Technical Talk: Our Q&A with Technical Director Dr James Welsh

13th Sep 2021

Our Technical Director and in-house agronomist Dr James Welsh provides insight into what his role entails at White Horse Contractors.

Hello James, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. Talk us through your experience and role at White Horse Contractors

Hi there! I’m Technical Director at White Horse Contractors, my principal responsibilities within the company are to develop and maintain technical and commercial capabilities for our construction and remediation projects.

What are you working on at the moment?

My time this summer has been shared between discussions with new clients and existing. I’ve been working closely with our design team and Contracts Managers to ensure we are maximising our sites’ potential. This includes providing input for surveying, design, construction and maintenance when required.

I regularly visit our sites to see what we have achieved so far; it’s been an exceptionally busy year despite the weather and it’s important that we continue to construct projects to the highest standard.

Our new sports complex project in Hampshire.

Are there any projects that have stuck out for you?

I’ve been on some very exciting visits so far this summer. Our hybrid construction site at Whitgift is looking fantastic, this week I met with our Contracts Manager Colin McBeth & GrassMaster Solutions Project Manager Dennis Pennings, I can’t wait to see the progression of growth over the next few weeks. I have also attended a handover of a new green open space country park development in Banbury as part of the Longford Park development for a consortium of housing developers. Another that certainly sticks out is the commencement of earthworks and drainage for a sports complex in Hampshire that we are constructing on the south coast for Eastleigh Borough Council.

How did you become an agronomist?

I began my career in agricultural research in both organic and integrated farming systems following the obtainment of Ph. D. in Agricultural Botany at the University of Reading. During my early career, I joined TGMS who White Horse work with on various projects. I worked at TGMS as an agronomy consultant, working on various sports and agricultural projects.
Sports ground project for the University of Reading, where James studied.

What are some of the challenges the construction industry is facing that have impacted the way you work?

Despite supply issues for materials across the construction industry, we have managed to consistently achieve handovers within timescales.

I’m also acutely aware of the challenges we all face regarding climate change and our responsibilities to design and deliver projects in the most sustainable ways. I’m interested in identifying and implementing innovative ways of working to enhance the environmental sustainability of the operations we undertake.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love getting on my road bike when I can around Bedfordshire! We have a few keen cyclists within the company and it’s a great way of keeping fit! I also enjoy watching my daughter compete in gymnastics competitions around the country!

For more information call 01865 736272 or email