Lobbying, skills and battery power

Welcome to the latest online edition of Horticulture Week, which is packed with knowledge, data, business tips and practical advice.

With election fever well and truly in the air, we kick off on with some great ideas for professionals keen to make the most of the lobbying opportunity - from using garden centres for meet-the-candidate sessions to challenging local candidates on their commitment to resolving the parks funding crisis.

Meanwhile, parks departments that have been successful in securing business sponsorship share how they have achieved their goals. Plus, with more local lobbying in mind, we look at how local authority tree teams can utilise new canopy data sets from to help them make the case for investment (p13).

A big theme in this issue is skills, kicking off with Neville Stein's thoughts on how horticulture operations can become learning organisations.

This is followed by our extensive report into horticulture careers, which asks what are the skills, attributes, knowledge and experience most in demand among today's employers for 16 specific job roles across the landscape creation, garden retail, production and landscape management sectors.

We ask real employers what qualifications and experience they would need to see from potential candidates to be convinced they possess the right qualities.

Finally our Product Pages this issue include a focus on the great interest in battery-powered tools driving new developments.

When our technical editor Sally Drury heard that the head gardener at the National Trust's Trengwainton Garden, Phil Griffiths, was keen to try out battery mowers, she turned up with 11.

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