FRIDAY 19 April 2024


Marcus Watson

Marcus believes that business is a force for good and that we have the opportunity and duty to build a vibrant and sustainable economy that cares for our environment and the communities we live in, allowing us to lead prosperous, fulfilling lives without mortgaging our children’s futures.   

Marcus joined Ground Control in 2011 and led the company for a decade before handing over the reins to Jason Knights.  Marcus remains with Ground Control as a NED and shareholder.   

Other business interests include advising and investing in businesses with a strong purpose beyond profit and focussed on environmental sustainability, education & lifelong learning.  

Marcus lives in Surrey with his wife Jane and his twin daughters Grace and Ella.  In his spare time, Marcus cycles a little, having caught the bug after cycling for charity from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, unsupported and untrained, on a donated bicycle. 



Jonathan’s career began in Ealing in 1980, and after senior roles in the public, charitable and commercial sectors, he became an independent consultant in October 2011.  Drawing upon 40 years of experience, Jonathan offers pragmatic advice on a broad range of tree-related topics to a wide customer base. 

Instructions have ranged from individual tree inspections to enterprise wide tree surveys, hazard assessments and health and safety advice.   

Jonathan writes tender documents and method statements, and carries out tree surveys and impact assessments. He’s the Tree Officer for two local authorities and the Tree Safety Officer for a local school. 


Nick Ruddle

Nick specialises in transforming the profitability and overall performance of companies in the landscape industry.

He works with business owners to develop an amazing culture to attract & retain the best talent available. Nick has coached over 5,000 hours of 1-2-1 business coaching and has worked with the majority of the UK’s High Street banks since 2007.  

As a Certified SYSTEMologist, Nick also works with business owners to extract them from the day to day operations of their business and by doing so, increasing the value of the business so it can become a saleable asset.


Ken White

Managing Director of Frosts Landscape Construction and Gardenlink. Co-Founder of Supershoes Children’s Cancer Charity.

Having worked in horticulture for over thirty years, Ken is passionate about the landscaping industry and is equally passionate about using his skills and experience to help others within the sector. Ken was part of the judging panel for the Pro-Landscaper Business awards in 2021 & 2022

Ken was previously the Chairman of the Association of Professional landscapers and Non-Executive Direct of the Horticultural Trade Association.


Lynn has over 20 years’ experience within the horticultural and landscaping sectors and through Pro-Motion provides engaging, relevant, on- and offline content and communications as an outsourced marketing professional.   Lynn’s network of clients, media and industry influencers stretches across the landscaping supply chain from landscape software providers, landscape architects and wholesale growers to contractors, suppliers and retailers. 

Andrew Corcoran

Andrew Corcoran is the Operations Director for Places Management who maintain over 55,000 homes and associated open spaces across England and Scotland. Andrew previous role was as Head of Landscaping for Places for People and he has also been the Managing Director of Glendale.  

Andrew has an MBA from Cranfield University and a Law Degree from the University of Leicester. 



Gemma Murphy

Gemma Murphy is the founder and director of ViewHR, an HR and Employment Law Consultancy supporting and advising 100s of organisations around the country. Clients include landscape contractors, garden centres and garden designers. 

Gemma is a former specialist employment solicitor and experienced business leader. She has extensive experience in dealing with both day-to-day HR matters through to complex employment issues and strategic development, within a broad range of organisations. This brings an extra dynamic to her delivery and methodology as an HR Consultant. 

The team at ViewHR are keen to help create great places to work for their clients’ employees, placing emphasis on encouraging great HR practices and wellbeing support in the workplace. 


Richard Gardiner of NAG Solutions

Richard Gardiner

Richard is owner and MD of NAG Solutions, offering coaching and mentoring support to UK landscape companies, helping them build on their strengths whilst inspiring them to build better businesses that truly fulfil their potential. NAG Solutions also offers business health check and compliance management and with Richard’s extensive experience in the sector, he is well placed to help develop business models that are actionable and effective for clients.

