Panels and topics at Horticulture, The Conference

Topics of discussion 

  • The Value of Plants
  • Urban Green Spaces
  • Making our Industry Sustainable
  • Careers in Horticulture
  • Growing Media: Life Beyond Peat

Panel Discussions

The Value of Plants Panel


The HTA team will be taking a look at the value of plants in the widest sense, from their economic contribution to the wellbeing, biodiversity and climate change mitigation value felt by consumers. This discussion with feature the new HTA research on the relative preference consumers have for plants with certain attributes.

HTA, Market Research Manager

Laura Jeffery

Laura has been at the HTA for 6 years, and currently manages the association’s Market Research & Information function. With a degree based in psychology, Laura has an interest in understanding behaviour and collecting evidence to solve problems. Laura’s team conduct research and analysis of the garden market and macro environment to help members make better business decisions, but also run research with HTA members to inform our own decision-making and lobbying campaigns.

HTA, Sustainability Executive

Liz Williams

Liz has been working at the HTA since March 2020, and is focused on all things Sustainability. This includes both the Sustainability Roadmap and helping members to move forward with their own journeys, as well as the HTA’s own sustainability and working to make sure the HTA practices what it preaches. Liz works with many teams across the HTA for both the internal and external sustainability goals, drawing on knowledge from both her Zoology and Sustainability degrees. 

Urban Green Spaces Panel


With the majority of the population living in urban areas and that is set to grow. Jennifer Pheasey, HTA Director of Public Affairs will be hosting a panel to explore the opportunities for horticulture and green spaces to benefit communities and individuals across our cities. 

HTA, Director of Public Affairs

Jennifer Pheasey

Host of the Urban Green Spaces Panel

Cabinet Member – Environment   Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City Council, Cabinet Member for Environment

Councillor Majid Mahmood

Majid Mahmood is the Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council. After first being elected, he initially represented Hodge Hill Ward from 2011 to 2018 before boundary changes saw him cover the newly-formed Bromford & Hodge Hill Ward. He has been in his current role of Cabinet Member for Environment since May 2022.

Sustainability, Society of Garden Designers
Society of Garden Designers, Sustainability

Dr Rachel Bailey MGSD

Rachel runs an award-winning design practice with a team of three in Scotland. Our practice creates immersive plant-filled gardens and landscapes, which are good for people and wildlife, and that aim to have a low environmental impact. She is a registered member of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD), a design member of the Association of Professional Landscapers (MAPL), and the sustainability officer for the SGD as well as works with the APL council on sustainability matters. Rachel trained in garden design at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh, and has a passion for plants and our natural environment.

Green Infrastructure Planning Consultant
AIPH, Green City Consultant

Anne Jaluzot

Anne is an urban planner, with 20 years of experience in the development of tools, strategies and knowledge in urban greening. Urban forestry is one of her passions – she has authored several award-winning guides for built environment professionals in this field. She has extensive experience in working with public, private, not-for-profit and community stakeholders on establishing a place-based vision, performance framework, delivery roadmap, and engagement approach around the successful integration of green infrastructure in 21st century cities.

Frognal Gardens
Frognal Gardens

Noel Brock

For many years my company has been working away building, planting, and maintaining gardens, both private and commercial, in and around Hampstead, central London. During this time, I have also pursued my interest in wildlife all over the world, and within the London area. There is an obvious connection between wildlife and horticulture, but it is only recently that I have been able to bring those worlds fully together.

Making our Industry Sustainable Panel


Dave Denny, HTA Director of Research and Insights, will join Greenwood Plants, Notcutts Gardens Group and Planet Mark for an insightful conversation on their experiences of creating a sustainability plan. Discussing the positive impacts these environmental efforts can have on businesses. 

HTA, Director of Research and Insights

Dave Denny

Host of the Making our Industry Sustainable Panel

Marketing and Customer Care Director
Notcutts, Marketing and Customer Care Director

Julie Murray

Julie Murray, Marketing and Customer Care Director for Notcutts is delighted to join the panel for the discussion on sustainability in the industry. Julie leads on the strategy for Biodiversity, Sustainability and the Environment for Notcutts and is passionate about ensuring the company does all it can to support nature and minimise the impact it has on the environment.

Director of Policy and Partnerships, Planet Mark
Planet Mark, Director of Policy and Partnerships

Andrew Griffiths

A sustainability certification that supports organisations and real estate to measure and continually reduce carbon emissions, and increase their social value. He chairs the Institute of Directors National Sustainability Taskforce and was a member of the UK Government’s COP26 Small Business Taskforce, as well as the Advisory Board for the Global Sustainability Film Awards. Having delivered a TEDx talk on the power of meaningful networking, he is a big believer in the power of communication and how it can be used to drive climate action.

