There are usually between 30 and 40 delegates who meet every 18 months for a conference which generally lasts 4 days and is based at a different university each year depending on who volunteers to host the event. When the conference is held in the Autumn, the venue is traditionally a northern University. When the conference is held in the Spring it is usually located in the south of the country to take advantage of the earlier season.
The conference has historically involved a series of day trips with horticultural, arboricultural and/or sports turf interest, opportunities to look around the host campus and sports facilities, machinery demonstrations as well as attending seminars/lectures on areas of interest that are pertinent at that time.
In the past we have visited venues as diverse as the SISIS Machinery factory, a working coppiced woodland in the fens and the magnificent library at the John Innes institute where we had the opportunity to look at some of the rarest horticultural books in the country, and of course we see our fair share of National Trust and English Heritage gardens.
The great strength of the conference is the networking opportunity that it presents and the opportunity to discuss problems/issues within the industry and how other institutions have overcame these.
It is also a great opprtunity to discuss methods of work, what has worked well and what hasn't, new products on the market and how effective they are etc.
We are always looking to recruit new delegates from all over the UK, which will give us the opportunity to compare and contrast information from as many different sources as possible and will in turn help us all to manage our respective teams/areas more efficiently.