Estates Garden Manager

Image for Estates Garden Manager Martin Towsey, Estates Garden Manager

MARTIN TOWSEY, ESTATES GARDEN MANAGER

Martin is responsible for all the horticultural areas of the estate including the Abbey Gardens, Safari Park (enclosures and foot safari), The Woburn Hotel, The Woburn Village, Woburn Golf Club Amenity Areas, London Estates and the Duke and Duchess' private residence.

How did you get started in the industry?

I did a 3 year apprenticeship with Nottingham City Council while on a day release to my local horticultural college. Every 6 months I would move placement around the city gardens, learning about different aspects of horticulture and life. Thank you to all the great people I have worked with whilst learning my trade!

What advice would you give to others starting out?

Hard work pays off and seize every opportunity for experience. Try to become a rounded horticulturalist and don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.

What is your typical day?

I would start by catching up with the bigger projects across the estate. My job is 50 / 50 office and out on the land.  No two days are the same except for the daily duties of emails and phone calls, but I have been lucky to have been set up to tackle a lot of this on the move. I also have a great team. 

What is the best aspect of your job?

Working with my brilliant team of staff and the projects we are lucky to be able to do, particularly at the Abbey Gardens. We have seen the garden come back to life from the work we are doing here.

And the worst?

Time wasting and time theft. Grrrrrrh!

What is your greatest work achievements?

Seeing the Abbey Gardens coming to life and receiving the awards and recognition the Gardens Team are getting.       

How do you wind down after a hard day?   

Spending time with my family or mowing the lawn at home.

What does the future hold?

We have five sets of 5 year plans for the Gardens. This is to make them a nationally recognised garden that is stimulating, relevant and interesting - that’s my focus!

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Events & Exhibitions

Image for Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch 13th July

Woburn Abbey Gardens Tour and Lunch 13th July

Enjoy the splendour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens through the seasons with our 2017 private garden tour and lunch at The Sculpture Gallery.
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A Day with Pippa Greenwood

Learn to 'grow your own' from this well-known gardening expert.
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Bee Walk

Discover the importance of attracting bees to your garden and, more importantly, how to attract them.
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Garden Safari Week - July

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Calling all Garden Explorers! Come and join us on our Garden Safari this summer holiday.
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Parkland Tour - July

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
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Garden Safari Week - August

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Calling all Garden Explorers! Come and join us on our Garden Safari this summer holiday.
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Parkland Tour - August

Come along on a tour around our beautiful deer park, and experience it as Humphry Repton intended.
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Bat Walks

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Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
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Autumn Gardening Skills

This session is designed to give you a range of horticultural skills and enable you to get hands on with plant material to gain the confidence with your own garden maintenance. The perfect introduction if you are not sure where, when or how to get started in your own garden.
Image for Bat Walks

Bat Walks

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Take an exclusive tour of the Woburn Abbey Gardens at night and learn about the nocturnal activities of the bats living in the gardens.
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Pruning Study Day

This session is designed to give you a wide range of pruning skills and enable you to get hands on with plant material to gain the confidence with your own garden maintenance.
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Christmas Flowers with Jonathan Moseley

A masterclass in Christmas flower-arranging with floral expert, Jonathan Moseley.
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Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2018

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After the huge success of the 2017 Garden Show this June we are pleased to announce that tickets can now be purchased for the 9th Woburn Abbey Garden Show taking place on 23rd and 24th June 2018. Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey, ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’ offers visitors one of the best location of any show in the UK, taking place within the 42 acres of Abbey Gardens.