Curated by Horticulture Week’s technical editor Sally Drury, Parks & Gardens Live offers parks and gardens practitioners the opportunity to learn about the latest products and kit specifically aimed at the sector through a product showcase and live kit demonstrations hosted by Drury, recipient of the prestigious President's Award from the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. Drury will also be leading a visitor tour of kit highlights at the show.
At the same time attendees will benefit from inspirational workshops led by leading figures in the field, expert advice on technical issues, skills, and careers via the Horticulture Week Advice Hub and head gardener-led tours of the Woburn Abbey gardens estate – all in one fantastic action-packed day, supported by the Professional Gardeners Guild and UK Lawn Care Association.
Kit demonstration highlights include a chance to see award-winning products in operation - such as the radio-controlled slope mower Spider ILD02 and the Ubiqutek Touch Pro professional hand-weeder which uses electricides to boil weeds.
Meanwhile workshop highlights include an inspirational presentation by Britain’s leading gardens consultant Alan Sargent who will explain to practitioners of all levels how to build a progressive career structure – whether for themselves as individuals, or for the members within their teams.
Said Sargent: "Gardening is a science without boundaries. I will be showing that the career of a gardener is also without boundaries - all you need is a passion to succeed and a willingness to allow your career path to lead you onwards and upwards.
With pesticide use heavily under the spotlight, John Moverley, chairman of the Amenity Forum, will provide an overview of current rules for their use in an amenity context with advice for practitioners on the do’s and don’ts, an update on integrated pest management and his thoughts on potential developments post-Brexit.
Exhibitor British Sugar Topsoil which supplies Woburn will bring three of its best-selling products to Parks & Gardens Live - HortLoam, Landscape 20 and Sports & Turf which will be on show for the first time at the event.
Said national topsoil manager Andy Spetch: "People will think it would be great to have a look and do two things: learn about the products and kit and also get a look round the garden and get some ideas."
Showcase exhibitor, Danarm Machinery, is also a proud supplier to Woburn. The company will be showing its LM5360HXA-pro wheeled pedestrian mower, a professional-use machine with a Honda engine. "They're used by contractors, local authorities, large parks and gardens and have a two-year commercial warranty," says managing director Karen Blanch.
"Our machines are the type that can be used by National Trust and English Heritage. They give a very good finish. Although they are robust machines they give a very good cut."
The Danarm TM3100 and TM3200 hedge trimmers will also be on display as will the firm's largest brushcutter, the VF500 - and lightweight models, the 27CC and 21CC.
Working with slopes
Czech firm Dvorak Machine Division which is bringing the Spider 2 (ILD02) remote-controlled slope mower says it can handle slopes of up to 55 degrees with its integrated winch. The 123cm-wide mower is operated using a console and is very manoeuvrable, says Spider UK rep Peter Driver - and can achieve a close cut around trees and other obstacles in the right hands.
Says Driver: "It’s a very clever piece of kit. If the operators are used to gaming they will be able to operate it very quickly. I really think people will be surprised."
At the show people can see it moving in its correct environment: "The spider mower is already used in prestigious places because of what it can do. It’s used in castles for mowing the sides of moats, for example. It can go very close to the water’s edge near a river, it can be sent in there without any fear of the operator falling in or getting injured."
Parks & Garden’s Live education partner is Capel Manor College which will be talking with visitors about its new apprenticeship courses developed to fit in with the apprenticeship levy which came into force this month. Foundation degrees for horticulture professionals wishing to extend their skills to a higher level will also be on the menu at a seminar to be given by the college’s David Boyer.
Also showcasing kit include Reesink Turfcare, UK distributor of Toro turf-care machinery which is bringing the popular Toro LT-F3000 triple-flail mower and Groundsmaster 360 Quad-Steer. The LT-F3000 cuts longer, wetter and coarser grass in one sweep, so is ideal for maintaining areas that are cut as little as four times per season.
The Groundsmaster 360 Quad-Steer meanwhile copes with a variety of mowing tasks and can travel extended distances between jobs.
Tracmaster will be bringing its BCS Hydrostatic Commander - a multipurpose pedestrian machine with hydrostatic drive - a flail mower and the CAMON LS42 lawn scarifier. NAP Brands meanwhile will be promoting Stanley Power and Hand Tools.
Head gardener-led tours
As well as learning from suppliers about the latest kit and consumables for professional gardening and parks staff - and from inspirational mentors in the sector, attendees will be able to:
- Access the very best advice on everything from sourcing kit to tackling recruitment issues via an Expert Advice Hub staffed throughout the day by Sally Drury and her team of experts.
- Compare and share experiences with the gardening team at Woburn Abbey during head gardener-led tours of the gardens and parklands.
- Draw inspiration from award-winning work highlighted in an exhibition featuring best practice from the parks and gardens sector
- Network with fellow professionals and leading figures from the UK’s parks and gardens world.