Peter takes role of GCA chairman

In his role the 52-year-old, who manages Sanders Garden World in Somerset and is the Regional Manager for four South West-based garden centres, will help boost awareness of the organisation.

Peter said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as GCA Chairman and I am looking forward to helping spread the word of the GCA and promoting its work. “Ensuring customer satisfaction is a vital aspect of GCA activity. The GCA’s new slogan for 2012 is ‘Better standards, better business’ and this will be the theme for my year in tenure.

“I would like to help drive membership and ensure current members receive the best service possible for the industry organisation.

“I will be helping to plan some of the organisations events in 2012 and my first role will be to help organise and run the annual GCA Conference, which takes place from January 23 until 25 in Oxfordshire.”

The winter conferences and study tours for garden centre owners, managers and staff are a crucial part of the work of the GCA.

They help to enhance good communication skills and advise members of the latest retail initiatives to encourage customers to visit garden centres.

Peter, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, has a degree in horticulture from the University of Bath.

His family also has an extensive background in horticulture. Both of Peter’s parents ran garden centres until they retired and three other members of the Burks family work in the industry.

Gillie Westwood, Chief Executive at the GCA, said: “I would like to congratulate Peter on his new position and wish him all the best with his work for the GCA in 2012 and 2013.

“I would also like to thank Dennis Espley for all his hard work in his role as 2011’s chairman.”

Registration is now open for the 2012 GCA Conference, which takes place from January 23 until 25, at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. To register, please visit