At Kernock Park Plants we value every member of our staff. It is through their hardwork, knowledge and experience that we are able to offer our high quality products and services. We also believe that every member of our staff has something to input and utilise this to strive for innovation in both products, services and production methods.
Kernock Park Plants currently employ approx. 100 staff across the nursery. We have a mixture of full and part time employees including a number of residents that return to us each year from outside the UK. Regretably there is not enough space to list everyone by name here but we thought it would at least be beneficial to have a face to put behind the person at the end of the phone/email.
Bruce Harnett - Managing Director
Previous to working at Kernock Park Plants, I studied Environmental Science at King's College, London, worked in South Africa for one year in a riverine ecology department, University of the Witwatersrand and have also worked and studied at Plymouth University as part of a business graduate placement scheme.
My spare time is mostly spent with my lovely young family and friends. When I do manage to sneak a few hours for myself I may be found on the golf course, I may even try to get a trip a year skiing and snowboarding.
Julian Cooper - Operations Director
I have been working in ICT for over 20 years, starting my career in R&D for ocean nutrients before moving into database management and ultimately to Kernock.
My time at Kernock is spread across areas covering creating and maintaining our Nursery Management System software (NMS), management meetings, server management, security, desktop and software support and website creation. Alongside my ICT roles I am also responsible for the operational side of the business which includes (amongst other areas) accreditations, forecasting, project investment and funding etc.
I am a leader in lean projects across the site with a keen interest in the continuous improvement of Kernock's production methods and services.
My main hobby (many would argue an obsession) is playing badminton at county level, entering national tournaments and representing my local team. I am also president of the Plymouth & District league and a lead coach at one of the largest junior clubs in the area.
If I have any spare time after all of that, I spend this with my family and ferrying my children to the many activities with which they are involved.
Bob Askew - Production Director
I am currently the 'new boy', having joined the Kernock team at the beginning of October 2023. I have worked in production horticulture over 35 years, originally in edible crops and the last 25 years in ornamentals. I studied at Writtle University College, where I gained a Higher National Diploma in Commercial Horticulture and BSc Degree in Agriculture. Most of my experience in ornamentals production has been gained on 'plant finishing' nurseries - I was General Manager at Brinkmans Nurseries in West Sussex for 5 years, and for 17 years was General Manager at Darby Nursery Stock in Norfolk.
My interests outside of work mainly centre around an obsession with trees, to which end I visit arboreta and other nurseries as often as possible and write articles for Horticulture Week. I also like raising trees from seed in the search for new cultivars. I already have a maple cultivar registered for plant protection and am currently raising 500+ flowering cherry seedlings, looking for plants of the future. I have done a good chunk of travelling in the Middle East and beyond, and like listening to live music and drinking good IPA.
Joanne Harnett - Director
I have worked as part of the Kernock team since 2002. I began as part of the cutting team and have worked throughout the nursery over the years, with no horticultural background initially there was a steep learning curve. Since 2007 I have been more office based involved in sales , customer service and general personnel. I very much enjoy working in the family business where my role has developed over the years continuing to be varied and challenging with continuous development.
Myself and my husband Bruce Harnett have two children, Isaac and Gwen- Joyce who ensure life is never dull.
In my spare time I enjoy the usual , spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy running , cooking and holidays ( who doesn't enjoy holidays) In the coming years I hope to explore more of the world on family adventures.
Richard Harnett - Chairman
I founded Kernock Park Plants in 1981 with my wife Jan producing, at first, vegetable crops. While working for ADAS as an Horticultural Adviser I studied Bedding Plant production and toured Europe and USA during my time with the Ministry. I recognised many plants and techniques that were not used or practised in the UK and advised the industry on the possibilities. Falling on deaf ears I decided the only way to promote the Patio Plant was to do it myself and, since 1988 have developed the business growing innovative plants.
The site now covers 12 ha with 4 ha of protected cover and continues to seek new varieties while combining modern techniques for sustainability and efficiency. Since my son, Bruce, has become Managing Director my role is now of Chairman.
Kate Dunn - Finance Manager
I was welcomed in by the wonderful KPP family in November 2021 and instantly felt at home and a valued member of the team. My role here as finance manager is varied and challenging and it keeps me very busy but I do love taking the time to get to know our customers whenever possible. My family and I have moved around quite a lot over the years but we have now come back to where we started and replanted our roots firmly in Cornwall. During that time, I have forged my career in finance around raising my children and I have recently completed my AAT professional diploma in accounting. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, swimming and, like a lot of people, have found a love of growing plants when we were all locked away.
