Me & My Job: Nick Carter, environment and conservation director, Gardman

Nick Carter, environment and conservation director, Gardman. Image: Gardman
Nick Carter, environment and conservation director, Gardman. Image: Gardman

How did you get started? I trained as an applied zoologist at the University of Reading and the University of East Anglia then spent 17 years working on research of cereal aphids. I had always been a birdwatcher and in 1992 I got a job with the British Trust for Ornithology as development director, looking after membership, PR and income generation. As part of that, we started a relationship with Gardman in 1997 and two years ago I moved to Gardman to develop an environmental post looking at greening the company and training staff and garden centres about wildlife so they could answer customers' questions more easily. The post has expanded to look at environmental legislation and compliance.

What does your typical day involve? Very mixed. I might respond to questions about packaging waste, the batteries directive, REACH chemicals legislation, the restriction of hazardous substances, waste electrical and electronic equipment legislation and monitoring energy use.

What is the best part of your job? I like the environmental bits more than the legislation bits because trying to interpret legal documents is not always straightforward.

What piece of equipment can you not do without? A laptop.

How do you relax? I often go birdwatching in Lincolnshire and at the weekends I take my two sports fanatic boys to see Norwich City FC and to their sports fixtures.

What does the future hold? I'd like to develop the job and look at more of our products. We have thousands and it takes a long time to make sure they are sustainable. We've already been involved with the Forest Stewardship Council for longer than most companies and I'm keen to make sure that our products are green and involve natural products harvested sustainably. I'm looking for Gardman to be recognised as one of the leading firms in horticulture - and one of the greenest.


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