Marks Hall is delighted to announce that Jonathan Jukes, Curator at Marks Hall Estate has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Writtle University College.

Jonathan was nominated for his role in the creation, implementation and ongoing care of the designed landscape at Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum in Coggeshall, Essex; and the considerable education and economic benefits his work has brought to the county and indeed the region.

Dr Jill Raggett from Writtle University College explains, “Jonathan has been at Marks Hall for over 30 years and during that time he has overseen the transformation of this once neglected but valuable estate into the vibrant thriving designed landscape that exists today."

“Long before it was the norm, Jonathan had a keen interest in sustainable land management and has always ensured that the promotion and conservation of wildlife was integrated into daily maintenance and long term planning.”

The fact that a range of successful and diverse habitats that has been created at Marks Hall is one of the things that Jonathan is most enthusiastic about. He was delighted to record a pair of nesting ravens at Marks Hall this year and his support of the Bat Conservation programme and the reintroduction of Silver Washed Fritillary butterflies has been unwavering.

There are strong links between Marks Hall and Writtle University College. Jonathan himself is an alumnus of Writtle. He regularly welcomes students to Marks Hall for work placements, dissertation projects and for tours, where his boundless knowledge and enthusiasm is shared with, and inspires, future landscape managers.

Rebecca Lee, Marks Hall General Manager adds “All the Trustees and staff at Marks Hall are very proud of Jonathan.  We are so pleased that he has received such an accolade for his hard work and dedication to Marks Hall Estate.”

Jonathan was delighted to accept the award at Writtle University College. He notes “I am really honoured to receive this Honorary Doctorate Degree, I was certainly surprised when I was notified.  I am extremely fond of Writtle, and maintaining the links between us and the University College is important to me and everyone at Marks Hall.  I feel very proud of all of the team here who have all played their part in the transformation of this very special landscape.”

Those interested in finding out more about the stunning landscape at Marks Hall can join one of the Autumn Walks with Jonathan Jukes this October.  During these fascinating walks you will explore this rich season at Marks Hall, investigate signs of wildlife and Jonathan will share some of the secrets of developing and maintaining this special place.