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  • Photo of Second round of Urban Tree Challenge Fund opens

    Second round of Urban Tree Challenge Fund opens

    The Forestry Commission has opened round two of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, which is for community and volunteer groups, town councils and individuals to apply for a share of the £10m pot to increase tree numbers in urban areas through small scale planting projects. Launched in May 2019, the Urban Tree Challenge Fund aims to support the planting of more than 130,000 trees across England’s towns and cities. This announcement of round two opening follows the success of round one, which saw 13 large scale projects from local authorities and large organisations awarded grants to plant more than 50,000 trees in…

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  • Photo of New book to be published on Gardening in a Changing World

    New book to be published on Gardening in a Changing World

    Pimpernel Press has announced it will be publishing a new book by award–winning garden and landscape designer and writer Darryl Moore FRSA. ‘Gardening in a Changing World: How we can adopt a more holistic ecological approach to gardens and gardening’ is scheduled to hit shelves in February 2022. It will examine the relationship between gardens and current environmental issues and explore how gardeners can engage with the natural world in positive and holistic ways that are beneficial to all plants, animals and humans. Darryl Moore comments: “Never before has our species’ relationship with the natural world been under so much…

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  • Photo of Ground Control recognised as a health and safety ‘world leader’

    Ground Control recognised as a health and safety ‘world leader’

    Ground Control is celebrating after winning an internationally recognised award for demonstrating high health and safety standards. Billericay-based company Ground Control has received the prestigious RoSPA President’s Award after being awarded ten consecutive Gold Medals for its incredibly high standards and performance in health and safety. The awards scheme is the longest-running of its kind in the UK. It attracts 2,000 entrants from around the world every year, making it one of the most sought-after global accolades in health and safety. “Winning the President’s Award is the culmination of our decade-long commitment to health and safety,” said Angelina Sooren, HSQE Director…

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  • Photo of A letter from the UK’s Secretary of State to construction workers

    A letter from the UK’s Secretary of State to construction workers

    To everyone working in the UK’s construction sector, In these challenging times, I want to pay tribute to all those who are working tirelessly within the construction industry. Delivering on large or small construction sites across the country, in builders’ merchants and logistics providers, or producing construction and mineral products. Our country and our economy needs all our support. And the construction industry has answered the call to action. Whether by building temporary hospital wards, installing complex and life-saving oxygen systems, constructing the infrastructure that society needs to function or ensuring that people have safe and healthy homes to live…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Elmtree Garden Contractors

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Elmtree Garden Contractors

    Today, we hear from Paul Lynch, managing director of Elmtree Garden Contractors. The Bristol-based landscaping company won the Supreme Award at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2018. It works for construction companies, house builders and commercial clients within a 75-mile radius of its head office. After the government announced on Tuesday that the country was going into lockdown, Paul and his management team decided to temporarily close the business and move all staff onto the government supported ‘Job Retention Scheme’ for potentially the next three weeks. Elmtree had already taken provisions before this because of rising concern around COVID-19. Prior…

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  • Photo of RHS Chelsea garden moves to children’s centre

    RHS Chelsea garden moves to children’s centre

    The bulk of Family Action’s award-winning garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 has been relocated to its permanent home at the Silkmore Children’s Centre in Stafford. The Family Monsters Garden, designed by Alistair Bayford of idverde which also built the garden, won a Gold medal and Best Artisan Garden. It will now reside in front of the Children Centre on the grounds of Silkmore Primary School. idverde installed the trees, boulders and soil over the last two weeks. Due to the closure of schools and necessary social distancing measures in place, local families are helping to create the…

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  • Photo of How do you respond when a coronavirus crisis hits?

    How do you respond when a coronavirus crisis hits?

    Business coach for the Trades and Construction industry, Alison Warner, gives her expert advice. In recent weeks we have all been thrown into an unprecedented situation, one that we have never seen before in our lifetimes. For landscape gardeners, I would imagine that this couldn’t have happened at a worst time, just as you come into your busiest months. So how do you respond? Well, at times of huge challenge such as this, it is all about how you adapt, and the speed at which you do so. Here are the key things to think about: Plan for the worst,…

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  • Photo of Remembering John O’Conner

    Remembering John O’Conner

    John O’Conner (Grounds Maintenance) Ltd has announced its chairman, John O’Conner, passed away on 24 March 2020. The Hertfordshire-based company sent the following tribute to remember the life and legacy of John: John was admitted to the Lister Hospital on 12 March after being diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Due to underlying health issues he was moved to the Intensive Care Unit but died following a short battle with the illness. John was an immense character and much loved family man who will leave a long and lasting memory for all who met and knew him. Originally from a farming…

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  • Photo of Thieves destroy thousands of plants at Johnsons of Whixley

