The 2014 team of judges and assessors at Henley Golf and Country Club after the IYN Awards.
Judges - Who they are
Les Goodman – President, Judge
Les has been involved with the Heart of England in Bloom since 1998. Before becoming a judge he organised Henley in Bloom, who were overall Regional Winners in 1997.
He retired as the first Chairman of Heart of England in Bloom in September 2010 and now holds the post of President. He is Chairman of Henley in Arden Christmas Lights, Secretary and Treasurer of Henley in Arden Royal British Legion and Henley in Arden Ex Services Social Fund. Les is an enthusiastic gardener and grows large flowered tuberous begonias. He enjoys having more time these days to enjoy golf and walking.
Roger Bache – Chairman, Judge
Roger has judged the Heart of England in Bloom campaign since 2005. In 2006 he also judged the national RHS Britain in Bloom competition. He is a keen amateur gardener, bee and poultry keeper. It was when he was managing an extensive landscape and grounds maintenance contract that he first became involved in Bloom as an entrant. He said he realised that the ethos of Bloom was literally his ‘job description’ at the time. Before becoming a judge he was instrumental in Coventry City Centre becoming involved in the Heart of England in Bloom campaign and successfully achieving Gold Awards and, in subsequent years, Gold and category winner at national level. Along with Mark Wiltshire, Roger judges the town categories.
Chris Blythe - Assessor
Chris is employed by the Black Environment Network, as a Project Officer, Local Food Global Food Programme. His role as a project officer with BEN involves engaging minority ethinic communities with the environment and in particular green space and growing.
He has also been involved in my local residents association for 4 years now, including my role as grow site co-ordinator and also involved in the IYN campaign at a grass roots level, with the group receiving outstanding awards for the last two years. He also works with Birmingham Botanical Gardens delivering 5 NHS funded food related growing and community projects. The most recent of these being the Birmingham Community Food Festival in September, and a weekly local food stall. IHe is the co-ordinator of the Growing Birmingham group, which is all about networking for community organisations who have an interest in food growing in the city.
Jenny Brewer - Assessor
Jenny Brewer, now a retired television executive, got involved in Moseley in Bloom in 2005 and has been part of that team for the last 10 years. With a strong interest in horticulture and community endeavour the Moseleyin Bloom team has managed to achieve Gold and category winner as an Urban Community in both the Heart of England in Bloom and RHS Campaigns. We look forward to her paasing on her skills as an RHS It's Your Neighbourhood Assessor
Nicola Clarke - Judge
Nicola holds a BSc. (Hons) Degree in Horticulture from Writtle College, combined with practical skills learned at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. She has experience as a Technical Director for a major horticultural supplier to the retail sector and has spent more than 10 years working within the floriculture industry.
Currently working as Horticultural Development Manager for Quadron Services Limited, her role involves engaging with the local community and liaising with many stakeholder groups in order to create exciting, safe and accessible parks and open spaces that are attractive throughout the year. By developing horticultural projects with these groups, community involvement and a greater sense of ownership in Birmingham’s parks and open spaces is encouraged and enhanced.
Joe Hayden - Judge
Joe achieved his degree in 1988 at Wovehampton Polytechnic in Environmental Science and commenced employment with Birmingham City Council in July 1988 as ans Assistant Ranger. He is currently the Ranger Service Manager. He has been involved with Birmingham's entries in the Bloom Campaigns since 2010 helping them to acheive numerous awards regionally, nationally and in Entente Floral. Joe is also a Green Flag Judge, He has a wealth of experience and we welcome him to our team.
Donna Loasby - Assessor
Donna Loasby became the ‘Britain in Bloom Coordinator’ for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2010. Her role is to raise awareness of the Bloom campaign and to create a network of support from businesses which she has done successfully and increased sponsorship year on year. Her experience has encouraged the community, schools and businesses to participate in planting projects, environmental initiatives and local competitions to make Newcastle a better place to live, work and invest. She was instrumental in introducing a new logo and brand strategy in 2011 to further promote ‘Newcastle in Bloom’. She is currently working towards gaining further qualifications in horticulture. Donna is a Committee Member and an Assessor for Heart of England in Bloom.
Simon Long - Assessor
Simon has worked at Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council since 1991, and for many years was involved in the council’s parks management, initially in the client division helping to manage CCT grounds maintenance contracts. In October 2011 he took on the role of Community Development Officer, following his return to work from a near fatal motorcycle accident. Simon has been involved in the Britain in Bloom campaign since Newcastle under Lyme first entered in 1992 and has also helped with several successful green flag applications. In addition Simon has been involved with the annual Tatton Park flower bed display, where Newcastle under Lyme has gained numerous accolades.
Carol Miller - Assessor
Carol has been involved with Heart of England in Bloom and Britain in Bloom for the past six years, as a volunteer in Moseley and their Chairman. I believe that Britain in Bloom can enhance people’s lives and certainly changes neighbourhoods. There are so many opportunities to improve our environment by planting and cleaning and when we do it with others, it can be enormous fun. I look forward to assessing the RHS It's Your Neighbourhood entries and passing on my experiences. Carol is also a Bloom Ambassador for the RHS.