Chris Harnett - InstaPlant Manager
I have been InstaPlant Manager here for over 20 years, I enjoy the challenge of creating works of art in plants in the form of carpet beds and 3D displays. I have produced carpet bedding displays for the Chelsea Flower Show, Waddesdon Manor, Hampton Court, RHS Garden Wisley and local authorities and organisations all over the UK.
I have been working in the family business since I was old enough to help out on the nursery, it has been great to see the nursery expand over the years from a few tunnels of strawberries to over 12 acres of high-tech glasshouses and a catalogue range of over 1200 varieties. I have always had a love for plants and look forward to planting out the new varieties on our catalogue. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my growing family (including our crazy new puppy Jasper!), kayaking and photography - and of course gardening!
Claire Maitland - Sales Supervisor
I have been working at Kernock as a Sales Administrator since September 2017. I have lived in the local area most of my life. I spent 3 years in Western Australia where I spent some time studying and travelling.
Since moving back to the UK in 2009 most of my time is spent raising my children, Matthew aged 10 and James aged 7. I love spending time with my family and when I do get some 'child free' time I enjoy seeing friends.
I enjoy working at Kernock Park Pants and look forward to what the future holds!
Adam Piper - Marketing & Creative IT
I have worked at Kernock since leaving college in 2017. My role consists of a variety of tasks from general marketing activities such as advert and catalogue design, social media communications, trade show organisation, plant photography and having a significant involvement regarding our Research and Development program - Making sure every new plant introduction is a winner!
The other aspect of my job is ICT Support. Working under Julian, I have learned to deal with most aspects of the day-to-day IT support required on a site such as ours, as well as maintenance of our various websites and server systems.
As for what I get up to outside of work, my main interest must lie with cars. Having spent my childhood around my Dad's classics & the smell of 70's vinyl, creaky plastics & headache inducing exhaust fumes it was almost inevitable I would end up taking an interest. Many a weekend is spent either underneath, driving or showing one of my "future proof investments". Not sure when this plan is supposed to show me any return. Perhaps next year
Annie McMahon - Sales Administrator
Since joining the Kernock team, i have worked as Sales Office Administrator.
Originally from West Wales, I have lived locally for just over 30 years and with my lovely husband for the last 21 years. I really enjoy taking time out to walk as much as possible in Devon, Cornwall and back in West Wales when I can, especially along the coast.
I spend a lot of time in my garden, having been encouraged to learn about plants by my Nana when I was younger. I also practice Reiki, enjoy Djembe drumming and dabbling in a whole host of arts and crafts. I really enjoy setting myself the challenge of learning something new regularly - my new job role is supplying me with a whole range of new and exciting learning which I'm enjoying thoroughly.
Louis Taylor - Maintenance Manager
I have been working at Kernock Park Plants for over 20 years, primarily in the maintenance and InstaPlant departments.
In 2017 I took on the role of Maintenance Manager, replacing the now retired Ian Gilbert.
My role consists of a vairety of tasks, repairing all machinery on site alongside looking after our two biomass boilers.
Previous to my life at Kernock, I was an Ex Pongo war Vet since my days of leaving school many years ago!
Alin Voinea - Production Stage 2 and Scrutiny Manager
I started working for Kernock Park Plants in 2010 I have worked throughout the company in all production areas moving to Purchasing and Scrutiny Manager in 2016.
In my role I liaise with sales and production to ensure that we are meeting customer requirements and our customers receive accurate updates. Ensuring a smooth transition of each order from Kernock Park plants to the customer.
During this period I've graduated in a Supervisory and Management Training Course at Plumpton College and Horticultural NVQ's with Concordia.
Outside of work I enjoy time with my wife, two children and spending time with friends. Any spare hours I like to spend playing football and basketball, having graduated with a diploma degree in Physical Education and Sport from University in my native country Romania.
Cathy Parsons - Stock Manager
I have worked at Kernock for many years and covered most area's in my initial years before specializing in plant growth and cultural care culminating in me becoming Motherstock Manager.
Previously I studied a Diploma in Amenity Horticulture after gardening with plantaholic parents. I live locally with my husband and three sons where I pursue my hobbies of walking, reading and Pilates, although my main hobby is of course gardening in my large garden which I have designed and planted myself.