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Barry Holdsworth - history

University Grounds - South East England

A new Director had recently been appointed to the University and required a review of all the service functions in order to understand their impact and value to the University. As a consequence, a Garden Maintenance Performance Review was undertaken to establish a new horticultural standard that could easily be implemented, monitored and measured. This contributed to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the gardens and landscape (i.e. resources and costs), whilst delivering enhanced levels of customer satisfaction by users and visitors.

Private Estate in Surrey

Project management of a large-scale restoration of the extensive grounds, one acre Walled Garden and 200 acres of woodlands, with £1.5 million of investment, working closely with a renown landscape architect and the land agents. This programme of works rejuvenated the historical landscape and gardens reflecting the Victorian origins whilst using current horticultural practices. The gardens have been marvelled at by many a visitor and have been profiled on the television and in publications.

Kent County Crematorium plc

Undertook the role of Horticultural Consultant for all matters concerning the continued development of the gardens of remembrance for the company until the organisation’s takeover in 2011. This included all matters relating to the garden and the staff:

• designing and implementing landscape projects

• recruitment and selection of staff

• training and development of staff

• selection and purchasing of machinery for the grounds

• selection and purchasing plants

• reporting to the Board on the work portfolio, costs and resources

Horticultural Consultant for major amenity maintenance company

Extensive Horticultural advice was provided on the staff and maintenance standards for all the Contracts held with the company, this enabled company  assessments to be undertaken and improvements in all aspects of the organisation’s staff and maintenance regimes in driving down costs and ensuring service levels.


A landscape maintenance company required assistance in collating a Procurement Tender for the landscape maintenance at Bluewater shopping centre. A comprehensive response was compiled for the Tender Specification for the Maintenance of the Tree & Shrub Planting and Associated Landscape Works. An innovative suggestion was made regarding use of green technology that dealt with the food and garden waste in a unique manner to reduce the amount of waste removed from the site.

Large Country Estate open to the public

Undertook a Staffing Level Review for a large country estate open to the public in the south east of England for a major Heritage charity. The aim of the assignment was to objectively assess the staffing levels required for the gardens and to make recommendations that would improve the quality standards and productivity of the Garden Department. The report enabled realistic assessments of staff levels and new regimes to be implemented.

Landscape display for the Al-Sawsana Exhibition, Amman, Jordan

The purpose of this project was the creation of an exhibition stand at the Al-Sawsana International Agricultural Show to promote Jordanian cut flowers and ornamental plants.  This exhibit was to be a maximum of 1000 square metres in size and to be presented as a garden display, designed and managed by the international expert using Jordanian landscapers for the implementation. Within two weeks a design was agreed and implemented for the exhibition that brought together all the relevant nurseries to exhibit at the show within budget. This was well received by the sponsor, Agricultural Minister for Jordan and visitors.

Private Estate in Scotland

Restoration of a one acre Walled Garden from a derelict state  into a fully functioning and productive organic kitchen garden that services the owners.

Extensive works to the landscaped grounds were undertaken to uncover the original layout and structure by opening up the walkways and replacement planting was carried out to enhance these works.

Expert witness

Undertaking expert witness work (providing independent opinion based upon specialised knowledge and expertise which can be relied upon in legal matters) including cases for a major utility company prosecuting a grower for  non payment of energy use, a Police Force prosecuting a willful case of poisoning to a neighbour’s garden and for a private individual preventing a neighbor from building on disputed ground.