Estate Worker Celebrates 30 years of Nurturing a Unique Landscape

Estate Worker Iain King has spent the past 30 years dedicating his working career to the protection of Markshall Estate’s 2,350-acre landscape set in the heart of Essex countryside.

After leaving college at the age of 17, Iain joined the Team at Markshall Estate and hasn’t looked back. Initially starting with work experience of 3 years which fortunately turned into a full career.

“When I first joined the Team in 1992, there was just the Walled Garden and immediate surrounding areas. I remember it being the first year of being open to the public and a new Visitor Centre. It was all very exciting.” Iain King

Things have progressed massively since then. Iain has helped to plant thousands of trees across the Arboretum as part of the Master plan. Helping to develop the geographic zones which form the 200-acre Arboretum. From helping to plant 200 Eucalyptus trees in Gondwanaland to ensuring the survival of some of its rare specimens. Iain is the ultimate tree keeper!

“I worked off the original master plan when I first started at Markshall Estate. The first place I worked on was the Europe geographic zone, planting trees down the hill leading to the Visitor Centre.” Iain King.

Iain was also involved with the build of the Walled Garden in 2003. When he first started, the Walled Garden was vacant with a just a few lonely trees dotted within. He alongside fellow colleagues, including his supervisor of over 20 years Ian Chandler, saw the project to the end. Since the Walled Garden reopening in 2003 visitors have created many fond memories and the gardens have seen three sculpture exhibitions.

“I first met Iain when I arrived for my interview in 1998 when he appeared from a shrub he was weeding around. We worked very closely together for the first few years developing the Walled Garden and Winter Walk as well as assisting in enlarging the Arboretum and undertaking the management of the Estates woodlands. We continue to work together to this day, and he still appears from the odd shrub to say hello!” Ian Chandler, Arboretum Manager

Iain’s talents range from pruning trees to landscaping major components of the Arboretum. We’re so thankful for his commitment to the development and safeguarding of the Estate which all falls under the last private owner, Thomas Phillips Price’s, wishes of the Estate being held in the Trust for the nation “for the advancement of agriculture, arboriculture, and forestry.”