    Thieves destroy thousands of plants at Johnsons of Whixley

    Thousands of plants have been destroyed after a break-in at Johnsons of Whixley, a commercial nursery in North Yorkshire. The plants were deliberately run over by a dumper truck which was stolen from Johnsons of Whixley between 10pm and 12am on Thursday 26 March. The stolen truck was used to remove a bowser containing 1,000L of fuel. It was then driven through Johnsons’ perimeter fence and onto the A59, ploughing through the plants in the process. The truck was subsequently left, but the diesel was taken. Managing director Graham Richardson said the vandals drove the truck over tens of thousands…

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  • Photo of Making Distinctive Design Possible with Two New Innovations from Millboard

    Making Distinctive Design Possible with Two New Innovations from Millboard

    This month sees the launch of two products that make creative garden construction a breeze. Millboard, the company behind the premium outdoor flooring, will be adding to their impressive range later this month with two new products that make decking frustrations a thing of the past: DuoSpan and DuoLift. DuoSpan is a unique landscape construction frame that combines the strength of aluminium with the design flexibility of recycled plastic. This combination enables distinctive design opportunities for decking and outdoor structures that would be impossible with conventional subframes.  DuoSpan provides the perfect subframe for Millboard decking and is also a universal…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Ground Control

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Ground Control

    In our latest coronavirus update we speak with Dr Marcus Watson, managing director of Ground Control, one of the UK’s largest landscaping companies. Over the last few years, Ground Control has strategically built a balanced portfolio of work including grounds maintenance, arboriculture, landscape construction and winter maintenance amongst other services. It is also one of the most, if not the most, advanced landscape companies using technology to drive the business.  Ground Control is currently following government advice and continues to deliver support services to its customers, who include electricity, gas, water and utilities providers, food retailers, government bodies and care…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Living in the bubble…

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Living in the bubble…

    I’m sure like us the first weekend (14/15 March) for most people was spent glued to the television news channels, where events were unfolding fast. We learned that from Monday 16th, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be giving daily updates which we now eagerly await. As at 16th March, the Department of Health was reporting 1534 positive tests and 36 deaths in the UK, all over 60 with underlying health conditions. On Sunday I had started to get a sort throat and lose my voice, and although not showing any other COVID-19 symptoms I had to self-isolate. This left…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Changing Times…the dawn of realisation

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Changing Times…the dawn of realisation

    This time last month we were out for the day visiting Tony Benger in Axminster – the company had two weeks previously won an award at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards and Tony hadn’t been able to attend due to being on a skiing holiday so we wanted to congratulate him in person and find out a little more about the business. Little did we know that a month later we would be isolated in our homes, unable to see our family – grandparent duties suspended and worried about our elderly parents – one set over a thousand miles away…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Hortus Loci

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Hortus Loci

    Hortus Loci is a specialist wholesale nursery, retail plant centre and planting company based in Hook, Hampshire. Its business is well-placed to survive the coronavirus pandemic thanks to its diversity. Pro Landscaper speaks with co-owner Robin Wallis to find out what Hortus Loci is doing in these uncertain times. Hortus Loci is a well-known plant supplier to the landscaping market, working closely with garden designers on prestigious projects around the continent, including the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Due to the recent outbreak, though, its wholesale arm has taken a bit of a hit. Robin says: “We lost a job…

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  • Photo of BALI Advises Members to Stop Going to Work for 48 Hours

    BALI Advises Members to Stop Going to Work for 48 Hours

    The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) continues to provide frontline support to its members around the United Kingdom by delivering on its four-point battleplan strategy, which was launched last Friday. Following the latest guidelines issued on Monday, like many landscape professionals working in our sector, BALI has been seeking clarification and additional guidance from the Government for those working in the landscaping sector. BALI wants answers to the crucial question many landscape professionals have been asking; can I still go to work? In light of the lack of a response from the Government, BALI is taking the necessary measures…

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  • Photo of County Council Closes Country Parks to Protect Residents

    County Council Closes Country Parks to Protect Residents

    Leicestershire County Council has announced that its country parks will close immediately, as efforts continue to keep residents safe during the coronavirus outbreak. The council is responding to national and local reports of people continuing to gather in public places.  It had intended to keep its parks open as spaces to exercise, but fears are growing that too many people are visiting. Earlier this week, the council announced a number of closures to its indoor facilities, including a number of libraries and museums, as well as sites such as Beaumanor Hall. Events, activities, adult learning classes and clubs due to…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Bo Cook Landscape & Garden Design

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Bo Cook Landscape & Garden Design

