11 May 2017

CWGC staff shortlisted for horticulture awards

CWGC gardeners who care for the graves and memorials of hundreds of thousands of war dead in France have been shortlisted for this year's Horticulture Week Custodian Awards.


The awards, now in their second year, recognise and celebrate the achievements of parks, gardens, grounds and tree management professionals.

The CWGC has been shortlisted for two awards. The first recognises the huge contribution made by CWGC groundstaff in preparing, maintaining and restoring the grounds of the Thiepval Memorial in France for the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme in July 2016.

The CWGC Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is the organisation’s largest war memorial in the world. It commemorates more than 72,000 servicemen who died during the 141 days of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and who have no known grave. It is one of the CWGC’s most-visited sites on the former Western Front – attracting in the region of 300,000 visitors each year.

In July 2016, the CWGC hosted the UK government’s commemorations of the Somme at Thiepval with approximately 10,000 guests in attendance.

The second award nomination is for the Thiepval Group – the CWGC horticultural team that maintains war graves at almost 400 locations across the former Somme battlefields.

CWGC Director General, Victoria Wallace said: “The CWGC is the custodian of thousands of beautifully tended cemeteries around the world, honouring the fallen of two world wars. We are hugely proud of the work of the team at Thiepval, whether maintaining the immaculate lawns, the colourful borders or the new wildflower meadow, and we are delighted to see them shortlisted for these prestigious awards.”

David Richardson, the CWGC’s Director of Horticulture, said: “To be shortlisted for these prestigious awards is particularly special in our centenary year, when we are celebrating a century of great gardening all over the world.

“Our teams in France and around the globe are responsible for caring for some of the most iconic commemorative sites to the dead of two world wars. Their work ensures those men and women will always be remembered and these nominations are recognition of that role and its ongoing importance to people all over the world.”

The winners will be announced on 28 June at a reception and presentation hosted by Horticulture Week at Woburn Abbey House & Gardens Sculpture Gallery.

The awards were judged by an independent panel including Professional Gardeners' Guild (PGG) chair Tony Arnold, Horticulture Week technical editor Sally Drury, former City of London Corporation director of open spaces Sue Ireland, London Tree Officers Association executive member Dave Lofthouse and master gardener Alan Sargent.

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