Arbordeck blog

Meet the 2021 Arbordeck Awards judges

Meet the Judges for the Arbordeck Awards 2021

The Arbordeck Awards are back for 2021 and we’re delighted to have already received lots of fantastic entries – and we know there will be plenty more to come before the entry deadline on the 20th September.

As well as being able to host the awards in person again later this year, we’re pleased to have a new panel of judges for 2021: Jonathan Cooper, Alan Hodkinson, Gary Cornhill and Phil Tremayne. All four judges are industry experts, so we know the Arbordeck Awards are in great hands.

Read on to find out more about each judge, and exactly what they’ll be looking for in this year’s entries.


Jonathan Cooper

Jonathan Cooper - Head judge

Head judge Jonathan Cooper has been working as Arbor Forest Products’ decking business manager since early 2020 – and he’s worked in the industry for over 20 years. In his role, Jonathan works closely with Trex to continue to build on the brand’s reputation and reach within the UK, as well as further develop successful existing programmes such as the TrexPRO scheme.

As business manager for Trex at Arbor Forest Products, Jonathan is looking for entries which showcase an entire system and use complementary systems such pedestals, the Trex Lighting Collection and Trex Signature Railing. Jonathan wants to see decks that have been designed to create an ambient outdoor entertaining space for customers – so it’s about more than just the design: it’s about what the customer gets from the deck. Entries that demonstrate skills in intricate work, attention to detail and mixing two or more colours will also win points from Jonathan.

Commenting on the return of the awards, Jonathan said: “This is my first Arbordeck Awards, and I’m most looking forward to seeing landscapers’ hard work celebrated and rewarded, especially after a difficult 2020 and 2021. Everyone who puts forward their work deserves recognition, and while we can’t reward everyone who enters, it’s fantastic to see such dedication and loyalty towards Trex.

“The past 18 months have been challenging for landscapers due to industry-wide supply shortages, so we’re delighted to be bringing back the Arbordeck Awards as a thank you for the support we’ve received from our customers throughout. We anticipate that stocks will be fully replenished with short lead times from January 2022 – but in the meantime, we’re looking forward to celebrating the best of Trex and our customers through these awards.”


Alan Hodkinson

Alan Hodkinson

The only judge to have been on the panel since the Arbordeck Awards were launched in 2018, Alan Hodkinson is an expert in all things Trex. Having worked in the timber and construction industry for more than 30 years, Alan became the first UK stockist of Trex composite decking and has worked as the UK market manager for Trex for the past five years – and believes that its products are the future of decking globally.

Alan is confident that, as always, we’ll see incredibly high standards of installations this year – which is no surprise, given that the awards are centred on the world’s number one decking brand. When it comes to judging the awards, Alan breaks entries down into the following categories:

  • Whether the installation meets the Trex install guide criteria
  • The overall design detail and the deck’s practicality in relation to the property
  • The choice of colour and any other aesthetic considerations in relation to the existing environment
  • Imaginative use of the product, such as seating and fencing
  • How complementary products such as lighting and railings are used where required
  • The overall final presentation, which includes the use of social media, images and homeowner testimonies

When it comes to the 2021 Arbordeck Awards, Alan is most looking forward to being surprised by the entries this year. He said: “The Arbordeck Awards are in no way a closed shop – while we have good coverage of TrexPro contractors across the UK, this competition also provides an excellent opportunity for other installers to showcase their work.

“It’s important to note that the Arbordeck Awards are completely impartial – we receive entries without references so that we base our decision purely on the work in front of us with no bias, which is the least installers deserve. This means that everyone who demonstrates high levels of skill and creativity and meets the category criteria has a chance to win, so we hope to see a variety of entrants this year.”


Gary Cornhill

Gary Cornhill

New to the Arbordeck Awards judging panel this year is Arbor Forest Products’ technical support manager, Gary Cornhill, who has long-term experience in design, sales and installation within the landscaping and playground industry.

Gary is looking for creativity and workmanship in this year’s entries, as well as those that showcase unique features which can inspire other installers to go that extra mile for customers in future projects.

Explaining what he’s most looking forward to about the awards, Gary said: “Trex offers a great range of composite decking boards and accessories, providing installers with endless opportunities for design and creativity. I’m looking forward to seeing how our candidates showcase these items and more importantly, how they have been used for the customer’s lifestyle needs and to improve the space.

“I know the standard of entries this year will make judging very difficult for us. I’d like to congratulate every installer who has made the decision to enter the 2021 Arbordeck Awards, regardless of whether you win or are a runner-up – there are certainly no losers in this competition, as I know your entries will inspire us all. I wish you all good luck!”


Phil Tremayne

Phil Tremayne

Also new to the judging panel this year is Phil Tremayne, who has been the Association of Professional Landscapers’ (APL) manager for eight years. Phil has decades of experience in the industry, having worked in various landscaping roles over the past 36 years varying from growing nursery stock to soft landscaping before joining the APL.

As an expert on all things landscaping, Phil will be particularly looking for entries which are inspirational and demonstrate creativity, imagination and attention to detail, as well as decks that showcase different ways products can be used. With Trex providing homeowners with an eco-friendly outdoor living solution, Phil would also like to see the consideration of sustainability in decking designs.

Commenting on his first Arbordeck Awards as a judge, Phil said: “I feel honoured to have been asked to take up a judging role at the 2021 Arbordeck Awards – I judge many competitions across the industry, but this is the first decking-based awards I’ve been on the panel for.

“I’m very excited to be taking part in what I’m sure will be a very close competition given the excellent standards of work contractors produce. It’s going to be fantastic to see the variety of decking installations which have all been created by highly skilled contractors from across the UK.”


Enter the Arbordeck Awards 2021

Have you entered your best deck yet? Read our FAQs and Ts&Cs, and you can enter the 2021 Arbordeck Awards here.

Follow Arbordeck on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for regular updates on the 2021 Arbordeck Awards.


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