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Brief Encounter with Duncan Jeffray

Duncan Jeffray
Duncan Jeffray
Originally published 7 August 2003


Duncan Jeffray is the University's Landscape Consultant, he has been working with the University over the past 20 years. Working closely with David Howell, the Grounds Superintendant, he has made a huge contribution to the University Landscape that we see today. Duncan also sits on the University's Landscape Working Group is a sub-group of the Building Committee.

Position

Landscape Consultant

Which means

I advise the University and especially its Landscape Working Group on all matters to do with the Campus Landscape.

Favourite phrase

Useful phrase for clients, 'wonders we can perform, miracles take a little longer'.

Least favourite phrase

Most hated phrase from clients, 'and by the way we want lots of decking'.

Life before Warwick

Ten years as a teacher of Biology in secondary schools, prior to doing a PhD at Birmingham University.

Best thing about working at Warwick

To feel that one has made a contribution (over a period of more than 20 years) to what I believe is one of the best campus landscapes of any university in the UK.

Worst thing about working at Warwick

The drive up and down the M6 from Cumbria, where I now live.

People are always surprised to learn this about me, but...

I was asked to leave the cubs as a small boy because I knew more common trees than the tester for my Trees Badge and told her so. Arrogant even then!

As a young child what did you want to be as a "grown-up"?

An architect.

Major achievement to date?

Winning, last December, the annually awarded Christopher Cadbury Medal for services to Nature Conservation. The medal is awarded by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation.

If you could change one thing in the University overnight, what would it be?

Instigate the removal of the Gatehouse building, on Gibbet Hill Road, which I believe must win the prize for the worst building on campus (a good example of the 'Little Chef' school of architecture), though there are other competitors for this accolade.

Which person inspires you most, and why?

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The genius who made such a significant contribution to English landscape design.

Your favourite hobby or pastime?

Mountain walking.