Kew Guild honours soil and landscape expert Tim O'Hare

Tim O'Hare, the soil scientist who worked on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the King's Cross Regeneration is being elected an Honorary Fellow of the Kew Guild - an honour normally reserved for top horticulturists.

Tim O'Hare. Image: Tim O'Hare Associates
Tim O'Hare. Image: Tim O'Hare Associates

The guild, the association for alumni of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has chosen O’Hare, who has been a soil scientist for 25 years and has run Tim O’Hare Associates, since 2006, for his outstanding contribution to soil science.

There are only ever 25 Honorary Fellows at any one time and the honour is bestowed for the lifetime of the recipient.

O’Hare said: "I have to admit I was completely shocked to receive the letter from the guild’s President, Peter Styles. When I saw the names of other Honorary Fellows – Piet Oudolf, Tim Smit, Nigel Dunnett, James Hitchmough – I wondered for a moment if they had the wrong man. 

"It is an incredible honour for me personally but I also feel that the discipline of soil science and its vital role in landscaping and horticulture is being formally recognised by the Kew Guild, and for that I am particularly proud and grateful."

As well as his consultancy work, O’Hare has made it his mission to spread the word of the importance of soils in the landscape sector and how choosing the right soil can massively impact any project’s success, or failure. He regularly delivers talks and workshops across the country and launched the annual SoilsCoin in 2015, which will be held again on 26 September at Henley-on-Thames.

Joining O’Hare at the event are: 

  • Tim White, Senior Associate, Tim O’Hare Associates
  • Simon Leake, Managing Director, SESL Australia
  • Neville Fay, Founder/Director, Sustainable Soils Alliance
  • Sarah Morgan, Sarah Morgan Gardens and Chair of the Society of Garden Designers
  • Andy Spetch, National TOPSOIL Manager, British Sugar TOPSOIL
  • Catherine Dawson, Technical Director, Melcourt Industries Ltd
  • James Hewetson-Brown, Managing Director, Wildflower Turf

Subjects include reversing the current crisis in soil health by using soils sustainably. the soils project planning cycle that every landscape and construction professional should follow, problems with soils on new housing developments and how to avoid them and the benefits of soil assessment for garden design projects.

O’Hare will be presented with his Fellowship at the Kew Guild’s Annual Dinner in May 2020.


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