Tirlun launched by Deputy First Minister

Tirlun has been set up to represent the whole of the landscape supply chain in Wales. Its mission is to ensure a top quality and sustainable landscape industry based in Wales. And its aims are:

Promote the value of the landscape industry in Wales
Help raise standards across the landscape industry in Wales
Maximise business opportunities for the landscape industry in Wales
Improve collaboration within the supply chain
Improve communication within the industry
Be a research focal point
Develop a common understanding across all parts of the landscape industry in Wales
Promote the principles of sustainable development throughout the industry
Identify areas of common interest and maximise the potential for collaboration
Support the work of industry bodies in helping to achieve common objectives

Tirlun is run by a Council that currently comprises representatives from the trade associations, businesses and education. Nigel Ford, of Capita Property Consultancy Ltd., chairs the Council and Rob Evans, of landscape contractors Gerddi Cambria, is vice-chair. The other members of the Council are Gerry Donovan of the Design Council, Ian Forsyth of the Horticultural Trades Association and the Association of Professional Landscapers, Joanne Gossage of Landscape Institute Wales, David Spencer of the British Association of Landscape Industries, Julie Barr, of the Symonds Group Ltd., Phil Bryan of Wyn Thomas Gordon Lewis Ltd., Tim Carter of the Babtie Group, Tim Dorken, landscape architect, Martyn Hughes of Gerald Davies Ltd., Sandra Loton-Jones of Lantra, Hilary Morgan of TACP, Rob Osbourne of Pren Welsh Oak, Mark Simkin of the Welsh College of Horticulture, Nick Ward of the Welsh Development Agency who provide funding and David Skidmore who provides the secretariat through funding from the Knowledge Exploitation Fund.

Tirlun is now to hold its official launch. This will take place at two venues. For South Wales, the launch will take place at the National Botanic Garden on November 8th. Participants will be given a tour of the gardens, which will be followed by the Launch by Michael German O.B.E., Deputy First Minister of the Welsh Assembly. The participants will then be involved in a discussion to set the future direction of the organisation. The day will finish with a talk on fostering supply chain relationships given by Roy Ayliffe, Director of Professional Practice at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

For North and mid Wales, the launch will be held at the Welsh College of Horticulture on November 15th. A tour of the College Grounds and commercial facilities will be followed by an opening address by David Hanson MP. Discussions on the needs of the industry in Wales will be followed by a talk on partnering by Don Ward, Chief Executive of the Design Build Foundation.

The launch will coincide with Tirlun becoming a ‘not for profit’ company limited by guarantee so that it is better able to assist the industry. It will also see the introduction of a website to promote the activities of the organisation and provide a service to its members.

Membership of Tirlun will be open to businesses and organisations and to individuals who have an interest in the landscape industry in Wales and follow the organisation’s code of practice. So, this membership will be drawn from clients, landscape architects, nurseries and other landscape suppliers, contractors, the construction industry and skills training providers. Membership will be free in the first year whilst the Welsh Development Agency subsidises Tirlun.

Chair of the Council, Nigel Ford, says, “Tirlun represents a great opportunity for the industry in Wales to work together as a whole and be competitive at an international level.”

Nick Ward of WDA says, “I am delighted that the industry is taking the lead with this initiative and that we are able to provide initial funding to help Tirlun get established. The WDA’s Environmental Goods and Services initiative has been working with the industry for some time and it is particularly pleasing that Wales is leading the way in the UK with this level of collaboration across the sector”.

As David Skidmore says, “Tirlun is a very exciting development for the industry in bringing the whole supply chain together. By having a Forum that encourages co-operation and high standards, difficulties that are experienced by the industry, in supply, can be resolved more easily. The needs of the industry can be put forward in a unified way and training needs can be addressed effectively. Each part of the industry is pulling together with the trade associations to make better business opportunities.”

Landscape Training & Development to meet the Industry’s needs

Fforwm Tirlun, launched in November last year, has been set up to represent views across the whole of the landscape supply chain in Wales.

Fforwm Tirlun has been awarded, along with its partners BALI, Lantra and the Welsh College Of Horticulture, more than £50,000 by ELWa, the National Council for Education in Wales. The purpose of this grant is to find the training and professional development needs of the industry and create a structure to realise those needs. The industry can then be prepared to meet the requirements of its clients and its supply chain partners.

