The event, which rewards and honours the teams behind the UK's outstanding parks, gardens, grounds and tree-care at a special awards ceremony in Woburn Abbey on 28 June, are now in their second year.
The awards provide a rare opportunity for parks, gardens, grounds and tree management professionals to showcase achievements, innovation and developments to stakeholders and visitors alike — and reward teams for their work throughout the year.
They can be used as a powerful tool to support objectives, whether through raising the profile of a key project or simply encouraging success.
There are awards for places, people, partnerships and initiatives, so there is plenty of scope for entries to highlight the UK’s best teams, projects and innovations.
New categories include Best Heritage Park, Best Neighbourhood Park, Best Grounds and awards for Best Gardens or Arboretum (one-to-five and six-plus staff) added.
The Landscape Institute, Professional Gardeners Guild and Chartered Institute of Horticulture have all thrown their weight behind the awards.
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 PGG chairman Tony Arnold said launching an awards scheme for gardens, grounds, parks and tree care professionals was long overdue.
"Winning an award is hugely motivating for the team that wins. They are motivated by the fact that they are recognised and they have been appreciated by other people from that sector. The judging panel were all senior gardeners or horticulturalists from the industry, they are your peers, and it’s an appreciation so it’s highly motivating.
"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 charity partner for this year's awards.
Entries will be judged by a panel of independent specialists drawn from across the parks, gardens, grounds and tree management sectors, ensuring that the highest standards are met.
The winners will be announced at a special awards presentation and reception on 28 June at Woburn Abbey, hosted by Horticulture Week.
A special awards report detailing all the winners’ projects and finalists will be published in print and online at www.HorticultureWeek.co.uk reaching an audience of more than 80,000 visitors per month. Winning projects will also be promoted via HW's social media outlets — including among HW's 29,000 Twitter followers.
For questions about the entry process and for advice on which categories are most appropriate to you, or putting your entry together, email Sarah Cosgrove at firstname.lastname@example.org
HW will be co-hosting the Parks and Gardens Live at Woburn on the 28th June, curated by HW technical editor Sally Drury. The day will feature kit tests, workshops, masterclasses and more. HW editor Kate Lowe explains more here.
For information on exhibiting at the event or sponsorship enquiries for the Custodian Awards, please contact Róisín Kennedy on 020 8267 4953 or email email@example.com.