HORTICULTURE & ECOLOGY (FREELANCE)

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Alexander Mortleman BSc (Hons)

An expert Horticulturalist, with a deep background in Horticultural/Ecological consultancy, Landscape design, construction & maintenance, Habitat creation & management, experience in the UK Greenroofing industry, Botanical gardening & Plant-nurseries. Currently serving as an Ecologist in deep-field research of a newly created EU Special Area of Conservation (Capo Testa SAC, Sardinia, Italy). Whilst cultivating ornamental plant species, designing, landscaping & maintaining gardens in York, England .  Availability for Freelance-works with prior planning UK/EU wide. Primarily based in England & Italy. 

01 skill-set

Practical:

  • Excellent plant identification, care  & cultivation skills (including plant pathology & pests). 

  • Competent at all aspects of hard & soft landscaping (e.g. paving, fencing, cladding, decking, turfing, ponds, irrigation, stumperies, herbaceous borders, green-walls, plantings etc.).

  • Proficient with hand & power tools (e.g. spades, edging, hedgecutters, chainsaws, strimmers, blowers, chop-saws, circular-saw, angle-grinder, drills, brad-nailers, pin/nail guns etc.).

  • Installation of Greenroofs (extensive, intensive, biodiverse), Greenwalls & Green-facades.

  • Maintenance of Landscapes, Greenroofs, Greenwalls & Green-facades.

  • Execution of complex & detailed planting plans (using various methods), to design specification or by self-design (RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2012 Olympics, Grand Designs & Ecobuild experienced).

  • Specialist pruning techniques (fruit trees, Niwaki) & topiary. Ability to cultivate Cloud Trees.

  • Wildlife habitat creation (design) & management (long term monitoring). Applicable to BREEAM.

  • Natural building techniques specialist; cave-houses, tree-houses, dry-stone, cob, Cornish hedging.

  • Light Tree-works (climbing, reductions & survey).

  • Soils/substrate & seed-mix formulation & blending.

  • Seed-sowing, specially formulated nutrient applications & spraying.

Technical:

  • Office computing; word processing, spreadsheets, databases, powerpoint. PC & Mac.

  • Website design & basic graphics, branding & marketing.

  • Simple coding (Python, R, HTML, CSS) & Geospatial mapping.

  • Highly proficient at creating technical documents - risk assessments, method statements, design specifications, reports, technical manuals, design briefs, product data sheets, system info sheets, bill of quantaties (BoQ), planting specifications, planning applications etc.

  • Landscape/Garden, Greenroof, Greenwall & Green-facade design.

  • Ecological & Horticultural surveying & reporting (including Japanese Knotweed).

  • Ability to design & carry out scientific experimental research/plant trials.

  • A great understanding of UK planning legislation & BREEAM in relation to urban greening.

Specialities:

Horticulture: Hardy Ornamentals, Native UK Florae, Xerophytic Florae, Hardy Succulents, Florae of the Chilean Temperate Rainforest, Andean Root & Tuber Crops, Tyrrhennian Florae & Habitats of the Mediterranean, Ethnobotany, Ecological Plant Associations, Forest Gardens.

Ecology: Botany, Phase 1 Habitat & Phase 2 Vegetation Surveys, Habitat Profiling (UK & Mediterranean), Reptiles & Amphibians, Terrestrial Invertebrates, primarily: Lepidoptera, Anophila (Hymenoptera), Heteroptera (Hemiptera), Dermaptera. Biodiverse Greenroofs. Wildflower Meadow applications. Native planting themes & habitat replications. Urban Garden ecological & ornamental design strategies (relevant to local planning) . 

Music while you read, click the video above. Lark Ascending.

A classical masterpiece.

Reading in nature

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A pretty fish

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Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)

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Reading in nature

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Graphosma italicum ssp. Sardiniensis (Striped Sardinian-Shield Bug). Endemic, on Daucus carota.

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Greenroof plant trials, Somerset.

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Allium commutatum (Sea Garlic)

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Graphosma italicum ssp. Sardiniensis (Striped Sardinian-Shield Bug). Endemic, on Daucus carota.

