John Handley MSc
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.