Paul is responsible for the development and maintenance of the University gardens, producing aesthetically pleasing green space for students, staff and visitors. His aim is to increase biodiversity throughout the estate by planting native and wildlife friendly plants.
What does your work as Head Gardener involve?
I am responsible for the day-to-day running of Gardening Services. This includes the supervision of staff and contractors, work allocation, producing maintenance schedules, training, machinery maintenance and health and safety. I also work in tandem with other sections of Estates, mainly Development and Environmental, on projects that enhance the gardens. In addition, I am responsible for the maintenance of the University’s tree stock and for the control of invasive plant species.
Do you grow any plants, flowers or trees that help to sustain local wildlife?
My aim is to increase biodiversity throughout the University estate by planting native and wildlife friendly plants where practical. In the past three years, we have planted approximately 500 native trees and 150 metres of wildlife hedgerow.
What are your favourite plants or focal points in Queen’s grounds?
These have to be the main Quad and University Square, especially when the Magnolias are in bloom. Also, the Vice Chancellor's gardens in the spring.
How do you make gardening more sustainable and less wasteful?
All of the University’s waste hardwood is chipped and reused as mulch on shrubberies, reducing the need for chemical weed control. Also, all gardening waste is removed to a green skip for composting.
What tips would you offer to first-time gardeners?
My tip to any first time gardener is to start small and keep it realistic: remember, you have to maintain it!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I was among those chosen by the University to meet the Queen at St James Palace for the University's 150 year celebration in 1995.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Busman’s holiday: I have two allotments. I also love foreign travel.
What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to 5 Live and talkSPORT.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?