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Octopus vulgaris (Common Octopus)

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The Moon

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Hair

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Octopus vulgaris (Common Octopus)

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02 Experience

2018-2020

HORTICULTURAL CONSULTANT & LANDSCAPE GARDENER

Fern Cottage Gardens & Horticultural Consultants, York.

Primarily garden maintenance, design & construction for private clients. Japanese Knotweed surveys, Arboriculture, Greenroofs, Habitat creation & plant procurement. Branding, marketing & website design/construction: ferncottagegardens.co.uk. A continually evolving, ongoing project between Fern Cottage Gardens & Shrubfrog (Horticulture & Ecology).

2016-2017

DESIGNER & GARDENER
 PLANT PROCUREMENT

Araucana Ecological Landscapes

(Future Plants of London), Harringey.

Creation of bespoke garden designs & interior/exterior plant supply in North & West London. Landscape design/architecture & construction. Specialist substrate formulations/seed blends, plantings, water features, high-end hard landscaping etc. Supply of ornamental plants (e.g. to improve air quality in warehouse apartments). Care & cultivation of plant stock. Creation of customised 'Habitat Furniture' & features. 

2016-2017

SKILLED HORTICULTURALIST
GREENROOF CONSULTANT

Plants For London, Notting Hill.

Landscape, greenroof & roof-garden maintenance, installation of hard/soft landscape projects, roof-top balconies & planters to hotels, offices, private clients & public places in central & west London. Greenroof & habitat surveys/reports, workshop carpentry & creation of novel artificial greening solutions. 

2014-2015

NURSERYMAN

D-Tail Plants, York.

 Care of plant stock, commercial production & customer service, in a plant nursery specialising in procurement & production of ornamentals (ferns, grasses, shrubs & feature plants). 

2008-2013

CONTRACTS MANAGER &
TECHNICAL CONSULTANT

Blackdown Greenroofs (formerly BHC), Somerset.

Management of the Greenroof Maintenance division. Technical in-house support to installation teams, project managers, salesmen & marketing. External - seminars to architects, contractors, manufacturers, lectures to students & training in novel system installations/applications & relevant native plant species. Horticultural & Ecological consultancy, plant procurement, surveys, reports, design of greenroof installations & systems, specialising in biodiverse & native habitat replications. Design of the Nocturnal Wildlife Biodiverse-roof system together with the Bat Conservation Trust & assistance in developing the original NRFC UK Greenroofing Guidelines. Composition of technical documentation: Product Data Sheets, System Information Sheets, Risk Assessments, Method Statements, Design Briefs, Operations Manuals & Bill of Quantities. Specialist formulations of substrate & seed-mix blends.   

2017-2020

FIELD-ECOLOGIST

Valle Della Luna Ecology, Capo Testa (Sardinia, Italy).

Deep investigations into habitats & wildlife species present in the newly formed SAC. Mapping of habitat boundaries, Phase 1 habitat & Phase 2 vegetation surveys. Identification of terrestrial invertebrates, reptiles & amphibians, mammals & birds. Formulation & undertaking of in-depth research questions. Creation of website including botanical inventory etc. See valledellaluna.orgAlso anthropological elements in relation to intentional communities & natural building. Ongoing.

2015-2020

NURSERYMAN & PLANTSMAN

Vertigrow Plant Nursery, York.

Care & cultivation of plant stock  Ornamental (trees, shrubs, herbaceous, indoor & unusual). Blending of growing mediums, potting-up, use of potting machine, irrigation systems, assisting in poly-tunnel construction, pruning etc. Working with interesting plants such as Hedeychium, Tree Ferns & large collections of Heuchera, Helleborus etc. Execution of planting plans, landscaping, installation of large feature plants, shrubs etc. Ongoing seasonally.

