Local Face: Peter & Debbie Bird

  |  Published: Apr 1st 2008

Debbie Redpath was born in Edinburgh but grew up and went to school in Camberley, Surrey. She started gymnastics at 9 years old and reached the English National A squad at 12, then the National Elite squad just before retiring from the sport at 15 years old. Having stopped training she found herself with a lot of free time so took up trampolining, tennis and golf.

After working for 3 months on a Kibbutz in Israel and travelling in Europe on her year out, she went to Loughborough University to study Sport Science and Recreational Management and had a great time. After graduating Debbie joined Kodak and stayed there for 10 years, working in IT. She made many friends and started up a weekly circuit training class which ran for 9 years.

While expecting Nicola, Debbie stopped working and took the opportunity to start up 'Jo Jingles' music and movement classes for toddlers and parents. She started running five small classes per week in early 2006 and has grown the business to 11 busy classes per week, with 4 of these now running on Mondays in the Wendover Memorial Hall.

Peter Bird was born in Wellington, New Zealand where he lived till he was 9. Then the family moved up to Kaitaia in the far north of the North Island. He went to Massey University in Palmerston North, studying Horticultural Science majoring in Landscape Design.

After graduating, he lived in Australia for 2 years, getting involved in general landscaping work for a firm in Sydney and also travelled around Australia.

He came to England in 1989 to join a landscape architectural practice in Berkhamsted, where he started designing gardens. After 3 years, he left to start his own Landscape and Garden Design business "Peter Bird Garden Design" in 1992, which he is still running now.

During the early years Peter was asked to design gardens on behalf of the children's charity 'Action for Medical Research' at the Hampton Court Flower Show. It was great to help out such a worthwhile charity and to experience the amount of work and stress that is involved in the creation of show gardens at such a high profile horticultural event. Peter was very pleased to receive 'Silver Gilt' and 'Silver' medals from the RHS judges for two show gardens. Since business has grown and having young children, he can no longer spare the time to be involved in the shows.

As well as designing and building gardens, he is also invited to speak about various aspects of gardening/design at local gardening clubs and W.I. Groups and spoke at the 'Aylesbury in Bloom' event last year.

Peter and Debbie met in 1994 while both playing tennis and squash at Berkhamsted Tennis Club. At that time Debbie was living in Hemel Hempstead and Pete in Aston Clinton. They soon discovered that they had many shared sporting interests and spent time mountain biking, windsurfing, walking (visiting the High Atlas mountains in Morocco) and playing golf. They got married in 1998 in Aston Clinton, and in 1999 moved into Wendover.

They joined the Wendover Tennis Club when they moved and have both been running teams over the past 10 years. Their children, Matthew (6) and Nicola (4) are now enjoying Dan's fun junior sessions at the tennis club.

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