The project will bring together the best training available from private training providers and colleges into collaboration and will develop new material. The training and development will help relationships develop between the tiers of the supply chain. The project’s objectives have been laid out as:

to raise business and practical skills across the industry in Wales
to make skills development relevant to expansion of the industry through greater customer satisfactionto encourage collaboration between businesses across the industry sectors and trade associations and standards organisations
to encourage lifelong learning and the uptake of Continual Professional Development (CPD).
David Skidmore, Chief Executive of Fforwm Tirlun, says “We have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at training and human resource development for the landscape industry in Wales. Our aim is to make sure that the industry operates at a high standard meeting the needs of its clients. Whilst it is essential that each sector appreciates the necessity for training and updating in its own specialism, we will be emphasising the importance of business skills which are common to all the sectors and will help them relate to each other and work smoothly together.”

Industry Partnership Manager at Lantra, Sally Beel, adds, “Lantra is pleased to be associated with Fforwm Tirlun, and delighted that this funding has been awarded to help identify and address the training needs of the industry in Wales. It fits well with Lantra’s remit to drive up skills in the landscaping industry across the UK, and supports our work with employers to address the problems surrounding recruitment, retention and workforce development.”

To start the process, Fforwm Tirlun held a meeting for its members that was hosted by Welsh Development Agency’s Foresight Programme. This collected ideas on the best way forward. During the meeting the importance of considering training for the whole supply chain was stressed as a way of enhancing mobility across sectors. In this way a better career structure would be created and prospects for those in the landscape industry would be improved.

Tirlun sets out work programme for the coming year

Tirlun sets out work programme for the coming year
Press Release – 9 November 2002

Tirlun has been set up to represent the whole of the landscape supply chain in Wales, from clients, landscape architects, nurseries and other landscape suppliers, contractors, the construction industry and skills training providers. Its mission is to ensure a top quality and sustainable landscape industry based in Wales.

Michael German O.B.E., Deputy First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, officially launched Tirlun. Mr German stated that the industry plays a crucial role in the economy of Wales and in urban and rural regeneration. He said that the landscape industry should make its voice heard through lobbying government and make use of the funding that could be available in Wales.

A regional launch was held in North Wales where David Hanson MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister also launched Tirlun’s website. Mr Hanson noted that the landscape industry in Wales was as large and important, in terms of both revenue and employment, as some of the recognised industries such as aerospace that received considerable government support. He recommended that landscaping makes sure that it is recognised as a unified and essential industry so that it can attract similar attention.

These events allowed participants from all sectors of the industry to decide upon the work priorities for Tirlun’s coming year.

These will include:

Introducing a programme for raising the standards of training and practice in Wales which will include professional development seminars, undertaking a feasibility study on introducing standards and determining sources of good practice
Introducing a programme for increasing the use of sustainable and environmentally practices in the industry through producing a survey of sustainable practices, producing a directory of sustainable goods and services and holding a seminar on sustainability
Setting up a mentor programme for increasing the use of partnering in the industry

Membership of Tirlun is open to businesses and organisations and to individuals who have an interest in the landscape industry in Wales and follow the organisation’s code of practice. Membership will be free in the first year whilst the Welsh Development Agency subsidises Tirlun.

Chair of the Council, Nigel Ford, says, “We are very excited about the work programme that we have established and expect it to be of great benefit to those employed in the landscape industry in Wales.”

Fforwm Tirlun Business Plan, Executive Summary 2003-2007

Through widespread discussion in the landscape industry, a clear need has been established that an organisation should be formed to represent the views and assist the whole of the landscape supply chain in Wales. Accordingly Fforwm Tirlun, Wales Landscape Industry Forum has been set up. Fforwm Tirlun is managed by a representative Council and has an associated company, Fforwm Tirlun, to administer funds.

Fforwm Tirlun has laid out its plans for the coming years to 2007. Activities that it will undertake are membership service activities designed to provide members with information and to promote the industry to clients:

1. Funding applications
2. Hold Council elections
3. Hold Council meetings
4. Manage accounts and arrange audits
5. Website management and development
6. Circulate newsletter
7. Maximise business opportunities

and project activities to improve the standards in the industry and add value to the businesses of members:

1. Raise standards
2. Promote value of the industry
3. Promote sustainable development
4. Identify areas of common interest
5. Improve collaboration
6. Research focal point.

