Martin Sampson

Managing Director, Lead Instructor and Assessor

Martin delivers a wide variety of Lantra, City & Guilds (NPTC) and UK Rural Skills accredited training across the country, covering all types of pesticide application, sports ground maintenance, and the use of tractors, ground care machinery, ATVs and hand held equipment. He is a Lantra Technical Verifier, a City & Guilds (NPTC) Assessor for pesticides and land-based machinery, a Lantra End Point Assessor (EPA) for greenkeeping and sports turf, and oversees the company's Lantra Customised Provision courses. He is also a visiting tutor for one of the country's foremost land-based colleges and provides consultancy and advisory services to commercial organisations within the ground care sector.

He has more than 35 years’ experience in the ground care industry, beginning his career in the valleys of South Wales with Taff Ely Borough Council where he learnt his trade as a groundsman. He worked his way through the ranks, eventually achieving the post of Area Grounds Maintenance Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council. Martin left Wales in 2000 to take over at Gosling Sports Park in Welwyn Garden City. He then went on to develop his career in the private sector, working at a number of prestigious facilities including;

Head Groundsman - Harlequins Rugby Football Club

Director of Grounds - Epsom College

Grounds Maintenance Manager and Head Groundsman - Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Twickenham

He was also an FA appointed Pitch Judge for the Groundsman of the Year Awards.

Martin holds a number of turf culture qualifications, including the National Practical Certificate in the Science and Practice of Turf Culture and Sports Ground Management and the National Technical Certificate in the Science of Turf Culture and Sports Ground Management.


Geraint Jenkins

Qualified Instructor and Assessor. Lantra Customised Provision Instructor - Train the Trainer, Line Marking, Lawn Care, Natural and Synthetic Sports Turf Maintenance

Geraint is a freelance instructor/assessor, sports turf and health & safety adviser based in South Wales. In addition to training and assessing for Lantra, City & Guilds/NPTC and UK Rural Skills, he is also a Lantra End Point Assessor (EPA) for Greenkeeping and Sports Turf Operatives.

Geraint is also one of several instructors delivering Grounds Training’s Lantra accredited customised provision courses, including train the trainer, line marking, lawn care and winter sports pitch maintenance.

Over the course of his career in both practical and management roles, he gained extensive experience and knowledge, having covered a number of roles from Groundsman to Parks Manager. He retired from his role as Parks Manager at a local authority after 40 years’ service. In addition to bringing varied experiences of working in the amenity/grounds maintenance sector to his courses, he creates a relaxed environment for training, enabling all trainees to achieve their full potential.

Geraint specialises in Health & Safety in the amenity sector, producing bespoke training, toolbox talks and risks assessments. He holds both the IOSH Managing Safety and NEBOSH General Certificates in addition to the following professional qualifications;

Licentiateship of City & Guilds of London Institute (LCGI) Horticulture
City & Guilds Level 1 to 5 Amenity Horticulture/Sports Turf Management
City & Guilds Level 3 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Centre
City & Guilds Level 3 Award in the Assessment of Landbased Skills
City & Guilds Level 3 Award in the Training of Landbased Skills
NPTC/City & Guilds Assessor
D32/33 Assessor and Verifier
Lantra Instructional Techniques
Lantra Groundcare Trainer/Assessor

John Handley MSc

Ecology Tutor - Lantra Customised Provision

John delivers a range of specially developed Lantra accredited ecology courses for Grounds Training. He has more than twenty years of experience working within the amenity sector, has a Masters degree in Biological Recording from Birmingham University, and functions as an effective bridge between the amenity horticulture and ecology; an area where there is a developing awareness that more attention will be required. John is a qualified tutor, but it is his experience as a practitioner, seeing systems from a manager’s perspective, which is a real strength. He understands issues from the inside and recognises how to support and communicate to teams to help them create their own solutions.

