Pete Weston

Creator of a powerful voice for the horticultural industry
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The Independent Online

Peter Gordon Weston, journalist: born Chelmsford, Essex 25 May 1963; one son by Lel Topp; died Chelmsford 25 October 2003.

In 1999 Pete Weston became editor of Horticulture Week after working his way up the ladder from production editor to managing editor.

Soon after taking the editor's chair he decided that the horticultural industry needed a stronger voice and a way of being able to lobby government. The industry had long been fragmented, encompassing parks and gardens, retail garden centres, nurseries and growers, tree surgeons, landscapers, and sports ground managers.

Weston's drive and enthusiasm led to the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group. He succeeded - for the first time - in creating a powerful voice for the industry; lobbying for its needs and putting horticulture on the political agenda. More than 180 members of the House of Commons and House of Lords belong to the group, which keeps MPs up-to-date with the sophistication of horticulture, with visits to flower shows, botanic gardens, nurseries and through regular meetings at the House of Commons.

A creative, insightful journalist who always strove for and expected perfection, Weston started his career in his native Essex when he joined the Redbridge Guardian as a reporter and sub-editor, then moved on to the Harlow Citizen. In 1990 he combined his interest in conservation and environmental issues with his career as a journalist, becoming a writer and consultant to Greenpeace, before moving to Haymarket Publishing as a senior sub-editor on General Practitioner. Weston took up the position of production editor on Horticulture Week in 1996.

He had recently overseen a redesign and relaunch and was pivotal in the launch of Horticulture Week's sister publications Landscape Review and Garden Retail.

Among Weston's many obsessions were hiking, VW camper vans, American fiction, canoeing, walking and cycling. In 1994 he cycled over 11,000 miles around the coast of Australia. He had recently taken up sailing and was planning a round-the-world sailing trip.

Pete Weston and his partner Lel had a three-year-old son, Gabey, and Lel is expecting their second child.

Martyn Cox