CIH president Dr Owen Doyle said the CIH, which was granted a royal charter in 2014 after a century in operation, was delighted to support the awards and have the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of parks, gardens, grounds and tree management professionals.
"Their activities are essential to preserving and enhancing facilities that have a direct effect on the health and well-being of all those who visit and experience the healthy, restorative and beautiful environments that these professional horticulturists create," he said.
"Caring for and cultivating such landscapes provides the "lungs" for our cities, towns and villages to breathe, the space for physical activities and settings to helps us connect with nature."
Doyle’s comments echo those expressed by the leaders of the Custodian Awards' supporters, the Landscape Institute and Professional Gardeners' Guild.
Landscape Institute president Merrick Denton-Thompson said: "The people who are managing our parks and open spaces are great unsung heroes and they very rarely get any recognition for the outstanding work they do in providing a vital resource that secures the health and safety of our communities."
While Professional Gardeners’ Guild chairman Tony Arnold said the awards valued the importance of our green space custodians and was hugely motivating for the teams that win.
"The people at the Custodian Awards last year were absolutely thrilled to bits, they all said what a great thing it was to have."
Industry charity Perennial is the charity parnter for this year's awards. Senior development manager Laura Garnett described the awards as "really inclusive" and last year’s event at Chelsea Physic Garden, London, was "a great day". She added: "I think this is an industry of problem solvers, creative people who want to create great spaces. The awards are where you get inspiration as well. Everyone came away with something."
The Chartered Institute of Horticulture represents those professionally engaged in horticulture in the UK and Ireland. Its membership comprises those that are involved in amenity horticulture, parks, landscaping, botanic/heritage gardens, and the full range of horticulture within leisure industries as well as those producing, managing, growing and marketing all edible and decorative horticultural crops, allied research, education and consultancy.
The institute gives recognition of status within the horticultural industry and the means to meet and network with professionals in all spheres of horticulture. It also provides the opportunity to make an effective contribution to the future of horticulture as well as its importance as a career.