UK: Brain food - Unlikely managers Garden curator - Down House, Charles Darwin's Residence, in Down, near ...

UK: Brain food - Unlikely managers Garden curator - Down House, Charles Darwin's Residence, in Down, near ... - Brain food - Unlikely managers Garden curator - Down House, Charles Darwin's Residence, in Down, near Orpington, Kent.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Brain food - Unlikely managers Garden curator - Down House, Charles Darwin's Residence, in Down, near Orpington, Kent.

Name: Nick Biddle

When did you become a manager? Two years ago, after I took this job, and it became clear I wasn't supposed to do much hands-on work. I realised that to get on in a horticultural career you have to give up most of the practical side of things.

What does management mean to you? Taking responsibility and thinking of everything that might be needed before it becomes a problem. It's also about making and running a team. This can be difficult as I work at Down House and most of the other people involved in the restoration work elsewhere.

I've started having 'on-site' meetings once every couple of months. It also means communicating and maintaining good relations with the local community - when we put in a fence, we talked with the local badger watch because it was across a badger run. It's important that people - both colleagues and the community - feel that the project's objectives are their objectives.

What do you love/hate about it? I love the history of the place and walking down the same paths where Darwin did his thinking. The excitement of getting things historically right is as good as a good game of football. I dislike the scattered nature of the team and the frustration of occasionally not foreseeing every problem.

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