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Bloomin’ marvellous council gardener applauded for 43 years of service

Date published: 2024-05-24 | Category: Bath, Climate Emergency, Delivering for local residents, Leisure

A gardener holds a potted plant in a greenhouse with plants surrounding them

A Bath & North East Somerset Council gardener who has dedicated more than four decades of his life to cultivating parks across the district is being celebrated for his long service.

Bob Scammell, aged 61, began working for the former Bath City Council in 1981 on a youth training scheme at Parade Gardens before tending to all of the council’s gardens and green spaces across the district and currently works at Royal Victoria Park nurseries.

He recently received a long service award from the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Dine Romero, in recognition of his dedication.

Bob, a father of two and grandad of four, lives in the city and is a keen runner as well as a gardener.

Bob said: “I’ve always loved my job and working for the council, mainly because of the people I work with. We’re a team and I have great teammates. After ten years at Parade Gardens, I spent five years at the Botanical Gardens and many more at all our council gardens in Bath, Keynsham, Peasedown St John and Midsomer Norton. 

“We plant around 50,000 plants every year and over my 43 years I’ve seen fashions and practices change – a lot for the better. We only use peat-free compost, no chemicals and we do so much more with wild flowers now. I’m a big fan of No Mow May because it’s so good for pollinators - spring is my favourite time of the year!

“Members of the public are always so complimentary when the team is out working in our parks. The most common request I get is, “Can you come and do that for my garden?

“It was a real honour to meet the Mayor of Bath and to be presented with a long service award. I think I’ll be ready for retirement in a couple of years’ time but it’s been a blooming marvellous career!”

Bob’s top three gardening tips for residents are:

  • Always prepare your earth or soil by putting out plenty of loam before planting
  • When you plant out, make sure the plants are well watered until they become established 
  • Always deadhead to get more blooms and choose single flowers because the bees prefer them and find it easier to get the pollen than from double blooms

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “I am so impressed by Bob’s devotion and commitment to our green spaces. His meticulous care has helped make our beautiful parks and gardens what they are today. Thank you, Bob, for your hard work and huge congratulations on all your achievements.”

Councillor Dine Romero said: “I was delighted to have been able to give Bob a 40 year Badge for continuous service with the same Bath firm, which he truly deserved.”

Seven of the council’s parks and green spaces – Sydney Gardens, Henrietta Park, Bloomfield Park, Hedgemead Park, Alexandra Park, Royal Victoria Park and Haycombe Cemetery - won coveted Green Flag Awards for excellence in 2023. Find all the parks and green spaces to enjoy across Bath and North East Somerset here:

The council is currently supporting No Mow May by leaving some areas of Sydney Gardens, Hedgemead Park, Henrietta Park and Alice Park in Bath unmown for a month and leaving some verges across the district uncut until June. Residents are encouraged to give nature a month off by not cutting their grass.

The council’s Royal Victoria Park nurseries at Marlborough Buildings sits alongside The Urban Garden, a Community Interest Company which invests profits from the sale of good quality plants back into training, helping to improve the mental health and wellbeing of adults living locally.

Learn more about the Mayor of Bath’s Long Service Award


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