Justin began his career with the Royal Horticultural Society before gaining his Master’s degree and working at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Justin then moved into undertaking commissions for high net worth private clients, working as a head gardener, consultant and designer, where he focused on creating and maintaining gardens with high-quality aesthetics and finishes.
Justin’s remit covers the group’s De Vere portfolio of country estate hotels and modern event spaces, where he will focus on creating, enhancing and managing the external landscapes to ensure they offer guests beautiful, inspiring and functional outdoor spaces, making the great outdoors as spectacular as the indoors. Justin will also be responsible for recruiting, managing and mentoring a team to maintain each property’s outdoor spaces.
The investment in outdoor spaces is part of a wider £100 million investment in the De Vere collection, which places the mansion house at the heart of the group’s country estate portfolio. Investing in the grounds ensures that the great outdoors becomes an extension of the hotel itself – including the addition of super-fast outdoor wifi up to 100m from the property.
Speaking following his appointment, Justin commented: “I’m delighted to join the De Vere team and am looking forward to bringing my experience to bear as I lead the team in creating inspiring and elegant outdoor spaces. Following the company’s mantra to ‘make every moment memorable’, we’ll be working with the team at each property to enhance the grounds, from creating a stunning arrival experience to ensuring that outdoor space is useable and innovative yet is in-keeping with the intrinsic design and history of each location.
“We’re looking at all aspects of the outdoors, from introducing sculptures and outdoor kitchens to creating new kitchen gardens, bee hives and bug hotels to encourage native wildlife. We’re designing new initiatives including outdoor gyms and walks that subtly encourage our guests to explore and experience some of the highlights of our hotels and venues’ beautiful surroundings. The introduction of exterior breakout spaces is also a big focus, in a bid to encourage those attending a meeting or event to get some fresh air and take a walk around our grounds for a healthier body and mind.”
Laurie Nicol, De Vere Chief Operating Officer commented: “We are a significant way through a major programme of investment in our portfolio to ensure that it is ‘future fit’ and that we continue to meet the diverse requirements of our clients. A big component of this is focused on enhancing our impressive outdoor spaces to ensure that they effectively cater for the ever-growing trend for incorporating the great outdoors into meetings and events. We are delighted to have someone with Justin’s knowledge and passion for the outdoors join the team and we are excited for our customers to experience the results of his work.”