2012-2017

CONTRACTS MANAGER 
HORTICULTURAL/ECOLOGICAL CONSULTANT & TECHNICIAN

Greenroof Management UK (GRMuk)

Nationwide (although primarily London/Nort-East England) maintenance & habitat management of Greenroof projects (extensive & biodiverse). Installation of Biodiverse-roofs, remedial works to extensive Sedum-roofs to repair & improve biodiversity value. Habitat creation by plantings & bespoke 'Habitat Furniture' for public & private clients (i.e. Islington Council, multiple schools, private offices, the British Horseracing Authority/Jockey Club, NHS Health Centres). Production of technical documents, manuals, training programme, website creation.

2014-2016

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER 
LANDSCAPE GARDENER

Gardener Design, York.

Garden design, construction & maintenance for private clients in York. Small-scale greenroof installation & estate maintenance. Creation of ornamental & edible planting strategies. Specialising in maintenance of herbaceous borders & shrubberies.

2013

HARD LANDSCAPER
SKILLED HORTICULTURALIST

Axminster Landscapes, Devon.

Paving, walls, dry-stone, fencing, landscape groundworks, turfing, planting & garden maintenance. Installation of new features & remedial works to old patios, walls etc..

2008-2013

SCIENCE OFFICER (R&D)
HORTICULTURAL & ECOLOGICAL CONSULTANT
GREENROOF INSTALLER/SUPERVISOR

Blackdown Horticultural Consultants  (BHC/GREENROOF), Somerset.

The first Greenroofing design, supply, installation & maintenance company in the UK. Personally selected straight from university. In-depth scientific trials on suitable plants, substrates & moisture control systems. Greenroof system designs, plant procurement, cultivation & installation of relevant species & systems.  Greenroof Horticultural & Ecological consultancy. Company plantsman for RHS Chelsea flowershow (in conjunction with Sheffield University), multiple Grand Designs & Ecobuild etc. Media liason (appearances on BBC One Show, BBC Radio) including national broadsheets, tabloid & local newspapers. Installations of award winning projects (e.g NFRC Greenroof of the year 2011 - West Ham Bus Garage).

2008

MAINTENANCE GARDENER

Phil Rose Landscapes, York.

All aspects of garden & exterior grounds maintenance. Including light tree-works, hedge-cutting, grass-cutting, herbaceous borders, shrubberies, leaf-blowing, removal of undesirable plant species. For private clients (e.g. the family members of the Shepherd Building Group & York Minster gardens). Many Roses. 

2007-2008

PLANT SPECIALIST

Ivybridge Garden Centre (Endsleigh), Devon.

Pimarily care/maintenance of plant stock, customer support & display design of relevant specialist outdoor plant area (climbers & roses) in Devon's largest garden centre. Plant procurement of shrubs, ferns, grasses, climbers & roses. Link with indoor plants section focusing on orchids & plants suitable for reptile vivariums. Vocational work during final year of  university (BSc (Hons) Horticulture). Based in Plymouth.

2005-2007

HORTICULTURALIST

Eden Project, Cornwall.

Trained as a global Horticultarist with a high-level of plant identification/care skills.  Experience of working in all Horticultural areas at Eden: Mediterranean biome (Warm-temperate), Jungle biome (Humid-tropics), Outdoor ornamentals & crops, Watering Lane Nursey (Desert-biome, plant quarantines/control & general plant cultivation) & the Science team (plant pathology, mycology & pests & diseases, note* first person in the northern hemisphere to discover 'Pinus boeneri' - Pine Wooly Aphid). In conjunction with Heritage Botanic & Historic Gardens Training Scheme & FdSc Ethnobotany, Rosewarne College. Specialist areas: Chilean Temperate Rainforest re-construction, Andean Root & Tuber Crop Exhibit, Mediterranean, South African planting displays & tropical palm/banana plantation exhibits.  

2004-2005

PLANT PROCUREMENT/SUPPLY

North Hill Horticulture, Plymouth.

 Sourcing of outdoor/indoor ornamental plant specimens for private clients, clubs, pubs & offices. Wholesale supply, plant care & cultivation. Whilst studying at unversity.

2004-2005

NURSERYMAN/BOY

Imberhorne Lane  Nursery (Camellias Online), East Grinstead, West Sussex.

