Published: December 11, 2019 | Updated: December 12, 2019

Dig this! From one man and a transit tipper to a £4.5m business and a national award to boot

Staff from Dorset Soils and Aggregates celebrate their award at the 2019 BALI National Landscape Awards.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A company which started life 21 years ago with one man and a transit tipper and has grown into a £4.5m business employing 20 people has scooped a national award.

Dorset Soils and Aggregates was recognised for Affiliate Exceptional Service at the 43rd British Association of Landscape Industries’ (BALI) National Landscape Awards.

Paul Miller, Managing Director, pictured at the BALI awards.

It’s the first award the business has entered since being founded by Paul Miller, Managing Director, in 1998.

Mr Miller said putting together the submission had taken about 60 man-hours and achieving the award had been 21 years in the making.

He added: “Well done to all our staff for helping achieve this prestigious national award.

“It epitomises everything we strive for. Customer service is first and foremost.

“Whether it’s a DIYer or a regular tradesman, all our customers hold the same importance.

“We still have customers that use our products and services since when we started.

“With the recent expansion of our new depot at Elliott Road in Bournemouth, we feel this will only strengthen our position in the sector across Dorset.

“We’ve come a long way since one man and a transit tipper.’

Dorset Soils and Aggregates is a national supplier of soft and hard landscaping materials, ranging from specially blended soils to its flagship Wessex® Coolfresh turf and a large range of both porcelain and Indian sandstone paving.

It has three branches in Bournemouth, Dorchester and Ferndown as well as a recycling yard/distribution centre and head office.

The company, which has eight delivery vehicles, is a BALI registered affiliate.

More than 1,000 people attended this year’s BALI National Landscape Awards, held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London in Park Lane.

The annual ceremony celebrates the skills, hard work, quality, commitment and successes of BALI registered members.

It is the largest landscape awards event in Europe, recognising excellence in landscape design, construction and maintenance both in the UK and overseas, as well as awarding affiliate customer service and employer excellence.

The JW Marriott Grosvenor House London was the venue for the awards.

The Affiliate Exceptional Service category was open to registered affiliate members of BALI demonstrating exceptional service in:

  • technical support
  • exceeding customer expectation
  • proactive involvement in BALI regional and national events
  • customer support and guidance
  • efficiency of service
  • product range and development
  • good complaint resolution procedures
  • flexibility in supporting budget constraints
  • flexibility with delivery issues.

Dorset Soils and Aggregates provided examples of regular, returning customers and testimonials, highlighting the company’s ability to source any required products from around the world, along with its friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Mark Durden-Smith, the TV sports and lifestyle presenter, hosted the awards which attracted a record-breaking 145 first-time entries this year.

Guests included Adam White, President of the Landscape Institute; Sarah Morgan, Chair of the Society of Garden Designers; Rod Winrow, Chairman of the Association of Professional Landscapers; Sue Biggs CBE, Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society and Gerald Bonner, President of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.