John started off in farming and spent over a decade in the amenity sector as part of the contracts team at Amenity Land Solutions, progressing to the role of Senior Technical Manager within Maxwell Amenity. His interest as a botanist made him aware of the significant declines in our natural world: born in 1970, within his lifetime there has been a 68% decline in global wildlife populations. As a Senior Technical Manager, John was able to influence management and help the company engage with the changes needed to meet the growing challenges of the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

His ongoing aptitude for, and commitment to, education encouraged him to complete a Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector and his passion and enthusiasm has enabled him to become an Associate Tutor for the Field Studies Council, a charity he promotes because of the training he undertook and for its ethos of inspiring children and adults about nature. He also teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the few remaining UK universities still teaching whole organism ecology. John's consultancy helped Natural England develop the Long Term Monitoring Network, a database that is increasingly providing insights into the impact that we are having on the natural world within England. He has also worked as a surveyor for Natural Resource Wales, the Forestry Commission, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.


Keith Kent

Lantra Customised Provision Instructor - Line Marking, Lawn Care, Natural and Synthetic Sports Turf Maintenance

Keith Kent has spent an incredible half century in the grounds industry. Upon leaving school in June 1970, he joined Leicester City Football Club as a 16 year old trainee groundsman and spent 17 years with them, becoming Head Groundsman in the early 1980’s.

In the summer of 1987 he was appointed Head Groundsman at Manchester United, overseeing a team of 10 responsible for the hallowed turf at Old Trafford, The Cliff Training Ground, the Littleton Road Training Ground, and in his final two years with the Premier League club, the new Carrington Training Complex.

He moved south to join the RFU as Head Groundsman at Twickenham Stadium, home of England Rugby, in September 2002, and helped train staff in grounds maintenance at Pennyhill Park Hotel, where the RFU installed a training pitch under his supervision.

While overseeing the playing surface at one of sport’s most iconic venues, Keith was equally passionate about the grassroots game. During 16 and a half years at Twickenham he toured the country visiting more than 500 community rugby clubs using his experience and expertise to advise and guide club staff and volunteers in the maintenance of their pitches.

Keith was named Groundsman of the Year in 1995 while at Manchester United, and again in 2012 whilst at Twickenham. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his remarkable career, and his contribution to both his profession and sport, at the Institute of Groundsmanship awards in 2019.

Keith is a natural communicator and a real ‘people person’. Following his retirement from the RFU, he has continued to give back to the industry he loves, visiting grassroots clubs, delivering talks, and helping those joining the grounds maintenance industry to learn new skills.

Chris Parry

Qualified Instructor and Assessor. Lantra Customised Provision Instructor - Line Marking, Lawn Care, Natural and Synthetic Sports Turf Maintenance

Chris is a qualified Lantra instructor and City & Guilds assessor for tractors, ground care machinery, ATVs (sit-in), and hand held equipment. He has been instructing in the sports turf industry for 15 years and has more than 40 years' experience as a groundsman and amenity horticulturalist. He began his career in the maintenance of local authority green spaces and sports facilities and his experience is wide ranging and varied, including the maintenance and preparation of cricket squares and wickets, bowling greens, football, rugby and hockey pitches, grass tennis courts, athletics fields, golf course greens and tees, synthetic surfaces, the installation and maintenance of drainage and irrigation systems and general estates maintenance. Chris was previously an FA appointed pitch judge for its Groundsman of the Year awards.

He is currently Head Groundsperson at a foundation of four independent schools in the East Midlands. Previous positions include Head or Deputy Head Groundsman roles at:

  • Leicester City Football Club
  • Harlequins Rugby Football Club
  • The Dorsington Estates
  • University of Warwick

Steve Potter

Qualified Instructor and Assessor. Lantra Customised Provision instructor - Train the Trainer within Sports Turf, Grounds and Estates Management 

Steve Potter has a decade of experience delivering training and qualifications to the land-based and construction industries. Prior to that he had a highly successful forty year career in landscape construction and oversaw a number of high profile multi-disciplinary projects for major clients. He is a Lantra Technical Verifier, instructor, assessor and technical consultant. Steve has a wealth of experience and a broad range of technical skills, specialising in health and safety – including a special interest in health and safety and workplace legislation and regulations, environmental and plant and machinery training, including 360 excavators, CAT and Genny, abrasive wheels and telehandlers. Steve is a confident communicator and an excellent trainer for candidates at all stages of their career, from novice operatives to supervisors and managers.