    Bo Cook has been designing gardens in and around East Sussex for more than a decade. She’s a single parent to two children – a 21-year-old and a seven-year old. With school closures, Bo is now responsible for educating her youngest child, and that’s having an effect on her workload. We speak with Bo Cook to see how she’s coping. This interview, carried out on Monday afternoon, followed her first morning session of home schooling, but she does see light at the end of the tunnel. Along with many others in the UK across a variety of industries, Bo has…

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  • Photo of Selco to Close for Three Weeks

    Selco to Close for Three Weeks

    Selco Builders Warehouse has announced its branch network will close for the next three weeks due to the Covid-19 situation. Chief executive Howard Luft cited the welfare of customers, colleagues and suppliers as paramount after reaching the decision to suspend trading at the company’s 68 branches until mid-April. In the wake of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Monday, Selco announced plans to close their branches today (Tuesday) and have now extended the period in which the doors to its stores will remain shut. Howard said: “We are living in unprecedented times and I’m certain this is the…

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  • Photo of Coronavirus: The Royal Parks Remain Open for Visitors to Boost Physical and Mental Wellbeing

    Coronavirus: The Royal Parks Remain Open for Visitors to Boost Physical and Mental Wellbeing

    The Royal Parks will remain open for visitors who are encouraged to come and spend time in nature, relax or exercise, whilst still ensuring they follow government advice about social distancing. The parks provide visitors with crucial access to vital green spaces and present a wealth of opportunities for visitors to help boost their physical and mental wellbeing in these uncertain times. The Royal Parks charity is closely monitoring Government advice on COVID-19 and is following the advice of Public Health England.  In order to prevent the spread of the virus through social contact in a busy space, the charity is taking all…

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  • Photo of 12 self-help resources for mental wellbeing

    12 self-help resources for mental wellbeing

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  • Photo of Survey Reveals the True Horror of Coronavirus Pandemic to the Ornamental Horticulture Industry

    Survey Reveals the True Horror of Coronavirus Pandemic to the Ornamental Horticulture Industry

    Sales for ornamentals growers are expected to be down around 50% this year with some expecting a far greater fall in sales.  96% of countries responding predict their industry will be severely impacted.  The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) has surveyed its grower association members and other industry associations to understand the impact of COVID-19 and what is happening in different countries. Although still early into the crisis for many countries the timing is critical with the normally busy Spring season and many flower-giving celebrations being directly hit. 70% of respondents expect to see growers going out of business…

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  • Photo of COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Tony Benger Landscaping

    COMBATTING CORONAVIRUS: Tony Benger Landscaping

    Devon-based Tony Benger Landscaping is a multi-disciplined landscaping company that has been established for more than 35 years. Much of its business is for domestic gardens in and around its home county, and many of these homeowners are in the vulnerable people category of over 70 years old. Since new Government measures around coronavirus have been put in place, the business has started offering support packages for some of its less able customers. We spoke to Gabriele Pangonyte, head of finance and NB at Tony Benger Landscaping, to find out more. The packages contain various basic non-perishable food products, such…

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  • Photo of Glasgow to Join European Cities in Cities with Nature Project

    Glasgow to Join European Cities in Cities with Nature Project

    Glasgow is to join a group of 11 European cities in the Cities with Nature group, a unique initiative that recognises and enhances the value of nature in and around cities. Hosted by ICLEI (Local Governments for sustainability) it provides a shared platform for cities and their partners to engage and connect. London and Manchester are the other UK cities in the group. Joining Cities with Nature means that Glasgow will have access to the knowledge hub; possible collaboration partners around the themed activity, the first of which is Cities with nature for health. Cities with Nature has 128 member cities…

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  • Photo of Perennial Prepares for Increase in Demand as Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hits UK Landscape Workers and Businesses

    Perennial Prepares for Increase in Demand as Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hits UK Landscape Workers and Businesses

    Perennial is the safety net for people in the horticulture industry and is here to help anyone working in, or retired from any job involving trees, plants, flowers or grass. As the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to evolve for the whole industry, including everyone working in landscaping, Perennial is urging anyone who is worried or has questions about how it will affect them, or their family, to get in touch. The team’s clear message is ‘we’re in this together’ and wants everyone in the industry to know they are here to support you. Perennial’s helpline is operating…

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  • Photo of RHS Britain in Bloom 2020 – Coronavirus statement

    RHS Britain in Bloom 2020 – Coronavirus statement

    Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom UK finals competition will not be going ahead. This is a worldwide and unprecedented challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of communities, volunteers and judges remains the RHS’ number one priority.   With the Government advising everyone to follow social distancing measures, it is sadly not currently possible for finalists to carry out their usual community gardening activities.    READ NEXT: VIRTUAL RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2020   Communities put huge year-round effort into Britain in Bloom to the benefit of both people…

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