Owner of Brighton-based landscaping firm Acre Landscapes is training for a gruelling double marathon attempt in April to raise money to help fellow horticulturists in need of help and support. Nigel Bowcock, a novice runner, is putting himself through his paces in a fundraising bid for Perennial, the only charity in the UK dedicated to helping those who work in the UK horticulture industry.
“In the week the clocks go forward, the evenings get a little lighter and the promise of warmer weather starts to invigorate those of us in the horticulture trade, I find myself in an unusual position. In less than three weeks I am going to run the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 12 April, closely followed by the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 26 April. I’m feeling a little worried!”
A marathon is 26.2 miles, a gruelling distance, and only those with enough training hours under their belt should attempt it. Nigel has been training hard and says the promise of raising funds for those less fortunate than himself has kept him going through the winter months.
“I have worked hard all my life. The industry I chose requires it above any qualification or training. I gained experience through the Youth Training Schemes of the 80s, worked for various nurseries and landscaping firms throughout the 90s and finally started my own business in 2008. I feel very fortunate to have been supported by family, friends and colleagues over the years, but not everyone is as lucky as me.”
Perennial is there for anyone working in, or retired from horticulture, when illness, disability, injury, bereavement, debt or any one of life’s challenges gets in the way. Perennial provides free and confidential advice and support for as long as it is needed.
Nigel will match-fund all donations £1 for £1 up to £5,000 in total and Perennial will put it all to good use. £25 could pay for a new school uniform for a child of someone struggling to make ends meet; £50 could pay for a care alarm to be installed for an elderly or disabled client; £200 could fund 10 sessions at a nursery for a baby whose parent is critically ill and £1,000 could buy a new boiler for a family living without hot water or heating.
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Notes for Editors
Acre Landscapes Limited is an award-winning company specialising in landscape construction and maintenance. Nigel holds an MSc in landscape management and has been involved in running landscape construction and maintenance companies for over 30 years. During his career, Nigel has consulted on and completed some of the most prestigious built projects, winning seven Chelsea Flower Show Medals and six BALI Grand Awards in the process.
Acre Landscapes projects include:
Over 40 acres of landscaping to new and existing terminals at Heathrow Airport; Legoland, Windsor; The London and Wisely Golf Courses; Stockley Park, Heathrow; Green Park, Reading; BOC headquarters, Guildford; The Treasury Building Courtyards, Whitehall; Thames Barrier Park, London; Gatwick Airport; Glaxo Smithkline, Stevenage, Ware, Greenford and Brentford; RBS headquarters, Edinburgh; Hemisphere Project, Edgbaston, Birmingham; Regents Square, London; Argyle Square, London; Microsoft Headquarters, Reading; Nokia Headquarters, Farnborough; Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon; Bicester Village, Oxfordshire.
Perennial offers free, confidential advice and support to everyone working in or retired from horticulture and their families, including gardeners, landscapers, nursery and garden centre staff, parks and grounds care staff and tree surgeons. People turn to Perennial for financial and emotional help in times of need because of disability, sickness, poverty, financial hardship and old age – although increasingly younger people are seeking their assistance. Many individuals describe the services Perennial offers as a ‘lifeline’. The work of Perennial depends entirely on voluntary donations from the horticultural industry and the garden-loving public.