Former lecturer Professor John Hudson dies aged 97

Professor John Hudson, former chair in horticultural science at the University of Bristol and former director of Long Ashton Research Station (LARS), has died aged 97.

Hudson trained as a horticulturist before World War Two and became horticultural adviser to Sussex County Council in 1936.

During the war another talent emerged as his innovative work in bomb disposal under life-threatening conditions earned him two George Medals and a military MBE.

After demobilisation and working at the New Zealand Department of Agriculture, he took up a lectureship at the University of Nottingham, rising to become its first professor of horticulture.

He was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour in 1976 and continued to edit the journal Experimental Agriculture until 1982.

[BR] Central Park in Peterborough is the place that makes residents in the East of England feel most proud, an online poll by the Government's Connect to Your Council campaign has found. For information see www.direct.gov.uk/mycouncil.

Recruitment consultancy Highams Group is donating to Trees for Cities for every interview it organises. This has already enabled the charity to plant 250 trees with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham at Wormwood Scrubs.

Building products specialist Colbond and Dr Jan-Peter Frahm from the University of Bonn have developed the Enka-Moss moss mat to absorb fine particulates to cut pollution on roads.

The Institute for Sport, Parks & Leisure is conducting a membership survey at www.ispal.org.uk to shape future performance. The outcome will be published next month on the website.

Even daffodils are becoming involved in the debate on climate change. The possible effects of global warming have been seen in Liverpool's Calderstones Park. Narcissus 'February Gold', as its name implies, usually flowers that month but now is already in bloom in the North of England.

The 2008's International Environmental Photographer of the Year competition is now open. See www.ciwem.org/awards/epoty. The competition is open until 31 July.

West Midlands engineering firm Bird Stevens has bought Castlefield Products, the supplier of horticultural equipment to nurserymen and retail garden and plant centres. The range includes soft-fruit harvesting trollies, sledges, barrows and field to packhouse trailers. Bird Stevens is its major manufacturing partner. Castlefield owner Geoffrey Gwilt will work at Bird Stevens as a sales consultant.

Landscape management group Fountains has terminated talks with a company that approached it with a takeover plan in October. The Fountains board said: "The indication of interest received does not adequately reflect the value of the company and its prospects." Last week Fountains reported a financial turnaround, following pre-tax profits of £1.1m for the year to 30 September. Chief executive Richard Haddon said the turn-around had been helped by park and open spaces contracts with the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth.

Milton Keynes-based Landscape Town and Country held a meeting of creditors on 18 December. Insolvency practitioners are Peter Godfrey-Evans and Steven Smith at Mercer & Hole, Silbury Court, 420 Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK9 2AF.


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