Eddie Curry has mixed hands-on work with academic study, and gained an HND in horticulture, landscape and amenity provision management. He has moved up the ladder from commercial landscaping into local government and to the heights of head of parks and open spaces for Nottingham City Council.
Much of his time is spent in back-to-back strategic meetings about the development of Nottingham’s green spaces. But, while he rarely gets to engage in horticulture, he gets an enormous amount of satisfaction from developing strategies and seeing positive outcomes of their delivery.
In the same position at Preston City Council he oversaw a multi-million-pound investment programme, which he says really made a difference to people’s quality of life. In Nottingham we are just in the process of developing a strategy for the city. In two or three years we should see some real improvements and that’s a rewarding prospect.
Curry says his career has been shaped not only by the education he received but also the contacts he made while studying. He says: The people I met while in education were fundamental to my career plan, and that shifted from commercial landscaping into local government grounds maintenance.
The decision was mainly formulated around the work I did on my dissertation. Equally, the desire to serve the public and work as part of the local government sector was a strong drive. The opportunity to improve open spaces for the public is a strong a draw for me.
For people wanting to get into the industry, Curry advises taking a course that explores the wide-ranging industry before specialising. We need specialists but newcomers should get a broad a view of the working spectrum.