Lush green claimed gold at the Woburn Sculpture Gallery, when 18 outstanding parks, gardens and tree teams scooped awards at the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards.
The presitigious awards are open to locations across the UK, and the local success story was Martin Towsey, estates gardens manager for the Bedford Estates. He won the prestigious horticulture week custodian award and his 15-strong gardens team also picked up the award for best gardens or arboretum team.
Martin and his team are 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.
He said: “I can’t believe it, I didn’t even know I was in for the award.”
Martin, who started his career as a 15-year-old apprentice for Nottingham City Council 33 years ago, added: “Horticulture has given me the ability to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve never had a day when I’ve thought ‘I don’t want to go to work.’
The Duchess of Bedford, who also attended the ceremony, said Martin’s win “was totally welldeserved”.
She added: “Martin is fantastic to work with, very good at any project you give him.” she said. “He leads a very good team and they have very good team work. We are very proud of him.”