Sculpture by the Lakes bolsters gardening team with former Eden Project horticulturist and Kingston Maurward apprentice

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2024 by Sue FranklinNo comments

Sculpture by the Lakes, Dorset’s internationally acclaimed sculpture park and accredited botanic garden, has welcomed two new gardeners to its team. Bob Burstow, formerly of the Eden Project and the National Botanic Garden of Wales, has joined as the park’s Senior Horticulturist and is supported by a new Under Gardener, Alex Peel, currently an apprentice at Kingston Maurward College.


Bob, who was trained by the Professional Gardeners’ Guild and has experience at some of the UK’s leading garden attractions, will head up the Sculpture by the Lakes gardening team, working closely with Garden Director and co-founder Monique Gudgeon.


Commenting on his new position, Bob said: “Horticulture is such a misunderstood trade, either seen as a nice-to-have hobby or manual labour. The reality is that it is so much more important than either of those viewpoints because we have a duty to tend to beautiful locations like Sculpture by the Lakes in terms of the flora, and fauna by default. We are the caretakers of this landscape, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the site thrives while protecting it for years to come. Having worked in other settings where there is so much focus on the Botanic Garden and the associated conservation efforts, it really felt like such a natural move.”


He was inspired to apply for the role following the news of the park’s Botanic Garden accreditation last year when it became the only sculpture park in the world to be given the accolade. Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) recognises gardens which conform to the highest international standards and make significant contributions to plant conservation. Sculpture by the Lakes joins just nine other gardens across the country which hold the accreditation, including The Eden Project and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.


Bob is joined by Kingston Maurward apprentice Alex Peel, who joins the team as Under Gardener. Alex, formerly a Thomas Hardye School student, is set to qualify in his studies in RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture in May.


Alex said: “There is such a variety of work at Sculpture by the Lakes and no day is ever the same. The site has an abundance of different species; the forsythia especially looks to be something really special. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the garden reveals as the seasons change. To have this opportunity so close to home really is a privilege.”


For more information about Sculpture by the Lakes, visit

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