Education galore at GroundsFest

A mix of indoor seminars and outdoor practical sessions


With five seminar theatres, outdoor practical sessions, and an abundance of land-based education providers in attendance, GroundsFest is set to have the largest display of educational opportunities ever seen at a groundscare event.

GroundsFest’s all-encompassing education programme has been designed for all sectors of the groundscare and landscaping industry and will feature a mix of indoor seminars and outdoor practical sessions. In addition to the seminars, there will also be an education area featuring many of the UK’s leading land-based colleges. BAGMA (British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association) will be offering advice about its specific industry training courses, and We Are Land-Based Engineering have a stand to provide information on a career in land-based engineering.

The free-to-attend, CPD accredited education programme is set to be a major attraction at the event which takes place on 20 and 21 September at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

The programme will provide grounds and open space practitioners across all disciplines – volunteer as well as professional, with an abundance of knowledge-gathering sessions. The indoor sessions will take place in five purpose-built seminar theatres while practical training sessions will be held in the outdoor areas. There is also a theatre dedicated to bowling green maintenance which is being organised by Bowls England and is sponsored by Dennis and SISIS.

In the indoor seminar theatres Martin Sampson from Grounds Training will be starting procedures by delivering an informative session for grounds managers, bursars, club managers and committee chairs. Martin will be focussing on workplace training, current legislation, and tips on creating a skilled workforce.

Lantra, sponsors of Seminar Theatre 2, will be offering tips on how to embrace technology across the landscaping sector; Bradley Tennant (International Greenkeepers for Hire) and Victoria Fiander (Wiltshire College) will be discussing the advantages of using apprenticeships in a staffing shortage, and how networking and volunteering are two great ways to advance a career in the sports turf industry.

Peter Corbett (Origin Amenity Solutions) will be presenting about the changing face of chemicals and the effect this will have on the industry, while Geoff Fenn (Origin Amenity Solutions) will discuss Microdochium disease management and winter fertiliser recovery.

Adam Witchell (The Nurture Landscapes Group/Harlequins Rugby) is explaining how data and water testing are key to his operations; Emma Gayler (EGO) will be presenting Challenge 2025 – a campaign which calls for batteries to become the principal power source for outdoor power equipment by 2025; Dr Amanda Gummer, on behalf of the API (Association of Play Industries), is discussing how playgrounds are at the heart of communities; turf professional Ed Ramsden will be delivering a vitally important seminar which focusses on mental health; DLF will be exploring several environmental solutions for winter pitches and the Amenity Forum and the STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute) will also be having a presence within the education programme.

Carried out by Grounds Training, the outdoor practical timetable will feature free hands-on, training sessions on a range of groundscare topics including line marking, pedestrian mowers, ride-on mowers, handheld machinery, and the calibration and use of knapsack sprayers and boom sprayers. The sessions will be delivered by a fantastic team of Lantra approved instructors which includes Keith Kent, Martin Sampson, Chris Parry, and Steve Potter.

In the Landscape Zone, there will be two theatres. In the Design Theatre speakers include multi-award-winning garden designers and architects such as Paul Hervey-Brookes, Peter Donegan, Laura Ashton-Phillips, Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and Zoe Claymore plus many more. In the Landscape Theatre Wayne Grills from BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) will be leading an informative panel debate; Rob Woodhouse (Solent Garden Services Ltd) and Mark Youde (Urban Landscape Design) are exploring the role of company culture in business; Tim O\’Hare (Tim O\’Hare Associates) is taking to the stage to discuss soil science; Paul Hadley (Paul Hadley Design) is delivering a seminar entitled Wildflowers in Landscaping and the Young People in Horticulture Association are participating in a debate about the possibility of rebranding horticulture.

All sessions are free to attend.

Register for your free ticket at

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