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What do 11 years at Tyler Grange look like?

28 May 2021

Progress. Change. Hard work. Community. Friendship. Enjoyment. It’s all these things yet so much more.

How do we weave a story that articulates our shared experience when the past decade means so many different things to different people?  

Our discussions around this led to an interesting discovery. Yes, we’re proud of the growth we’ve achieved over the last decade. But it’s the office antics, parties, exciting projects and charity work – these are the things that stick in our minds and probably will for decades to come.  

We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we loved reliving them.  

We sent clients to jail (sort of)

 Tyler Grange launched eleven years ago after JonJulian and Simon quit their high-profile jobs to put joy and meaning back into their lives and professions (learn our story). 

Our first office was a converted police station. Which meant that our first meeting room was an ex-prison cell. We literally invited new clients to come and meet us in jail.  

This unique environment might have rubbed off on the team a little. Around that time, Simon and Julian destroyed a temperamental print server by getting a passing bus to run it over (before you reported them, it was very small so no real risk to the bus!).  

We learned to hate bagpipes

2011 was an exciting year for Tyler Grange. We acquired a second office in Macclesfield which also happened to be the top floor of an Italian restaurant. Our team grew and we welcomed John Moorcroft and Jack Jewell (the latter of whom joined us as a graduate and is now a Director and part-owner!). 

Meanwhile, Simon, Clare and Julian moved from the ex-police station to a new office in the centre of Stroud. Simon will forever remember this office with a wince, thanks to the daily rendition of Rod Stewart’s Do you think I’m sexy? from a nearby bagpipe player.  

We took over the country 

As clients started coming to us from all over the UK, we moved to them. By 2015, we had an office in London (headed by Jack Jewell), an office in Exeter (with Colin occasionally in trouble with the BBC, our neighbours, for jamming on his guitar midbroadcast!), a new, larger office in Stroud and the Macclesfield team had moved to bigger offices in Wilmslow.  

Roll forward to 2017 and we’d picked up the courage to head into the city, with our Cheshire office relocating to Manchester and a new home for our Birmingham team (in a custard factory no less!).  

Thing was, having offices all over the country, it was hard to comprehend just how big we’d grown. For Jon Berry, who has been with us since day one, reality hit during a Christmas party in Bath.  

He will never forget the moment of walking into the packed venue and realising everybody in that room was a part of Tyler Grange. Legend has it, he’s still there, staring in disbelief.  

We found paradise 

For Carly Goodman-Smith, Senior Ecologist turned Director, moving to the Marsden office has been a real highlight. Mainly because it’s Eden personified.  

Not only is it out in the glorious Cotswolds countryside, but the team has their very own garden. And, of course, they’ve turned it into an allotment, growing all kinds of delicious vegetables including PO-TA-TOES and rhubarb; the latter of which ended up in an excellent gin! 

Better yet, Marsden has a brewery on site. Every now and then, the two gentlemen that work there mosey into the office carrying pints of beers. There’s nothing sweeter than hearing, “Anyone want a sample?” in the middle of a workday. Obviously, the team refuses every time … right guys?  

We had an incredibly loud silent disco 

During the summer of 2017, right after the Stroud team had moved to the Marsden office, we decided to throw a very special party. 

The location: a field in the middle of nowhere.  

The party essentials: a tent, headphones and a personal playlist.  

The results: a ‘silent disco’ that’s the opposite of silent because everyone is singing like opera performers.  

Despite the landlord and his son joining in on the fun, the neighbours weren’t happy. They had to come down to the field and tell us to be quiet! It was a dramatic way to celebrate seven bumper years. 

We amassed an army of ecologists 

Aaron Grainger, who joined us as an Associate in 2016 and is now a Tyler Grange Director, once managed to get every ecologist from every office involved in a huge project. 

The project – East West Rail – was a massive undertaking, involving a range of survey work including our favourite: bat surveys!  

Aaron and his team were also tasked with doing the entire appendices for the environmental assessment – no mean feat. Not only that but it was our first big rail project helping us diversify our portfolio. Kudos to Aaron and his army of ecologists!  

We got told off for doing too well 

From the word go, Julian Arthur, our Director and Ecology Partner, wanted to get involved with CIEEM, The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.  

More than that, he wanted to get the team involved to set an example. As he puts it, “the industry is what we make it.” So he asked Carly to play a part.  

