Richard Ayling

Grounds Manager
Merchant Taylors’ school Northwood

I have worked in the industry since 1982 starting as a gardener for Harrow Council and trained in their work based training centre attending Norwood Hall collage on day release.

I was lucky to have a family history of groundsmanship with Grandad, Father and after me my brother Ian now at Twickenham.

I was lucky enough to progress from the council to Uxbridge CC taking charge in 1985 then on to Merchant Taylors’ in 1995 as Head Groundsman and the role developing to Grounds Manager.

I have had a keen interest in training working on the IOG board and the Training and Education group. We at the school have worked to develop staff skills and bring new people in to the horticultural industry through apprenticeships. Since we started the Apprenticeship route we have had 8 apprentices not all working out as some found it was not for them, but 5 have gone on to enjoy a career in sport or gardens within the school and them move to other positions.