top of page
  • Writer's picturemelaniekerr

TASK Training Academy - Landscaping & Land based Courses

I was delighted to be asked to come to a open day at Task to learn about their industry and public land based courses.

Led by Rupert Keys, a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in the landscape and construction field, he is widely respected as a prominent figure in the UK's landscape and training sectors. Starting as a gardener in Cheltenham Parks Department and furthering his education in Horticulture at Pershore, Rupert Keys, along with his wife, the garden designer Ruth Gwynn, has successfully managed Keyscape Design & Construction for the past thirty years. Their business has been instrumental in delivering garden and landscape projects nationwide, showcasing Rupert Keys' comprehensive understanding of the landscape industry.

There are 22 industry courses ranging from paving to laying turf to design rain water systems. There are currently 8 public courses with a view to increasing the range in the near future - so if you are looking to update your outdoor space and want to do it yourself - this is a perfect way to learn from industry experts.

On the day we started with brick laying. We covered a lot of information in an hour's session, teaching us how to start, what the consistency of the mortar should be, and types of brick patterns.

The hands-on 2-day course accredited by LANTRA, offers a perfect starting point to learn the techniques required for constructing a high-quality brick wall. The course covers all the essential skills and theory, including brick selection, 'The 3 Keys', footings and foundations, bonding patterns, creating the perfect mortar mix, pointing finishes, and more. This course is a fantastic opportunity to master a vital landscaping skill, guided by a top industry professional.

All the courses run at TASK Academy have sustainability at heart and the mortar they use is cement free which means that it is reused time and time again - the batch we used on the day was 18 months old!

The next session was dry stone walling run by Nick Leitch from Bespoke Landscape Design

He explained that dry stone walls serve a dual purpose by supporting local wildlife and preserving a captivating heritage.

It was brilliant to try out such an ancient craft.

The one-day introductory course will really give you a hands-on experience within a small group setting. You will learn so much on the day covering:

  • Different types of dry stone walls and their functions.

  • Foundation preparation using pins and lines

  • Stone base arrangement

  • Stone shaping techniques

  • Stone finishing methods

  • Building a wall section with toppers

Lastly but by no means least we covered willow weaving plant supports under the expert tutorage of Mel Bastier

Mel is a willow artist and basket maker, specialising in creating large scale sculpture.

I've been drawn to creating plant supports using materials that are available to me as a gardener so this really floating my boat!

Willow weaving, an ancient and traditional handicraft, has recently experienced a revival. People of all ages now delight in this creative activity, offering a chance to learn under the guidance of the expert tutor, Mel, and craft your very own willow creation to take home. Whether you are a novice or have some experience in willow weaving, this course is designed for everyone to enjoy.

The other weaving course available is to create a trug or basket. With groups restricted to 10 people you can expect a personalised experience and will walk away with a treasured creation that will last for years to come.

So if you are looking for an engaging project to work on at home or wanting to improve your skills in your field - Look no further than the courses provided by Task. All of the sessions were truly inspiring and guided by exceptionally talented, encouraging, and driven individuals.

12 views0 comments


bottom of page