At first, she was nervous. But as time went on, her confidence blossomed and soon she was organising lots of events and holding seminars for the institute. So much so that one day we got a call from CIEEM asking us to rein it in because our events were getting so popular! We’re sorry (not sorry) for stealing the limelight.    

We witnessed Jon Berry become Jon White 

For years we’ve been doing community work for Farms for City Children which enables children from disadvantaged communities to experience nature at its best.  

We’ve done everything from clearing scrub to whitewashing farm buildings. One afternoon, a team of volunteers (including Julian and Jon) put on their overalls to do the latter. And as Jon was walking over to the building with his paint bucket, he trod on a nail and dropped his paint.  

Somehow, he managed to get paint all over his face. We laughed more than we should – especially Julian. Luckily we had enough paint left over to finish the job!  

We lost our car keys to lizards 

We aren't joking!

When we say we, what we really mean is Julian.  

Carly fondly remembers joining Julian for a reptile survey in North Devon. It was a beautiful area covered in long grassland. The pair didn’t encounter any velociraptors this time round (if you know, you know). But something much worse happened. 

Julian lost his car keys.  

For hours, the duo scoured the area. They found many lizards among the tall grass but no keys. In the end, Julian had to pay someone to drive three hours so they weren’t stranded. He also had to fork out £250 for a new key (the car was hired). Never forget, Julian, never forget …  

We rugby tackled thousands of youths

Since Tyler Grange launched, avid rugby fan Simon has helped Tetbury Rugby Club encourage kids from diverse backgrounds to get involved with the sport. 

11 years later and Simon is still working with the club, and it’s not unusual to see over a thousand kids turn up for a Sunday game.  

The wider team has also got involved. We recently helped create a new facility for the club which included ecology, arboriculture and landscape work. Plus, we still sponsor the club, helping the organisers encourage children to become active and build lifelong friendships.  

We were conned by one of our clients 

We were once nominated for Best Team at the Cheshire Business Awards. We went along as a joke, convinced we wouldn’t win. Never have we danced or laughed so hard. Especially when we ended up winning the award! 

There was also a charity auction towards the end of the night. A client who was attending the event invited us to enter a bid-war for framed stamps from the 2012 Olympics. Of course, we said yes. 

Eventually, it was Jon’s turn to bid. He put in £500 then turned expectantly to the client … who gave him nothing but silence.  

We’d been royally stitched up! That very expensive memento sat in our office for five years before leaving us at another charity auction. But did Jon ever trust a client again? You’ll have to ask him.  

We brewed our way through lockdown

One does not simply stop enjoying oneself when the world grinds to a halt. Not at Tyler Grange, anyway. To keep our hands (and taste buds) busy, we partnered with our friendly Cotswold neighbour, TAP Brewerybringing nature and beer together. 

Working as a team, we experimented with different recipes, brewed our own beer and designed unique packaging. Our original goal was to help TAP sell directly to consumers while the pubs were closed. We also decided to put all profits towards our community fund.  

Now that lockdown is over, we find ourselves wanting to continue the fun. Stay tuned for more beery escapades in the future, and keep an eye out for the next outing of our mobile bar! 

We sang to celebrate ten beautiful years 

Speaking of lockdown antics, we were determined to celebrate our ten-year anniversary in style despite not being able to meet up in person. 

With a handful of brilliant musicians in the business, we decided to (virtually) sing Times Like These by the Foo Fighters which played alongside photos from the past decade at Tyler Grange. 

The session featured a TG-ified rap written and performed by the lovely Milly. Add that to backing vocals, guitars, keys, percussion and a ukulele and we had ourselves a Bafta-worthy anthem … that we’re never going to share with you so don’t ask.  

We never stopped looking ahead

As you’ve learned, it’s been an unforgettable eleven years. To celebrate our growth, we recently completed a brand overhaul, working alongside Mike Pye + CoFlow and Studio 91 to rejuvenate our identity, get our message out there and shape a fantastic future. 

Looking ahead, we’ve still got big plans to grow, which includes opening a Bristol office. We’re also thinking more about innovating the way we work, focusing on our workspaces and how we can maximise the enjoyment we (and our clients) get from them.  

Be sure to follow our blogTwitter and Instagram for exciting future developments. We can’t wait to share what’s in store! 

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