleges.

What do you think the industry could do better?

Raising the worth of what we do as an industry is so important and gender diversification.

I think the value of what we do needs to be raised, understandably people do not really understand how much time, money and energy goes into landscaping design and installation. Once we have people widely understanding the value of what we

do the industry will become naturally better paid, attract younger and more experienced and driven individuals. Gender diversification is important too. Encouraging different genders to the construction side of landscaping is a challenge, but it is slowly increasing however we need to encourage this more.

What’s next?

Currently, I see my future with Oak View Landscapes. My personal aim is to win certain BALI and ProLandscaper awards over the next few years, and help the company achieve its goals. I also want to further develop within the Association. A lot to get on with, so bring it on! Find out more about GoLandscape and how to become an Ambassador at

Written by Stephen Ensell Education Officer (GoLandscape)




A look at what’s to come

Confirmed dates for industry shows and events July – December 2022. Correct at time of print. For the most up-to-date listings visit 16 – 17 July 20 – 24 July 19 – 21 August 5 – 6 September 6 – 11 September 15 September 23 – 25 September 28 – 29 September 3 – 4 October 2 – 3 November 15 - 16 November 3 December



Belvoir Castle Flower Show RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show Mental Health First Aid course

RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show

50th Anniversary Gala Dinner and AGM RHS Malvern Autumn Show LANDSCAPE Show

Mental Health First Aid course SALTEX 2022

FutureScape Expo 2022

National Landscape Awards

H La of ea Pro t nd h dl ud sc e B ine to ap A S b e A LI N po e w at nso ar io r ds na 20 l 22

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