Greenwood Plants, Managing Director

Melanie Asker

Melanie strives to ensure Greenwood reaches its potential as market leader in the supply of plants to the UK commercial landscaping industry. She leads the day to day running of the company, ensuring our clients understand the value of working with Greenwood and receive an effortless client experience. Melanie applies her commercial awareness and strategic thinking to guide the G Team and optimise Greenwood’s growth. She is interested in innovation, and passionate about how this can contribute to the sustainability benefits uniquely offered by Greenwood.

  The Gardens Group, Managing Director
The Garden Groups, Managing Director

Mike Burks

Mike is a former chairman of the Garden Centre Association and is a passionate advocate of eco-friendly gardening practices. Mike Burks and his wife Louise have spent the past three decades running three multi award-winning garden centres, three restaurants and a farm shop in Dorset and Somerset, after graduating with honours degrees in Horticulture from the University of Bath. Community and wildlife protection are very much at the heart of The Gardens Group, alongside gardening and horticulture, so Mike and his knowledgeable team remain committed to hosting and organising regular events to support local charities and initiatives, while encouraging more people to embrace gardening.

Careers in horticulture - Leaders of tomorrow panel


 This session will tackle pressing questions about how to inspire, equip, and empower the leaders of tomorrow. From embracing diversity and inclusivity to harnessing innovative training and development approaches, it will uncover the keys to nurturing a vibrant and capable workforce.

HTA Learning and Development Manager
HTA, Learning and Development Manager

Alex Jenkins

Host of the Careers in horticulture - Leaders of tomorrow panel

More People Recruitment

Sarah Want

Sarah started recruiting in Horticulture when she joined MorePeople in 2019 and found a real passion for the industry. Currently NVQ Level 3 qualified in recruitment, she specialises solely in horticulture and provides advice to businesses and candidates alike. Sarah is also on the YPHA committee, a group to unite the under 35's in Horticulture and get more young people into the industry, by showcasing and educating the fantastic opportunities out there.

MHFA Trainer, Mental Health and Growing Leaders

Jen Chapman-Boffin

Founder of Cinder, Jen is a workplace mental health consultant, supporting business to develop a workplace where they and their people can thrive. As well as support and guidance, Jen provides Mental Health First Aid qualifications, bespoke workshops, wellbeing policies and conference talks.

Adrow Ltd – Apprenticeships

Ros Burnley

Growing Media: Life Beyond Peat

We recognise the complexities of this subject and invite you to listen as experienced figures within the industry share their insights, achievements, and hurdles in this ongoing dialogue. 

We trust that this session will prove valuable in acquiring perspectives on a dynamic and rapidly evolving subject.

HTA, Chairman

James Barnes

Host of the Growing Media: Life Beyond Peat panel

CCmTechUK, Chief Executive Officer

Pawel Kisielewski

Prior to becoming CEO seven years ago, Pawel was a Senior Advisor to Kleinwort Benson’s Merchant Banking group and remains a Senior Advisor at Stanhope Capital with over 25 years investment banking experience in capital raising in the institutional, public and early stage private markets. Previously the Investment Partner of Hermes BPK and Caliburn Capital, Pawel formerly ran Global Technology Equity Sales at Merrill Lynch and was head of Credit Suisse First Boston’s and Deutsche Bank’s London-based Pan European Equity sales. At the start of his career Pawel served with H.M. Forces for six years in Germany, Cyprus and the UK.

Johnsons of Whixley Ltd, Commercial and Business Manager

Jonathan Whittemore

Jonathan H.T. Whittemore is Commercial and Business Manager for the family-run business Johnsons of Whixley. The company is based in Whixley, North Yorkshire and was originally founded in 1921 by Eric Johnson. Jonathan’s career in horticulture spans 32 years and he is an established leader within the industry. A background in production horticulture has given him a full range of technical, management and planning skills. His passion for the Horticultural Industry is underpinned by a love of plants. In his current position at Johnsons of Whixley, amongst other things, he is responsible for the strategic management of the company’s Procurement, Supply Chain, and Plant Health and Biosecurity. Jonathan is also chair of the HTA’s Ornamental Management Committee.

E.J. Godwin, Managing Director

Ben Malin

The Millbrook Garden Company, Managing Director

Tammy Woodhouse

View the Speakers

Find out more information about who will be the host of Horticulture, The Conference, our special key-note speakers and which key political members of the Horticulture industry will be at Horticulture, The Conference 2023. We also will have a special speaker from the Economist so click below to find out more 


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