First job in Horticulture. Care & cultivation of plant stock. Nursery/polytunnel maintenance. Irirgation & spraying. Ornamental garden plants, but the nursery specialised in Camellia cultivars & propagation. 

 

03 education & training

Degrees:

BSc (Hons) Horticulture - Plymouth University (Duchy College Rosewarne, Cornwall).

FdSc (Hons) Ethnobotany - Plymouth University (Duchy College Rosewarne, Cornwall). Eden Project.

Short Courses:

Heritage Historic & Botanic Gardens Training Scheme - Eden Project, Cornwall.

Cert. Ed. Psychology/Human Biosciences - Plymouth University.

Climate Change & Global Warming - Open University. Science Short Course.

The Human Genome - Open University. Science Short Course.

Fossils & the History of Life - Open University. Science Short Course.

Nutrition & Health, a Chemical Story - Open University. Science Short Course.

Maps & the Geospatial Revolution - Coursera, Pennsylvania State University.

Ecosystem Services: a Method for a Sustainable Environment - Coursera, University of Geneva.

Understanding Plants; What a plant knows - Coursera, Tel Aviv University.

SQL Databases - Coursera, Stanford University.

Python Basics - Coursera, Duke University.

The Google Algorithm - Coursera, Harvard University.

Training:

CSCS - Operative/Supervisory. Construction Skills Certification Scheme

PASMA - Portable Access Scaffold. Prefabricated Access Suppliers & Manafactures Association.

IPAF Harness. Brittannia Safety & Training.

RHS Pruning. Duchy College Rosewarne.

Other:

A-Levels: Psychology, Sociology, Business & Economics, General Studies.

ASDAN Award; Business Issues - York Sixth-Form College.

GCSE's - Fulford School, York.

 

04 current research

The projects listed below are being used in preparation of postgraduate research and to engage other graduate/postgraduate researchers, the local commune of Santa Teresa di Gallura, the European Union Nature Information System (EUNIS) & wider acknowledgment of conservation issues in the Capo Testa SAC & across the Mediterranean landscapes. Please visit the Valle Della Luna Ecology website for more information.

RPR1: Development of a practical ecosystem approach model, in mitigating the risk of wildfires whilst providing optimal biodiversity benefits to local wildlife species in Meso-Mediterranean Holm-Oak Forests. Specifically in Capo Testa SAC, Sardegna. Status: Literature review, field work & write-up.

RPR2: Investigations into Dermaptera (Earwig) species present in the Valle Della Luna research area, Capo Testa SAC. With focus towards local food-web interactions & change in biomass quantitative survey results, relative to differing climatic conditions over time, seasonally & annually. Status: Literature review, field work & write-up.

RPR3: Identification of pollinating insects, primarily Anthophila  Bees), Syrphidae  (Hoverflies), Heteroptera  (Flower Bugs) & Lepidoptera  (Moths & Butterflies) species present in the Valle Della Luna research area of Capo Testa. With particular focus on angiosperm associations & endemic ecosystem/habitat interactions. Status: Initial field-work.

RPR4: Assessment of topography specific nesting habitats relative to Anthophila (Bee) & Syrphidae (Hoverfly) species in a range of different habitats across Capo Testa SAC. Status: Initial field-work.

RPR5: Identification & analysis of preferential habitat requirements for Testudo marginata (Marginated Tortoise) in Capo Testa SAC. With focus upon the current quality of habitat, health of populations & enhancement or restoration of natural habitat quality. Status: Literature review & field work.

RPR6: Evaluation of IUCN Red-List endangered Reptilia (Lizard & Skink) populations. In-depth concentration upon biocenoses & cenoses in specific Tyrrhenian habitats & endemic ecosystems in the Capo Testa SAC. Status: Literature review, field work & write-up.

RPR7: Investigation into the endemic habitat association between Graphosma italicum ssp. Sardiniensis (Sardinian Striped Shield Bug) & Daucus carota (Sea Carrot) in Coastal Elicriso Gariga (EUNIS 5320: Low Formations of Euphorbia pithyusa close to Cliffs). Paying particular attention towards lifecycle, breeding populations & specific optimal habitat provision. Status: Literature review & field work.

