Thursday, 31 May 2012

AGT Trustees needed

When Sally Walker asked me to think about becoming an AGT Trustee, my first reaction was that I didn't have time.  Eighteen months on and I'm glad that I changed my mind.  Yes, I'm even busier now than I was before, but it's a good and stimulating kind of busy that enriches my life in unexpected ways.  In the past month alone, I've met people and been introduced to projects that would otherwise have passed me by.

Recently, I represented the AGT at a meeting of the Plant Heritage Council.  From the AGT perspective it was helpful to see how much the interests of the two organisations overlap and how many concerns for the future of horticulture we share. But it was unexpectedly useful for me on a personal level too.

AGT Study Day at Studley Royal
The following day I travelled down to Devon for a work-related visit to Marwood Hill Gardens. I discovered that the Head Gardener (as the caretaker of three national plant collections) is involved with Plant Heritage in Devon.  Without doubt my understanding of the garden and its collection was deepened a s a result of the morning I'd spent with Plant Heritage in central London.

Once a quarter, I represent the AGT at GreenLINK meetings.  There's usually a 'knowledge share' slot which always teaches me something new.  This quarter, Dr Linda Davies from Imperial College gave a presentation on OPAL (Open Air Laboratories); a 5 year project that aims to get people engaged with nature by involving them in ecological research. The project has been running successfully for several years.  Over 600,000 people have been involved so far, 93% of whom have never been involved with environmental issues before.

We also heard from Bob Ivison of the National Contractors Forum, another organisation I knew nothing about.  He told us that contractors share many of our concerns for historic landscapes and the environment. They're keen to get involved: a source of help, support and advice that we might not have considered.

Being a Trustee does take time but perhaps not as much as you might expect.  If you would like to make your already busy life even busier, but in a surprisingly productive way, why not contact our Chairman, Sally Walker at ?

I haven't left enough space to write anything about the excellent Study Day at Studley Royal.  Something to put on the list for next month's blog!

As we approach the Jubilee weekend, have a look at 'A History of Royal Jubilees in Public Parks' by David Lambert.

1 comment:

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