These activities have been costed and funding is being sought from a number of public sources.

The majority of current funding comes from the WDA but it is intended that dependence on external funding for membership services activities will be progressively reduced to zero. Plans are constructed to transfer the source of this income to membership subscriptions, training and networking events and consultancy.

Landscape Forum to push forward sustainable development in the industry

Fforwm Tirlun, was established to bring together the sectors of the landscape industry in Wales and encourage efficiency in the supply chain.

The Forum held a series of facilitated workshops to determine its priorities. Very high amongst these priorities is that the landscape industry in Wales should strive for the highest standards in environmental protection and sustainability.

The landscape industry generally sees itself as ‘green’. But there are many areas where improvements could be made such as the use of materials from sustainable sources, reduction of waste, reduction of chemical use, the use of ‘greener’ fuels and the protection and encouragement of natural biodiversity.

In Wales, the Green Dragon Environmental Management System helps companies to understand the effects they have on the environment and to monitor, manage and reduce these effects.

Fforwm Tirlun is encouraging all its member businesses to progress to the Green Dragon Award. In order to achieve this it has linked with the environmental organisation ARENA Network. ARENA Network will provide free environmental audits, business advice and training to landscape businesses in Wales.

David Skidmore, Chief Executive of Fforwm Tirlun, says, “It is essential to the future of the industry that it takes on board the principles of sustainable development. They are not only moral obligations for responsible companies but lead to cost savings and new business opportunities. We are very pleased to have the link with ARENA Network which gives Welsh businesses a huge chance to develop their environmental credentials.”

Neill Gatley, Business Environment Co-ordinator at ARENA Network, says, “Our principal aim is to promote environmental awareness and help companies develop in a sustainable manor. The landscape industry can have major positive and negative effects on the environment. ARENA Network will work with companies to reduce the negatives and build on the positives. Landscape businesses will then be involved in developing a better environment for us all.”

Fforwm Tirlun Business Plan 2004-2005

Executive Summary

Through widespread discussion in the landscape industry, a clear need has been established that an organisation should be formed to represent the views and assist the whole of the landscape supply chain in Wales. Accordingly Fforwm Tirlun, Wales Landscape Industry Forum has been set up. It is managed by a representative Council and has an associated company, Fforwm Tirlun, to administer funds.

Fforwm Tirlun has laid out its plans for the coming years to 2007. Activities that it will undertake are membership service activities that are designed to provide members with information and to promote the industry to clients:

1. Membership recruitment
2. Website Development
3. Marketing Strategy Implementation
4. Council and Committee Meetings
5. Manage accounts and arrange audits
6. Members’ Events
7. Newsletter
8. Collection of Membership Fees
9. Funding Applications

and project activities to improve the standards in the industry, maximise potential and add value to the businesses of members if funds are received:

1. Quality circles
2. Training Delivery
3. Insurance
4. Political training
5. Award Schemes
6. Procurement groups
7. Tender notification
8. Risk to business
9. Promote sustainable development

These activities have been costed and funding is being sought from a number of public sources.

The majority of current funding comes from the WDA but it is intended that dependence on external funding for membership services activities will be progressively reduced to zero. Plans are constructed to transfer the source of this income to membership subscriptions, training and networking events, and consultancy.

Fforwm Tirlun Annual General Meeting

Members may recall that Fforwm Tirlun was launched in S. and N. Wales in the autumn of 2002 to promote the landscape industry in Wales.

Since then we have seen a significant growth and development of the group which now comprises 117 members covering a wide spectrum of the landscape industry. We are, of course, indebted to the W.D.A. who have funded Fforwm Tirlun since its launch to the tune of £67,827.80; and have assisted us in many ways mainly with the support of Nick Ward the Agency’s Environmental Goods and Services Programme Manager. We have, however, always needed to be mindful of the W.D.A’s forthcoming exit strategy and it will thus be essential for Fforwm Tirlun to stand on its own feet and be self-financing. To this end it will be necessary to prove that there will be clear benefits to our membership for becoming a participating member. This is already becoming apparent with initiatives such as the production of the new Landscape Directory and for instance members are beginning to report that there are clear benefits to their businesses for becoming members in terms of sales growth.

We have forged a close working relationship with The Welsh College of Horticulture who provide secretarial services and David Skidmore our Chief Executive. A new 3 year contract with the College is now in place and will run up until 31.3.2006. I would like to thank Martyn Hughes for preparing the contract, which I believe provides the College with a certain amount of security and continuity. We are beginning to reap the rewards of being associated with such a high profile Institution within the landscape industry in Wales.