RPR8: Observations of the ecosystem dynamics in a novel plagio-climax habitat of Sarsaparilla-Lentisco Gariga, in Cala Grande Capo Testa SAC. With particular focus upon a large community of Rattus norvegicus (Norweigan Brown-Rat) & local effect on other wildlife species present, in particular the holistic ecosystem balance & food-web interactions. Status: Literature review & field work.

RPR9: Examination of ecosystem dynamics in a niche mosaic of habitats, where Holm-Oak Forest, Arborescent Macchia with Juniperus phoenicea, Thermo-Mediterranean Tree-Spurge Gariga & endemic Sardinian Genista Gariga converge (Macchia del Gatto Rosso & Teschio Woodland - Capo Testa SAC). Status: Initial field work.

RPR10: Invasive or beneficial? A study of 5 non-native plant species present in the Valle Della Luna research area: Malva veneta, Aloe arborescens, Oxalis pes-caprae, Caprobrotus acuniformis & Solanum lycopersicoides. Status: Literature review, field work & write-up.

RPR11: Nocturnal wildlife present in a niche Cliff-top arborescent Macchia with Phillyrea latifolia. Focus upon Moths, Bats, Lizards & Birds. Status: Initial field work.

 
 
Current Projects

Cala di l'Ea Dune Grassland

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Testudo marginata (Marginated Tortoise)

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Habitat/species mapping

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Cala di l'Ea Dune Grassland

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Valle Della Luna Ecology - Capo Testa SAC. Ecological research programme. website: valledellaluna.org

Landscape/Garden design

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Landscape/Garden construction

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Landscape/Garden maintenance

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Landscape/Garden design

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Fern Cottage Gardens & Horticultural Consultants. Based in York.
website: ferncottagegardens.co.uk

Biodiverse Greenroof (meadow-design)

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plug-planted Sedum-roof

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Bombus lucorum sipping from Echium vulgare

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Biodiverse Greenroof (meadow-design)

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Rooftop-Habitats. Specialist living-roof consultancy & maintenance. website: TBA
Extensive Greenroof design & specification technical manual (pdf download)
Past Projects (a few examples..)

Ladybirds on Sedum: BBC One Show, BBC Radio etc.

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Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre. Installation. Over 2000m2 largest Greenroof in the country at the time.

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Cultivation/care of Aloe. Mediterranean Biome/Watering Lane Nursery, Eden Project

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Ladybirds on Sedum: BBC One Show, BBC Radio etc.

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Greenroof system design. Planting mixes, substrate blends & moisture-control.

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Athletes Village 2012 London Olympics. Multiple Installations. Biodiverse-design.

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Falmouth Art College. Biodiverse installation.

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Greenroof system design. Planting mixes, substrate blends & moisture-control.

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Garden design & specification. (Richmond).

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Trained & Educated at the Eden Project.

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Smailholm tower, Scottish borders. Trials & installation. NRFC Greenroof Finalist 2012.

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Garden design & specification. (Richmond).

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Essex Disability Centre, BREEAM Excellent. Installation.

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Biodiverse-roof for Bees. St Mary Magdelene Academy, Islington.

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Planted/constructed balcony. Whitechapel.

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Essex Disability Centre, BREEAM Excellent. Installation.

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West Ham Bus Garage. NFRC 2011 Greenroof of the year. Installation & maintenance.

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Biodiverse-roof. Old street, London. Habitat management.

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Hotel decoration. The Gore, London.

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West Ham Bus Garage. NFRC 2011 Greenroof of the year. Installation & maintenance.

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Pizza Express, Jersey. Coastal Sedum-roof installation.

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Hardwood slatting with portable scaffold. Whitechapel.

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Award winning roof-garden. Bristol. Installation (Barrat Homes).

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Pizza Express, Jersey. Coastal Sedum-roof installation.

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(Hover over the bottom of images to view a description)