Here he is …
Alan is, deep breath, Operations Manager for CityParks North. It’s a big job. As well as parks in Preston, Patcham, Hollingbury, St Anne’s Wells Garden and the Brighton and Hove cemeteries, he’s responsible for all the green spaces up to Hove Lagoon – that’s all the grass verges, housing estates and so on.
How long have you worked for the parks department?
It will be 38 years this summer. I started as an apprentice straight from school and completed a 3-year apprenticeship. From the mid-1980s to 1992 I was based in Stanmer Nurseries where I was responsible for growing trees and shrubs.
What do you like about your job?
I really enjoy the variety of work and I enjoy dealing with people. There just never seems enough time in the day to concentrate on any one thing. And I’d love to have the chance to work alongside the guys – I miss that. But no two days are the same and all the things that crop up are different and fast-moving. I could be dealing with a complaint about ￼4
a verge one minute and the next overseeing the sowing of seeds in Preston Park.
What do you like about Preston Park?
I like the fact that there’s something for everyone in the park. And, in every season, there’s something of interest – even in the depths of winter.
What would you want to change about the park?
I’d like to see the park as a car-free area [more about that below]. I’d also like to see more facilities for people – maybe some adult exercise equipment.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
I really like walking and caravanning – I like the West Country and Wales. I have a largish garden and I like working in it. And I enjoy working on my family’s farm.
Thank you for the work you’ve done for our park Alan.