BALI Grand Award winner says 'detail is all'

Willerby boss attributes success to attention to detail as 850 guests hail winners of BALI National Landscape Awards.

Top prize: Willerby Landscapes - image: HW
Top prize: Willerby Landscapes - image: HW

Attention to detail and good forward planning have been key to winning five BALI Grand Awards, according to Willerby Landscapes contracts director John Melmoe.

Celebrating the fifth win, for its creation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's South Park Plaza, at the BALI National Landscape Awards in London, Melmoe said it is "a true accolade".

Explaining the secret of his company's success, he said: "It's attention to detail every time and pre-planning. If your pre-planning is good it just flows. The project was very technical with lots of civil engineering involved but when you have got the nuts and bolts everything comes together."

Client Phil Askew, project leader for parklands and public realm at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: "I'm absolutely delighted because it was a really challenging project, very fast-moving and of course we had some really demanding designers such as James Corner."

He added: "We were a really demanding client as well. We expected something that was going to be there for a long time."

The awards event, which was run in association with Horticulture Week and headline sponsor Rigby Taylor, was opened by BALI chief operations officer Wayne Grills, who said the benchmark of excellence shown in the award entries had been raised again this year.

But he warned that the landscape and horticulture sectors face "a skills shortage so severe that it threatens our members' medium and long-term viability". Grills called on all members to go out to schools and sell the landscape sector as a profession.

Addressing the 850 guests, HW editor Kate spoke of the need to "get landscape where it should be - at the forefront of today's place-making debate", while new BALI chairman Bob Field hailed the improvement in standards at each year's awards. The judging panel was led by Greg Allen.

For more details on the winners, including a digital edition of the awards supplement and downloadable PDF, see For pictures of the ceremony see p15 and for a selection of winning projects see p22.

Top landscape projects Principal and Special Award winners

- Grand Award (sponsor: Rigby Taylor) Willerby Landscapes for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, South Park Plaza, London E20.

- Design & Build (British Sugar Topsoil) Graduate Gardeners for private residence overlooking Stroud Valley, GL6.

- Best Newcomer (Wienerberger) Bluefish Landscaping & Equestrian Development.

- Domestic Garden Construction - cost under £30K (Cuprinol) Bartholomew Landscaping for private residence, London SW1V.

- Domestic Garden Construction - £30K-£60K (Marshalls) Water Gems (Alba) for private residence, Edinburgh EH4.

- Domestic Garden Construction - £60K-£100K (Johnsons of Whixley) Designscape for private residence, Stafford ST17.

- Domestic Garden Construction - £100K-£250K (Crowders Nurseries) J&S Scapes for walled garden.

- Domestic Garden Construction - over £250K (Europlants UK) Graduate Gardeners for private residence overlooking Stroud Valley, GL6.

- Soft Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - under £300K (Bourne Amenity) Elmtree Garden Contractors for Bristol Harbourside Building 4 and Millennium Promenade, BS1.

- Hard Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - under £300K (Willerby Landscapes) The Outdoor Room for Guys & St Thomas' Charity, Orchard Lisle Courtyard, London.

- Hard Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - £300K-£1.5m (Quinton Edwards) NT Killingley for Uppingham School science block, LE15.

- Hard Landscaping Construction (non-domestic) - over £1.5m (Sodexo) Willerby Landscapes for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, South Park Plaza, London E20.

- Design Excellence - under £50K (Nemetschek Vectorworks) Christine Whatley, Sylvan Studio for The Orchard House, Calne.

- BALI Registered Contractors & Registered Designers Joint Submission Davies White & Gerald Davies for Otter Nature Playground, Ferry Meadows Country Park, Peterborough PE2.

- Community & Schools Development (Brett Landscaping) Grace Landscapes for Kirkwood Hospice, Huddersfield WF14.

- Restoration & Regeneration Scheme (Topgreen) Ground Control for Burgess Park BMX track, London SE5.

- Grounds Maintenance Private - under £50K (Kubota) Creative Landscape Company for private residence in Oxfordshire.

- Grounds Maintenance Free Public Access (Q Lawns) Quadron Services for Southwark Park, London SE16.

- Grounds Maintenance Limited Public Access (Paynes Turf) Nurture Landscapes for Wellcome Trust Genome Campus.

- Sports Grounds & Leisure Facilities (Springbridge) MJ Abbott for London Irish RFC training facilities, Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16.

- Interior Landscape - installation only GP Plantscape for Skyscanner, Edinburgh EH3.

- Green Roof Installations & Roof Gardens (Quadron Services) Gavin Jones for Coca Cola headquarters, London W1G.

- International Award (CED) Beijing Tsinghua Tongheung Urban Planning & Design Institute for Huludao-Xingcheng Coastal Trail, Huludao, China.

- Best Innovation/Technology Used in a Landscape Scheme (Green-tech) Frosts Landscape Construction for Frosts Vertical Module.

- Affiliate Exceptional Service (Sureset) Harrod Horticultural.

- Employer of the Year (Andersplus) GP Plantscape.

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