The awards were launched in 2016 to highlight the contribution of parks, gardens and tree-care teams to horticulture and our vital green spaces - as well as to help professionals in the sector promote their work to their customers and stakeholders - and to reward the achievements of their teams.
All of us at Horticulture Week were hugely impressed with the quality of entries in our very first year. Now in year two, I am delighted to report that we have been overwhelmed once again with the response from the sector. We have received close to double the number of entries we received in our inaugural year and at the time of writing we are eagerly looking forward to what will be a very busy judging day in London.
Our judges for the awards this year include Sue Ireland, former director of open spaces for the City of London Corporation; Tony Arnold, chairman of the Professional Gardeners' Guild; Alan Sargent, Horticulture Week columnist and founder of the Professional Garden Consultants Association; Sally Drury, Horticulture Week technical editor; Dave Lofthouse, London Tree Officers Association executive member and arboriculture manager for the London Borough of Merton; and Ian Haynes, past winner and head of grounds and environmental services at Leighton-Linslade Town Council.
We look forward to announcing the names of all those who have made it onto the shortlist in due course and meeting with entrants at the Custodian Awards presentation at the fabulous Woburn Abbey & Gardens on 28 June.