Gemma Jerome

Gemma is the Director of Building with Nature (BwN), a national benchmark and accreditation system for green infrastructure. She is an environmental planner specialising in the delivery, management and maintenance of development that puts nature at the heart of its decision-making. BwN is the UK’s first Standards Framework for high-quality green infrastructure and provides industry with how-to guidance to create great places for people and wildlife. She recently co-chaired the British Standards Institute panel for the BS8683 Biodiversity Net Gain standard, sits on the advisory group for the Natural England Green Infrastructure Standards Project, and has acted in an advisory capacity on various Government roundtables directing design quality and placemaking. Gemma became a Fellow of the Landscape Institute in 2021, in recognition of her services to industry, and acting as a bold and fresh ‘voice’ for nature in the planning and development sector. 

Ewan Oliver

Ewan is a chartered landscape architect with over 25 years’ industry experience. Beginning his career as a landscape contractor before completing his professional training as a landscape architect, he has worked in both the public and private sectors and on projects of every scale including large infrastructure and urban regeneration schemes such as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. He believes passionately in the restorative powers of nature to heal our minds and repair our cities, making them more resilient for the future. Ewan believes that the landscape community holds the key to building healthy, liveable places that create prosperity whilst tackling many of the environmental and health issues of our time. 

In his current role as public realm development manager for global developer and contractor Lendlease, Ewan oversees the delivery of landscape masterplans through the design and planning process on urban regeneration projects including the £2.3b Elephant Park mixed-use development in London.


Alison Warner

Alison Warner is The UK’s number 1 business coach for Trades and Construction companies and best-selling author of Build and Grow: How to go from Tradesperson to Managing Director in the Construction and Trade Industries.

A former busines advisor to Fortune 500 brands, Alison founded Evolve and Grow in 2010; a highly acclaimed business coaching and consultancy company for SMEs. She has worked alongside hundreds of business owners to transform their operations, generating record growth and profitability.  Alison is a thought leader and spokesperson on topics affecting the Trades and Construction industry and is a regular contributor to the ProLandscaper Magazine. 

Adam White

Adam is a Chartered Landscape Architect and the most recent Past President of the Landscape Institute (LI). In 2008 he established Davies White Ltd with fellow landscape architect Andrée Davies.In 2012 he was made a Fellow of the LI for his influential role in changing the way public spaces are designed for children and young people. He is now the elected Chair of the LI’s College of Fellows. They have won two RHS Gold Medals, two BBC People’s Choice Awards and an RHS Best in Show. In 2019 they co-designed the RHS Back to Nature Gardens with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

They have recently been commissioned by The Imperial War Museum to design and manage the creation of a new destination playscape in Cambridgeshire and by the NHS to design and manage the creation of a garden for NHS Staff at University Hospital Southampton, funded by the artist Banksy and the Captain Tom Foundation.

Lee Beaumont

Azets is one of the UK’s fastest-growing business advisory groups providing a full range of accounting and advisory services to a diverse range of entrepreneurial owner managed businesses and individuals, across the UK and internationally. The business was established in 2016 and is backed by Hg, one of the UK’s leading private equity investors. We have grown rapidly over the last three years, handpicking businesses that share our personal approach, our passion for innovation and our commitment to helping our clients thrive. Our business has a presence in more than 160 cities, 15 sectors and employs 6,500 staff worldwide. 




Richard Kay

BALI Chalk Fund Trustee

Richard is the Co founder and Ex Chairman of Green-tech the leading supplier of landscape products to the landscaping, forestry and horticultural industries. Green-tech which was founded in 1994 employed more than 80 local staff had a turnover in excess of £20 million when Richard and Rachel Kay exited the business in 2020.

Richard has worked in the landscape industry for 30 years and is passionate about business and the development of the new generation of young landscape professionals.

Richard is a former Board Director & National Chairman for the British Association of Landscape Industries, the UK leading trade member’s organisation.

Richard has recently joined the Charity BALI Chalk Fund as a trustee and is looking forward to continuing supporting BALI and working with BALI Chalk Fund Trustees in promoting BCF Top Student of the year and education enrichment programmes through  

Richard is CEO of Rabbit (Holdings) Ltd which has investments in a Business Park, Letting Property, and a Caravan Park.

Rachel & Richard have recently taken up a position as regional ambassadors for Ipswich based Tools with a Mission which specialises in collecting and refurbishing tools. Empowering people with the tools that create livelihoods and transform lives in African Countries. Alongside this they are offering mentoring specializing in husband and wife teams.

Outside of work Richard is married to Rachel, has 3 children and is a hobby farmer at heart rearing Belted Galloways Cows.