Tim Oaks - Judge
Tim’s gardening career began in 1977, when he became an apprentice gardener for Birmingham City Council. Since then, he has honed his gardening and management skills through a number of appointments within the City’s Parks department. Currently, he is the Operations Manager for Birmingham Parks and Nurseries. This is a diverse role that sees Tim not only managing the staff who work in the premier parks, contracts and nurseries but also the delivery and co-ordination, for a number of years, of the Birmingham in Bloom campaign. This culminated in the prestigious Gold award at Entente Florale in 2013. Tim has a real passion for Horticulture reflected in his responsibility for the delivery of the City wide floral enhancement programme, including floral artworks.
David & Lesley Pritchard - Assessors
David and Lesley Pritchard, retired to Ludlow in 2010, where they created a small garden from scratch. They were quickly recruited to Ludlow in Bloom. This is a beautiful town where the combined efforts of Ludlow in Bloom and the Town Council help to create an environment that is appreciated by residents and visitors alike.
Before retirement, David worked for Coventry Education Department for nearly 40 years – much of that time as a school adviser and school inspector. Lesley is a qualified Blue Badge Tour Guide, having started my professional career editing gardening books, among other non-fiction titles.
They are both keen to promote social and community development and feel that Heart of England in Bloom is a helpful way of doing this.
Graham Redfern - Judge
Graham began work in 1978 as a Horticultural Apprentice with Birmingham City Council in the Parks department. Following his apprenticeship, Graham trained at various horticultural colleges including Pershore College of Horticulture and The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, where he was successful in passing the degree equivalent Horticultural Diploma. The majority of Graham’s working life has been spent in local authority horticultural departments, though he has also been a Head Gardener for The National Trust. Aside from that, Graham has also been a Green Flag for Parks judge and is a member of the Guild of Horticultural Trade and Display, where he has judged at shows such as the Shrewsbury Flower Show. Since June 2013, Graham has worked for Frosts Landscape Construction as a Contracts Manager, where he is responsible for all contracts in the Midlands area.
Laura Russell - Assessor
Laura is a dedicated and passionate horticulturalist with a long and varied history, having trained at Pershore Horticultural College for her degree, was a Researcher for the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens and undertook further training at RHS Wisley Gardens, on their full time 2 year course of work and study. L aura presently works for Malvern Town Council as their hands on Head Gardener. She has vworked extremely hard in both private and public industry and she is completely thrilled to be involved in such a nurturing and inspirational growing scheme as Heart of England in Bloom. Lets keep Englands heart full of flowers!
Robin Russell - Judge
Robin began working for Stratford on Avon District Council on a temporary basis in 1980 and worked his way up to become a propagator before joining the grounds maintenance section for the housing department, which later became the local housing association. He is now a self-employed freelance gardener. At an early stage of his career he became involved with the local in bloom group, as a judge and the committee treasurer until leaving in 2005 to become a Heart of England judge.
Bev Sutton - Assessor
Beverley has worked at Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council since 1991, initially assisting with the set up and implementation of the Council’s CCT grounds maintenance contracts. She has been involved in the Britain in Bloom campaign since Newcastle under Lyme first entered in 1992. In 2011 Beverley transferred to a new role as a Community Projects Co-ordinator and now deals with numerous new initiatives including planting projects, local competitions, community group meetings, allotment management and sponsorship. She is currently working towards gaining further qualifications in horticulture an commenced assessing with Heart of England in Bloom in the 2014 campaigns.
Roger Tait - Judge
Roger is highly motivated, committed professional with a proven track record of project and service management and delivery in the parks and green spaces, waste and street cleansing, bereavement services and landscape design sector. He has helped Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council achieve numerous gold and category awards both regionally and nationally.
Jennifer Wharton - Judge
Trish Willetts - Judge
Trish is the Environment Champion Co-ordinator at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. She deals with community and residents' groups on a daily basis and brings those skills to the Heart of England in Bloom judging panel. In 2010 she co-ordinated 110 volunteers to put together a garden - ‘Alice in Biodiversity Land’ - at Gardeners' World at Birmingham's NEC where it achieved a Silver medal. The Heart of England in Bloom Committee contributed to the garden's sponsorship. With a background in waste and recycling, Trish works on 100 projects a year to enhance the appearance of Solihull. After shadowing the judges in the 2010 campaign she joined the panel of judges for 2011.
Mark Wiltshire - Vice Chairman, Judge
Mark began his career in horticulture straight from school and achieved his City & Guilds qualification at Hartpury College in 1982. He has been employed by Cheltenham Borough Council as the Nursery Manager since 1993. His passion for Bloom began back in 1984 when he helped the authority to achieve first place in the Britain in Bloom competition. He has been a member of the local bloom committee for some 13 years and regularly helps judge the local in bloom competition. Part of his role is to promote the regional bloom campaign with local groups and to encourage their participation. Mark joined the Heart of England in Bloom judging panel in 2007.
Jenny Redfern – Secretary and Regional Co-ordinator
Jenny’s involvement with Heart of England in Bloom began in 1997 when she became the Heart of England in Bloom Co-ordinator working for the Heart of England Tourist Board who were responsible for the running of the campaign at that time. When the tourist board ceased trading in 2007, the judging team took the decision to carry on the campaign as a voluntary committee, and invited Jenny to continue as co-ordinator and to become their secretary. Jenny now juggles the responsibilities of Bloom alongside working full-time as the Business Development Co-ordinator for a multi-national company.