Surrey’s most influential gardening people: Movers and Shakers 2013

PUBLISHED: 15:40 02 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:40 02 July 2013

Penny Snell

Penny Snell


In recent months, team Surrey Life has been busy speaking to our contributors and industry experts from around the county to get a feel for just who makes Surrey tick

Penny Snell

As chairman of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and an expert gardener herself, Penny Snell is at the forefront of gardening inspiration in our county. Her romantic garden at Moleshill House in Cobham is full of colour-coordinated borders and carefully chosen plants to suit the varying climate. She is also one of this country’s leading freelance florists, well-known for her designs for weddings, balls and exhibitions.

Sue Biggs

Originally hailing from Yorkshire, RHS director general Sue Biggs has lived in Surrey for almost 30 years, currently taking root in Sunbury-on-Thames. Under her leadership, RHS membership has grown to over 400,000, the highest in the charity’s history. Sue’s vision to raise the profile of RHS charitable work (they get no government funding) has seen over half of Britain’s schools join the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and record numbers join RHS community campaigns, such as RHS Britain in Bloom, that are helping transform local environments. Under her leadership, Perfect for Pollinators, an initiative that highlights plants to buy that will help the much needed survival of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, has also been created by the charity’s scientists at RHS Wisley.

Michael Gove

Not to be confused with the politician of the same name, Michael Gove has been involved with Painshill Park Trust in Cobham since 1992. The Leatherhead resident’s involvement began on a voluntary and consultancy basis, before he was employed by the trust as the restoration director in 2004. Subsequently appointed as chief executive officer, he has helped establish Painshill as one of Surrey’s leading historic attractions and worked on restoration programmes including the Five Arch Bridge, Crystal Grotto and Woollett Bridge there.

Keep on moving

Of course, any such list is subjective and many more could have featured within these pages. Get in touch with your Movers & Shakers, the people who influence how we all live in Surrey, on and and maybe you’ll see them included next time round!

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