Our achievements over the past eighteen months have been considerable. I will outline just a few:

Our Chief Executive enabled funding to the tune of £44,280 from ELWa’s Skills Development Fund, which will lead to a major development of landscape training within Wales.
Following sound marketing advice from Joanne McKinstry, (again the marketing budget was financed by The WDA Fforwm Tirlun) has set up a show garden at The Tatton Park RHS Flower Show to promote its wares, skills and products for the various members. We are indebted to David Skidmore all the contributors and helpers for all their efforts at Tatton Park. It is unfortunate we cannot build up similar enthusiasm for the shows at Bulth Wells, but perhaps something will develop in future years.
We have forged links with academic Institutions including Swansea, Cardiff and Bangor Universities and Pencoed College; including assisting research projects on the use of Eco-composts which I am pleased to report we are now being specified on large capital projects within Wales.
We cannot deny that there have been some disappointments at Fforwm Tirlun namely the recent shelving of the buyer’s event which has now been postponed. However, we are hoping to turn this round and discussions are now in place for a relaunched event involving both Fforwm Tirlun and Landscape Institute Wales.

Finally I would like to thank the Directors of Tirlun, Company Secretary and Council members for all their hard work since the inception of the Company and the Forum; and I strongly believe that the networking now taking place between all aspects of the landscape industry within Wales is already beginning to make an impact and provide an enhanced benefit to our members. Having worked as a nurseryman’s assistant in my student days for a number of years and latterly as a landscape architect for over 30 years. I passionately believe, personally, in the ethos of Fforwm Tirlun, a unique body within the uk embracing all elements of the landscape industry; and I look forward to its continued growth over the next decade.

Press Release: NEW POLICY ON DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES

A new policy on sustainable development for the landscape industry in Wales was agreed at the biannual conference of Fforwm Tirlun.

The conference, which took place at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli, on Monday November 22, agreed a manifesto that will be adopted by Fforwm Tirlun in its bid to promote and support the Welsh landscape industry. Those attending the conference included representatives from numerous sectors of the landscape industry, including architects, designers, contractors, materials suppliers, plant producers and local authority specifiers. Keynote speakers at the conference were Professor Chris Baines, broadcaster, consultant and environmental campaigner, and Tom Bourne MBE, Environment Director of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA),
Tom Bourne comments: “Sustainable development is a cornerstone of Welsh Assembly Government policy. Other countries look to Wales as an example of a nation that is successfully putting sustainable development into practice.”

Dr David Skidmore, Chief Executive of Fforwm Tirlun, adds: “FForwm Tirlun will be at the forefront of encouraging a landscape industry in Wales that is fully sustainable – economically, environmentally and socially and will be pushing the sustainability agenda forward across the whole of the UK. This is a crucial issue – an unsustainable industry is not a viable industry.”

“At the conference, our members were consulted on a draft policy for sustainable development. This consultation resulted in the following six-point policy being adopted as forum policy. A series of actions to be taken by Fforwm Tirlun were agreed for each of the six principles and these are listed in order of priority.”

Fforwm Tirlun policy on sustainable development
1. Design for sustainability:

encourage a strong, financially viable industry
promote education on sustainable design to clients and the public
promote the concept of a Welsh School of Landscape Architecture
2. Manage land sustainably:

promote a change in specifications to encourage sustainable land use
commission research into sustainable landscape management
promote awareness of environmental legislation
promote understanding of the constraints of different parties, the conflict of perspectives and their resolution
develop systems to produce and verify the origins of locally sourced materials
3. Improve efficiency of resource use:

make available case studies regarding best practice in efficiency and cost saving
educate the industry on resource efficiency
set up links with waste networks
4. Develop skills and reward work:

promote the need for a trained workforce within the industry
promote, amongst clients, the need to contract skilled workforces
develop a robust qualification and accreditation scheme
make available case studies regarding the benefits of a skilled workforce
5. Promote local economies:

promote the establishment of local co-operatives and networks
6. Monitor progress:

Develop indicators applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
David adds: “This policy will underpin every aspect of our work on behalf of the Welsh landscape industry and we shall be encouraging our members to adopt its principles within their day-to-day work.”