Neil, who has recently stepped down as Chairman of the Horticultural Development Company (HDC) after six years, is a Director of Bulrush Horticulture. During his time at the HDC he oversaw the move of the company from Kent to Stoneleigh, a move that reduced the cost burden and allowed more of the precious funds to be spent directly on research projects. The challenging role at HDC required much skill to bring together a new regime and it was Neil’s clear strategic thinking that mapped a way through the difficulties to real success.
He started work for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and then after a masters degree, transferred to ADAS soil science where he became part of the National Horticulture Specialist Group. In 1991 he joined Bulrush and subsequently became a director of the Company. He has chaired the Bedding & Pot Plant Association and the Growing Media Association. Previously a Director of Stockbridge Technology Centre he has a passion for research & development and is currently a Director of the Horticultural Innovation Partnership.
HTA Vice-President Adam Wigglesworth, who presented Neil with his award at the HTA Garden Futures dinner held at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), comments,
“Neil is an extremely worthy recipient of the Pearson Medal in recognition of the huge amount of work that he does for the industry. As chair of the HDC he has played a vital role in helping to raise the profile of the need for horticultural research and development with government. A very honest and forthright speaker, he has lobbied tirelessly on behalf of the industry. He is also an ardent campanologist (bell ringer)!”
The Pearson Memorial Medal for outstanding service to the garden industry has been awarded by the HTA on an annual basis since it was instigated in 1930 in memory of the HTA’s first General Secretary, Charles Pearson.
Garden Futures 2014, sponsored by Hozelock, Scotts Miracle-Gro and William Sinclair, is being held at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London.