Horticulture Week Podcast: reconciling biodiversity and profit with Ground Control's Jack Potter

Ground Control's biodiversity manager, Jack Potter is under no illusion: "the UK is one of the most nature depleted areas in the world...at a tipping point of environmental collapse so this is a really critical time in history where every single scrap of habitat..is absolutely critical. We are in a real crisis right now."

So how can a landscape maintenance company like Ground Control often contradictory demands of preserving biodiversity and making a good old fashioned profit?

"Typically speaking grounds maintenance of of any given site will be mowing it more times a year than is good for biodiversity, cutting hedgerows more times a year than is good for biodiversity. Effectively for Ground Control the more times we have to visit a site, the more money we get from contracting so flipping that round maybe having a less intensive mowing regime and less intensive cutting regime, of hedgerows, it sounds counterintuitive from from our perspective but this is the direction of travel, this is the trends that the clients are wanting to do and if you don't move with the times, you'll end up getting left behind."

He discusses current initiatives and environmental legislation and describes recent statements from the Government, "which effectively proposes to expire our strongest and most important environmental legislation" as "worrying to say the least".

"There's a lot of proactive organisations...they can do it, it potentially doesn't cost them any more money, and it makes them look really good, so why wouldn't you do it?"

He talks about his favourite projects, staff training initiatives, and winning over reluctant clients to the benefits of improving wildlife on their sites. Potter gives suggestions of ways companies and individuals can take action to do their bit to improve biodiversity and of course, reveals his Desert Island Plant.

Presenter: senior reporter Rachael Forsyth
Producer: digital content manager Christina Taylor

Make sure you never miss a Horticulture Week podcast! Subscribe to or Follow Horticulture Week podcasts via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts or your preferred podcast platform. 

If you are interested in producing a podcast with HortWeek, contact hortweek@haymarket.com.

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