Dimitrisz Sopisz is the Grounds and Gardens Supervisor at Queen Mary University of London where, together with his team of five, he is responsible for the maintenance of the grounds and gardens at the Mile End Campus.
Since taking on the role in January 2020, Dimi has been a driving force in creating outdoor spaces that provide an opportunity for research, help improve staff and student wellbeing, and benefit the environment.
Dimi, who is originally from Hungary where he studied horticulture sciences, explains:
For me, it’s not enough to cut the grass and keep things tidy.
I strongly believe in the importance of biodiversity and environmental enhancement, so I am always looking for ways to improve the grounds.
Each day, after checking the grounds are in order and making a list of jobs to be done, Dimi sets to work on his latest projects.
In the past year, we have created a wildflower meadow and planted an apple and pear orchard, which have proved very successful.
I’m currently assisting in the planning of a green roof and renovation of a sunken garden.
Wherever possible, I want to include carbon-, temperature- and rainwater-sensors, so students can use these areas as part of their research projects.
Dimi has more than 17 years’ experience working in garden design and management and has a particular interest in social therapeutic horticulture.
He encourages staff and students to engage with the grounds and runs volunteer sessions in the gardens.
He has also created an organic vegetable patch which supplies the university catering outlets with fresh produce.
Since the pandemic, I have been offering workshops on how to grow seeds and propagate plants.
At a time like this, it is particularly important for wellbeing to have the opportunity to be outside, to talk to people and have that connection with nature.
Last updated: 16 July 2021