APL WorldSkills UK winner and 'Squad UK' named

Adam McGarry of Wiltshire College has been named 'UK Champion' in this year's Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) WorldSkills UK final.

(l - r) Phil Tremayne, Adam McGarry and Simon Abbott. Image: APL
(l - r) Phil Tremayne, Adam McGarry and Simon Abbott. Image: APL

Daniel McGeoghegan took silver and Sam Taylor took bronze. Both Daniel and Sam are currently enrolled at Myerscough College, completing the industry-led APL Apprentice Scheme.

The competitors were also competing for a place in Squad UK where they have a chance to represent the UK at international level. Last year’s finalist, Shea Mcferran from CAFRE returned this year to complete for his place and secured his space on the squad along with Sam Taylor, Josh Dow and Kelvin White.

The APL WorldSkills final took place last week from 16-18 November at The Skills Show held at the Birmingham NEC in front of over 100,000 visitors over the three days. The first of four days was a training and familiarisation day, then the competitors had 16 hours to individually build a garden from scratch designed by head judge and technical lead, Jody Lidgard. Competitors were required to work within tolerances between 3-8mm on measurements provided.

On winning McGarry said: "I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was a great experience and found it a true test to push myself."

The semi-finals had seen a change from previous years with the event moving away from RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, and having more of a focus on the training and development of the competitors. Over three days (21-24 August), 10 semi-finalists completed tasks including paving, decking, walling, plant identification, procurement and working to a client’s brief. This was held at a training facility within Myerscough College, and JA Jones Nursery and Cash and Carry.

During the final competitors were marked on elements such as block paving, paving including recessed drain cover detail, timberwork (which included decking and fencing), planting, health and safety and the overall appearance of the garden. The final also included a plant identification round created by JA Jones and designed to test the competitors plant knowledge.

This year’s competitors were Ryan Bell from Myerscough College, Thomas Cartledge from Reaseheath College, Josh Dow from J D Gardening, Adam McGarry from Wiltshire College, Daniel McGeoghegan from Myerscough College, Samuel Taylor from Myerscough College and Kelvin White from Reaseheath College.

Jody Lidgard of Bespoke Outdoor Spaces and Landscape Skills Academy headed up the judging panel, Steve Smith of Shore Landscapes, Phil Tremayne APL general manager and 2011 WorldSkillsUK Silver medal winner and International training manager, Simon Abbott also served as judges this year. Green-Tech, J A Jones, Makita and Marshalls sponsored the competition. APL WorldSkills UK 2018 opens for entries in March. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



These trees are ideal for parks and gardens and many will tolerate pollution in urban areas, notes Sally Drury.

Calluna vulgaris

Calluna vulgaris

These plants survive severe exposure and make good ground cover in cityscapes to wildlife gardens, writes Sally Drury.



These plants are enjoyed for their dense spikes, panicles or racemes of flowers and for their foliage, writes Sally Drury.


Horticulture Week

The latest developments concerning coronavirus for horticulture industry professionals involved in buying or selling garden products and plants or producing and participating in horticultural shows and events.

Horticulture Week Top 70 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive RANKING of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover plus BUSINESS TRENDS REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs


Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources