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. Customised Provision Instructor - Line Marking, Lawn Care and 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 courses, including 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

John delivers a range of 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.


Chris Parry

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

Chris Parry 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
Frank Newberry

Frank Newberry

Supervisory and Communication Skills Tutor

Throughout his career Frank has worked extensively with groundstaff and greenkeepers, and well understands the particular challenges faced by those in supervisory and management positions at sporting establishments, public schools etc. He is a gifted communicator who is as effective at energising huge conferences as he is at coaching people one-to-one. Frank has more than 40 years' line management, consulting and training experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors and brings an innovative yet down-to-earth approach to training and development. Since 1992 he has worked as a consultant and conference speaker working principally in the grounds management and greenkeeping sectors. Prior to this he was employed by British Telecom in various roles, including Tutor and later Head of Group at BT Management Training College, and Senior Consultant in BT's Consultancy Unit.

Frank's Key Professional Competencies include:

  • Master trainer (interpersonal skills, assertiveness, customer care)
  • Accredited Recruitment and Selection Assessor
  • Speed Reading/Speed Memory training design
  • Customer Service Training and design
  • Change management consultant
  • Consultancy Team leader
  • Conference Speaker
  • Trainer team leader
  • Meetings Facilitator
  • Executive Coach
  • Business English Teacher
  • Careers Counsellor