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Founded in 2008. The Landscape Juice Network (LJN) is the largest and fastest growing professional landscaping and horticultural association in the United Kingdom.

LJN's professional business forum is unrivalled and open to anyone within within the UK landscape industry

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Black Lives Matter

In light of recent events surrounding Black Lives Matter and issues of racism within our society, I thought it was important to have a short word on the topic.

Back in February, I posted a blog post delving into the lack of diversity within the horticulture industry, and the systemic racism that contributes to that lack of diversity. I concentrated more specifically on Juliet Sargeant, who was the first black gardener to win the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016, the first black winner throughout its 106-year history.   

After the death of George Floyd on the 25th May, the Black Lives Matter movement gained a new wave of momentum and support, with many influencers and companies contributing to the revolt for change surrounding racism in both the US and in the U.K. As our industry is concerned in these matters, I thought it would be important to shed light onto some of the issues within the industry.

As this movement has brought light to the industry’s existing and ongoing systematic racism, there have been more posts and articles surrounding issues within horticulture. James Wong wrote an article for the Guardian titled ‘Weeding out horticulture’s race problem’ where he describes the kinds of racial discrimination and prejudice that he faces within the industry.

There is also a very in-depth article on hortweek.com that asks why black people are so under-represented within the industry, and shows perspective on the issue. 

In essence, the lack of representation and diversity within the industry stems from multiple aspects including lack of representation in the media with very few Black role-models for younger generations, lack of diversity within decision-makers in horticultural institutions as well as other economic and political reasons which are widely explained in news articles and on social media.

Therefore, as a platform whose aim is to help individuals within horticulture, we have decided to donate to Urban Synergy – an early intervention mentoring charity that helps over 1,000 young people between 11-18 years of age reach their full potential through outcome-focused mentoring programmes and inspirational seminars. We are conscious of our ability to influence the next generations of gardeners, and we would like to ensure that these generations are as inclusive as we can possibly make them, and we are dedicated to help where we can.

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Replies

  • just had a look on there facebook page and everything seems to be centerd in london do they do things nation wide (links will be helpfull) also how mutch do you intend donating 

  • As a small business owner and GM contractor,I wasnt aware that there was any form of racism in Landscaping.

     

    • Me neither. I get a little tired of being told that racism is endemic in every industry, especially our industry.

      I live in Bolsover [Derbyshire]. There are about 11,000 people here including some surrounding small villages. The large nearby village of Clowne [yes it is an odd name] has a population of about 7000 including some surrounding villages. I have lived in this area all my life. So out of a population of 18000, there are only four black people who live in the area. I personally know all of them, two were at school at the same time as me, although they are a little older, and two of them are actually friends of my family. In all the time spent with them and talking at length with all four of them over many, many years, racism has never been mentioned once.

      These four lovely people, two men and two women, all married white people. They are just four more local people and friends, skin colour has no bearing on anything at all.

      It depends I suppose on where you live. Inner cities are a very different environment to rural Derbyshire, which is full of lovely forward thinking, tolerant and inclusive minded folk.

      We all agree with the statement that black lives matter. We can all get behind this fundamental truth as a statement of fact. But the organisation ‘Black lives Matter’ have official aims of abolishing the police and ending capitalism and closing all prisons. They are an extreme far left organisation.

      Link - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8441405/The-avowed-aims-Br...

      • just looked at the mail link its a bit worrying reading it also looks like a small number of people are in it to make a lot of money 

  • Why is it some people imagine there's racism everywhere?   It's pretty obvious why "black people are so under-represented within the industry".............   there's a lot less black people in the country compared to "white" people..... simple really. Just watched some football............. are the uk white players under represented compared to the  blacks?  Yes but we're just not as good but do we shout out "racism"??   The sooner we get away from this nonsense the better.  I've lots of friends/customers of various races who are sick to death of all this and tell me they  never encounter any problems whatsoever..... if anything, this BLM just creates a division between black and white people.     

  • PRO

    Didn't post up until now for fear of being labelled as a racist but I echo the thoughts posted in reponse. This has been blown out of all proportion, bands changing names, comedians no longer doing impressions of black people and history appearing to be rewritten.

  • PRO

    Have you actually read the Black lives matter mission statement?

    its frightening. It would create anarchy.

    All lives matter.

    i suppose it's a good job I won't be looking for an employed position ever as this probably would make me a no no. So be it.

    im not racist and have friends of many different creeds.

    by all means promote inclusivity but there are better ways than black lives matter.

    how do I cancel my membership? 

  • PRO

    Fleur,

    As of today it looks like LJN has 7343 members, of all colours, creeds, genders and sexualities. I have two questions for you

    1) You clearly write in your post about 'systemic rascism that contributes to lack of diversity'. You sound very sure of that as your statement is quite unambiguous so please can you give clear examples of how this group of people, including me and the other contributors, are 'systemically rascist'...and please we need a lot more than an annecdotal accounts from James Wong.

    2) Have you decided on BAME people's behalf than there needs to be more of them in the industry or have they expressed this directly to you? (and I hate to refer to them as 'they' but as we are lumping groups together....)

     

    • PRO

      Have you read the blog post linked at the top of the opening statement? It's even worse!

    • Simon, if it helps, 'systematic racism' avoids blaming individuals.  You can have a mixture of innocent, oblivious and malign people working in an organisation and it can be 'sytematically racist'.

       

      As an example, the Macpherson report found institutionalised racism in the police force.  It did not say 'all police officers are racist'.   I am sure most officers were innocent or oblivious.

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