Mike Hinton is District Parks Manager for Birmingham City Council. He is based at Kings Heath Park and Sheldon Country Park. He has responsibility for areas which include Hall Green, Yardley and Hodge Hill constituencies.
Our main challenge is keeping pace with an increasing workload and ever decreasing budgets.
My expertise covers all aspects of Amenity Horticulture in terms of managing the urban landscape. I particularly like trees, shrubs, herbaceous and seasonal bedding plants. I am also responsible for pesticide use – seeking and approving new products that come on the market.
Over the last few years I have also become very involved with invasive weeds especially Japanese Knotweed which I think horticulturally is an impressive plant, and very challenging to control. Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam are other plants we also deal with on a daily basis.
What turns a normal day into a great day?
With the ever increasing demands of work as a District Parks Manager, to do something that is purely horticultural, for example designing and planting seasonal bedding is very exhilarating. It’s nice to get positive feedback form the public when you have done something that enhances the environment for everybody to see.
Did you know?
For many years I was involved in Birmingham City Council’s entry to the Chelsea Flower Show, Gardeners World Live and RHS Tatton Flower Shows. But 3 years ago I was invited to be an RHS Judge, and now I judge at all the major flowers shows including Chelsea and across the country which is a real honour!
The Amenity Forum is an invaluable organisation for providing support for all aspects of Amenity Horticulture. The advice is constructive, sound and totally reliable. The recent issues with Glyphosate was a perfect example of this. Soon after major decisions had been made in Europe, advice was readily available on the Amenity Forum website. There are also many organisations involved with the Forum which means there is access to a broad spectrum of information for our industry.