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We are extremely proud to announce, the Emergency Planning College (EPC) Head Gardener and his small team, supplied by John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance have secured the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) award for the best ‘Limited Public Access’ category 2018.

The BALI awards remain a highlight of the landscape industry calendar, famed as being the largest landscaping awards of its kind within the UK and Europe, with the highest level of excellence expected by the acclaimed expert judging panel. These judges personally visit each nominee, before jointly deliberating all decisions to ensure the winners really represent the best that landscape construction and design have to offer.

EPC were simply thrilled to be part of the 42nd BALI Awards this year, entering the ‘Limited Public Access Garden’ category, one of the 32 awards up for grabs. When adjudicator Steve Roberts visited our college back in early August to review the grounds, we could only hope that our grounds maintenance teams’ hard work and dedication would shine through in an award winning display of natural colour and floral scents.

Only a few miles away from the beautiful, historic city centre of York, the EPC based at The Hawkhills in Easingwold, is tucked away from the hustle and bustle in our own little pocket of natural beauty. Nestled within 240 acres of countryside estate including landscaped gardens, woods and natural parklands, one thing is for sure, we’re definitely not your run-of-the-mill college.

EPC’s uniqueness is reflected in many ways throughout the college; our people, our delegates, the imposing Georgian, Victorian style building itself and last but definitely not least, our gardens. The old saying ‘You never have a second chance to make a first impression’ is an expression we don’t take lightly here. The stately 1700’s building, steeped in heritage, showcasing our past whilst infusing modern, state of the art facilities, stands proudly surrounded by sweeping green lawns, colourful flower beds and perfectly manicured greenery.

From the very moment you embark on the mile long journey up the EPC drive, lined with its grandiose oak and chestnut trees, slowing only to let the water hens, squirrels and other wildlife cross your path, you know that you’re heading somewhere special. There really is no wonder our college is a place that exudes happiness and charm, with all the comforts of home. The first impression of entering the grounds and seeing the EPC at the Hawkhills is sure to be one you’ll never forget and one of the main reasons we welcome so many returning visitors each year.

The first view our delegates see upon arrival are our beautifully kept the gardens, which our grounds maintenance team have lovingly nurtured to create a delightfully serene setting. The perfect environment for all activities taking place here at the EPC, from working, learning and exercising skills, through to jogging along our woodland trails and relaxing. Our gardens are a fitting backdrop to many different narratives.

The nominees throughout all categories this year have been an immensely high standard and we look forward to the 2018 grand award ceremony. Held at Grosvenor House in London on 7th of December, the awards will be celebrated and the principal winner announced.

EPC would like to wish everyone nominated the very best of luck on the night.