Mark Chapelhow (21), a member of the Wildroof Landscapes team, has been shortlisted in the Young Achiever category of this year’s Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Awards.
“We’ve had Cumbrian garden projects shortlisted in the past,” says Liz Newport of Wildroof Landscapes, who is based at Catterlen near Penrith, “but we sat at last year’s ceremony and realised that the work Mark was doing for us and his whole approach to that work made him a prime candidate for Young Achiever. He’s one of just two who have been shortlisted from across the UK so the whole team is really excited about it.”
Mark joined Wildroof Landscapes, initially on a three-month contract, in October 2010. However, his enthusiasm for the work, his natural aptitude for the stonework side of things and his conscientious attitude led to a permanent contract and the offer of more formal landscaping training even before those three months had passed.
“Mark enrolled for the Level 2 Diploma in Amenity Landscaping at Askham Bryan Newton Rigg Campus,” explains Phil Newport, “ and he completed that in just a year, half the usual time. He was already working with us on a wide range of landscaping tasks and it was obvious that he not only grasped the concepts and details quickly, but also showed impressive levels of competence in a very short time.”
Early in 2013, Mark took on his first full project where he was responsible for every stage, from initial meetings with the garden designer and the client, through producing the project plan to managing the entire project and delivering it on time and on budget.
“Nothing could have prepared me for how much I learnt on that project,” says Mark. “Although there was loads to think about, I don’t think I have ever had so much fun at work. I was made up to finish it on budget and on time and to get great feedback from the customer too.”
That feedback from a customer was also part of the APL award submission and included the following: “Mark’s motivation and dedication to the project must be acknowledged. He cared about what he was doing and, if something didn’t look right, it was redone until he was satisfied. He gave 110% to this project, often working long hours and staying late, but the wonderful end result is testimony to this effort and care. My mum loves her garden, it is bringing her a tremendous amount of pleasure and she does nothing but sing Mark and the team’s praises.”
Mark, his fiancée, Charlotte and Liz and Phil Newport will be attending the APL Awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 12 March and hope that the judges will recognise Mark’s achievements as much as the Wildroof team and its customers already do.