She has worked with bark and horticultural growing media for well over three decades, following a degree in Soil Science and irrigation research in the vineyards of South Africa.
As previous Chair of the Growing Media Association, Catherine has been very actively involved in the cross-industry sustainable growing media task force and the new Responsible Sourcing of Growing Media Scheme, which aims to bring transparency to the impact of the ingredients used in all composts, allowing both growers and gardeners to scrutinise more closely both the environmental and social impacts of the composts they are using.
Catherine’s job at Melcourt involves all aspects of the design, development and quality assurance of their peat-free growing media. This means plenty of practical trial work and constant testing both in-house and at nurseries across the UK. The move towards peat reduction in UK horticulture remains a controversial issue for some and Catherine inevitably therefore becomes involved in some of the more political aspects of the subject.
A keen gardener, Catherine says she finds it difficult not to bring her work into the garden such that seed sowing and potting on always involves more than one mix so that comparisons can be made and closely observed.