Curator Update

Curator Update

New Curator Arrives May 13 to Eastwoodhill

Eastwoodhill is looking forward to the arrival of their new Curator Martin Weaver. After some months of searching for the right person, Martin happened to have already relocated to Gisborne and was in search of the perfect job for his extensive experience in trees and horticulture.

Growing up in Gloucestershire, England, Martin connected to trees and woodlands from a young age.  He was a frequent visitor of the the Royal Forest of Dean and the diverse surrounding woodlands throughout the county.  After completing school,, Martin enrolled with Hartpury College to begin studying Woodland Management, and Conservation and Wildlife Habitat Management.  Three years later at the University of Wales in Bangor, Martin started a four-year degree course in Forestry.  It was in the third secondment year of his course that piqued his interest in Urban Forestry and the management of large tree stocks in the amenity arboriculture sector.  Primarily tasked with tree safety inspections and contractor management, the opportunity to work with differing species in various environments throughout the County of Buckinghamshire would serve invaluable for Martin and his career.

Soon after graduation Martin started his career with Torbay Council (Devon) as a Arboricultural Technician and developed a knowledge of mass tree database, tree safety inspections and management techniques.  This was expanded on during his position of Arboricultural Officer for Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council.  A diverse and new role that required the entire publicly owned tree asset to be inspected and digitally captured for the district.  It also required Martin operate as a professional liaison to Devon County Council for tree safety inspections adjacent to major highways, contract creation and legal assistance.  After nearly five years in this position Martin sought a personal and meaningful change to work in education on the importance of tree protection and suitable tree planting provision in the urban realm.  The role of Product Manager for Geosynthetics, a company that provides inspired solutions for civil engineers, became available, requiring someone who could educate on the environmental requirements for trees.  This focus was around the need for tree root protection and provision in the engineered environment.  The education was delivered to civil engineers, landscape architects and all other related disciplines via seminars and presentations. Martin joined the Tree Design and Action Group a not-for-profit organisation and assisted with the publications Trees in the Townscape and Trees in Hard Landscapes.

In 2013 Martin and his wife Lindsay made the move to New Zealand and Martin began working for the Auckland Council as the Arboriculture and Landscape Advisor for the Northern Sector of Parks, covering the geographical area between Devonport and Orewa.  With a strong customer and contract focus the role functioned similarly to that of his roles working for Local Authorities in the UK.  Arborlab (New Zealand’s largest independent arboriculture consultancy) approached Martin to join their Management Team to assist with expansion and building his business acumen to foster existing relationships and the development of new business. A similar role followed for Asplundh (tree contractors) in 2016.

In 2017 Martin and his family (wife Lindsay, son Arthur aged 3, and Ted, chocolate Labrador aged 11) chose to leave a nomadic rental lifestyle in Auckland and put some firm roots down in Gisborne.  Lindsay secured a job working for the Gisborne District Council and Martin began his favourite career choice of ‘daddy day care’ for Arthur. Lindsay is very keen gardener and artist, Arthur loves dinosaurs and Thomas the Tank Engine and Ted is a typical Labrador and enjoys food…constantly.  When ‘permitted’ Martin enjoys golf and watching rugby.

After eight months living in Gisborne caring for Arthur, Martin took a role as Cemeteries Team Leader also at the GDC until he saw the position of Curator at Eastwoodhill become available which he saw to be a dream opportunity based on his passion for trees and work experience.

Martin and his family will remain living in central Gisborne and he will travel to Ngatapa each day as his family are well settled into life in central Gisborne now. The Plant Collection specialist Dan Taylor will move into Douglas Cook’s Homestead over winter to look after it. Autumn is just on the way and by May 13th when Martin starts his new position, his first vision will be the beautiful colour of Autumn that Eastwoodhill is so famous for.