pro landscaper magazine
pro landscaper magazine

Little Interviews Expanded – Dan Cornwell

by | 25 Mar 24 | Commercial Landscaping, Long Reads

Launched at FutureScape 2023, the Pro Landscaper Sustainability & Biodiversity Awards highlight the future of landscaping.

These awards are on a mission to showcase the most important innovation and initiatives across the UK landscaping sector, from design, to construction, to product supply and manufacturing. We look for great stories of environmental impact reduction and of those working towards a more sustainable future for the planet.

We caught up with some of the inaugural winners to find out the benefits of entering these awards what we can expect to see from them over the coming year.

 Read the full article in the March issue of Pro Landscaper Magazine.  


Your name: Dan Cornwell

Your company: The Green Estate Community Interest Company

Your role: Commercial landscape director

Your Pro Landscaper Sustainability & Biodiversity Award 2023: Sustainability and Biodiversity Supplier


  • How has winning the award benefitted your business?

Sustainability has always been at the core of the organisation’s business since its inception, as a social enterprise for over 20 years ago, so it was a great benefit to the organisation in terms of staff morale and marketing to be recognised as winners at the UK’s leading landscape exhibition in London.

  • Have you noticed any differences?

I’m very lucky to work alongside a talented team of landscape professionals and the award has been very motivational to the staff involved to see the positive and transformation difference they make identified and valued.

  • Why did you enter the Pro Landscaper Sustainability & Biodiversity Awards?

There has never been a better time to show what GE has done to help transform the way urban environments can function in a more sustainable way by increasing nature into our cities, reducing flooding, waste and carbon footprints, cleaning air, and increasing biodiversity. The organisation is based in Sheffield and has become a nationally acclaimed expert in contributing to the delivery of adaptive and resilient urban landscapes. It is one of the first companies to be recognised by the King for its work in sustainable development. The innovative and high-quality products and services include specialist manufactured, peat-free soils and plants for sustainable urban drainage systems, rain gardens, green roofs, green waste recycling, and the flagship and unique Pictorial Meadows seed mixes and meadow turf which has been used on some of the most prestigious urban landscapes and sold across the UK and Europe.

  • Why do you believe the awards are so important?

It’s an opportunity to see what is being done in the landscape industry, a chance to recognise, and be recognised, and learn from one another to help improve our shared environment.

  •  What have the biggest challenges been across the last year?

There are many big challenges we are facing as individuals and businesses including the aftermath of Covid, Brexit, wars, and the cost of living, but the biggest by far is how to address the climate crisis, and as a company the trick has been how to manoeuvre around all of these and find the positive opportunities within them.

  • What do you think is the reason behind these challenges?

Short term planning by governments and the lack of action to address problems when we know they are coming.

  •  What are you most looking forward to for the year ahead?

Summer is the time when most of our Pictorial Meadows are in full flower, so I always look forward to seeing these displays; but this year I will be keen to see the 3,000m2 of meadow turf installed across the campus at University of Warwick and how some of trials are progressing with the 23ha of seeded meadows in North Lanarkshire.

  • Any exciting upcoming projects?

We are currently progressing with the flood alleviation scheme in Mansfield to help Seven Trent Water deliver 180 Sustainable Urban Draining Systems using our manufactured SuDS soils and planting. It’s great to work on projects like this that you know will make a real difference to our urban areas.

  • Are there any new developments within the company?

We are currently developing our Pictorial Meadows range for sales in Europe and USA and also carrying on with R&D with the University of Sheffield to look at the benefits of native and non-native plants to help inform how we should be planting for the future.

  • Would you recommend entering an award with Pro Landscaper?

This is the first time I had entered for an award as I always felt too busy but would recommend making the time as I can see the rewards in terms of staff morale and marketing far outweigh the time spent and will reap benefits well into the future.

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