In 2008/09, the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) commissioned research to provide an overview of the grounds management market in terms of its
annual value, numbers employed and volunteers. The report, Grounds
Management – The Hidden Profession, highlighted the industry’s economic value and identified that there were 20,000 professionals and at least 20,000 volunteers in England alone managing grounds and pitches from grassroots levels up.

Ten years on, the IOG recognises that with changing economic forecasts, political uncertainty and the impact the environment is having on how we manage our landscapes, further analysis is needed to identify current trends within the industry. Geoff Webb, IOG Chief Executive Officer, offers further insight into the reports on page 18, promising an update of the findings at this years SALTEX exhibition in October.

Another well-known personality at the IOG is Neil Stubley. He takes time out of his busy scheduled to share his story with us, detailing his rising career from his initial six-month placement as a groundsman at Wimbledon in 1995, to how now as Head of Courts and Horticulture at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, he manages his team to turn out possibly the most famous tennis courts on the championship circuit.

Away from grounds care, but onto an equally important issue for all landscapers, we ask as government offers incentives for switching to greener travel does it mark the end for the diesel van? Greg Bedson takes up the story on page 14. And finally to Chelsea Flower Show. On page 40, we bring you pictures of some of the gold medal winners at this year’s spectacular show.

And don’t forget there are more floral festivities to come this summer with other RHS shows taking place across the country, including the Hampton Court Flower show kicking off on 2nd July 2019.