Alistair Howarth, Westcott Ground Maintenance Ltd
Who we are
Our background is in outside domestic and commercial tree surgery work and we have built a strong reputation locally, having worked for Westcott Venture Park (WVP), Waddesdon Manor and Westcott Village for over 10 years. In January this year our key focus changed as we took over the ground maintenance contract at Westcott Venture Park from HGA.
We currently employ a team of three staff but bring in additional resources at busy times. With over 35 years’ experience in tree surgery, we have all the equipment, insurances and accreditations required to run the business but we have taken a step back from the pure tree surgery work since taking on the WVP grounds maintenance contract. The work we carry out is very seasonal, we are very busy with maintenance type projects over the summer which gets quieter in the Autumn when the tree work picks up.
What we do
The Westcott maintenance contract is a vast project which includes responsibility for the upkeep of trees, shrubs, grass, ditches and fence line, basically all land within the perimeter fence boundary of the park. Work can incorporate spraying the fence line to keep the weeds down as well as the curb sides to prevent intrusion of weeds as well as the ongoing tree surgery work, with some trees at the park being here for over 75 years! The nicer we can get the grounds looking, the better the feel-good factor for the people working at the park.
It takes a very long time to complete one cycle of any one type of work due to the distance we cover, so we have purchased new machinery in order to assist this process by speeding up the time it takes to complete any one task. Part of our role is to monitor what the weather is doing and try and incorporate the tasks at the right time of the year.
We view ourselves as ‘front of shop,’ almost representatives of the management team, so we are as polite as possible to both resident businesses as well as visitors to the WVP. In addition, we provide ground maintenance services to a number of businesses at WVP including CS Group and Shanks.
Why Westcott Venture Park?
We have occupied space at WVP since 2003 as it was an ideal place to run a tree surgery business. As an old airfield site there is a large amount of space and hard standing area which is perfect for year round storage of logs and timber and woodchips.
I live near Westcott and enjoy both working within the community I live as well as being able to work outside. It’s a real pleasure to be here, we really enjoy the fabulous countryside in which we are lucky enough to be working.
As well as the grounds maintenance contract we will continue to carry out a fair amount of tree surgery work as our history is derived from this. We employ skilled workers who are dedicated climbers, chainsaw and chip operators who have the ability and specialisms to use the equipment required to carry out such tasks.
We are looking forward to working on the WVP ground maintenance contract for the next few years. We will also continue with the tree surgery side of the business and I am looking to gain the Arboricultural Association approved contractor accreditation, which will allow us to take on further tree surgery work.
Essentially we will continue to do what we’ve done for the past 35 years, just in a slightly different way and with a greater focus on corporate work.
Message to Westcott Venture Park businesses
We are fortunate to work in a very special, beautiful environment with an abundance of wildlife, so my message is simply - please enjoy it here and we look forward to meeting more on-site businesses over the coming years.
If you would like to find out more about Westcott Ground Maintenance Ltd speak to Alistair Howarth on 07861 388931.