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!