How did you get started in the industry? Back in 1981, I started as an assistant groundsman at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire. I initially worked in the lovely common room garden. I particularly recall the azaleas, my favourite tulip tree and the fabulous herbaceous borders. I quickly progressed onto the grounds team, started to learn about sports and sports turf and have not looked back since.
What advice would you give to others starting out? Have a career plan, never spend more than three years in any role to advance yourself and tie in any vocational studying even if it means doing it in your own spare time.
What does your typical day involve? I liaise with the team first but they are able to log on from home and look at shared diaries and information. Print customer orders and get them processed ready for the courier later. The office phone starts ringing quite early. Estimates can be prepared quickly and emailed back. There will be time to write a couple of lawn advice blogs, answer technical queries and liaise with suppliers.
What plans/projects are you working on? We are always evolving our business concepts and wear many commercial hats to ensure fewer peaks and troughs throughout the year. We are currently promoting CastClear, the domestic lawn worm cast suppressant.
What does the future hold professionally? We work in a technical industry and it's important to keep yourself and the team professionally developed to keep abreast of changes. We really need a return to more seasonal weather patterns. Horticulturists and turf managers are resilient but I know of a lot of greenkeepers who have changed professions as a result of the weather making it hard.