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David "Fred" Perry

SHEQ Director at Frosts Landscapes

Before joining Frosts Landscapes Fred had an exemplary 22-Year career in the Royal Air Force, principally based in mechanical engineering on Ground Support Equipment, but latterly in Health and Safety, facilitation of technical and managerial training, training needs, analysis and development, equipment procurement and project management

David "Fred" Perry
  • How did you come to be involved in horticulture?

    I’m an engineer by trade, ex-RAF. I used to lead, and train, the “crash and smash” team, who would use chainsaws to clear wreckage. When I left the RAF, after 20 years’ service, I saw an advert for Frosts, who wanted landscapers. I went along to an open day, thinking I could work with chainsaws again, and when James Frost interviewed me, he persuaded me to take on the job of Yard Manager.

  • Tell me about your career with Frosts to date?

    I left the RAF on a Friday, went to Frosts’ open day on the Sunday, was interviewed by James on the Monday, and started the same day! From Yard Manager, I worked my way up to become Group Operations Director in the company; now I’m a Director of Frosts Landscapes.

  • How do you see your role in the company?

    I’m the problem-solver. I work with quality standards, environmental issues, vehicles, machinery, risk assessments and health and safety, which is my main focus. It’s my job to know how to make something work safely, but with common sense, so as not to cause too many problems for the client and for us.

  • What would you like to see in terms of Frosts’ legacy 10-50-100 years from now?

    I see Frosts as being run as a family business first and foremost. The staff we employ tend to stay with us for a long time, and they’re very loyal because of that. They enjoy what they do. This is a business that’s fast-paced; we’re multi-tasking 24/7. The whole team works together, supporting and helping each other in a variety of roles. I believe we’ll always be like that; it’s how we like it.

    The other legacy we’ll leave is down to Frosts’ authenticity. We construct top-quality landscapes at a fair price and the quality of our work will stand the test of time. Look at the Olympic Park and Jubilee Gardens. They’re part of our legacy already.

  • Frosts will always go the extra yard to push a job through. Frosts is honest. We have a real can-do attitude, and we’ll also tell you if something can’t be done.
  • What marks Frosts out from competitors?

    Competitive tendering means that jobs are often won on price, but where there’s an opportunity to make a choice based on other options, Frosts will always go the extra mile to push a job through, even if that sometimes works to our personal disadvantage. I’ve know our team will always pull the stops out, and work late and long if it means getting it done on time.

    Frosts has always been a straightforward company to deal with. We have a real can-do attitude, and we’ll also tell you if something can’t be done. You know where you are with us, always.

  • Where do you see your core values and beliefs represented in what you do?

    I’m fiercely loyal. Loyalty trumps everything. When you’re loyal to your workforce, they’ll be loyal back. That’s how it works at Frosts. I’m a stickler for health and safety, and that’s understood by everyone. If I say it needs to be done a certain way, they understand that I have their safety at heart.

    I’m delighted that the 3 of us (Fred with Adrian and Ken) decided to buy Frosts Landscapes. We’ve been with the company for many years between us, and that means the stability and expertise is still here. We’re all prepared to roll our sleeves up and help out, and we do. There’re no lines of division here. Everything is a team event.

  • What’s great/important/matters about Frosts?

    It matters that Frosts continues to produce quality landscapes for many years to come. The three of us who bought the company definitely have the will to succeed. We’re here with three good heads, with overlapping skills, who complement each other in our leadership to keep the company at the top of its game.

    I mentioned the can-do attitude before. It doesn’t exist in many companies these days. At Frosts, we make stuff happen, and that’s rare today.

    Oh, and you can’t be precious here. There’s lots of leg-pulling!

  • How do you get inspired/what inspires you?

    I see myself as being part of the train set. It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m a conductor, a driver, or shovelling coal. I like being given problems to solve.

  • Frosts is a business that runs at a million miles an hour, multitasking 24/7. We wear lots of hats, and that won’t change.
  • Favourite tree/plant and why?

    I’m an engineer, but I also like looking at landscapes. I like water features and soft landscaping. I always appreciate the workmanship that’s gone into a construction project, and I recognise when a landscape has been well maintained.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not working?

    I like fishing; I specimen hunt for perch. I also restore vintage fishing tackle. I buy old bamboo rods at car boot sales, and restore them to their former glory, matching colours, using silk.

    I love my rescue collie, Max. They say that every owner deserves the dog they get. I believe choosing to rescue Max has been about teaching me patience!

    And did I mention real ale…?

  • Tell us about working with Adrian…

    He’s a figures man. And he’s probably the best in the country at what he does. When Adrian estimates for a job, it will be correct down to the last rubber band…

    Is there a lighter side to him?
    There may be a lighter side to him, but although we sometimes take the Micky out of him for wanting to get everything spot-on, we know we need that. If we don’t get our process right at the start, well…

  • Tell us about working with Ken…

    On the lighter side, Ken and I share very similar bantering skills. The other day, I left the office in full PPE gear for a job, and my day clothes were by my desk. When I came back, there was a scarecrow outside, dressed in my clothes! That was thanks to Ken. We like to play practical jokes!

    Seriously, Ken is an inspirational leader. He questions and challenges all the time. He’ll push you to the brink, to get the best out of you. I like that: learning and growing.

    We all wear our hearts on our sleeves here. There are no airs and graces.

Meet The Directors

Why is Frosts a great company to choose?
We interviewed the directors so they could introduce themselves and demonstrate just what makes Frosts tick.