Me & My Job - Matthew Hall, head gardener, Batsford Nursery

Matthew Hall, head gardener, Batsford Nursery - image: HW
Matthew Hall, head gardener, Batsford Nursery - image: HW

How did you get started in the industry?

I did part-time work after school at the age of about 12 at a local nursery. Slowly, the job developed, and so did my interests in plants and machinery and the love of working outside. When I left school I went to Pershore College to gain various qualifications.

What advice would you give to others starting out?

Get some qualifications and decide what part of the industry you want to be involved with - it helps to have something to back you up because sometimes experience is not enough.

What does your typical day involve?

No one day of the week is the same. In the spring and summer I could be weed spraying, strimming, grass cutting or visual tree assessing. At this time of year I am starting to look to the winter work programme.

What takes up most of your time?

Luckily I'm not tied to a desk so I get to spend most of my time in the arboretum.

What is the best aspect of your job?

I love the planting season, sourcing new plant material to go in the arboretum - pushing the boundaries of what you can grow.

And the worst?

The winter. Damp wet fog and heavy snow make you feel spring is never going to come.

What is your greatest achievement at work?

Designing and planting an extended area to the arboretum. It's nice to think that something I have done will still be here in several hundred years' time.

How do you wind down after a hard day?

I love to spend time with my wife and children. I also like to go cycling, running and enjoy the occasional drink.

What does the future hold?

Developing the arboretum and extending the collections. Maybe some travelling abroad to see certain plants in their natural habitat.


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