Professional Gardeners' Guild to focus on website to attract younger generation

The Professional Gardeners' Guild is set to embrace social networking sites in a bid to attract newcomers to the industry.

Speaking during the guild's recent AGM at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, chairman Tony Arnold said: "We have now reached the magical 1,000 members. It was a target we set ourselves four years ago when I started and we got there, but our target is to keep it.

"Over the next five years, 60 per cent of the gardeners working for English Heritage and the National Trust will retire. Where will their replacements come from? We are hoping to develop the website so that people will use it more; we may be able to have an e-newsletter, podcasts and Facebook and Twitter accounts. We need to give in to the 21st century."

He added: "Over the next few years we have got to be on top of this. We need to be able to keep the line of communication. The youngsters that are coming up the back do understand it and they do want it and we have to go down that route as a recruitment tool."

The guild has designed new membership and information packs for prospective members, as well as new annual membership cards rather than badges. Arnold said the changes would create a "more corporate image".

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