Water management specialist

Helping gardeners and professionals to use water wisely and researching tools and techniques to help them adapt to our changing climate

Training, qualifications and skills Most scientists at the RHS have PhDs, but I snuck in with a degree in chemistry, an MSc in water engineering, RHS Level 3 theory, five years’ experience working as a professional horticulturist at a production nursery and a lifetime of amateur gardening experience.
Career progression opportunities Mine was a new role at the RHS and the project ends November 2021 – working for the RHS has been a great experience so I am confident other opportunities will appear.
Useful links UK’s first garden water scientist appointed
Gardening in a changing climate
The Water Management Society
Environment Agency

Focus on: Water management specialist

Janet Manning
Royal Horticultural Society
Full time, salary up to £35k
RHS Garden Wisley

I look for tools and techniques to help gardeners use the right amount of water. Water resources are under pressure in the UK and gardens need to adapt to climate change so I look for research to understand how we need to change gardening techniques and translate it for domestic and professional gardeners. I am working on a three-year knowledge transfer partnership project with Cranfield University and the RHS, funded by Innovate UK. Water is fundamental to all life and with increasing pressures of climate change, population growth and the environment we need to adapt the way we garden.

Whatever job you choose to do, do it with a passion and aim to be the very best you can be. Your passion and enthusiasm will take you wherever you want to go.

I am here to help keep people gardening but use water wisely. I am normally based at RHS Wisley where I can use lab facilities as well as the 247 acres of gardens to investigate better ways to manage water in gardens. It is not just about irrigation but everything from collecting rainwater, improving soil and how to know when a plant needs watering, and communicating the findings to scientists, horticulturists and domestic gardeners.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.