Lee Hale

International Centre for Heritage
Head of Winterbourne

Contact details

Lee began his career as a horticultural apprentice at Birmingham Botanical Gardens and followed his training with further and higher education at the renowned Pershore College of Horticulture. Following a series of roles in the horticultural and heritage sectors, Lee returned to Birmingham in the late 1990s to take up a position as a lecturer and horticultural supervisor.  He is currently Director of Winterbourne House & Garden, the University of Birmingham’s botanic garden and an Arts Council accredited museum. Winterbourne is now a top-rated visitor attraction and educational resource, and its collections include the University of Birmingham Herbarium, local and industrial archives and national plant collections. These collections support students, learners and researchers from a variety of disciplines.  Lee oversees the strategic operation of the site including the botanic garden, visitor services, museum and education. Lee’s interest in the relationship between heritage and horticulture led him to undertake a Master of Arts degree in International Heritage Management at the University of Birmingham and a Master of Horticulture degree from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Lee’s wide-ranging interests span the heritage and horticultural sectors. In 2012 after salvaging a number of historic printing presses he founded The Winterbourne Press, a working letterpress print shop. Lee led on the establishment of Winterbourne as an Arts Council accredited museum in 2016, and in 2017 he launched the Winterbourne Centre for Horticulture, which delivers RHS accredited and non-accredited courses in horticulture, garden design and garden history. 

Lee is particularly passionate about local, social, and industrial history.  He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a full member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.  He serves on a number of boards including those of the Lapworth Museum, the Virtual Museum of Printing and the Centre for Printing History & Culture. He is also a Fellow of both the Lunar Society and the Royal Society of Arts. Lee is a trustee at the Merlin Trust which supports training opportunities for young horticulturists, and a trustee of Churchill Forge Mill which seeks to preserve and use unique industrial archaeology on a site in Worcestershire.